– The 2016 Land Rover Range Rover Sport gets a new 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine.
Three years after a significant overhaul that included a new, lightweight aluminum chassis, the 2016 Land Rover Range Rover Sport broadens the iconic luxury SUV’s appeal with an optional diesel engine.
Land Rover says the 3.0-liter diesel will deliver 25 mpg combined — a 32% improvement over the standard gasoline V6 engine — and 28 mpg on the highway. The new powertrain is poised to be the deal-maker with luxury shoppers who need to haul toys and play off-road, but don’t want to sacrifice fuel economy to get there.
The trade-off? Speed. The diesel-equipped Range Rover will be slower to hustle its mass than its gasoline counterparts. The diesel will be available on both the standard Range Rover and the Range Rover Sport.
What Features Will It Have?
For now, the diesel-powered 2016 Range Rover Sport will be offered in only the standard-wheelbase HSE trim level, which comes with 20-inch wheels, a sliding panoramic sunroof, heated and cooled leather seats with 14-way adjustments and heated rear seats.
Just like the rest of the lineup of Range Rovers, the diesel model comes standard with 4WD and the Terrain Response traction system (which optimizes engine, transmission, braking and suspension systems depending on conditions).
Like its gasoline counterpart, the Sport model focuses more on city and highway comfort rather than all-out off-road ability. A torque-vectoring electronic differential and adaptive suspension give the Sport model more handling prowess than a standard Range Rover, but it still offers a Jeep-like 8.4″ of ground clearance and it can wade in water nearly 3 feet deep!
What’s Under the Hood?
The 2016 Range Rover Sport will offer a 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel engine, in addition to its current gasoline V6 and V8 options. The new diesel is rated at 254 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque. The diesel engine’s grunt peaks at just 1,750 rpm, which should deliver impressive low-end thrust on initial acceleration, during tricky off-road maneuvers, or when towing a large load.
Land Rover hasn’t announced whether the new diesel improves the SUV’s maximum tow rating of 7,716 pounds, but it will put the “range” in Range Rover, as Land Rover says the new diesel is capable of traveling 658 miles on a single tank.
An eight-speed automatic transmission is the only gearbox available, and it offers Normal, Sport and Manual shift modes, Four-wheel drive is also standard.
Land Rover claims the diesel Range Rover will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds. That’s fairly slow for a full-size luxury SUV, but not unexpected from an engine with relatively low top-end horsepower. The Sport model can do the same dash in 7.1 seconds.
Added insulation to motor mounts, the windshield and engine compartment should help quell the typical worries about diesel engines noise, vibration, and deliver standard levels of Range Rover refinement.
How Much is it?
The 2016 Land Rover Range Rover Sport will be available at dealers this fall. The diesel option should boost the big Rover’s sticker price to around $91,000, while the Sport should start at around $71,000.
When it comes to flat-out luxury, there isn’t much that compares to the Range Rover. But that doesn’t mean it’s the only game around. The Porsche Cayenne Diesel delivers similar power and luxury creature comforts, but raises the quotient of on-road fun and performance. There’s also the Mercedes-Benz GL350 Bluetec, which while not as capable as the Range Rover or Porsche, delivers high class and offers adult-sized three-row seating.