We’re well aware that the Range Rover Sport range is, on average, roughly 10% pricier than this time last year. This also means that our favourite models – the V6s, whether petrol or diesel, and in SE-spec – now cost more than R1 million. Entry-level S models still sport only cloth seats and lack sat-nav, while the 250 kW/740 N.m SDV8 diesel we tested towards the end of 2014 did not wholly convince performance-wise (especially after sampling the scorching Porsche Cayenne V8 Diesel beforehand). But, ultimately these black marks only slightly dent the Range Rover Sport’s colossal appeal. It manages to handle like no large SUV should (a point that will surely be underlined when we test the new flagship, the 405 kW
SVR), yet rides comfortably, is almost as refined as its imperious big brother, lavishly equipped once past S models and has space for five occupants. There simply isn’t a better-balanced large SUV.
Thanks to competitive prices (from R709 100) despite a recent facelift, as well as lengthy exposure to the revised Touareg in the form of the 3,0 TDI (see page 36), we’ve decided to replace the now very expensive – but equally excellent – Porsche Cayenne with the VW (no surprise given the German cars share platforms and some engines).
Toyota Land Cruiser Prado
The facelifted-for-2014 Prado dishes up immense off-road capability without sacrificing on-road comfort. Sure, the 3,0-litre turbodiesel is weak and the 4,0 V6 thirsty, but the technology is proven. What’s more, even TX models have a long list of standard features, while VXs have an advanced electronics system that makes off-roading a cinch.
- Porsche Cayenne
- Hyundai Santa Fe
- BMW X5