Driven! 2011 Range Rover Sport

    Up: Comfortable, timeless design, and oh man it’s fast.

    Down: It starts at around $80,000 but the one you’ll want is over $100,000.

    Neutral: The best “I want to see if I can drive up that” vehicle on the market.

    When you give us a supercharged Range Rover, don’t expect a thorough and meticulous review. We pretty much went out hooning around with the idea of maybe grabbing some relative data along the way. But lo and behold, we did finish the afternoon with a few scraps of useful information.

    First, a little background on this vehicle. The 2011 Range Rover Sport is the 3rd generation of Range Rovers which were introduced in 2002 and replaced with the current model in 2013. Although we’re about 3 years behind from the latest and greatest, the 2011 maintains essentially the same supercharged 5.0 liter V8 and holds most of the same tech. Land Rover claims the huge, force-induced engine puts out around 510 hp but ours dyno’d at around 450 hp at Excessive Autosports here in Sioux Falls.

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    Now, enough with the boring stuff, here’s how it drives.

    Clearly the first thing we wanted to do was whip donuts in the snowy countryside. After find the perfect area to try such antics, we soon realized one thing: It’s Range Rover, it doesn’t slip. At least not easily. Apparently Land Rover has this so-called signature Terrain Response System that electronically sets up the car to handle just about any type of topography you throw at it. Even in snow/grass/gravel mode and with all-season tires we couldn’t get the Rover to loose it’s poise without pushing it hard. If this is how it responds in relatively fair conditions, I would assume you really have to go out of your way to put this vehicle outside of its comfort zone.

    2011 Range Rover Sport-5

    Since the Range Rover is about the size of a planet and weighs almost three tons, one would think that it needed all of that power just to reach the speed limit on the interstate. It turns out, however, that the Range Rover is actually shockingly fast. How fast you ask? Well it goes from 0 to 60 in around who-gives-a-crap because your head is thrown into the seat once you put your foot down. From a dead stop on an on-ramp to… we’ll just say the speed limit… happened before I remembered to put on the blinkers and merge. When an object this size moves like that, it’s fast.

    It also didn’t help that the interior is so comfortable and quite that you wouldn’t even know you were doing 90 unless you looked at the gauge. Oh yes, the Range Rover’s quality doesn’t stop on the outside. In the driver’s seat, you are greeted with comfortable leather, a high quality steering wheel, two large gauges surrounding a display, and easy to reach controls. The center console is framed in a classy wood that is met with chunky yet stylish buttons for easy use with gloves on. Who said you couldn’t be fancy and practical? On top of that there’s a nice large display for GPS/Radio, an analogue clock for those who can still read those, and, of course, a push-to-start button. Who knew you could be staying in the Hilton while driving through a snow storm at the same time?

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    The last thing I have to point out is the adaptivity of this vehicle. We had driven it all day on snowy fields, gravel roads, normal roads, and the interstate and it never felt like a different vehicle. It was always comfortable and manageable and never had me thinking that I really needed to worry about where I wanted to go. The final part of our test ended up on a horribly jagged little road and we drove up and down it at different speeds without ever starting to sweat. We even found the steepest, snowiest section we could and tried to inch our way down and the Rover didn’t slip even an inch. That ability for Land Rover to make a vehicle that feels so comfortable on every single terrain is what impresses me the most about the 2011 Range Rover Sport.

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    Chris Berke
    Chris Berke
    I am the founder and editor of Short Shift. My obsession with wanting to drive every car ever made me build a website so I could share my experiences with the world. I love cars, traveling, and my cats, Henry and Winston.



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