RANGE TOP­PER

Range Rover Sport is the char­iot of choice for roy­alty and rock­stars thanks to class lead­ing com­fort more.

Geelong Advertiser - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE -

SIT­TING in a Range Rover for the first time is bit like visit to Flem­ing­ton’s Bird­cage en­clo­sure dur­ing Mel­bourne Cup Car­ni­val.

It’s ex­clu­sive, well worth an­tic­i­pa­tion, en­joy­able for the du­ra­tion, and down­right sad when it ends.

Just like the Bird­cage, only draw­back from my in­ter­lude with Range Rover Sport was that it ended far too quickly. But I di­gress. Let’s get back to real­ity. Since 1947, Land Rover, a leg­endary Bri­tish in­sti­tu­tion, has pro­duced go-any­where ve­hi­cles are tested in all kinds of ex­tremes in­clud­ing mon­soon sim­u­la­tor. Test cars drenched with 85,000 litres of wa­ter while be­ing tilted at 45-de­gree an­gles to en­sure not a sin­gle droplet will ever en­ter the pris­tine cabin when they’re sold.

It’s that kind of de­vel­op­ment and com­mit­ment ex­plains why the Range Rover is favourite for rock stars, roy­als and grow­ing num­ber reg­u­lars. We We’rere test driv­ing MY17 Range

Sport TDV6 SE Wagon (from

‘Adap­tive dy­nam­ics, which mon­i­tors the move­ment of your ve­hi­cle up to 500 times per sec­ond to min­imise body move­ment and give a flat ride.’ LAND ROVER SALES CON­SUL­TANT NATHAN BANDY

$115,000 drive away), fit­ted with a host of op­tions in­clud­ing the lux­ury pack, rear pri­vacy glass, slid­ing panoramic sun­roof pow­ered blind, and a whole lot more. Our car came 3.0 litre turbo diesel, which pro­duces 190kW de­liv­er­ing power to all four wheels via an eight-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. De­spite its large pro­por­tions, the Range Rover’s clever use of alu­minium means the Sport re­turns com­bined fuel us­age at just 6.9 litres per 100km — that ‘s about 50 cent less than a mass-pro­duced SUV from 10 years ago, and shows just how far tech­nol­ogy and fuel ef­fi­ciency has come in a rel­a­tively short pe­riod.

If you like lux­ury, and leather, then you’ll love the Range Rover in­te­rior be­cause it is swathed in acres of the stuff.

The el­e­vated driv­ing po­si­tion pro­motes a real sense power pur­pose, with an arm­rest on left (of course), by cen­tre con­sole, which is deep enough to swal­low bot­tle of bub­bly which in higher spec-trim also comes with a chilled op­tion (of course, of course, of course). I liked the steer­ing-wheel de­sign, which has its very own dis­tinct lay­out and con­trols that are easy to op­er­ate your left and right thumbs, un­like the jumble of but­tons ar­rows in­struc­tions found on some other makes.

Our Sport came with heated front and rear seats, which might seem a lit­tle over the top un­til you give them try cool morn­ing, go for a drive and then come to re­al­i­sa­tion that you’d rather stay in the car af­ter reach­ing your des­ti­na­tion than get out of it.

Driv­ers can se­lect dif­fer­ent dash­board views to in­clude satel­lite-nav­i­ga­tion in­stead of the tra­di­tional speedome­ter-tachome­ter dis­play, fur­ther en­hanc­ing the car’s flair, in­di­vid­u­al­ity and prac­ti­cal­ity. On road Sport be­lies its size and weight with sharp han­dling, great feed­back through wheel, ag­ile per­for­mance a sure-foot­ed­ness on all sur­faces in all con­di­tions, in­clud­ing this week’s tor­ren­tial down­pour. It felts solid, safe and se­cure at times and posed no prob­lems nav­i­gat­ing nar­row park­ing spa­ces in su­per­mar­ket car parks. The elec­tric tail­gate makes load­ing un­load­ing a breeze, when you’ve tucked away your favourite bot­tle of choice the cen­tre con­sole, it will also be­come ap­par­ent that there are two USB charg­ing points as well as another 12V socket to keep your de­vices (and chil­dren) con­nected at all times. Drive se­lec­tion modes are ac­cessed via a sim­ple twist of a cen­trally mounted dial, and the auto stop-start can be dis­en­gaged or re-en­gaged de­pend­ing on your pref­er­ence. Speak­ing pref­er­ence, it would fair to as­sume that no two Range Rovers alike leave the show­room, such are myr­iad op­tions avail­able buy­ers across range in all spec­i­fi­ca­tions. Per­son­al­is­ing your Rover opens up an ar­ray of dis­tinc­tive colour com­bi­na­tions in­side and out.

In yet another throw­back to its her­itage, you can or­der a Range Rover with a contrasting roof colour to the body — from crisp white or leg­endary Bri­tish Rac­ing Green contrasting black roof. I’d be happy ei­ther, but if they’re not your cup of Twin­ings English break­fast, fear not, as there are about 30 com­bi­na­tions avail­able.

That per­son­al­i­sa­tion is a big part the car’s ap­peal, ac­cord­ing to Rex Gorell Land Rover’s Nathan Bandy.

“We have range of op­tions avail­able on Range Rover Sport, mean­ing our cars are very per­son­alised for clients’ needs,’’ he said.

“The styling the Range Rover Sport is what cap­tures cus­tomers’ in­ter­est.

com­fort this car road will feel in­stantly dif­fer­ent to com­pe­ti­tion, due in no small part some of in-built driv­ing tech­nolo­gies such as adap­tive dy­nam­ics, which mon­i­tors the move­ment your ve­hi­cle up to 500 times per sec­ond min­imise body

and give a flat ride. “We also have some world-first tech­nol­ogy,

ad­vanced tow as­sist, uses a cir­cu­lar con­troller to back your trailer into park­ing space. The full tra­jec­tory of the is shown on the 10-inch touch­screen.

“Apart from look car, our cus­tomers love tow­ing abil­ity (3.5 tonnes) and low fuel econ­omy (from 6.9l/100km) our diesel en­gines, and air sus­pen­sion, which low­ers when stopped to al­low easy ac­cess for the smaller ones in the fam­ily climb in.’’

The Range Rover Sport cer­tainly has a host of Bird­cage-like qual­i­ties, but backs it up even fur­ther with a truck­load more sub­stance.

Es­pe­cially Bri­tish Rac­ing Green, with black roof, in the Flem­ing­ton Nurs­ery car park.

In my dreams.

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