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You'll Like The 2008 Land Rover Range Rover Sport If...

The 2008 Land Rover Range Rover Sport offers the interior panache worthy of the Range Rover name, yet packages it in a vehicle that exudes a much more aggressive nature. If the price tag doesn’t discourage you from taking your prized possession off-road, in the dirt the Range Rover Sport can make the novice feel like a pro, and make living with the experienced off-roader simply unbearable.

You May Not Like The 2008 Land Rover Range Rover Sport If...

Though based on the smaller LR3 platform, the Range Rover Sport still tips the scales at nearly 5,700 pounds. That substantial weight assures the big V8 will have a thirst for fuel, yet despite its size the Sport offers no third-row seat and only average cargo space.

What's New

Changes for 2008 include new power-folding exterior mirrors, an eight-way power passenger’s seat and a new power tilt and telescoping steering-wheel adjuster.

Interior Features

Though it shares the Range Rover’s name, the Sport model receives a unique dash and interior. The wide center console houses the navigation screen, audio and climate controls, as well as the controls for the Hill Descent feature, adjustable suspension and Terrain Response system. Snug but comfortable seating offers good thigh support in the front bucket seats and roomy rear seat. The Sport is filled with so much technology that it requires a plethora of buttons and switches, and they are scattered over the dash, doors and steering wheel. The gauge lettering is small and difficult to read, and the black-lettered LCD readouts practically disappear when viewed through polarized lenses.

Exterior Features

The Range Rover Sport manages to combine Range Rover’s familiar cubist styling with a raked windscreen and a tapered roofline that makes the vehicle appear as if it is moving quickly, even when at rest. A two-piece rear liftgate allows easy access to the cargo area. The huge wheels and low-profile tires are visually stunning, yet quite adept off-road. The Supercharged model is distinguished by its bright mesh grille and side air intakes, as well as larger 20-inch wheels and tires.

Driving Impressions

As big as it is, the Range Rover Sport’s phalanx of electronic stability, ride and suspension controls make it one very impressive performance vehicle. Acceleration is good with the HSE model, but we much prefer the rush (zero to 60 miles-per-hour in 7.2 seconds) that comes from the Supercharged 4.2-liter engine. The Dynamic Response system on the Supercharged model helps keep the vehicle level during sharp cornering. Off-road, the Range Rover Sport will astound you with its capabilities. The Terrain Response system adds an extra measure of confidence and Land Rover offers a number of off-road training and travel packages to help consumers understand the full benefits of its use.

Pricing Notes

The Land Rover Range Rover Sport HSE has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting around $58,500 and levels off around $70,000 with all options. The Supercharged model starts around $72,000, but includes more features and tops out fully-loaded around $78,000. With only an $8,000 difference between the two trims when fully equipped, the extra performance and racy good looks make the Supercharged model, strangely enough, the "value leader." Similar vehicles in this price range include the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and the BMW X5 4.8i. Resale value of the Sport is projected to be toward the top of this segment.

Notable Equipment

The Ranger Rover Sport HSE is equipped with a naturally-aspirated 4.4-liter V8, six-speed ZF automatic transmission with CommandShift manual-shift mode, electronic air suspension, 19-inch alloy wheels, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Hill Descent Control (HDC), Terrain Response four-wheel-drive system, traction control, front side-impact airbags, side-curtain airbags, bi-xenon headlamps, fog lamps, eight-way power driver’s seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, park distance control, Bluetooth phone integration, harman/kardon LOGIC 7 stereo with six-disc MP3/CD audio and 14 speakers and DVD GPS navigation with voice recognition and seven-inch LCD view screen. The Supercharged model adds the Supercharged 4.2-liter V8, 20-inch alloy wheels, front and rear heated seats, four-channel Brembo anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), unique grille and side vent treatment and silver interior trim in place of wood.

Notable Options

Options include a Cold Climate Package (HSE), rear-seat entertainment package with two headrest-mounted LCD monitors, adaptive headlamps, adaptive cruise control (on the Supercharged trim level), SIRIUS Satellite Radio, locking rear differential, Dynamic Response suspension and 20-inch alloy wheels (HSE).

Favorite Features

Terrain Response SystemThis high-tech system includes five settings that optimize the traction and dynamic functions for the type of terrain selected. It’s a terrific concept that gives the driver a real sense of confidence when off-roading.Console CoolerThe electrically operated center console cooler can hold up to four eight-ounce plastic bottles and keeps them cool no matter what the outside temperature.

Under the Hood

The HSE comes with a powerful 4.4-liter V8, which is nowhere near as fun to drive as the Supercharged 4.2-liter V8. The supercharger is most appreciated when passing at high speeds and scooting across bustling intersections. Away from the paved road, both engines have enough horsepower and torque to deal with any reasonable situation.4.4-liter V8300 horsepower @ 5500 rpm315 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/184.2-liter V8 Supercharged390 horsepower @ 5750 rpm410 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3500 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/18

Editors' Notes

Looking for something as plush as the big Land Rover Range Rover but with a more playful side? Try the smaller Range Rover Sport. The Sport’s shortened wheelbase means slightly less passenger and cargo capacity, but the tradeoff in improved stability, ride and handling is well worth it. Off-road ability is not forsaken, either, and the Range Rover Sport can climb the steepest terrain with the best in its class, even with its performance tires that are oriented more toward pavement use. Available with an optional 390-horsepower Supercharged V8 engine, the Range Rover Sport is well equipped to compete with the likes of the Porsche Cayenne, Mercedes-Benz ML and Infiniti FX45.

Road Test Video Reviews

2008 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Owner Reviews

4.09
11 Reviews
55% 9% 27% 9% 1 star 0%
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Overall is a wonderful car to have and feel safe while driving

2008 Land Rover Range Rover Sport SC Sport

Overall is a great car for safety, so I would recommend it for families. Car needs to be in a garage for the winter, because overnight cold can cause it not to start. The automatic four wheel drive could make or break your car, recommend having that checked before purchase. Not the best care for traveling due to the low gas mileage.

- Candy L

Watch out for maintenance costs

2008 Land Rover Range Rover Sport HSE Sport

It's a great vehicle but the maintenance costs can be quite high and there are limited reputable shops in my area that can service the vehicle. Outside of those issues it's a nice vehicle with a great ride and performance. It definitely is an eye turner and is loaded with creature comforts.

- Brian R

Safe and steady on the road.

2008 Land Rover Range Rover Sport HSE Sport

Steady and safe on the road, corners well. Has a hesitation when you push the gas while stopped. It can be extremely annoying when that happens and it happens randomly. It runs great in the various weather elements, specifically rain and ice. Very heavy and safe vehicle.

- Kari B

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