Hermetically sealed within the vault-like confines of the 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Autobiography, one gets the impression the outside world moves past the vehicle to bring your destination to you — rather than vice versa.
Such is the smoothness, comfort and isolation afforded occupants of this, one of the most sybaritic SUVs currently on offer. Simply put, few automobiles provide such a cosseting environment within which to watch the world go bye-bye.
Aptly named, the Range Rover Sport Autobiography is indeed capable of telling its own story. One look at it tells you a significant outlay of the realm’s coinage is required to possess its substantive magnificence.
A complete redesign for the 2023 model year has endowed the more sporting-oriented Range Rover with crisp new exterior styling, a tastefully austere interior makeover and a broad array of contemporary comfort, convenience and driver assistance technologies.
Land Rover’s exterior design team embraced minimalism wholeheartedly with this makeover. The lines are clean, uninterrupted, and curve in all the right places. And yet, despite these subtleties—or perhaps because of them—the look is at once muscular, agile and prestigious, without straying into ostentation.
A brilliant example of the less is more philosophy school of design; there is a decided lack of distracting details to impose ocular arrest. Instead, the look of the Range Rover Sport gently invites your eyes to trace its linearity, then occasionally delights them with gentle well-placed curves.
This design will easily stand the test of time.
Inside, the theme maintains its reliance upon simplicity to express elegance. Buttons and switches are kept to a minimum, while immediate access to functions most likely to be called upon at a moment’s notice is provided.
Remarkably, for a vehicle of this caliber, “my” Ranger Rover Sport’s interior was upholstered with a textile to which Land Rover refers as “Ultrafabric.” Applied to the seats, the dash and the door panels, the cloth conveys a premium look and feel — while simultaneously radiating sustainability.
Combining a precise blend of polished elements with tastefully muted surfacing, the Sport’s overall vibe is one of safety, security and contemporary sophistication.
Range Rover Sport is offered with three powertrain choices in the U.S for the 2023 model year.
The base selection is a 3.0-liter turbocharged 6 married to a 48-volt hybrid system to produce a total output of 355 horsepower. An upgrade of this system is good for 395 horsepower.
The plug-in hybrid powertrain offering also uses the 3.0-liter inline-6 and ups output to 434 horsepower. Fans of V-8 power can relish in a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8, which conjures 523 horsepower.
The transmission is an 8-speed automatic, regardless of the powerplant chosen. All-wheel drive rounds out each selection. The Range Rover Sport also offers a setup the marque calls its “Stormer Handling Pack.” This adds rear wheel steering and torque vectoring to all of the above.
Safety and Technology
The centerpiece of the dash is a 13.1-inch touchscreen, delivering access to all of the Rover’s infotainment features. Dubbed “PiviPro,” the interface’s graphics are crisp, modern and decidedly upscale in appearance.
According to Land Rover’s reps, the system is capable of controlling everything from navigation to media and vehicle settings. It is also said to learn your habits and personalize your experience in much the same fashion as would an intuitive personal assistant.
A 13.7-inch screen resides in front of the steering wheel to display the Rover’s instrumentation. Reconfigurable, it can also be set to exhibit any additional data one might need to monitor the vehicle’s pertinent functions.
A shelf just below the PiviPro’s screen offers wireless smartphone charging. CarPlay, Android and Alexa compatibility are also offered wirelessly, along with over the air software updates.
Driver assistance tech includes Emergency Braking, a 3D Surround Camera, front and rear parking sensors, Wade Sensing, ClearSight Ground View functions and Maneuvering Lights. Smart Cruise Control, a Driver Condition Monitor, Lane Keep Assist and Traffic Sign Recognition are all standard as well.
Land Rover’s Cabin Air Purification Pro system combines PM2.5 filtration and nanoeTM X technology to mitigate odors, bacteria and allergens, including the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
“My” Range Rover Sport P440e Autobiography was fitted with the 434-hp plug-in hybrid system, which is capable of traveling up to 48 miles on electricity alone. Setting the RR Sport into motion was effortless for this powertrain with 457 lb-ft or torque at the ready.
Still though, the Range Rover constantly reminds you of its heft and solidity. Even closing the doors requires a bit more effort than other vehicles demand. And yet, the grace and agility the Rover displays when underway is remarkable.
Along with the aforementioned effortless acceleration comes highly accurate steering, albeit somewhat devoid of “feel.” However, the most astonishing aspect of piloting a Range Rover Sport is its sheer agility.
Requests for rapid sequential changes of direction are happily accommodate, with minimal body roll. Further, the brakes give the impression that hauling this nearly 6,000-pound luxuriously outfitted bolide down from triple digit speeds repeatedly won’t stress them at all.
And yet, the Range Rover Sport’s overarching characteristic is unflappable smoothness. Ride quality is pleasant under every circumstance and the fact that the Rover manages this while fitted with a set of 22-inch wheels is nothing less than astonishing.
2023 Range Rover Sport Autobiography Specifications
|Dimensions: L: 195 inches/W: 81 inches/H: 72 inches/Wheelbase: 118 inches
|3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 with electric motor; 8-speed automatic transmission
|44 mpg city/47 mpg highway/46 mpg combined
|434 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque
|Base price: $104,200; As tested: $109,585
Frankly, it’s a crying shame that the vast majority of the buyers of these vehicles will never apply them to their full potential. Well, that is, other than the “look what I got” demographic.
Sadly though, those are also the very people will never call upon the RR Sport’s sheer and utter competence off road, nor its performance potential on pavement.
On the other hand, all the factors that make it so good in those areas also make it one of the safest family vehicles you can buy.
So, at least there’s that.
2023 Range Rover Sport Autobiography — Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Range Rover Sport a reliable vehicle?
Land Rover finished in 14th place out of 29 brands in the 2022 J.D. Power owner satisfaction survey (however, that was up from 22nd in 2021).
Is a Range Rover better than a Range Rover Sport?
The two vehicles are aimed at a very different demographic. Range Rover Sport targets those who value performance and agility, who also want a comfortable and luxurious experience. The Range Rover, while also quite capable in those regards, is decidedly more luxurious in nature.
Why are Range Rovers so desirable?
Aside from their unadulterated prestige factor, Range Rover’s models are among the most capable offroad vehicles sold. That they are capable of accomplishing this, while also delivering an unequivocally first-class driver and passenger experience, sets them apart from most other automobiles.