2020 Range Rover Sport PHEV | Fast and Frugal? | TestDriveNow
2020 Range Rover Sport PHEV | Fast and Frugal? | TestDriveNow

So you’ve wanted a Range Rover for quite
some time but you just keep thinking to yourself, darn it I really need a hybrid and preferably
one with a plug. OK, that scenario is highly unlikely but that doesn’t mean Land Rover
isn’t doing it anyway because they are. Meet the 2020 Range Rover Sport PHEV. Plug-in hybrid technology is a bridge between
a standard gasoline-electric hybrid and a fully electric vehicle.  It provides a short
EV driving range, typically less than 30 miles, before a small gas engine joins the party
at which point you’re back to normal hybrid driving; some EV, some gas but typically a
blend of the 2 which delivers vastly improved MPGs.  A PHEV’s allure likely rests with
how far you typically drive.  If you’re an around the town, short distance kind of
commuter and dutifully keep the battery charged you may use little to no gas at all. This
is why the EPA’s estimates for PHEVs should be used as a loose guide.  Of course, electric
motors also boost performance.  They don’t need time to generate their peak torque – you
press the accelerator and the car just goes…quietly. That’s the coolest part.  If you’ve never
experienced it before you’ll immediately notice the difference. You certainly can’t say Land Rover isn’t
providing choices here; the Range Rover Sport is offered with a diesel, 2 mild hybrids,
a couple of supercharged V8s and this PHEV supported by a 2.0-liter turbo 4. The P400e
as it is known falls just short of its name at 398 horsepower. But it’s the 472 pound-feet
of torque this powertrain produces that slots it 2ndin twisting force to only the mighty
SVR in the 6 model Sport lineup. But batteries and motors are heavy so the PHEV’s 0-to-60mph
time of 6.3 seconds makes it the slowest Sport this side of the diesel model.  Far from
plodding but a little disappointing nevertheless. When plugged-in at home to a standard household
outlet it’ll take about 14 hours to fully recharge this battery which according to Range
Rover will deliver 31 miles of EV power. But I’ve only been getting about 21 so far
this week and even then this engine has been kicking-in way more than I ever would’ve
thought. Ambient temperature, driving style…it all
factors into the EV range you’ll see but this one can’t wait to get that buzzy little
turbo involved even when working the gas pedal with the gentle touch of baby’s hand. Though
there is an EV mode that’ll force the engine to stay off if there’s enough charge AND
an ECO driving mode I want my 20 miles or so to be gas-free and I’m rarely getting
that here. When I think of the Range Rover Sport I envision
an effortlessly quick SUV with a killer supercharged engine.  This, on the other hand, feels kind
of weird.  Yeah, it’s quick in a hybrid sort of way but the drive feels disjointed,
the organic braking is gone and there are no accompanying sounds you want to hear. 
And the plug-in factor seems superfluous seeing as how the EV range is low, charge times long
and pure electric driving is hard to come by.  Of course it looks great, the cabin
is still vault-like and other than having no spare tire its off-road chops haven’t
been compromised. But at over $93,000 as-tested I don’t see many Range Rover Sport buyers
lusting over this model. I will say this; the PHEV feels better the
harder you drive it.  It’s less at ease in city work.  In Sport mode the tall and
heavy Range Rover squats and sticks to the road in physics-defying ways.  And there’s
truly something to the feeling of being in a Range Rover’s hermetically sealed cabin…invincibility
and serenity permeate the experience. Base MSRP is $80,295 but if items like Blind
Spot Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, heated steering wheel, and head up display interest
you the price goes up.  This loaded HSE example stickers for $93,200 and does pack some pretty
cool stuff; The 21” wheels, black contrast roof, heated and cooled front and rear seats,
center console refrigerated compartment and configurable ambient lighting are all extras
but lend big-time style and grandiose accouterments. And finally, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
have been added to Land Rover’s brilliant-looking dual touchscreen setup that’s still a little
confusing to use but adds big-time visual pop.  And I love 360 degree cameras but with
no dedicated button to access it quickly it’s often too little too late.  And the PHEV
doesn’t scale back its 4-wheel drive capabilities…Terrain Response is here to dial in the appropriate
off-road mode, the air suspension can get crazy high or low depending on your travels
and its nearly 3 feet of water fording is preserved.  A New Wade Sensing system even
provides real-time water depth information. Because the battery pack is back here the
PHEV does lose a little cargo room. The Range Rover Sport is due for a complete
redesign in 2021 and though there are some dated components, this model is holding up
quite well near the end of its lifecycle. The EPA has yet to rate the fuel economy of
this PHEV which finally arrives stateside this summer but it will easily be the most
fuel efficient Sport you can buy.  The same plug-in treatment is also coming to the big
Range Rover.  The appeal will be limited. For me, I’ll take mine with the 5.0.

24 thoughts on “2020 Range Rover Sport PHEV | Fast and Frugal? | TestDriveNow”

  1. Willie Bender says:

    Great review

  2. OC marc says:

    Great job, Steve 👍

  3. RJ says:

    Beautiful vehicle. Great color! I'll take it. Supercharged V8 please.

  4. Mateen S says:

    Good luck repairing that once the warranty run$ out.

  5. Adrian Harvey says:

    Good review.. it doesn’t seem that you were very impressed at all for that price..

  6. A F A says:

    Just buy a Ford Explorer. Looks the same, more reliable, and cheaper.

  7. Trades46 says:

    Feels like a big upgrade to the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and has the same quirks as well with the buzzy 2.0L 4cyl and, unless you smack the EV mode all the time, kind of likes to fire up its engine even if there is juice in the battery. It is nice but not $90k nice – for that same money I honestly walk next door to the Jaguar showroom and put my money on the full electric I-Pace instead.

  8. Peter 63 says:

    Solid review Steve! I have to admit, I’ve never been a fan of Range Rover, but this one is quite appealing. Perhaps a heavily depreciated CPO is the way to go for this one.

  9. Izra-El King says:

    great, simple (seems to be) honest review 👍

  10. Izra-El King says:

    who uses Apple maps when there was Google maps right there 😅

  11. Jamie Pickles says:

    Great Video Review

  12. joshxkerrigan says:

    The PHEV seems like an odd stepping stone between the old gas models & the fully electric models that’ll surely come in the future.

  13. ilard says:

    Not a single word wasted. Steve’s reviews are a journalistic masterclass.
    As for the P400e… makes a lot of sense in London, but it won’t make sense in all markets.

  14. ms3bani says:

    this or xc60 t8?

  15. Yaseer Qureshi says:

    Carplay on a range rover how did you got that😅

  16. East17A says:

    OMG Range rover Plug In Hybrid ?!!! wait only for few years before that SUV depreciate to who knows what $$$. not confident about the reliability. if you buy it. my advice to you camp next to the dealership garage … !!!!

  17. Sergey Brody says:

    Good car however I'm not sure about purchasing it for 93,splurge

  18. Phinda Nhlako says:

    What a great review. Every detail outlined in such a short period of time. Wonderful work

  19. samsa deniz says:

    Money pit. Avoid at all cost.

  20. Steve Daire says:

    Honest review

  21. Jonathan Ang says:

    Why does it feel like I’m watching a “The Price Is Right” ad

  22. David Farley says:

    Good to see a reviewer actually being honest about what they think

  23. G says:

    This guy is a GREAT reviewer. Superb delivery, but moreso, I get the sense he's not afraid to "tell it like it is". Well done. Too many Youtube reviews are puff-pieces written by guys afraid of offending their masters.

  24. Steven Barrett says:

    We have a p400e, we need something for nipping to the shops and local trips making about 20 miles electric ideal. 
    Weekends we tow a Caravan making this is the ideal, all round vehicle. I would have jumped at a Tesla X but just too expensive and 100mi range when towing is a bit limited. 
    We like the bottom end grunt the electric motor gives but as you say the brakes are a bit of a learning curve. 
    Fantastically commanding position to drive in and a comfortable place to be on long trips. We are getting well over 40mpg but we ensure the car is plugged in when not in use. We also have a pure EV (Renault Zoe) as well so quite used to fuelling at home. This RRS will be our 5th Landie and all we have ever changed are tyres (tires) and brakes plus ensuring they are all correctly serviced by Land Rover or a Land Specialist. Don't skimp on servicing and they will last longer than the driver…as the saying goes "for a ha'pence worth of tar the ship was lost" so don't be mean with the servicing !

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