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Range Rover Sport V8 diesel

Date: 30 November 2006   |   Author: Tristan Young

V8 diesel Range Rover Sport
Category: 4x4
Prices: £35,665-£63,225
Key Rival: Mercedes ML 420CDI

There's now yet another reason to buy a Range Rover Sport, one of the most sought after cars on sale in the UK today.

The addition of a new V8 diesel engine means you don't have to sacrifice performance when you want the extra range of a diesel.

new_Range Rover-Sport

The prestige car makers have all recently realised that although their customers are wealthy enough to afford both the high fuel costs of running a powerful petrol car, and the tax associated with this, they don't like stopping to fill up with fuel every 250 miles.

So the prestige brands have all been racing to bring powerful V8 diesels to the market, a trend that's just starting to hit the 4x4 sector.

Although VW was first with a V10 4x4, Mercedes was the first true prestige brand with a large diesel in the form of the 4.0-litre V8 in the GL 420CDI and ML 420CDI, an off-roader capable of 0-62mph in 6.8 seconds and yet with a range of 450 miles between fills.

Land Rover is the second to the market with its 3.6-litre V8 diesel. We've already driven this engine in the Range Rover, but Land Rover engineers have tweaked the big 272PS engine for the Range Rover Sport.

Changes include the gearing - to make the engine feel sportier - and to the exhaust, to give the car a deeper and fractionally louder sound.

The result is a luxury 4x4 that will go almost 500 miles between fills. That's 50 more than the car's only real rival, the Mercedes ML 420CDI.

However, the Range Rover Sport is not as quick as the Merc. Land Rover quotes a time of 9.2 seconds for the 0-62mph dash, and it feels slower in a straight line than the Mercedes. However, through the corners the Brit is a much more entertaining drive.

The Sport is also better on costs and, more subjectively, a better looking car both inside and out. As with the Range Rover TDV8, the Sport features Land Rover's clever device to stop missfuelling, preventing accidental and costly mistakes at the pumps.

But at the level of the £53,000 car, a director's decision as to which car to choose may well be a subjective one based on looks.