Models Covered

5dr Luxury SUV (2.0 diesel, 3.0-litre TDV6 diesel, 3.0-litre SDV6 diesel, 3.0-litre SDV6 diesel Hybrid, 4.4-litre SDV8 diesel, 2.0 petrol, 5.0-litre V8 petrol [HSE, HSE Dynamic, Autobiography Dynamic, SVR])


A Range Rover Sport ought to deliver exactly what its name suggests: a luxurious Range Rover travelling experience with a dramatic extra dose of sporting capability. The updated post-2018 version of this ‘L494’-series second generation model delivered in both regards. Continual enhancements to the line-up here brought fresh engine options and more sophisticated media connectivity as part of a series of improvements that created the revised model line-up that took this MK2 model to the end of its life. How does it stack up as a used buy?

The History

Here’s a car that claims to be able to do…. well, almost everything. It’ll cruise on the autobahn at 130mph, ford rivers in the Serengeti, take a family of seven on holiday and slip you down to the shops. It can be affordable to run, rewarding to drive and looks dynamic and stylish. There has to be a catch - doesn’t there? Time to check out the improved post-2018 version of the second generation Range Rover Sport.

The Range Rover Sport. A car that in its first generation ‘L320’ guise was neither a ‘Range Rover’ or ‘sporty’. In fact, it was based almost entirely on the brand’s sensible Discovery model and, thanks to that car’s practical ladder frame chassis, as about as dynamic to drive. Still, the smarter set of clothes did the trick and for most of its life between 2005 and 2012, the ‘Sport’ was one of Solihull’s best sellers.

The second generation ‘L494’ model that Land Rover launched in 2013, at last was a proper Range Rover product, with aluminium underpinnings borrowed from those of the fourth generation Range Rover introduced in 2012. That was engineering eagerly seized upon by this model’s development team in their quest to at last be able to offer a credibly sporting large SUV rival to cars like the Porsche Cayenne and the BMW X5.

This second generation Range Rover Sport was aided by a package of changes introduced in early 2017. Buyers of this revised model were offered a more affordable entry-level point to the range, thanks to the availability of the well regarded 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel unit previously used only in the Range Rover Evoque. There was a fresh petrol option too, a 3.0-litre supercharged powerplant. Plus there was a P400e 2.0-litre petrol Plug-in Hybrid variant too. In addition, off road capability was even further enhanced courtesy of a new ‘Low Traction Launch’ system. Plus all models got a more sophisticated dose of Land Rover’s ‘InControl Touch Pro’ infotainment technology.

Following this update, a new ‘P’ (for petrol and ‘D’ (for diesel) badging policy was introduced for 2019. And about the same time, a top performance SVR model arrived at the top of the range. The L494 MK2 model range sold until Summer 2022, when it was replaced by an all-new L461-series MK3 model.

What You Get

Imagine you were toned, fit – and nearly 20% lighter. How would you look? Sharper? Smarter? Younger? This MK2 L494-series car certainly does in comparison to its boxy, heavy first generation pre-2013 L320-series predecessor. The faster windscreen angle, streamlined profile and sloping roofline make it properly sleek and contemporary – as it should be, a Range Rover Sport for the modern era. But recognisably a Range Rover Sport: the clamshell bonnet, ‘floating’ roof, powerful wheel arches and side fender vents that have always defined this model are all present and correct.

The famous ‘Command’ driving position seats you a tad lower than you would be in a Range Rover, plus the more compact thicker-rimmed wheel’s smaller, the upright gearstick more purposeful and the centre console higher. Perhaps that last point’s the most significant as it positions the controls closer to you, creating a cocooning feel for front seat occupants. Racy then – but still regal too.

What To Look For

Land Rover products have been featuring much improved build quality in recent years but our owner survey revealed that the brand still has a little way to go to match its German rivals in this regard. The main things we came across in our ownership survey were faulty front lower suspension arms, defects with the differential, air suspension failure, power loss issues and parking brake faults.

Driving Experience

Helping this car on tarmac are the range of so-called ‘Dynamic’ driving aids that you get, providing you avoid entry-level trim. These include ‘Dynamic Response active lean control’ and ‘Torque Vectoring’ to help you get the power down through the bends. Plus there’s ‘Adaptive Dynamics’ variable damping too. Plus a ‘Dynamic Programme’ that when selected, instantly switches everything into ‘red mist’ mode. You’ll want this if you choose one of the more powerful engines – perhaps the 339bhp SDV8 diesel or one of the supercharged petrol units, a 340bhp 3.0-litre V6 and a 5.0-litre V8 developing either 510bhp or, in the top SVR model, as much as 550bhp.

At the other extreme at the foot of the range, an entry-level 240bhp 2.0-litre SD4 four cylinder diesel unit was introduced (as was a four cylinder petrol unit which also formed the basis for the P400e plug-in hybrid model). Most customers though, will prefer the 306bhp SDV6 diesel. Like the other more powerful units, it also comes mated to electronic air suspension, which not only improves the ride but also gives this car superb off road ability. Avoid entry-level trim and that’ll be further enhanced by a Twin-speed low range gearbox, ‘All Terrain Progress Control’ and a ‘Terrain Response 2’ system that can automatically set the car up for the type of ground you’re driving over. All models get a clever ‘Low Traction Launch’ system, there to assist you when pulling away from standstill on low grip surfaces. That’ll be helpful when towing: this car can lug along up to 3.5-tonnes.


The right version of this car offers exactly the right kind of luxury SUV experience for those fortunate enough to be able to enjoy it. And delivers a Range Rover Sport that is in almost every respect a proper Range Rover. Be honest: you’d like one - wouldn’t you?