“What SUV should I buy?” It’s a question consumers ask themselves every day, but what would international bureau chief Angus MacKenzie drive? Keep reading for the answer, and see other editors’ picks here.
Mrs. MacKenzie and I love road trips. There’s nothing better than heading out of town early morning, bound for the far horizon. And if there’s an interesting road along the way, we’ll take it, just to see what’s over the next hill or around the next corner. In fact, the less time we spend on the interstates, the better. The real America is out there, beyond the soulless neon glare of gas stations and fast food joints and budget hotels.
Our ideal road trip vehicle must have genuine all-weather, all-road capability, with the ability to keep going when the road stops. It must have a good ride and low noise levels. And it must have a decent range. Oh, and we like life’s little luxuries. After putting four kids through college, we figure we’ve earned them …
There’s really only one vehicle that ticks all those boxes: The 2020 Range Rover Sport TDV6 HSE. Although it’s been around six years now, the second-generation Range Rover Sport remains a strong seller. It still looks elegant and classy. A recent face-lift has given it a sleeker front end, new taillights, and new wheels (other trims are pictured here). Inside is the new infotainment interface first seen on the Range Rover Velar.
The HSE trim level delivers the best combination of standard features, including 20-inch alloy wheels (which offer a better ride than the optional 21- or 22-inch wheels, and as we discovered in Moab, Utah, a few years back, replacement 20-inch tires are easier to find than 19s) and the fixed panorama roof (great for sight-seeing). Inside are 16-way power seats with a memory function and the very good midrange Meridian audio system.
Base MSRP is $76,295. Apart from specifying interior and exterior color, the only option I would order is the $1,785 Off-Road package, which adds a high-/low- range transfer case and Land Rover’s excellent Terrain Response 2 system, along with All Terrain Progress Control and Adaptive Dynamics. With that, you have a Range Rover Sport that will go most places you want to go.
The 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 develops 254 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. It doesn’t have the overtaking urge—or the rapid response—of the 518-hp 5.0-liter supercharged V-8. (For that, you have to pay an extra $10,000 or more, as it’s only available in the lavishly equipped Dynamic or Autobiography trim levels.) But it will happily have the 5,000-plus-pound HSE cruising at 80 mph while ticking over at little more than 1,900 rpm.
That translates to impressive mileage: The diesel-powered 2016 Sport I ran as a long-termer a few years back averaged 26.5 mpg on a 3,011-mile trip from L.A. to Denver and back, via Death Valley, Nevada’s windswept basin-and-range country, and the winding mountain roads around Breckenridge, Colorado. I know from experience the TDV6 HSE will cruise up to 500 miles between refills.
My sole reservation? The infotainment system. It looks high-tech, but it’s slower and less intuitive than rival systems from Audi, BMW, and Mercedes. I’ll live with that, though, because the Range Rover Sport TDV6 HSE is the more accomplished, more comfortable all-rounder where it counts: on and off the road.
The post 2020 Range Rover Sport Diesel V-6: Why I’d Buy It – Angus MacKenzie appeared first on MotorTrend.