Review: 2023 Range Rover Sport P530 First Edition

The Range Rover Sport, the last horse in the barn to undergo surgery, finally receives an update for 2023 with new styling, an improved interior, new powertrains, including a plug-in hybrid, and all the newest technology and gadgets. As a result, the price has increased along with it, beginning at $108,450 for the Dynamic SE trim and going all the way up to $133,650 for the First Edition.

The Range Rover Sport adopts the brand's new design language introduced by the Evoque and Velar and is smoother, sleeker, though less muscular, than the outgoing model. However, the rear comes off as somewhat anonymous and generic, and we wouldn't blame you for mistaking one for a Nissan Pathfinder. Modern trends favor minimalism and soft shapes, but we feel that this model's sheetmetal is too traditional and makes it too difficult to tell it apart from the other models in the lineup. The Sport exudes celebrity road presence from some angles, but not from others.

There is still a lot to like about this vehicle, including the optional 23-inch wheels, the pop-out door handles that stay flush with the bodywork when locked, and the quad exhaust outlets on the V8 models. It seems unnecessary to have fake vents on the hood, lower front bumper, and side fenders, but at least the exhaust tips are authentic. Additionally, the Sport blends into traffic rather than standing out like a pricey six-figure peacock in this subdued shade of Varesine Blue. Brighter colors like Fuji White, Lantau Bronze, or Borasco Grey, in our opinion, better complement its silhouette.

The interior is visually appealing despite the exterior's potential for being a mixed bag. The center console and steering wheel are the only real differences between this cabin and that of the full-size Range, but the interior design and upholstery are outstanding. Semi-aniline leather is among the best, and the center console and door panels have satin forged carbon inserts that add a sporty touch. A large 13.1-inch curved center screen and a 13.7-inch digital instrument cluster round out the interior. Although the touchscreen controls and user interface are excellent and have a short learning curve, the fan controls are still a little sluggish. Land Rover spared no effort in making it a fully modernized vehicle.

Although the interior of the Sport is just as roomy as the full-size Range Rover, which is to be expected given that they have the same vehicle width and wheelbase measurements. The adjustable armrests, winged headrests, and massage seats from the previous Sport have all been retained, however. The window sill has also been widened and flattened so that you can now rest your arm on it without discomfort, just like its larger sibling. Additionally, as is typical of Range Rovers, the cabin is remarkably soundproof, muffling wind and tire noise better than any other vehicle in its class.

The Range Rover Sport offers more powertrain options than ever before, including a powerful V8 that we tested, a plug-in hybrid, and the inline-six turbo that comes standard. We're also thrilled to see that an eight-cylinder war drum is still available since a fully electric version will be released later in 2024.

The 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine is a dream to drive. The Land Rover P530 delivers 523 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque through an 8-speed automatic and will accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.5 seconds, matching the performance of the Porsche Cayenne Coupe GTS and the previous Range Rover Sport SVR. This engine was borrowed from BMW but tuned in-house by Land Rover. The SUV accelerates quickly as to seem weightless, and the exhaust noise is different from that of a BMW in that it is mellower, less raspy, and more mature and professional sounding, but no less sonically thrilling, especially on cold starts.

We observed some overrun when releasing the gas pedal and a slight disconnect between the accelerator and forward acceleration. It seems like there isn't much linearity or build-up in the power delivery, and it's challenging to modulate a smooth drive. The brake pedal is also more noticeable when moving at low speeds. Additionally, the absence of engine braking makes it even harder to get used to. Since we did not experience any turbo lag, the issue is probably software-related and should be simple to resolve. The start-stop system also resulted in some jerky transitions. It should be noted that the Range Rover, which utilizes the same P530 powertrain, did not display this behavior. As a result, we have decided not to recommend the V8 for the Sport at all and to stick with the smoother inline-six variants.

Even with the adaptive air suspension and 22-inch wheels installed, we can't remember a Sport being this stiffly sprung. The Range does not appear to coddle or neutralize significant impacts with the same grace or polish as the comparable Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 and BMW X6 M50i. The optional 23-inch wheels will likely make the ride even rougher, and the suspension feels more like it has been tuned for sport. However, the Sport is a much more agile companion than before, and it turns in nicely, when viewed in that light. It now drives like an X5, being agile during low-speed maneuvers and exhibiting little lean when tackling higher-speed corners. Add brake-based torque vectoring and a new all-wheel steering system.

For 2023, the Range Rover Sport at last receives the attention it merits. The P530 V8 powertrain is punchy and powerful but lacks some finesse, and the ride quality is too conservative for our tastes. But because of its roomy interior, high-quality materials, first-rate amenities, and off-road ability, we are still at ease despite having high expectations. But sometimes a little extra care and attention go a long way, and we believe the new Range needs a little more in a crowded field of premium SUVs now sporting similar six-figure price tags.


  • Model: 2023 Range Rover Sport P530 First Edition
  • Paint Type: Varesine Blue
  • Base Price: $133,650
  • Price as Tested: $140,399
  • Wheelbase(mm): 2,997
  • Length/Width/Height (mm): 4,946 / 2,047 / 1,820
  • Curb weight (kg): 2,700 (est)
  • Engine: 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8
  • Horsepower: 523 hp @ 5,500 - 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 553 lb-ft @ 1,800 - 4,600 rpm
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic
  • Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, AWD
  • Observed Fuel Consumption (L/100km): 16.1
  • Tires: Michelin X-Ice Snow; 285/45R22

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