Is the Range Rover Sport worth buying?
Test driving the 2021 Range Rover Sport.
Unless you have been living under a rock or a doomsday bunker, you will know that this is a Range Rover Sport. A kid with access to a phone and the internet knows that. But somehow, if this monolith of a car seems to have gone unnoticed by you (which is impossible, then you need to get your vision checked). Let me introduce you to the Range Rover Sport.
Very few people can differentiate between the pre and post facelifted car. What gives it away for the facelifted car are the new headlights with the Matrix headlamp setup. A completely new front end, including a new grille, front bumper and new rear taillights. The overall look is upright, sculpted and masculine. The car has a lot of road presence which is something I always enjoy. I took the car to a Porsche 911 meet, and everyone wanted to check out the RRS while I drove by the 911s. I personally love the Firenze Red the press car came in.
Since the Sport has been around for a long time, you will be wondering what's new? Well, let me give you the lowdown on that.
Land Rover has made few changes to its mid-size Range Rover Sport for 2021. A revised in-cabin air ionizer, the HSE Silver Edition and the HSE Premium Black Pack. Both are cosmetic updates.
There are quite a few options to choose from in the RRS, from the base SE to the top of the line supercharged V8 SVR. Even in engine options, there are loads of choices with petrol, diesel, MHEV and PHEV.
Does it deserve to have Sport in its name?
This particular car has an inline six-cylinder turbocharged+supercharged mild hybrid system. Depending on where you live, other engine options available are a four-cylinder, diesel, PHEV and V8. Since I am in Dubai, we do not get diesel cars here, and I doubt anyone would like to buy the four-cylinder vehicle here. I predict the inline six-cylinder and the MHEV version, which I drove to be the best sellers.
This particular engine puts out 395 Hp and does 0-100 in 5.9 seconds. It is mated to an 8-speed gearbox. Gearshifts are fast enough but not the fastest around. I found myself using the aluminium shifters on the steering wheel quite often. For a two-tonne SUV, that is quick enough. The RRS feels most comfortable for long-distance cruising and sweeping bends. Do not expect it to corner like a sports cars. I found it agile sufficient to push around, and steering is quite accurate. It gives a lot of confidence to this car. The view outside the driver's seat is excellent, and you can place the car exactly where you want it.
The RRS sport is comfortable. There certain external elements that are felt in the cabin, but that would be because of the massive 22-inch wheels, which are the biggest size you can spec on the RRS.
The Range Rover Sport has a proper off-road capability and pedigree. All the features are accessible via the lower touch screen on the centre console. However, I did not have the guts to take a top of the line RRS off-roading. Taking the car off-roading is not an issue but make sure you spec it correctly. You can even spec the RRS with the highly advanced Terrain Response 2 system.
What is it like on the inside?
The interior is an excellent place to be in. You can spec the car with seven seats as well. I think the 3+2 option is the best. The driving position is excellent, with all-around visibility. I love the captain seats.
Let me just talk about the steering wheel here. It is covered with this premium feeling suede, and I love the texture of that. Another thing I enjoyed was the thin rim steering wheel. I have smallish palms, and at times, I find steering wheels from few other brands extremely chunky and fat.
The quality of the materials on the inside is top-notch, and so is the build quality. I enjoyed using the ergonomically designed gear lever. Space is enough for five adults. The seats are supportive, and you can spend hours and hours driving the RRS around. You will be forgiven for taking the long way around just to enjoy the car.
The infotainment system is outdated on the RRS. It begs for the new PIVI-PRO system, which debuted on the new Defender. Ergonomically the button placements and system design of the infotainment can be improved. There is quite a steep learning curve to understand and figure out what screens and buttons do. I find the AC fan speed adjustment the biggest annoyance. Even the steering mounted controls have a learning curve.
Is it worth buying?
Overall it is challenging to top the Range Rover Sport in terms of drive, handling, luxury and performance. It is a handsome looking vehicle with loads of road character. I would spend my money on this.
Starting price of the Range Rover Sport is USD 95,000 or AED 356,000. This optioned car USD 140,000 or AED 523,000. In India, the price starts from INR 91 lakhs.
Let us talk about the watches
Zenith is a Swiss brand that was established in 1865. Its roots are deep in the history of watchmaking. Zenith, near the end of the 1980s, Provided Rolex Daytona with its complex but heavily modified El Primero movement. Zenith has also collaborated with Land Rover to make a Defender themed watch.
The legendary high-beat El Primero chronograph calibre is a name that's known to many in the horology world. Did you know it's one of the three watches that strongly contest the title of being the first automatic chronograph in existence? When Zenith went out of business in 1999, we certainly thought the legendary brand is long gone, but, in 2017 Zenith shocked the world with the El Primero Defy 21 series. In which they reimagined the El Primero movement. This new reimagined movement can measure 1/100th of a second thanks to the COSC- Certified El Primero 9004 automatic calibre. It's truly mind-boggling.
The movement has an entirely separate mainspring and balance wheel to power the chronograph movement. The normal timekeeping movement beats at 36,000vph while the other escapement which powers the chronograph vibrates at an astonishing 360,000vph! When the chronograph is activated, The central hand completes a rotation every second and makes 100 stops on the way there. It's so fast even the human eye cannot catch it!
In 2021, Zenith launched the Defy 21 El Primero Ultrablue. It isn't named Ultrablue because of the blue colour. The Ultrablue refers to the El Primero 9004 movement steel that has been PVD treated. The case on the Ultrablue is 44mm, which is micro-blasted titanium and features matte grey dials.
What if you don't want a regular production? What if you want that one Zenith Defy watch that makes you feel special, makes you stand out? Presenting to you the Defy 21 Urban jungle. The Defy 21 Urban Jungle houses the same monstrous movement. Having a green titanium dial is no joke, and the colour, well… it's quite down to earth and very limited as well. There will be only 100 pieces produced.
The DEFY 21 is priced at $14,500.