Timing, they say, is everything. Sometimes it’s in your favour and other times, well, it’s simply awful.
With the recent “Diesel-gate” scandal involving Volkswagen, there’s so much bad press about the defeat device and how over a million vehicles aren’t as clean as they’ve claimed to be, that it’s easy to write off diesel as a dirty product. Some will say “where there’s smoke, there’s fire”. Others will say “one million bad apples shouldn’t ruin the entire harvest”. I’m of the latter opinion.
With Land Rover’s brand new diesel option on their 2016 Range Rover Sport, the timing for them to wash upon North American shores is indeed awful. However, seeing as no other manufacturer has been accused of similar misgivings, it’s full steam ahead for the other diesel vehicles.
But enough about what’s wrong with one certain manufacturer; let’s focus on something that’s truly great and impressive.
The 2016 Range Rover Sport HSE diesel gives you all the luxury, value and performance you expect and absolutely astonishing fuel economy.
The short version is that the diesel offering compared to its gasoline counterpart:
29% better fuel economy in the city (10.5 L/100km vs 14.5)
27% better fuel economy on the highway (8.0 L/100km vs 10.5)
32% better fuel economy combined (9.4 L/100km vs 12.4)
32.5% more max torque (440 lb-ft at 1,750 RMP vs 332 at 3,500…superb figures for towing/off roading)
Not bad for a vehicle hovering in the 5,000 pound range.
The 3.0 turbocharged V6 motor does produce a healthy 254 horsepower (not as much as the 340 the gasoline model churns out) and there was never a moment of “is this enough power?” Having 440 lb-ft. of torque quashed any performance anxiety feelings I may have had after reading the lower horsepower rating.
The Range Rover Sport sure doesn’t sound like a diesel. It’s quiet, doesn’t sound like a tractor as some diesels do and we can thank the compacted graphite iron engine block for diminishing engine vibration.
Aside from the Td6 (turbodiesel 6 cylinder) badging on the lift gate and the obvious note on the inside of the gas lid, there’s no other differentiator between gasoline and diesel models.
My mileage for a week of driving ended up close to 450 km and consuming approximately 40% of the 105 available litres. When I picked up the vehicle, the range was close to 900 km on the distance to empty scale.
Compared to its gasoline counterpart, the diesel wins hands down in mileage and if you’re looking to pick one of these up, I would lean closer towards this model for the argument that you’re getting car-like mileage out of a large, heavy, luxury SUV.
Ride quality is predictably strong and smooth, even if there’s an ever so slight delay before the turbo kicks in at around 4,000 RPM. But really, with such a slight difference, it’s barely noticeable.
Inside, there’s plenty of luxury with 14-way power heating and cooled Oxford perforated leather seats, an available 825-watt Meridian sound system with 19 speakers, an eight-inch touchscreen that’s easy to maneuver, along with a wide array of others.
And for this size of vehicle, your three rear passengers are also treated to heated seats as well as plenty of room.
Their power lift gate makes loading and unloading so much easier. Given that there’s 874 litres of space with the rear seats up and a whopping 1,761 with the seats down, you’ll be able to fit plenty of things back there, plus the 489 litres beneath the luggage cover.
Yes, the timing of the 2016 Range Rover Sport isn’t quite as perfect as one had hoped for. But with only one manufacturer caught with their hand in the cookie jar, all the others still have a fighting chance to show the public that all diesel vehicles aren’t the same.
Now if you’ve got the cash to dole out for this beautiful vehicle, chances are that you’re not penny pinching at the pump. However, the reduced emissions are a great added bonus for those who are earth conscious. And I suppose saving money at the pump weekly is something everyone looks forward to, regardless of what type of vehicle is driven. I guess it’d be once or twice a month for fill ups with the diesel fuel economy.
With a starting price of nearly $83,000 for the diesel HSE model, there’s plenty of luxury and power to be enjoyed and plenty of options to choose from.
There’s still a V6 gasoline option along with a 5.0 V8 for those who want/need that option.
While it’s too early to tell the long term consumer effects of “Diesel gate”, Land Rover has offered something long awaited to their audience giving them uncompromising quality and superb fuel economy.
2016 Range Rover Sport HSE Diesel
$82,990 Base price
$700 In Control Connect package
$450 In Control Protect package
$1,850 Premium Audio 825 watt Meridian Sound System
$900 Tow package
$2,500 Driver Tech package
$2,100 Canada Convenience package
$1,100 Canada Premium package
$650 Santorini Black Contrast roof
$3,500 22″ style 504 wheels
$1,500 Destination and delivery
$100 Green tax
Total price as tested: $98,415
Yay: Everything you love about a Range Rover Sport stays the same, much better mileage thanks to the diesel option
Nay: Having to work twice as hard to convince the market that diesel is a great fuel option since VW nearly ruined it for everyone