2020 Range Rover Sport HSE P360: Pros and Cons
Should the 2020 Range Rover Sport HSE P360 be your next off-road dream wagon?
The 2020 Range Rover Sport HSE P360 might have been the only vehicle in our SUV of the Year test without a solid front axle, but how does that affect how it stacks up against the two seven-slotted competitors? After a week of rigorous on- and off-road testing the Four Wheeler judges weighed in on the capabilities of the Range Rover, read on for what we found.
- Adjustable air suspension
- 355hp V-6 with 48-volt mild-hybrid tech
- Off-road cameras
- Lack of sidewall on the tires
- Hard-to-access recovery points
- Easy-to-damage plastic panels
What's New For The 2020 Range Rover Sport HSE P360?
Our Range Rover Sport HSE packed a mild-hybrid inline six-cylinder 3.0L Ingenium gas-powered engine under its hood. The 48-volt setup is said to give the SUV smooth acceleration and enhanced performance over its V-6 relatives using an electric supercharger paired with a twin-scroll turbocharger. The Rover came in the P360 flavor, producing 355 hp (compared to the P400 with a 395hp output). The Rover's fully independent suspension and the onboard air system were capable of raising and lowering the vehicle when Terrain Response off-road mode was selected, increasing ground clearance and maximizing approach and departure angles.
Why We Want the Range Rover Sport Off-Road
On-highway performance of the Range Rover Sport is superb. The engine gets power to the ground in a sporty manner and with the mild-hybrid capabilities, you feel slightly less guilty about your fuel consumption. These characteristics carry over into many common off-road scenarios—our favorite being loose dirt and snow. In fact, "confidence on snowy tracks and gravelly roads are why you want this SUV," is how a judge described their experience with the Range Rover. The Rover's Terrain-Response mode paired with the airbag-assisted raised fully independent suspension was precision-built for navigating loose terrain with speed and grace. Heck, the SUV even alerted us to "drive for conditions" when we aimed toward icy trails. When off-road travels slowed down and the trails became rougher, the Range Rover Sport was prepared, to an extent, with skidplating to keep its vitals from contacting obstacles, and with a full suite of cameras to help us keep it safe. Performance in rocks was also aided by the Range Rover's raised suspension, affording it a couple more inches of clearance.
What's Holding the Range Rover Sport Back?
While the Range Rover Sport benefits in many ways from its fully independent suspension, situations requiring suspension articulation will sometimes prove more difficult for the SUV. Though the approach angle is increased when the Range Rover's suspension is raised, it still holds the SUV back in the face of taller obstacles. When we inspected the Range Rover for recovery points, we were disheartened to find them hidden behind plastic panels on the frontend, rendering them difficult to access in situations when the front is in mud or snow. Lastly, the wheel-to-tire ratio was not quite what we want for inspiration of confidence. The lack of sidewall on the Range Rover's 255/55R20 Goodyear Eagle F1 tires left us fearing punctures while off-road.
Is the 2020 Range Rover Sport Your Next Off-Road Chariot?
If you're comfortable with the $90,155 sticker price (as equipped, base model starts at $73,990), then the Range Rover will take the majority of your off-road ventures in stride and do it with the newest in automotive tech. As long as you don't plan on visiting the hardest of hardcore trails, this SUV will make you happy, especially in the sand.