Land Rover has just dropped this TDV6 SE from the UK range. At £51,550, it was hardly a cheap entry-level vehicle, but it did offer a lot for the money - even if not low range. Clearly, customers were happy to spend more on Sports higher up the food chain; but how good is it?
Engine: 2993cc V6 turbodiesel
Power: 254hp at 4000rpm
Torque: 442.5lb ft at 2000rpm
Transmission: 8-speed auto
Top speed: 130mph
Factory combined mpg: 38.7
LRO RWT mpg: 30.9
380 MILES TO GET THE FULL LOWDOWN...
What’s it like on motorways?
All-round visibility is excellent, it’s sublimely comfortable, it’s relaxed, it’s incredibly quiet. At 70mph it’s doing just 1500rpm, which is hardly breaking sweat.
How about crawling through rush-hour city centre traffic?
Armchair comfort, refined, my passenger watching TV on the clever dashboard dual screen while I follow the satnav through bustling Bradford.
How do greenlanes go without low box?
I’ve driven various Freelanders on our Yorkshire greenlanes, so tackling them without low range isn’t alien, and to be honest it copes well, with the eight-speed box giving a good range of ratios for most conditions. The air suspension hoists it high enough to avoid grounding, even on the roughest parts and 442lb ft of torque (same as the SDV6) is magnificent.
Where did you enjoy it most?
When I first got into the Sport I didn’t feel as though it was an especially engaging car, but as the miles clocked up I felt increasingly connected. By the time I got to the B6255 south of Hawes I was really enjoying it. It’s an all-rounder, but it felt in its element on this exhilarating road that weaves towards the Ribblehead viaduct, holding perfect lines through the fast sweepers, braking and turning impeccably into the tight ones.
How does it cope in the Dales?
The Kettlewell to Middleham road is a tarmac switchback, rising and plunging relentlessly, really punishing the steering, suspension and brakes if attempted at speed. Scrapes in the road show where some cars have grounded, but the Sport does it all effortlessly, suspension perfectly controlled on compression and rebound. Precise, capable and comfortable.
What's the point?
LRO’s Real World Test gives an independent, ‘real world’ fuel economy figure based on a varied and enjoyable 380-mile route, rather than sitting on a dyno.
It’s a big drive to do in one day, so we get up early and start by brimming the fuel tank at a garage on the A1 in Lincolnshire.
By doing the same at the end, it’s easy to get a precise ‘combined mpg’ figure – meaning a blend of motorways, fast A-roads, country roads, a couple of long greenlanes and a rush-hour city crawl. And, we find out more along the way!
Our test route
Bloody Oaks services, Stamford > A1 north Knaresborough > Arncliffe > Kettlewell > Middleham > Bainbridge > Stalling Busk (byway) > Hubberholme > Cam High Road (byway) > Wensleydale Creamery, Hawes > Settle > Silsden > Bradford > M62 east > Ferrybridge > A1 south > Bloody Oaks services, Stamford