Electric Vehicle Review Range Rover Sport P400e

The Range Rover Sport might be a familiar sight these days, but it still oozes luxury one-upmanship. If you’ve got one of these on the driveway, you’ve officially made it. But being lavish doesn’t have to mean a total abandonment of efficiency. As the 26 miles of pure electric running on offer in the plug-in hybrid P400e shows. But is it the full luxury experience that you would expect of a Range Rover costing? Well, let’s face it after options nearly 80,000 pounds or more, especially given that under that bonnet is a turbocharged two liter, four cylinder petrol engine. Although I would add that in conjunction with the electric motor, you still have a very sumptuous 398 brake horsepower. Even so you can see why some people might balk at the idea of a four cylinder in a car like this. So we’ll find out what that is like.

On top of that, the Range Rover Sport has always been a firm family favorite, thanks to its seven seat layout, which you cannot have in this plug-in hybrid model, as you can in the plug-in hybrid Volvo XC90, that is the Range Rover Sport ultimate nemesis. So we need to know what it’s like to drive, is it good enough for that price, and is it still a great family car? The Range Rover plugs in virus socket in the nose of the car, connected to a normal three pin domestic plug using a standard cable provided, and you’ll get a full charge into the 13 kWh battery in some seven and a half hours. The P400e can also charge up at any AC car charger, whether it’s a home Wallbox or public charging station. But it’s disappointing that you have to pay extra for the cable to allow you to do that, and it will take around three hours for a full charge, regardless of what speed the charging station itself is capable of.

You can also set the Range Rover’s cabin to preheat or cool, ready for when you leave, and there’s time charging to allow you to take advantage of off peak electricity tariffs. I’ll start by talking about the range in this car, because it’s the electric running that’s going to make the difference between this and any of its diesel or petrol brethren. Now, I think you’re going to see around about 20 miles in varied real world use, probably more like 15 if you venture out into the motor way or in winter, because cold weather will always eat away at battery range on an electric car, as well any electric car. That does sound a bit low, especially given that you get cars like the BMW 5 Series that’ll do 30 miles and more, or even the BMW X5, which will do way more than that officially.

But given how big a car the Range Rover is, and given this type of lifestyle that it’s going to fit into, I don’t think that’s going to be a problem for most people. And it’s still going to obviously deliver fuel free commuting if you just mooch about London all the time, which I suspect a lot of these are going to do. If you do leave the city and you go out onto the motorway, that two liter petrol engine, it’s nice and quiet. It works really well with the electric motor, nice smooth auto gear box. It’s going to deliver over about 30 MPG, 35 on a very good day. So it depends on what your expectations are as to whether that’s good or bad. It’s very much on a par with the Volvo. So I think it’s really, probably not going to surprise anybody buying a Range Rover.

Even so, if you do a lot of motorway mileage, the diesel may well be a better bet for you. If you live around town and do a lot of short journeys, this is a great car. Not only because of that electric running, but because it is peachy to drive. That electric running, you can stick it in pure EV just by hitting the button down here, and it is silent, it’s smooth. Do get quite a bit of tire noise I have to say. But apart from that, it’s just such a lovely power delivery and it suits this car down to the ground. It’s worth noting that the Range Rover isn’t just nice to drive, it’s also a fantastic tow car with a maximum tow capacity of two and a half tons, which is about as good as it gets with any plug-in hybrid. However, the flip side of that is that the Co2 emissions are quite poor by plug-in hybrid standards, with 69 grams per km as a minimum.

So if you’re a company car user, this is going to be an expensive option by plug-in hybrid standards. The driving position in the Range Rover is second to none. It’s just wonderful. That elbow on the window, still position, is natural in a Range Rover and is just one main reasons that you buy it I think. Not only that, but it’s very well equipped by class standards. So even the base level P400e, you get 20 inch alloys, fixed panoramic roof, reversing camera, powered boot lid, keyless century, all of the stuff that you’d expect, really. Which isn’t to say that there isn’t a raft of options that you can splurge on should you wish, including of course bigger alloys, head up display, actually even the semi-autonomous driving with adaptive cruise control is optional on the lower two trims. It costs 1600 pounds and it’s definitely worth adding.

The dual touch screens that you get are a really good feature as well. They look great and they get Apple CarPlay and Android auto as standard, which is good news, because the standard interface is a bit clunky in it’s layout, the touch screen doesn’t always respond too quickly. So you do find yourself using those much more frequently, because they’re just better. They have all the other features that you’d expect as well, including nav with charger search function on it. So really it does do everything you would expect of it. Generally as I said, it’s the whole experience of being in this cabin, in this driving position. That is one of the main reasons that the Range Rover is such a standout car.

However, the practicality in the P400e is one reason why you might not think that this is such a standout car. While there’s masses of room to stretch out in the backseats, the boot is really rather shallow and small by big SUV standards, and there’s no cable storage at all on the floor space. Of course there’s no seven seat option either. In this respect, the Volvo XC90 T8 is a dramatically better family car. There is something intangible about a Range Rover that its rivals just don’t quite match. The driving position, the general ambience of the thing, the way it goes down the road. And I think the electric running only enhances that. So honestly, if you want one of these and you do a lot of short journeys or live around town, this is a no-brainer. It’s just sublime to drive.

But I think that practicality is a big let down for a car of this size and cost, and knowing what people expect of a Range Rover Sport. For that reason, I would say that the Volvo XC90 is a better all-round option. If you’d like more reviews, news, and advice on every electric and plug-in hybrid car on sale, head to Drivingelectric.com. Don’t forget to hit subscribe on our YouTube channel while you’re here and check us out on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.