The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Go In Snow Review - 2019 Range Rover Sport HSE P400e


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2019 Range Rover Sport HSE P400e

Welcome to the Upper Crust

By David Colman
Special Correspondent to THE AUTO CHANNEL


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2019 Range Rover Sport HSE P400e
You have to love your ride if it projects a two foot wide spot light on unlit pavement at night to welcome you aboard. Not only that, but the illuminated circle on the ground features a silhouette outline of the Rover Sport. The only thing missing here is a recording of Hail to the Queen when you pop open the door. But then, this whole vehicle is a sort of fantasyland amalgamation of what's possible these days in the upper crust of vehicles. And make no mistake, the P400e version of the Range Rover Sport HSE is about as upper crusty as a three tier wedding cake.

Rover's foray into what they term "the forefront of sustainable innovation" is a toe dipping exercise. The P400e combines a 2.0 liter, 4 cylinder supercharged gas engine with a 105kW electric motor. The gas motor produces 294hp. When combined with the electric energy source, the P400e makes 398hp, which is enough to propel it from zero to 60MPH in 6.3 seconds. For an SUV as complex and all-terrain competent as this Rover, 0-60 in 6.3 is highly commendable. But if you seek to run on electric power alone, a full charge of the 48 volt battery will take you just 24 miles before a recharge is required. That's 4 miles less than the range of the $595 Segway Kick Scooter I saw recently at Costco. Of course, if you have a short daily commute - with recharge facilities at either end - the P400e might be just the ticket. It can be recharged in just 2.75 hours with a dedicated wall box (32 amp AC charger). If you just plug it into a wall socket, a full charge requires 14 hours.


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2019 Range Rover Sport HSE P400e

The first 24 miles of our fully charged P400e stewardship were majestically silent. The 5,255 pound Rover glided from point to point like a great white shark - unseen, unheard, and unearthly. In fact, to promote safer e-travel, the P400e's owner's handbook even describes how to activate a noise generator designed to alert pedestrians to your unannounced advent. Once the ethereal electric phase ran out of juice, we spent the rest of our week enjoying this Range Rover Sport for everything else it does so well. Topping that list is its remarkable ability to ensconce you in ultra luxury. Everything about this vehicle, inside and out, constitutes a work of art. There's no unfinished business here. The level of attention to detail in the instrument panel, the seat construction, the engine compartment, and the rear storage areas exists in a world of its own. The byword here is solidity. Almost every component, from the trunk cover tie downs to the tailored luggage bag for the e-plug's extension cord, is constructed from handsome materials designed to last for decades.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2019 Range Rover Sport HSE P400e
I particularly appreciated the sweeping view fore and aft from the "command driving position" Rover has established here. But when I first studied Rover's pair of stacked 10 inch touch screens (Rover dubs them the Touch Pro Duo) , I felt a bit like the jabbering ape confronting the obsidian slab in 2001 - A Space Odyssey. However, after a familiarization session, I grew to enjoy much of what this very advanced system of control has to offer. Although I never did figure out how to program my SiriusXM favorites into the system, I worked around the issue by pushing the Voice Command button on the steering wheel and verbally instructing Rover to select them for me. This worked just fine, and never required diverting my eyes from the road. Other interior niceties include plush ebony Windsor leather seats set off with contrasting piping, and an eminently sensible set of controls centered within the hub of the massive leather steering wheel.

The test P400e included a $4,000 Driver Assist Pack that added adaptive cruise control with steering assist. Experimentation with this innovation proved what an asset such a driving aid can be. On a long, boring run up US 101, we let the Rover do most of the steering, braking and accelerating while we simply oversaw its action while maintaining a light touch on the steering wheel rim. Ever vigilant, the Rover immediately noticed if we removed our hand entirely. Doing so caused a warning light to flash conspicuously reminding us to maintain hand contact when steering assist is engaged.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2019 Range Rover Sport HSE P400e
This Rover rolled on sizeable 275/45R21 Pirelli P ZERO Scorpion tires mounted on optional 21" 5 split spoke style 5085 silver finish rims ($1,835). The Pirellis sported off-road tread well matched to the extensive portfolio of drive modes factored into the Rover's computer. In addition to eco and comfort on-road choices, this Range Rover offers the following dream assortment of Terrain Response choices via a simple twist of the mode selector dial on the console: Grass/Gravel/Snow; Mud & Ruts; Sand. There's even an available Terrain Response II option which adds a Rock Crawl Mode.

To put it quite simply, the Range Rover Sport HSE P400e is one of the few vehicles available today capable of doing what it does, and doing so in supreme comfort. At a base price of $79,000 and an all-in cost of $93,200, this Rangie is nothing short of a royal British travel bargain.

2019 Range Rover Sport HSE P400e

    ENGINE: 2.0 liter inline 4 supercharged + 105kW electric motor
    HORSEPOWER: 398hp
    TORQUE: 472lb.-ft.
    FUEL CONSUMPTION: N/A
    PRICE AS TESTED: $93,200

HYPES: Elegant, Plush, Fast

GRIPES: Not Sold on the Touch Pro Duo

STAR RATING: 10 Stars out of 10