by Jay Kana
With the recent “Diesel-gate” scandal involving Volkswagen, and so much bad press about the “defeat device” and how over a million diesel vehicles aren’t as clean as they’ve claimed to be, 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 bad apple shouldn’t ruin the bunch”. 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 horrid. However, seeing as no other manufacturer has been accused of similar misgivings, it’s full steam ahead for the other diesel vehicles in the North American auto market.
But enough about what’s wrong with one certain manufacturer; let’s focus on something that’s truly noteworthy and full of modern technology.
The 2016 Range Rover Sport HSE diesel provides all the luxury, value and performance from an upper class vehicle and absolutely astonishing fuel economy.
Here are some stats about 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 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 immediately diminished any performance anxiety feelings I may have had after reading the lower horsepower rating.
The Range Rover Sport doesn’t sound like a diesel. Rather, 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. Humility at its finest.
My mileage 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 chimes in at around 4,000 RPM. With such a miniscule difference, it’s hardly noticeable.
Inside, there’s a 14-way power heating and cooled Oxford perforated leather seats, an 825-watt Meridian sound system with 19 speakers, an eight-inch touchscreen that’s easy to maneuver, along with a wide array of others.
For this size of vehicle, your three rear passengers are also treated to heated seats as well as plenty of space.
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.