Range Rover Sport P400e PHEV HSE AWD 2019 Review

Range Rover Sport goes PHEV 4WD Adventurous

RR Sport P400e PHEV HSE – It’s not often I drive a car and completely change my impression over the course of a week. Usually I also don’t pick up a car that I haven’t driven before with any preconceived notions. I have to admit that before I picked up the PHEV I was thinking that here was a car that was built for the current evangelists for electric vehicles, of which I am definitely not one.

It will be a bit of everything and not particularly anything in particular, if that makes sense. I sound like Dr Seuss.

The vehicle I picked up was the Range Rover Sport PHEV HSE. So a top of the range Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicle. Really why bother I thought, just do the hybrid thing and be done with it.

Well readers… I was wrong!

2019 Range Rover PHEV 20 profile

RR Sport P400e PHEV HSE Exterior –

To me all the RR Sports look good and the PHEV is no exception. It’s not as sculptured as the Sport SVR, yet has a presence about it.

From the front the slimline grill and bumper integrate with Matrix LED light system and LED foglights. It presents a smooth slightly rounded appearance that is enhanced by bonnet lines, lower black grills and font side fender vents. It all adds up to a longer sleeker look

Profile view provides a glimpse of the squat aggressive nature and the rear, which is often a problem for some vehicles, continues the sleek styling. The slotted spoiler helps to keep the rear window clear. There are

At the rear, a new more aggressive slotted spoiler profile complements the vehicle’s clean, efficient design, while significantly reducing the accumulation of dirt on the rear windscreen to improve visibility.

2019 Range Rover PHEV 19 Alloy wheels

Our test vehicle also had fitted as options 21″ 5 split-spoke ‘Style 5085’ with Diamond Turned Finish Wheels – $3,400, Black Contrast Roof – $1,470

Customers looking for an even more purposeful vehicle can opt for the new Black Exterior Pack for HSE Dynamic models. This adds Gloss Black exterior accents, including the grille mesh and surround, to give the Range Rover Sport a stealth-like appearance.

2019 Range Rover PHEV 12 dash

RR Sport P400e PHEV HSE Interior –

Among many things that Range Rover do well is luxurious and comfortable interiors. The PHEV HSE is no different. The heated front cream leather seats are sculptured for comfort and support and they are 16 way electronically adjustable so that even larger drivers such as myself can find a comfortable driving position. This is aided by the electronically adjustable leather thick steering wheel.

The steering wheel itself houses a number of controls, that once you get used to them increase user efficiency. They are a little touch sensitive though, requiring a definite touch in just the right spot. The two stalks behind the wheel sit proud of the steering wheel spokes to allow good visibility without taking your eyes off the road. There are paddle shift selectors, which I still didn’t use. The 12inch customisable instrument panel allows the driver to select the view that best suits them.

2019 Range Rover PHEV 16 Heads Up

This optional heads up display is excellent and presents key data such as speed, navigation and gear position on the windscreen so you never have to take your eyes off the road. It utilises lasers to avoid ‘washout’ and is configurable to your preferences. Visibility from the driver’s seat is excellent, with clear rear view and large external side mirrors and the brilliant all round camera system displayed on the 10 inch screen in the centre stack.

2019 Range Rover PHEV 11 rear seats

Rear seat passengers are also treated to luxury. Again there isn’t as much room as you might expect but the individually tailored seats are sculptured to provide maximum comfort for two passengers.. While there is plenty of head and shoulder room, the leg, knee room is a little restricted. The front seats also seem to dominate a touch. Occupants have controls for the multi-zone air-conditioning as well as USB ports etc.

In contrast the boot space is quite large with a load tie down system along with the 60/40 split rear seats provides a flexible load area. It provides around 780L in 5 seat configuration, and the shape allows useful space for all the luggage.

2019 Range Rover PHEV 1 Sand

RR Sport P400e PHEV HSE Features –

Like all Range Rovers there is a long list of standard features equalled by a long options list. This allows more personalisation of the vehicle. Some key features however like the centre console and stack again puts occupant comfort at the forefront. The console bin not only provides a good arm rest but houses a chilled section for cool drinks. Sitting next to the drivers hips is the transmission hub. This houses the electronic controls for some features such as auto stop start, hill descent control, in addition to the controls for the brilliant 4WD system. Next to the transmission lever is a covered section for cups, out of the way.

The sloping centre stack allows easy access to the A/C controls and above that is the large 10 inch touchscreen. This houses the InControl Touch Pro’s next-generation hardware and software systems. Designed to advance Range Rover Sport’s connectivity and entertainment to the highest level, this is a system that takes a little getting used to. It features a 10” Touchscreen, DAB, Touch Pro Navigation and a Range Rover Audio System. It also displays the surround car camera system as previously mentioned. Once you are familiar with it, it is very easy to use.

There are also little luxury touches throughout like the fixed panoramic roof, configurable ambient interior lighting, one touch anti trap electronic windows, illuminated visor vanity mirrors, 2 zone climate control air conditioning system, powered tailgate, auto wipers, auto dimming rear view mirror, dual lockable glove boxes and grab handles everywhere.

Options as fitted include:

  • Driver Assist Pack – $11,848
    • Blind Spot Assist
    • 360º Surround Camera
    • Clear Exit Monitor
    • Adaptive Cruise Control with Steering Assist
    • Driver Condition Monitor
    • High-speed Emergency Braking
    • Lane Keep Assist
    • Park Assist
    • 360⁰Parking Aid
    • Rear Traffic Monitor
    • Traffic Sign Recognition and
    • Adaptive Speed Limiter
  • 21″ 5 split-spoke ‘Style 5085’ with Diamond Turned Finish Wheels – $3,400
  • Black Contrast Roof – $1,470
  • Tyre Pressure Monitoring System – $950
  • Grand Black Veneer – $930
  • Smartphone Pack (incl. Apple CarPlay® and  Android  Auto™) – $520
  • Heated Steering Wheels – $510

RR Sport P400e PHEV HSE Engine and Drivetrain

To describe the engine and drivetrain of the PHEV I decided to borrow from the people smarter than me at Range Rover.

The PHEV P400e combines an advanced 221kW four-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine with an 85kW electric motor. This transformational technology is powered by an advanced 13.1kWh lithium-ion battery giving a total available power output of 297kW from the permanent four-wheel drive (4WD) system. It also runs an eight speed automatic transmission.

Together they drive Land Rover’s performance SUV from 0-100km/h in just 6.7 seconds and to a top speed of 220km/h. With an impressive 640Nm of torque the Ingenium petrol engine and electric motor deliver CO2 emissions of 64g/km and fuel economy of up to 2.8 L/100km on the NEDC combined cycle, making this the most fuel-efficient Land Rover. The intelligent system can also capture and store the energy generated when braking to help recharge the battery. The battery has a rapid recharge time of just under 3 hours.

MY18 Range Rover Sport Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)

The access point for the 7kW on-board recharging socket is located behind the Land Rover badge on right of the grille, at the front of the vehicle, while the 13.1kWh prism-shaped lithium-ion battery is mounted at the rear beneath the boot floor.

A full charge can be achieved in approximately 7.5 hours (10 amp) (varies with different factors and the type of hardware used) so the Range Rover Sport P400e is suited to overnight battery top-ups using a domestic plug socket. It also comes with two other charging options.

When customers are away from their vehicle, they can use the InControl app to monitor the charge status, as well as receive an alert if there is an error, or the cable has been removed forcibly.

MY18 Range Rover Sport Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)

RR Sport P400e PHEV HSE 4WD Ability –

Range Rover Sport P400e, enhances the AWD ability as its electric motor offers greater control of torque. This facilitates improved low-speed control and superior pull-away on low-grip surfaces. The low range transmission can also be operated in pure EV mode for near silent all-terrain journeys.

Land Rover’s Terrain Response 2 technology has been retuned to intelligently and precisely distribute torque from the electric motor, which has no creep speed and maximum torque from zero rpm, to all four wheels, giving greater control during low-speed off-road manoeuvres.

2019 Range Rover PHEV 7 4wd system

Handling and performance across the model range can also be managed via a series of Terrain Response 2 options. The P400e features a new Comfort programme which calibrates the suspension settings to ensure the most comfortable ride possible, while the Dynamic programme allows drivers to take greater control over the individual settings, which they can tailor to optimise their experience.

These programmes exist alongside Grass Gravel Snow, Mud/Ruts, Sand, Rock Crawl and Eco.

RR Sport 400e PHEV also benefits from Jaguar Land Rover’s unique Low Traction Launch System, which helps to exploit all available traction when pulling away on slippery surfaces. The system is specifically designed to help drivers pull-away from a standstill on slippery surfaces such as wet grass, loose gravel and snow.

Range Rover Sport models come as standard with air suspension. In addition to driving adjustments based on speed or stationary to assist with loading, the ride height can be increased to cater for demanding off-road scenarios, with two bespoke options.

2019 Range Rover PHEV 22 DRIVE PROGRAMS

The first is Off-Road Ride Height 1, which lifts the vehicle by as much as 40mm for speeds up to 80km/h and is ideal for driving faster on less extreme off-road conditions, such as deeply rutted dirt roads. For more extreme landscapes or wading through water, Off-Road Ride Height 2 takes the car up to 75mm above its usual height. This can also be maintained up to 50mph.

Owners will also be able to control the height of the vehicle’s rear to help with loading and towing. This is managed through switches in the load space and can reduce rear ride height by 50mm. In this instance, the front will drop by just 20mm, resulting in a hitch height reduction of 60mm.

MY18 Range Rover Sport Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)

Conversely, the rear can also be lifted by as much as 90mm to assist in the hitching of trailers and the adjustment of trailer inclination while stationary – the suspension can be levelled by holding the up and down buttons simultaneously until the vehicle returns to normal.

The user-friendly set-up can also be managed via the all-new key fob, which is particularly effective when the load space is in use and the switches are inaccessible. For those that tow the PHEV is also available with Advanced Tow Assist and Hitch Assist.

2019 Range Rover PHEV 13 rear

RR Sport P400e PHEV HSE Driving Experience –

This is where I confess to having the totally wrong preconception about the PHEV. In the space of a week I went from eehhh to perhaps this is the perfect vehicle.

Big call I know but let’s examine the reality.

Most daily trips around the city are usually less than 50 kilometres. The PHEV showed a range of around 40-50k purely on the electric system. That means that (providing you have green energy) you can literally drive most daily trips in a clean manner for the environment and for minimal costs. You also get to scare the punters at the supermarket carparks as well.

The problem with most electric cars is range anxiety. That horrible feeling that you get when driving along for a 80km trip and having 150km on the meter when you start and less than 30km half way through. Will I even make it to my destination? I live 200km north of Sydney and am yet to take an electric vehicle on that trip.

However the range anxiety disappears with the hybrid functionality. Now you can get good economy without any issues. The hybrid system is good, not as economical as say the Toyota Camry Hybrid, bit still good. And when the fuel starts to drop, just pull into any one of a hundred thousand service stations around Australia and fill up and 10 minutes later you are on your way.

Now this is where it really starts to get interesting. On top of all this you have the extraordinary capability of a Range Rover. Yes folks, this PHEV Sport will go just about anywhere a sane person would point a $165,000 plus vehicle.

I only explored some sand driving and apart from the extra weight necessitating a slightly different driving style, it performed faultlessly and effortlessly on the beach. Given that it is a $165,000 plus car and it wasn’t mine that is about as far as my enthusiasm went. However I have included some images of where RR has pushed the vehicles. All Range Rovers produced have to meet their high standards of off road capability and the PHEV is no exception.

This is after all a Range Rover and luxury cruising is what you expect. It’s quiet, the suspension is mostly compliant and progress is easy and relaxed. You can drive the PHEV in a relaxed manner every day. On the freeway, around town, picking up the kids or going to the shops, the PHEV is a normal luxury SUV, albeit with an electric motor on-board.

It does feel a little heavy and is certainly no SVR Sport, but it was engaging to drive. To me it is a tossup between the Sport PHEV and the Sport HSE SDV8 diesel.

Now add to all that the flexibility and practicality of a wagon and you can see where my thinking is moved towards the question, is this the perfect vehicle?

2019 Range Rover PHEV 23 Dimensions

RR Sport P400e PHEV HSE Dimensions –

Let’s have a look at some of the dimensions and capabilities of the Range Rover Sport. The overall length is 4879mm with a wheelbase of 2923mm. It has a peak height of 1802mm and width of 2073mm (with folded mirrors). The kerb weight of the PHEV is 2539kg. Turning circle kerb to kerb is 12.39m.

As mentioned, even though it is capable, most owners won’t see more than a gravel driveway at the weekend retreat. However for those that venture to more adventurous locations the off road configuration numbers are: approach angle of 26.9 degree (33 degrees in off road mode), rampover angle of 21.2 degrees (25.7 in off road mode) and departure angle of 26.2 degrees (30 degrees in off road mode). It has a maximum wading depth of 850mm and an unladen ground clearance between 213mm – 278mm again standard or air suspension.

To further complement the capability the towing capacity is 2500kg, with a tow ball rating of 250kg and electronic towing stability aids.

2019 Range Rover PHEV 9 HSE

RR Sport P400e PHEV HSE Safety –

As you would expect the Range Rover Sport SVR is packed with all forms of driver assistance systems. These include: Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Low Traction Launch, Electronic Traction Control (ETC), Roll Stability Control (RSC), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Hill Descent Control (HDC), Hill Launch Assist (HLA), Electric Parking Brake (EPB), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Gradient Acceleration Control (GAC), and Gradient Release Control (GRC).

Additional driver assistance systems include: Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Cruise Control and Speed Limiter, Low traction launch, Rear and Front Parking Aid and Rear view camera.

Safety features include: Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Emergency Brake Assist, Customer configurable auto lock, Power operated child locks,  Front airbags, with passenger seat occupant detector and seat belt pre-tensioners.,

RR Sport P400e PHEV HSE Fit for Purpose –

Given that the PHEV provides almost as good a driving experience as a good V8 diesel, with better economy and supposedly better for the environment, it for the buyers that want to feel they are doing their bit for the planet, but with a dose of reality.

RR Sport P400e PHEV HSE Summary –

To reiterate an earlier comment, the RR Sport P400e HSE PHEV may just be the perfect vehicle. In the space of a week it completely changed my perceptions. To the point of realising that I could actually buy one.

Not only does it combine the advantages of both electric and hybrid motors, it adds the capability of real world 4WD that only Range Rover can and all wrapped up in a stylish package.

It is expensive and to be honest having safety features that a $20,000 hatch now has as part of an expensive option pack grates a little, but I wouldn’t let that stop me from buying it.

2019 Range Rover PHEV 13 rear

What’s Good:

  • Comfortable luxurious ride
  • On/Off road capability
  • PHEV combination

What’s Not:

  • No Apple/Android connectivity as standard
  • Having an accessible garage to plug it in
  • Expensive safety options pack

Also Look At

Model    RR Sport P400e PHEV HSE

  • Model Price From $166,358 MLP* with options as fitted
  • Engine                0L Si4 PHEV
  • Drivetrain 8 Sp AT 4WD
  • Power                297 kW @ 5500 rpm
  • Torque                640 Nm @ 1500 – 3500 rpm
  • Safety                TBA ANCAP
  • CO2                64 g/km
  • Economy 8L/100 km ADR ^ From
  • Servicing                Fixed price plan
  • Tow Rating Max 2500 kg
  • Tow Ball Rating 250 kg
  • Warranty 3 Yrs / 100,000 km 3 Yrs Roadside Assist

*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.

 Overall Rating     85/100

  • Behind the Wheel 9
  • Comfort 9
  • Equipment 8
  • Practicality 9
  • Performance 8
  • Ride & Handling 9
  • Fit for Purpose 9
  • Towing Ability 8
  • Off Road Ability 9
  • Value for Money 7