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Review: 2023 Range Rover Sport SE Dynamic
It’s interesting how the earliest sport utility vehicles were beasts made for one thing: getting you off-road and into the mud. Today, the world of luxury SUVs has exploded. Now you can take the vehicle off the pavement if you like, but driving it to work or to the theater has never been more stylish and comfortable.
Range Rover is a prime example.
The Range Rover Sport SE Dynamic has been completely redesigned for 2023, and the changes included adding more space for passengers. I drove the Sport SE, which is pretty much in the middle of the trim levels. It provides a mid-level engine, but offers some treats you won’t get at the base end of things. And with the redesign, it’s now three inches longer than the previous generation.
This Sport SE Dynamic model is sleeker than some of the larger Range Rover choices. I’ve looked at both, and while the high-end has enviable additions, I think it comes at a visual cost. In other words, I think the little brother wins this one.
The engineers made a variety of adjustments on the exterior of the Sport model. The front bumper rides a little higher and has a distinctive face to it. The back side? Well, it seems to be polarizing. Some people prefer it over the standard Range Rover, while others chirp about the odd positioning and appearance of the tail lights. Hey, we like what we like, right?
I especially enjoyed the flush deployable door handles that melt into the side of the vehicle, giving it an even more streamlined look.
Range Rover calls the mid-level engine their P400. It’s an inline, turbocharged six-cylinder setup that produces just under 400 horsepower. Coupled with that is an 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.
But there are several other options to choose from, depending on your trim level. You could move down to the base model to save a few bucks, or you could move up. If you opt for the First Edition model, you’ll get a twin-turbo V8 that pumps out a whopping 523 horses.
There’s also a plug-in hybrid model, and Range Rover says they’ll unleash an all-electric version in 2024.
I was impressed with the combo leather/fabric interior, which looks and feels terrific. You’d have to move up to get the fancy wood look, if that’s what you’re into. But I wouldn’t.
You can find trim levels where the Meridian sound system comes with 29 speakers. I mean, the sound in my test vehicle sounded fantastic and I have zero complaints about it—but TWENTY-NINE speakers? I couldn’t tell you 29 places in a car where a speaker would even fit. And the persnickety side of me wishes they’d crammed in just one more to give us 30, a much more pleasant and balanced number. But, bottom line, your tunes will sound delicious as you motor along.
Not to be outdone, the seats provide up to 20 adjustments. Dude, if you can’t eventually get comfortable in this vehicle, there’s no hope for you.
Tons of great storage up front, including a deep well between the seats. Plus, even the cup holder in the front pulls out, providing more storage space. And the wireless phone charging station is tucked neatly within the dash. That’s a nice touch.
The panoramic roof—which has been one of my favorite car features since they first appeared—is standard, so you won’t pay extra for it. It’s perfect for those gorgeous days when you just want to take a ride through the hills.
Because of the longer wheelbase with this new design, your passengers in the back seat get a touch more legroom. Overall, I found that space to be generous. Sure, you’re paying for it, but it’s another positive checkmark. And that panoramic roof helps to eliminate any claustrophobic feeling for your friends in the back. Those seats, by the way, have their own power reclining feature and personal sunscreens for the rear windows.
If you’re ready to haul stuff, you’ll find 38 cubic feet of storage in the way-back. Fold down those rear seats and the space nearly doubles to 72 cubic feet. That’s more than several competitors.
With the vehicle’s air suspension, Range Rover gives you buttons in the rear storage section that will lower the height of the opening, making it easier for you to load your stuff. That’s well played.
And, if you fork over an extra $560—and I would—you don’t get some chintzy donut spare tire. Range Rover will provide a full-size spare. Yes, the full 23-inch monster. You rarely see that anymore.
Normally, the Range Rover comes with 21-inch wheels. My test model rode on 23-inch wheels. You’d think that would be rough and noisy, but Range Rover’s adaptive air suspension smooths out the ride and road sounds are kept to a minimum.
Overall, I loved the ride. Handling is smooth and crisp, certainly an improvement over the Range Rover’s larger siblings. In this case, the Sport version is the superior ride.
Let’s be clear: This vehicle isn’t made to slam you back into the headrest with monster power. But for my daily driving experiences, it was exquisite. Good acceleration, nimble handling, and a good touch to the steering.
We were talking on the radio show about how car makers might start moving away from so many touchscreens and going back to knobs and buttons. Well, Range Rover is quite happy with their touchscreen, thank you, and they dump a sizable number of your decision-making into it.
In the Sport, it’s a 13.1-inch color touchscreen, loaded with icons for making adjustments to scads of things: climate, seats, entertainment, communication, navigation, and much more.
The good news is that this screen has a sharpness that makes everything easy to read, and it’s also responsive to your touch.
Then, looking straight ahead at the instrument panel, you get another large screen. This one measures 13.7 inches. You’ll like the ability to customize what shows up on that display, although it takes a bit of messing around with the steering wheel controls to get it all right.
It took me a while to get used to Range Rover’s basic climate controls. On one hand, they’re knobs, which is good—but you have to figure out how to switch between temperature and fan control, and then another adjustment to get to the seat-warming features. It’s essentially pushing and pulling on the knobs. Once you learn, it’s fine, but it’s another example of manufacturers getting a bit too cute.
You get all sorts of connectivity options throughout the Range Rover Sport, including USB ports, a 12-volt plug, and even a household 110-volt outlet.
As with most cars these days, some of your most-wanted features are wedged into specific options packages. In this case, it might be worth the extra $1,795 to get the Technology Package because it includes the head-up display, which will spoil you.
And, finally, you’ll see a generous helping of safety features in the Range Rover. Adaptive cruise control, emergency braking, blind spot assist, a terrific 3D surround view camera system, parking aids, and much more.
The Bottom Line:
There are multiple choices in the luxury SUV market, and Range Rover has enough competition to keep them on their toes. But while some (Porsche, BMW, Audi) have special touches that elevate their value, the Range Rover is a nice alternative. It provides a sumptuous interior, a smooth, quiet, comfortable ride, and a pleasing number of tech options to make your trips enjoyable.
What more could you ask for?
2023 Range Rover Sport SE Dynamic
Inline turbocharged six-cylinder
8-speed automatic transmission
Mileage: 18/26/21 combined
As tested: $100,085
Reviewed by Dom Testa
Vehicle provided by manufacturer
Review: 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X
The folks in the management offices at GMC have known for years that their work was always going to be cut out for them. Competing in the truck world against juggernauts like Ford’s F-series and the Ram 1500 must cause sleepless nights. Even the Toyota people, with their Tundra line, present problems.
So what’s a venerable company like GMC to do? The answer: Redesign, refine, and keep plugging away. That’s what they’ve done with the Sierra pickup.
The Sierra 1500 stumbled a bit out of the gate with its new look in 2019. Reviewers dogged it for an uncomfortable ride, and for coming up short in some of the interior design elements.
But nobody at GMC took their ball and went home. They rolled up their sleeves and went right back to work. Knowing how much Americans love their pickup trucks—heck, the top three best-selling vehicles in the country fall into the category—there’s a big payoff when you get it right.… Continue Reading
Review: 2023 Infiniti QX60
The Infiniti line of cars was created to be the posh side of Nissan, just as Lexus is the fancy division of Toyota. So what happens when you take some of the components of the Nissan Pathfinder and spruce it up a bit, slap some makeup on it, and send it out in a nice pair of designer jeans?
Well, you get to brand it an Infiniti SUV, that’s what.
The QX line of luxury SUVs has that responsibility, and for the most part they do it well.
There are some, however, who feel like they’ve made it nice . . . but not exactly nice enough to go bumper-to-bumper with the likes of BMW, Audi, and Mercedes. Car and Driver, for instance, said it comes across as “a really nice Nissan.”
Okay, so that’s funny, and perhaps even true in some circumstances. But I’ve driven a few Pathfinders, and the QX60 is certainly a significant upgrade.
Not a lot has changed since the ’22 version, with the exception of a few exterior touches, three years of maintenance (oil changes, inspections, and tire rotation), and a wireless charging pad. But it was already a pleasure to drive, and that hasn’t changed.… Continue Reading
Review: 2022 Infiniti QX55
When you’re introducing a new car model to your lineup, one of the best things you can do is make it a head-turner. Get everyone’s attention first before the excitement wears off and it blends into the background with all its competitors.
Infiniti did just that when they introduced the QX55 for the 2022 model year.
Some call this crossover SUV “striking,” others have used the term “great curb appeal.” No matter what adjective you apply, there’s no denying the QX55 looks terrific.
The question is: Will it stand up to closer scrutiny?… Continue Reading
Review: 2022 BMW X3 xDrive30i
Technically, the X3 falls into the category of small SUV. And yet, nothing about it seems small. It delivers big performance with some big-time fun.
It’s been nearly twenty years since BMW unveiled the X3, and it’s been a fan favorite since that very first day. And really, what’s not to like? It delivers good fuel efficiency for its class without sacrificing the get-up-and-go we all enjoy from the German car maker.
Without a major overhaul for ’22, BMW instead did some touch-up work, mostly on the exterior appearance. The grille got a little bigger while the headlights got a bit slimmer. There are some slight modifications to the rear lights, the bumpers, and the wheels, as well.… Continue Reading
Review: 2021 Ford Bronco
For thirty years, Ford produced a sport utility vehicle called the Bronco, built to compete with Jeep. The two companies maintained a spirited rivalry until 1996, when Ford pulled the plug.
And, for the next 25 years, the Bronco simply lived on as a legend as the F-150 took over the crown.
Ah, but now the Bronco has come roaring back with the new, sixth-generation version popping up in 2021. Older fans, perhaps somewhat motivated by nostalgia, clamored to see one up close, while younger people—who’d never experienced the brand—were curious what the fuss was all about.
Make no mistake, this is not the same vehicle that had become way too associated with O.J. Simpson. (Sorry, Ford.) A quarter of a century seems to be enough time to get that sour taste out of the public’s mouth, replaced with a dashing new off-road machine that’s ready to fight to regain its championship belt.
Review: 2021 BMW 430i Convertible
As we like to say on the radio show, People are different. That’s never more true than when we choose the cars that catch our eye. Some opt for bigger and boxier, while others prefer smaller and sleeker.
Then some people, I guess, like front grills that look like a beaver.
Okay, so I’m kidding, and it’s not that bad. But there’s something about the face of the newly re-designed BMW 4-Series convertible that’s . . . well, different. For most people, that won’t matter a bit.
It could also be the placement of the license plate. It has nowhere to go in front but to squat in the midst of those two front teeth. Maybe this car is a better option for people who live in states that don’t require a front plate?
Anyway, moving on. The 4-series is mostly built on the design of the venerable (and damned near perfect) 3-Series. Same powertrain, for example, and much of the interior design. But there are enough tweaks and additions to give the 4 its own personality and flair. And lord knows you’ll get where you’re going quickly, if that’s what you desire.… Continue Reading
Review: 2019 Audi Q3 S line
The Q3 actually debuted in 2011, but not in America. For the first four years Audi kept the car in Europe, letting it mature a bit.
But that was a problem, because when it finally did make it across the pond, its unveiling in the U.S. left many unimpressed. The problem was that it hadn’t really been updated much at all. It was odd that a “new” car looked, well, old.
Never fear. Audi isn’t the kind of company to let things fester. For the 2019 model year they pulled back the curtain on a fresh new Q3, one that’s not only slightly larger, but remarkably updated.
From its stunning grill and cool running lights, to the distinguished but sexy, well-defined side lines, the Q3 has finally (truly) arrived.
Review: 2020 GMC Acadia AT4
Here’s the story of an SUV that went on a diet, and things turned out well. The original GMC Acadia was a full-sized SUV when it debuted for 2007, but ten years later the automaker lopped off a few inches, both length and width, along with about 700 pounds.
Today, with some minor additions for the 2020 model year, the result is a mid-sized SUV that can look — and sometimes act — rugged, while maintaining some city integrity, too.
If you’re looking for third-row availability to manage your busy family lifestyle, take a peek at the Acadia. Last year it came up just a tad short of selling 100,000 units.
There are multiple trim levels to choose from, and the MSRPs reflect those many options.… Continue Reading
Review: 2019 Volkswagen Arteon
You’ve heard of gateway drugs and gateway tech. Get ready for the gateway luxury car.
Volkswagen has dabbled in the luxury sandbox in the past, with only a smattering of success. Now they’re back with a vengeance, proudly showing off a car that’s a little bit sedan, a little bit hatchback, and a good dose of fun.
When they first began to arrive at American dealerships this past April, most people were probably hesitant. “What’s an Arteon?” was likely uttered to salespeople for months. In fact, it probably still is.
But that’s cool. After spending a week behind the wheel, I hope VW is prepared for a long game, because they’re off to a good start. Perfect? Nope. But I was pleasantly surprised, and look forward to watching things progress with subtle alterations.… Continue Reading
Dom In The Morning Blog
MaximBet’s MAXQuerade Party – Saturday, October 30 at Wings Over the Rockies
We can’t wait to celebrate with you at the MaximBet Maxquerade. Colorado has never seen a party of this magnitude. With celebrity entertainment, thousands in prizes and giveaways, and a vibe that can only be described as legendary, you need to be there. Space is limited, so if you’re in, please confirm your attendance as soon as possible.
Get ready to celebrate at the MaximBet Maxquerade, the first-ever MaximBet LIVE party. We’re going to show you the time of your life!
FREE TICKET LINK: https://bit.ly/3Cd2Et8
October 26, 2021
October 25, 2021
Check out their butt in a mirror
October 22, 2021
This week’s Mindbender Club poll said, “You can live inside one movie. What’s it gonna be?” This was the #1 answer.
Pauly Shore in that classic, “Biodome.”
Kroenke Sports Charities Celebrates Halloween with Fundraiser
KROENKE SPORTS CHARITIES and SPECIAL OLYMPICS COLORADO are hosting a HALLOWEEN TRUNK OR TREAT at BALL ARENA on OCTOBER 28TH from 4-7PM. Enjoy a costume contest, Mystery Prizes, and More! Tickets and info at specialolympicsco.org/TrunkorTreat !
All proceeds from this event benefit Special Olympics Colorado’s Young Athletes program. Throughout the year, the Special Olympics Young Athletes program invites children ages 2-7 with intellectual disabilities to engage in the world of sport, with the goal of preparing them for Special Olympics sports training and competition when they get older.
Each season, the Avalanche, Nuggets, Rapids and Mammoth host individual Special Olympics athletes in a myriad of clinics and events. Avs and Nuggets players, coaches and staff run through fundamentals and drills as athletes of all ages get the opportunity to hone their skills at Pepsi Center; Young Athletes are invited to a sports field day each summer; and the Rapids host a Unified team made up of athletes of all levels of intellectual ability.
This year’s Harvest Festival Trunk-or-Treat event will be a fun, inclusive and safe way for kids to participate in Halloween while raising awareness and funds for Special Olympics.