2000km with my Range Rover Sport from 2015 (3.0V6 Diesel)
When you drive such a car, you first check basic things, such as gearbox, engine, noise, seats... And it's true, Range Rover Sports drives well.
But it's only when you use the car dailyfor a while in real conditions that you can figure out the qualities and drawback of the car.
I drive a Range Rover Sport 3.0V6 diesel for 2 weeks now. Here is my review. Please post a reply if I'm wrong, or if you have tips that can overcome the problems I faced so far.
Both car have the same power (256-258hp), 6 cylinders diesel, the Range Rover is way more expensive (80k€ without taxes) than the X5 (52k€ without taxes).
With 28k€ more than an X5, I was expecting much much better experience with the Range Rover Sport.
The 28k€ difference can only partly be set on a couple of expensive options that the X5 did not had : Pneumatic suspension, cameras, glass electric sun roof, but also some options missing such as the basic Woofer kit in BMW X5.
Keep in mind that this comparison only refers to BMW X5 (and smaller models such as 520D touring that I also had 9y ago).
Here are the main points:
When I read the reviews that praise the comfort, those people never drove an X5 with the default suspension I guess. It's way less comfortable for a car of this weight. It's not uncomfortable, it's smooth, but not even close to a default X5 suspension. You feel most of the imperfections of the road, especially at speed below 80km/h. X5 wins very easily.
Comfort & Security/Mobile Assitant
It's getting the norm to ask Google Assistant or Siri to help you in some situations. Especially just to ask directions to a particular restaurant, or call a shop. It's just easy voice commands. BMW gets you covered with a long press of the "Talk" button to bypass the Internal voice recognition of the car. With the Range Rover Sport from 2015, it's seems just not there ? How do you proceed ? Browse the net while driving ? This is a daily frustration, requiring to stop the car, and proceed on the mobile just for a simple call or direction, or just start you favorite web radio or app... Please, if I'm wrong, or I miss the tip, help me !!! This is the main reason I asked to change the car. I move all around with the car, from appointment to appointment, and having a good phone (and phone assistant) integration is crucial nowadays.
Total crap. I can't imagine a so poor audio in such a car. Of course, it does not have the "audiophile" option, but anyway, it's unacceptable for such a car. Just no Bass. You can push a bit in the settings, but since default loudspeakers are too small you won't get much out of it. Even the default BMW loudspeakers easily exceed Range Rover. Additionally, BMW has an option for subwoofers from 300€ with is cost effective game changer. This option is missing in Range Rover, and the only remaining option is to go for a very expensive audio kit like the BMW Harman Kardon. Tweeters are however good. So, if you like Music, and do not want to spend 1500€ in an option, you'll be better served with BMW, even without the 300€ option.
Not only the volume is too slow to change on the Range Rover, but there's no volume indication. So, if you're using external source or Bluetooth, you end up pressing for long the volume up, and in case it was just a blank in the audio, or loss of connectivity of your web radio, you end up with full volume !!! (Hey Range Rover guys, do you think sometimes ? A volume indication is more than useful to more and more people that listen music from their mobile.)
Considering a Keyless system where they key is supposed to stay in your pocket, I prefer a bit the BMW key shape as it's easier to figure out which way it's turned. But hey, even unable to lock the car while heating up in front of your door ? I have a baby, and when I need to drive by -5, I tend to heat up a bit the car 5 minutes before leaving so it gets warm quicker in the car, and of course lock the car while engine running. Forget about it with Range Rover Sport, it seems they even did not think about it.
Good sound insulation, but X5 still wins there. At lower speed the engine is a bit more rough (Strange I was expecting better from a V6), and at high speed the noise of the air is a bit more present. The car that blowed my mind there is the new BMW 740i, I was not able to respect any speed limit during my test, a reference.
ISOFix is a pain to set, and even worse, there's no teaser attach, so you must go down at the hinge level to find a grip. Also, in order to insert the ISOFix handles you need to press quite hardly the leather of the seat, it's only after taking a torch lamp that I was able to see the hangers, and play with the seat hoping it inserts. Installing an isofix seat with a teaser is 2X easier to install and remove in an X5.
Comfort/Entertainment system & integration
Entertainment system is terribly slow, usually up to 1s between a command and see the next screen. On startup it's significantly increased as the system only starts with the Engine, not when the doors unlock. Also, not integrated with the car properly. For instance if you stop the car to wait for your child at school, the music will turn off, the bluetooth will disconnect !! Crazy ! Even worse, it will cut while you're in a call via bluetooth. I can't imagine this silly behavior from such a car. That's a daily frustration. So, if you have a way to stop the car without interrupting the Entertainment system, I'm all ears.
Just nothing to compare. While the direction is very incisive in the Range, it lacks some assistance. And in turn, you feel like the car is twice the weight, not sure what creates this sensation, since the weight of both cars are very similar.
On the speedometer, the only clear indications are 20 to 260 by step of 40. Which makes no sense, since speeds in Europe where it was sold are 30-130 by increment of 20. Additionally since they wanted to display up to 280km/h (which makes no sense), it's quite small. You end up quickly using the digital speedometer, and this big round speedometer is a loss of space. If you go for a Range, think about taking the HuD option.
In the Range, they included a set of lights with a sensitive control. You just need to approach the hand to light it. This is more a gadget than anything useful, but once again, Range did not "Think" before proposing this option. Not sure why, but I had one at the back that was lit on. Since Land Rover programmers did not find useful to program it to reset at the next ignition, I ended up driving 3 days at night with the light at the back on. I first stopped the car and try to turn it off, but it's impossible since there's no button. As I was really pissed off, and my wife had to take the car, I finally had to seat myself in the Baby seat (remember 2 baby seats at the back in my car), close the door (while engine running), and I was finally able to turn it off. (Impossible to turn it off when the door is open.)
The Range Rover only have 2 push buttons, unlike the small progressive dual position stick in the BMW. As a consequence, you cannot easily accelerate or decelerate at your desired pace. On top of that, Range Rover does not brake ! It has the electric break option, but it's not connected, so when you ask for a speed reduction in descend for instance, it won't make use of the brakes to reach desired speed. Dangerous and unacceptable for this level of pricing.
While both have the electric seats, there are more options on the Range Rover Sport, such as lumbar support. But even with this option, that's a pain to change seat position between myself and my wife. BMW use to have a mechanism that lower down the seat while going back, meaning there's only one setting to change. That's still true with non electric/mechanical version. But Range Rover used the old school rails for horizontal displacement, meaning that when my wife takes the car, she has to change several settings on the seat, and the same for me when I take it back. If you plan more than one driver for the car, either take the BMW, or take the option with Position Memory on the electric seat.
It's by default on many cars, but not existing in the Range Rover. Might be an option ? But it's stupid since the Handbreak is already electric. So, when you want to immbobilise the car (and release the foot from break), you have no option than manually setting the hand break. Hopefully it will release automatically when you touch the throttle pedal. Why not implementing a normal "Auto-Handbreak" ??
BMW is just good enough, like many cars, but Range is really Crap. Several extra steps just to call a contact, even requesting choices when there are only 1 option available, ... I guess Range Rover users never use the Voice commands. Too bad, since it significantly increase security.
While driving, the gearboxes on both cars are equivalent. But as soon as you want to gear down for having engine break, you realize that it's not properly managed. The worst case just just when you stop for a red traffic light. You long press the left wheel paddle to kick down, and it will only kick down by 2 gears on the Range Rover, while in the X5 it will just kick down to give you a significant engine break. Even worse, when you restart the car at the green light, unlike BMW that will automatically switch back to automatic mode when stopped, the Range Rover won't, so you have to manually pass the gears, or long press the right paddle.
While BMW made it only available in "ECO" mode that you have to reselect at every new start (annoying), at least there's one by default. Just missing in Range Rover. This can explain a small part of the huge difference in fuel consumtion between the 2 cars. (Maybe 0.2-0.3l/100km)
Acceleration is significantly better with the X5. Not sure why since it's the same engine announced performances ?!?
I'm not a fan of those options, but at least it's consistent on the X5. Engine stops when car stops, and if the handbreak is set, the X5 won't restart the engine. It seems like Range Rover programmers also forgot this. Since there's no "Auto-Handbreak", when you stop the car (for instance in front of a red traffic light), you have to manually set the handbreak. Guess what happens when you release the foot from the break ??? The engine auto-starts !!! Complete nonsense to start the engine when the handbreak is set. It's again lack of "thinking" and electronic car integration from the developpers.
Excessive fuel consumption, about 1.3l/100 MORE than an X5 for the same drive & path. Driving usually very smoothly, I can have 7.5 to 8.0l/100 with the X5, consider 8.5 to 9.5l/100km with the Range Rover. This also impacts negatively the safe autonomy that falls around 800-850km against 950-1000km with the X5, for the same 84l tank capacity. With the current cost of the petrol, this represents up to 4000€ more expensive to fuel the Range Rover on the first 200000km.
Minors drawbacks of Range Rover
It seems there's no, or Range Rover does not tolerates web sites equivalent of the RealOem web site for BMW. It makes easy finding of parts, whatever concerning your bumper, a part of your gear box, or a sensor in the engine. So generally much cheaper and much faster/easier for you if you need a part, or want to check the invoice from your garage. Please comment if such a web site with all detailed diagrams and part numbers are available for free, without any registration, for Range Rover or Land Rover lines. Whatever you're looking for freedom of reused, or alternate parts, you get covered with BMW much better than with Range Rover.
Only referring to my area, the BMW service is better than the Range Rover one generally (welcome, food, coffee, wifi, working tables, ...). On top of that, BMW service is one of the few that will work on your car on Saturdays. So, if you're working during working days, check the opening hours of the workshop of your garage, not those of the sales people that won't help once you bought the car. So check your garage reputation as well, it might have more value than the supposed quality of the car.
Options installed in the Range Rover that I did not value (personal taste)
Rear camera : I find it dangerous to rely on this. I prefer good "beep" system. Unfortunately the "beep" system seems less reliable in the Range Rover, sometimes beeping while there's nothing. (Like my 10y old BMW)
Glass Sky: Only the rear passengers can benefit from it. I used it once.
Electric adjustment of the steering wheel position. Easy manual like on the X5 is good enough. I don't see the point.
Touch screen. I really prefer a normal screen with a responsive entertainment system and a good Jog/Dial like in X5. Best is to have both of course, like in newer BMW.
The ergonomic seats at the back are nice if you're just 4 travelers. But if you're 5 or have a family with baby seats, the flat bench seat like in the X5 is much more suitable and comfortable.
While I bring my X5 outside of the road several times, the recent X-Drive of the X5 performed extremely well in all sort of wet terrains, and is high enough for most. (I had to completely stripe the X5 to prevent scratches in the paint.). Since I do not drive offroad in Africa country side I did not value the extra settings for the 4x4 capabilities of the Range Rover, but I expect it to be just a little bit better, especially if you require some 20mm more height to pass.
Stuff that I like in the Range Rover:
The anti-ice glass screen is great in Winter. This is a great option, and you quickly get use to not see the little vertical wires in the front screen. However, it might be the reason why the X5 (without this option) is more silent at +100km/h.
I love the outside design, way better than X5 IMHO. I'm more mitigated for the interior design.
I like that it's not a BMW. I consider the X5 too ostentatious/showy in the mind of people. Also, I like to see competition between car makers, this is the only way to get better cars at better prices...
As a reasult, in term of Comfort, Automation, Audio, Electronics, Integration and ECO friendly I feel the Range Rover Sports lags some 5-10 years behind BMW equivalent.
So, if you're used to a high level of comfort and automation like in BMW, be extremely careful if you switch to Range Rover.
Please feel free to post your comments if anything is wrong, or if you have tips or solution that can help make better use of the car.
Forgot to mention an other oddity:
When stopping and going out of the car, for instance to refuel the car, the Alarm will silently activates (with the doors unlocked).
So the Alarm will ring as soon as you open a door... Once again, this behavior makes no sense. Either lock the doors when turning on the alarm, either stop enabling the alarm when the driver (and the key) is around the car...
I triggered the alarm every second day because of this behavior.