2022 Range Rover Sport D300 first test: good diesel, bad time
Land Rover no longer offers diesel engines in any SUV in its American lineup, not even in the big Defender. Jaguar Land Rover had made a strong commitment to diesel in the United States with the aim of reducing overall emissions from its fleet. In 2015, JLR chief executive officer Joe Eberhardt said every JLR vehicle other than the F-type sports car would offer a diesel engine option by 2017 – but the strategy was rocked by the Volkswagen scandal. Dieselgate. Diesel was quietly phased out late last year, with JLR sources saying the demand for diesel engines in the United States “is steadily declining.”
It’s a shame, because the 2022 Range Rover Sport D300 is an absolute lover.
Land Rover Td6s sold in the United States were powered by the aging 3.0-liter “Lion” V6 turbodiesel, a powertrain jointly developed by Ford and PSA in the early 2000s. The D300 is powered by the new six-cylinder engine. Ingenium turbodiesel line which has been rolled out in the Land Rover range in other markets in recent months. The modular design of the Ingenium engine family means that the 2.0-liter and 3.0-liter six-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines share the same bore and stroke and a significant amount of other hardware, thereby reducing production costs.
The 3.0-liter Ingenium diesel comes in four specifications: D200 with 197 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque, D250 with 245 hp and 420 lb-ft, D300 with 296 hp and 479 lb-ft, and D350 with 345 hp and 516 lb-ft The D200 powers entry-level Defenders in Europe and other markets; the D300 is likely to be the best-selling engine for the diesel-powered Range Rover Sports. All six-cylinder Ingenium diesels are mild hybrids, with an integrated 48-volt starter-generator mounted between the engine and transmission. Their aluminum block construction means they are also lighter than the older Iron Block Lion engine.
The difference between the D300 and Td6 engines is obvious as soon as you press the start button. The new inline six is smoother at start-up than the old V-6 and much quieter at idle. There’s also not the aptly named Lion growl when you hit the gas to roll the Range Rover; the D300 simply purrs in contentment as the eight-speed automatic transmission works the torque. At constant gas cruising speed, Ingenium diesel is almost inaudible.
With 42 more horsepower and 36 more lb-ft under the hood than my long-range Td6, the Range Rover Sport D300 is an even more relaxed, long-legged cruiser. And with that extra torque available over a wider power range – the Lion V-6 does 423 lb-ft at 1,750 rpm, while the D300 Ingenium 479 lb-ft is available from 1,500 to 2,500 rpm. min – feels more alert in traffic and more responsive in hilly terrain.
Fuel economy is also better. The best I ever got from the Td6 was 30 mpg. My 250 mile stint in the D300 saw it averaging around 37 mpg, dropping to 31 mpg when I increased my highway cruising speed from 75 mph to 85-90 mph. The Td6 had an effective cruising range of over 500 miles. The D300 will easily go 100 miles further.
Stricter particulate emissions standards and the lingering stench of Dieselgate mean the days of diesel are numbered, especially for cars, SUVs and light trucks. (European heavy truck manufacturers recently signed a pledge to move away from pure diesel engines by 2040.) In Western Europe, where just a decade ago, 58% of all new cars were powered by diesel engines, they represented less than 30% of sales in 2020.
In this context, there is something shocking and poignant about the Range Rover Sport D300. Smooth, quiet and efficient, with excellent cruising range, this is a very, very good diesel version of an already good SUV. But from an emissions standpoint, diesels just aren’t good enough anymore. Good engine, bad time.
This seems good! More details?
|Specifications Land Rover Range Rover Sport D300 2022|
|STARTING PRICE||$ 95,000 (UK, east)|
|ARRANGEMENT||Front-engine SUV, all-wheel drive, 5-pass, 4-door|
|MOTOR||3.0L / 296 hp / 479 lb-ft 24-valve DOHC Turbo-Diesel V6|
|SIGHT WEIGHT||5,000 lb (mfr, est)|
|L x W x H||192.1 x 81.6 x 71.0 inches|
|0-60 MPH||6.9 s (mfr, est)|
|EPA FUEL ECON||N / A|
|EPA RANGE (COMB)||N / A|