Exploring Champagne Country in a 2019 Range Rover Sport

The Range Rover Sport prompts a host of different opinions in the car community. 

Some think it is a vulgar display of cash, others feel it doesn't do anything remotely sporty and some people think it's great. 

One thing that isn't up for debate, in my humble opinion, is that it has stood the test of time and therefore, must at least be....alright. Tip top motoring journalism there.

To pin my colours to the mast, I actually like the Range. It looks good, it drives really well and does everything you would want from a large comfortable SUV, including make a statement in car parks.

Watch our review of 2019 Range in France

WHY TAKE IT TO FRANCE?

The Range Rover is a mile muncher. It wants to be driven over distances and then used for a practical purpose at its destination. That is at the very heart of Land Rover DNA and what better way to test whether the new 2019 Range Rover Sport lives up to the Range Rover name than take it along 170 miles of French motorway and then into a field?

TESTING THE 2019 RANGE ROVER SPORT 

The challenge I set the Range Rover was to get me, and three passengers, to the French town of Ay in perfect comfort, trundle around a vineyard or two and then pack the boot up with Champagne before driving home. All in one day.

We set off from our "HQ" in South East England, hopped on the channel tunnel and began our 300 mile round trip to the beautiful French region of Marne and Champagne country.

The car was popped in Eco mode for the first leg of the trip and we averaged 31 mpg, which I found to be a great return for such a huge lump of a vehicle. All passengers were comfortable with plenty of room to do what they wanted. In fact, the Range turned into a mobile office as most of us don't have the luxury of not working on a week day and the sound proofed cabin was fantastic for making calls, the smooth ride allowing laptops to be open and many many "important" things to be done. 

So far so good.

TAKING THE CAR "OFF ROAD"

I'm the first to admit that the most "nature" a Range Rover Sport will see in its life is a puddle on its way to a school, shop or work place. 

That said, Land Rover always make their cars hugely capable off roaders and I really wanted to take the Sport somewhere that at least tested some of these abilities. 

I spotted a little dirt track leading into one of the huge vineyards that produce the grapes used to create some of the finest Champagnes in the world. Without a second thought I took the Range Rover up this track to grab some photos and explore how well it handled being off tarmac.

The track was in no way a huge challenge but the Range sailed over the dips and uneven ground with ease, allowing me to explore the beautiful surroundings...until being told off by a worker in a beaten up Peugeot boxer van for being somewhere I probably shouldn't have been. I turned around and decided it would be a good time to head back to the coast.

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IS THE RANGE ROVER SPORT STILL AS SPECIAL AS IT ONCE WAS?

It's been a little while since the Sport has had a serious make over. Externally it hasn't changed since 2013, although the interior has been updated to incorporate the dual screens first seen on the Velar. 

Even with the huge number of alternatives available in the premium SUV market, the Range Rover Sport still manages to sell and is every part as desirable as when it first appeared on our streets.

I'm a big fan of the 2019 Range Rover Sport and although there are arguably better, more advanced and dare I say it, prettier, alternatives out there. I'd find it hard to say no to having one of these on my driveway.


Want to experience this very car? Head over to Sixt and find your perfect drive.