Winner: 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport
When it comes to premium luxury SUVs that can push six figures without much trouble, one thing is for sure: neither is going to suck. Indeed, if you look at the scorecard, the trucks are more or less tied overall. But alas, you can only drive one at a time, and if it was my money, I’d go with the Land Rover Range Rover Sport. Why? While the Bimmer handles better, gets better fuel economy and boasts an elegant and spacious interior, its new exterior design is dowdier than before, and its hospital-like sterility sort of works against it.
The Land Rover’s far more distinctive design and countless personalization opportunities (including contrast-color roof treatments) impart a greater sense of occasion upon it. And while the Range Rover Sport is hardly sporty, it can certainly move, even with its base supercharged V-6. The fact that the Rover reigns supreme over pretty much anything in its class off-road, is more or less irrelevant to most customers, but for what it’s worth, it is amazeballs when the pavement goes away. All told, this decision comes down to emotion (and emotion is something I think everyone oughta feel when plunking down $60K—$100K for anything): the antiseptic X5 or the character-endowed Range Rover Sport. I’ll take the Rover, please.
The Scorecard (««««« = best)
Renowned automotive journalist and gay car geek Steve Siler has turned his life-long love of cars into a fruitful and enthusiastic career traveling the world to test thousands of new vehicles as they are introduced. Siler is s regular contributor to Car and Driver Magazine, Edmunds.com,AutoTrader.com, AOL Autos and Yahoo! Autos, and also pioneered automotive writing for the LGBT community more than a decade ago.