The case could be fabricated that the 2013 Ambit Rover is the best all-around agent on the bazaar today. It’s attractive, it’s adequate on the inside, it’s absurdly fast, it off-roads like a beast, and it is appreciably well-engineered. So what happens aback you accomplish it smaller, lighter, added ammunition able and cheaper?
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If you buy the 2013 Ambit Rover, you apparently won’t be demography it off-road. You probably…
That’s absolutely what Land Rover did to accomplish the new-for-2014 Ambit Rover Sport. And it turns out — shockingly! — it fabricated a abundant car alike better.
(Full disclosure: Land Rover capital me to drive the 2014 Ambit Rover Sport so bad that they flew me to California, put me up in a admirable Bay Breadth hotel, paid for all my aliment and booze, and let me booty the SUV off-road. Not afterwards I drank the booze, of course. I additionally accepted to abrasion a carnival hat and be referred to abandoned as Sir Nigel Rangerovington. That aftermost one didn’t pan out so well.)
In case you haven’t noticed, Jaguar-Land Rover is in the bosom of a bit of a renaissance at the moment. Tata’s acceptable banknote breeze and alertness to let the brands’ British engineers do what they do best with basal arrest at the top — things that never happened in the Ford era — accept meant almanac sales, almanac profits, and an aggression of agitative new models. The new Ambit Rover Sport is allotment of said onslaught, and it’s one that the cast has to get right, as it is their biggest-selling vehicle.
The Sport is, like its antecedent that came out in 2005, a smaller, beneath expensive, added performance-oriented adaptation of the Ambit Rover aimed at younger, hardly beneath millionaire-ish buyers. But while the old Sport was based on the old Discovery/LR3, this new one is acclimatized from its all-new big brother.
The aftereffect is that the two cars are appreciably agnate in many, abounding ways. The Sport uses the aforementioned platform, failing aluminum unibody architecture, supercharged V8 engine, transmission, adult off-roading gizmos like the Area Response 2 and acropolis coast systems, and it has a about identical interior.
But besides the availability of a supercharged V6 agent as the abject motor on the Sport, the bigger aberration amid the two is size. The Sport is about 6 inches beneath and 2.17 inches lower than the Ambit Rover it is based on, which mainly after-effects in a added cone-shaped roofline and a abate hatch. It additionally weighs 100 to 400 pounds beneath than the Ambit Rover, depending on which agent you get. (It’s additionally some 800 pounds lighter than the approachable Ambit Rover Sport, which is absolutely something.)
Oh yeah — it’s additionally $20,000 cheaper than the Ambit Rover, although acrimonious the supercharged V8 and abacus options can put you in the aforementioned breadth as its beyond affinity absolutely easily.
On our drive we got to sample the Ambit Rover Sport on the Northern California highways alternating the Pacific bank as able-bodied as off alley on a agronomical endemic by a hardcore Land Rover buyer and enthusiast who volunteered his acreage for our test. Like the Ambit Rover, the Sport can handle annihilation and aggregate that is befuddled its way.
Land Rover insists up and bottomward that the Ambit Rover and Ambit Rover Sport address to two altered abeyant buyers, with the above askew older, added affluent, added apt to accept the “best” of everything. But the Sport is so acceptable in so abounding means now that I wouldn’t be at all afraid if it steals added than a few sales from the bigger SUV.
Exterior – 7/10
The Ambit Rover Sport slots in amid the Evoque and the top Ambit Rover, so it affectionate of makes faculty that it looks like both cars. I like to anticipate it combines the best architecture attributes of both those cars to actualize the best-looking car in the Land Rover calendar at the moment.
Unmistakably a Land Rover, the Sport looks an abominable lot like its big brother, but it is bacteria and sleeker with a added steeply-tapered roofline. Overall, it looks leaner, added aggressive, added athletic, which makes faculty because as a car that’s absolutely what it is.
Interior – 8/10
I had a austere case of deja vu aback I sat central the Sport because it’s about identical to the Ambit Rover. As with the added car, it has a tasteful, minimalistic architecture and is abounding of conspicuously high-quality materials.
Changes from the Ambit Rover accommodate a abate council wheel, a hardly altered centermost animate design, the accession of a accessory about-face batten instead of a accessory selector knob, added heavily-bolstered seats, and… that’s about it. That’s a acceptable thing, though. The Ambit Rover’s autogenous was excellent, so they deserve acclaim for not watering it down.
It’s additionally awfully bigger in agreement of rear legroom than the approachable Sport, basically on par with the Ambit Rover, and now it comes with an alternative third row of mini-seats that bounce out of the rear bear area. You wouldn’t appetite to absorb hours in those seats, but they’re abundant in a pinch.
Acceleration – 7/10
You accept a best of two engines for your Ambit Rover Sport, and both of them appear to be supercharged for your on-road and off-road pleasure. The abject motor is a 3.0-liter absolute V6 with 340 application and 332 pound-feet of torque, while the added is a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 with a whopping 510 horsepower. If these engines assume familiar, it’s because they’re additionally what you get on the Jaguar F-Type.
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As it is on the F-Type, the V6 is a absolute peach. It delivers its abundant adeptness anon and makes artery casual a breeze. For best bodies this agent will be added than adequate, and I absolutely don’t beggarly “more than adequate” in a bad way.
Only absolutely hardcore adeptness mongers will acquisition themselves splurging for the V8. It’s the aforementioned motor as the one on the top Ambit Rover, area it happens to be absurdly quick. Guess what happens aback it’s put into smaller, lighter vehicle? That’s right, it gets alike faster. Here, the V8 is insanely, maybe alike badly quick, with aught to 60 mph advancing in beneath 5 seconds. It’s antic and wonderful.
Braking – 7/10
The brakes are actual impressive. You get 13.8-inch rotors advanced and rear on the V6 model, while the V8 has Brembo 15 inch rotors up advanced and 14.7-inch rotors in the back. Needless to say, they accept accomplished endlessly power, abnormally with the added able engine.
In fact, my co-tester and I absitively that they may be alike a bit too avaricious at low speeds during off-roading contest like acropolis descents aback a little added nuanced anchor accentuation can be a acceptable thing. But that’s aloof a accessory quibble, though, and the generally-excellent brakes don’t impede the off-roading in any way. They’re a abundant apparatus to accept on the pavement or non-pavement.
Ride – 7/10
The ride on the Sport absolutely feels firmer than the ride on the Ambit Rover, which is owed to its added performance-oriented suspension. Things get alike stiffer on the V8 model, but with either engine, the ride never feels uncomfortable. In fact, it’s affectionate of amazing how adequate this car feels aback it goes off the road. Going up and bottomward abrupt grades and aggressive rocks never makes you feel like your tooth fillings are actuality jarred loose, and that’s an absorbing feat.
Handling – 6/10
Besides the power, the differences amid the V6 and V8 Ambit Rover Sports become best axiomatic in the administration department. Aback I collection the Ambit Rover, I didn’t affliction for its too-light, too-boosted electric steering. This car uses the aforementioned system, but the abetment has been affronted bottomward actuality for a heavier, added antic feel. The Sport deserves acclaim for actuality a active and accomplished handler, one that never feels absolutely as big as it is. The V6 archetypal displays a reasonable bulk of anatomy roll, but it’s able enough.
The V8, on the added hand, is a accomplished added beastly in the administration department. It is abundant stiffer, abundant adulate in corners, and manages to be absolutely fun to drive on aback roads. Is it on par with a sports car? No, but it’s not declared to be, and it displays administration accomplishment that will abruptness best people. With either engine, it is a added agile, added fun abettor than the Ambit Rover acknowledgment to its slimmer weight and size.
Gearbox – 8/10
ZF’s latest 8-speed automated is one of the best accepted torque converter-based automatics currently on the market. It performed admirably aback I activated it on the Ambit Rover, and does not abort on the Sport.
Shifts up and bottomward are appreciably quick, and apparatus are captivated aback you charge them to be held. This is abundant for both backroad escapade and off alley driving, aback sometimes you charge a car to break in aboriginal or you accept to alpha in second. And aback you leave it in automated mode, it consistently seems to be in the accessory you want, whether you’re announcement accomplished addition on the freeway or aggressive a addled acropolis at a 45-degree angle. Kudos to Land Rover for giving the Sport the able “down for up, up for down” about-face blueprint as able-bodied as a abundant set of paddles.
So why doesn’t it get a absolute score? Because I had the aforementioned affair with the unintuitive BMW-style accessory batten that Jason had on the F-Type. I kept putting into about-face instead of esplanade because the stick doesn’t absolutely move, it aloof wiggles aback and forth. I about accidentally backed over a dude who was walking abaft me because I confused it forward, into reverse, instead of hitting the tiny “P” button on the batten to appoint park. Some things don’t charge reinvention.
Audio – 8/10
Land Rover gave this car some abundant engines, and to their acclaim they did a accomplished job of absolution the disciplinarian apprehend them. The V6 is almost quiet during cruising, but aback you get on it it emits a acceptable bark with aloof the faintest adumbration of supercharger whine. The audition money attempt comes with the V8, though. That car has an angry, rumbly complete to it which, aback accompanying with a analogously able-bodied bankrupt note, will accept you on the burke apparently added than you should be. The complete abandoned in that V8 will apparently be the acumen abaft added than a few dispatch tickets.
Like its big brother, the Ambit Rover Sport has a array of Meridian complete systems, the top of which is a 1700-watt 23-speaker setup. It sounds incredible, and while it’s acutely not as almighty as the bonkers 29-speaker Meridian 3D arrangement you can get on the Ambit Rover, it’s still acceptable abundant that you won’t anytime appetite to accept to your music on annihilation abroad again.
Toys – 10/10
It array a absolute 10 in the toys administration because it has all the aforementioned aliment as the Ambit Rover. The 8-inch blow awning packs an infotainment arrangement that is acknowledging and requires basal accomplishment to bulk out and operate. It’s one of the easiest and best out there.
But the best toys are put to use aback you adjudge to booty your Ambit Rover Sport off the asphalt. Area Response 2 lets you acclimatize ride height, set the car to 4-Low or 4-High, and put the car in bristles altered modes for altered types of area and acclimate conditions. The blow awning additionally displays the bend of the axles, the bulk of torque accepting beatific to anniversary wheel, and how abundant the differentials are locking. And again there’s the acropolis coast system, which continues to be the best in the business. It’s absolutely absolutely amazing aback you apprentice to assurance it.
I like the toys on the Ambit Rover cars because they aren’t aloof abounding afterthoughts like apps that column Facebook cachet updates from your car. They serve a purpose actuality and they all assignment acutely well.
Value – 8/10
Oh snap! The Ambit Rover Sport denticulate college in the amount administration than its bigger brother. Why is this? Because it’s every bit as good, it’s added fun to drive, it isn’t alike absolutely all that abundant smaller, and it’s beneath expensive. It wins in my book.
That doesn’t beggarly any of this arete will appear cheap. The Sport SE with the V6 starts at $63,495. Opting for the Sport Supercharged, which has a V8 (and is affectionate of a funny name because they’re all supercharged) climbs to $79,995. The V8 tester I spent best of my time in came in at $88,585. The ambit goes all the way up to the Autobiography model, which will put you out $93,295.
Let’s be absolute here: best Ambit Rover Sport customers, at atomic aback these cars are new, will never booty them off-road. But as I said in my Ambit Rover review, best Porsche 911 and Ferrari owners don’t clue their cars either. That’s no acumen to abatement what it can do, and its abilities on and off alley are aces of the absolute respect. You get comfort, style, acceleration and off-roading adeptness should you appetite or charge it.
If there was anytime some stigma absorbed to affairs the Sport over the Ambit Rover, there won’t be one anymore.
Total – 76/100
Engine: 3.0 L Supercharged V6 / 5.0 L Supercharged V8Power: (V6) 340 HP/332 LB-FT at 2,000 RPM / (V8) 510 HP/461 LB-FT at 2,500-5,000 RPMTransmission: Eight-speed automated (ZF)0-60 Time: V6: 6.9 (est)/ V8 4.8 (est)Top Speed: 155 mphDrivetrain: All-Wheel DriveCurb Weight: (V6) 4,727 Pounds, (V8) 5,093 PoundsSeating: 5 bodies (7 with alternative third row)MPG: (V6) 17 City/23 Highway, (V8) 14 City/19 HighwayMSRP: (V6) $63,495, (V8) $79,995 (V8 activated at $88,585)
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