The car: MY2017 Range Rover Sport Autobiography 3.0 in Corris Grey with Ebony/Ivory leather and just under 16k miles. Additional extras include HUD, deployable side steps and electric towbar. Flew back from the dark continent on Thurs 8 Nov and flew up to Glasgow Fri night. Stopped over in a hotel near the airport, took a train to Perth first thing Sat morning, picked up at the station and arrived at the dealership around 0900. From that point on the experience was average at best. The dealership itself is pretty small anyway and doesn’t lend itself to feeling anything other than functional. After asking for some coffees, we started signing paperwork but no sign of the car. Bearing in mind I hadn’t actually seen the thing I was quite keen to have a look so had to ask where it was. Found the car outside and had a good look around. The car came with black wheels which I didn’t like so they’d swapped those over and I also asked them to sort the hubs out as they were rusty. The front ones were done but the rears weren’t although they weren’t as bad as the fronts anyway but it still annoyed the hell out of me. I was a bit stuck though given that I was 450 miles away from home so kicking up a fuss was going to be counter-productive so I let it go. Signed off a load of paperwork followed by a slightly uncomfortable pause during which I asked if he was ‘going to show me how it worked then?’ ‘Oh yes, of course,’ he mumbled. First off, can we pair the phone? Can we buggery, it just won’t pair. His mate comes out and has a go. Nothing. Back into the dealer it goes but it’s back again fixed in less than five mins later so that’s all good. Next up is the SIM card, he sticks it in and pulls up a browser with a previous Google search on it so it all looks good – only it isn’t. More on that later. Tries also to get the car connected on InControl (a bit like Connected Drive) but nothing, nada, zilch. He starts going on about other stuff by this point we’re an hour over our planned itinerary and I need to get on the road so we leave the dealer after the most profoundly crap car buying experience ever, just not remotely interested. I don’t expect anything particularly out of the ordinary but they could have just made the whole experience a bit more special considering the money being spent. Morons. Never again. Ripped them to shreds on the CS review request that I received a few days later. The drive back was uneventful in that it was get in, drive home but what a ride it was. The comfort is way beyond the 3er and it really is just something you could spend hours in and the 3 was not exactly uncomfortable. The most startling thing apart from the ride is how quiet it is, it’s just so relaxing. In the 3 I would have to crank up the stereo to cancel out the noise but in this thing I hardly need to turn it up all before it cancels out the air rushing over the car. It really is an odd feeling, listening to music at an easy level and not being able to hear anything outside. I love it. Managed 35mpg which was actually the same as my old E91 but it won’t be difficult to lower that just mooching around I’ll wager. Performance and handling wise it clearly isn’t a patch on the 335d but it’s no slouch though. It handles a damn sight better than I thought it would and I can easily hoof it down country lanes if I feel like it. It’s still no sports car though and as it’s absolutely bloody massive I’m still a bit wary! Seating position is great, seats are very comfortable and infinitely adjustable. Key controls are nicely to hand, everything is covered in leather and has a solid feel to it, no horrible plastics in sight. It all works very well. Well almost, the tech we’ll come to later. Things I like: The ride and comfort, just sublime. The space in the back for the hound and associated canine admin. The seats. The deployable side steps - more useful than I thought. The fridge. The sound system, better than the HK but only marginally. Its go anywhere capability, I’ve already used it off-road around our local area in deep mud that I wouldn’t have dared go near in the 3. I can also go through our local ford now! I like that the wife likes it, she’s really sold on it much to my surprise. There is more tech in the car than the 3 but it ain’t the easiest to navigate around. It’s easy to change the direction of the lights and convert to kmh, something that I couldn’t really do before. I also have the digital display so I can have a moving map in the cluster which is surprisingly useful. Adaptive Cruise is easier to use, one press and job done. Blind spot monitor also v useful. Remote app is quite good. Things I’m not so bothered about: The HUD. It’s a bit crap really with just speed, direction and current limit. Can’t use it to navigate around phone numbers or music. Lane departure warning with the shaky steering wheel. Things that are annoying me: The tech. Aaaaargh! It’s not a patch on the iDrive system and whilst it’s not quite driving me nuts, it’s not far off. There is actually probably more functionality but it’s just so difficult to use and I hate using the touchscreen on the move, it’s downright dangerous. On the drive down I couldn’t get the RTTI to work, it just wouldn’t connect to anything. We stopped at Tebay and I realised the sales berk had put the SIM in the wrong way round but I still couldn’t get it to work so I gave up. A few days later I bought a new SIM as I thought it might be faulty and as I bought it the bloke told me not to forget to activate it which just set off alarm bells. Back to the original SIM, put ten quid on it and hey presto, it starting working. So not only did the bloke put it in the wrong way round there wasn’t actually any data on it! I suspect the Google thing he found was just the cache. As for the remote InControl activation bit, I did it myself in the end as the emails dried up. The graphics are really old school and whilst I can get the google maps type display it’s overhead only, no perspective. I can get perspective/3D on the non-google map display but the daytime display colours are Fisher Price so I have it on night mode all the time, easier on the eye. I’m also limited in how I can split the screen, it won’t let you choose anything in the same way that iDrive does but it doesn’t really bother me that much really. Ultimately, I’m just not that interactive with the system as I was with iDrive which may not be a bad thing really. Ultimately the system just doesn’t flow in the way iDrive did and I really miss it. I’m sure I’ll get used to it but it’s a royal pain in the arse so far. The High Beam Assist isn’t very good or at least not as good as BMW’s and I find myself turning it off. I’ve also been flashed more times in a few weeks than I have in as many years, not much I can do about that really. Anyway, that’s quite a lot of waffle. The first real test will come in a few week’s time when we take it to Croatia for New Year. We’ll be going Black Forest, Salzburg, Zagreb, Ogulin and back through the Black Forest again. Should be good. So was it the right choice? Absolutely. I know it’s a divisive car with a questionable image but the utility of it and the sheer comfort makes it a winner for me. It still has pace and power when needed but my driving style has definitely changed as a result and I no longer want to thrash it everywhere, again no bad thing. I love getting in it, the solid thump of the door shutting, turning up the music to the right level and just floating off. Now, if only I could get the iDrive system into it..