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Range Rover Sport - history & problems


The Range Rover Sport is a slightly shorter wheelbase version of the Range Rover Discovery 3 & 4. First launched as the L320 in 2005, it was replaced by the L494 version in 2015. The L320 Sport had a full chassic/body configuration but the L494 was of semi- monocoque design modified to provide greater structural rigidity, but also to optimize production costs by sharing several components with Discovery models.

Australian-delivered vehicles with petrol engines were initially powered by supercharged   4.2 Litre 380 Kw Jaguar engine but in 2010 the 5 litre supercharged engined replaced the 4.2

Diesel engine options included the V6 60 degree 2.7-litre turbo diesel version producing 142 Kw. In 2007 the TDV8 90 degree twin turbo Diesel featured a 90 degree block with twin variable geometry turbochargers and inlet valve deactivation.

All engine variants are mated to an adaptive six-speed  ZF  automatic transmission with Command-Shift which reacts and adapts to varying driving styles and gives the driver the freedom to sequentially manipulate gear changes.

All Range Rover Sport vehicles are equipped with electronic air suspension. In 2002, a cross-linking system was introduced to improve off-road performance. 5-setting Terrain Response is also standard to adjust the traction control, stability and hill-descent.

The above comments refer to Australian delivered models and there are some variations for other martets For more detailed information, refer to the Wikipedia article


Love ‘em or hate ‘em – that about expresses the reactions of owners. All Land Rovers generate strong opinions and the Sport is no exception. This is not the place to repeat the comments made by owners, but if a used vehicle is being considered, it is worth stating that a pre-purchase check by a reputable specialist service shop is strongly advised. Conversely, reports from specialists themselves do provide a guide to the more common problems, as follows:

Hubs & wheel bearings and/or differential wear is usually caused by lack of effective and regular maintenance. Rumbling or grinding noises require prompt attention.

Worn suspension arm, ball joints and bushes including anti-rollbar bushes usually create clonking or knocking sounds. The wear will almost certainly be detected via juddering and looseness in steering and will result in failure at any MOT inspection. A defective spindle-connecting rod will wear the rear tyres unevenly and may cause handling problems

Air suspension failure may be partial or complete, resulting in one or more corners of the vehile failing to lift correctly and/or sinking when parked. (See our separate article on air-suspension fixes)

Engine power loss, smoking and high fuel consumption will usually be caused by faulty EGR valves or split intercooler hoses.

Parking brake screeching or failure to release is not uncommon but may be due to poor maintenace and/or driver error and may cause brake lining or actuator failure.

Other brake problems on TDV6 models were due to chafing of the left side brake pipe and/or ABS sensor failure. In 2009 some vehicles braking was affected by oil leaking from the vacuum pump into the brake booster and master cylinder. In extreme cases this could result in complete loss of braking.

2007-2009 Fuel pump bearing failure affected some L320 vehicles due to defective seals, frequently caused by allowing fuel to be run too low.

Some 2012-2015 vehicles may require replacment of defective door latches.

As noted, there is no substitute for a thorough pre-purchase check. Graeme Cooper Automotive are experts in vehicle diagnosis for Range Rover Sport as well as other Land Rover models.

For further information, Call Ward or Stuart on 02 9550 2689

This article is one of many written by ASPAC Consulting,in collaboration with the technical experts at Graeme Cooper Automotive. To download it in PDF format Range Rover Sport


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