What is it?

The Range Rover Sport is a luxury and sport-oriented SUV. It's a smaller, nimbler version of Land Rover's top-of-the-line Range Rover model. The 2014 Range Rover Sport is fully redesigned, with a completely new look inside and out. The new Sport also loses 800 pounds -- a big plus for gas mileage. Fuel economy is also improved by a new 8-speed automatic and a supercharged V6 engine that replaces last year's standard V8. The Sport also adds an all-important third-row seat. An optional 510-horsepower supercharged V8 is carried over.

How much?

The Sport SE V6 starts at $63,495, while HSE models will add $5,000 to that figure. A Range Rover Sport Supercharged starts at $79,995, while the range-topping Autobiography starts at $93,295.

When can you get it?

The 2014 Range Rover Sport should arrive in Land Rover dealerships this fall.

Add it to your shopping list because...

The pricey Range Rover might have more exclusivity, but the more affordable Sport is actually more useful thanks to its new third-row seat, which isn't available in the Range Rover. SUV buyers conscious of fuel economy will also appreciate the 800-pound weight loss and the new 8-speed automatic transmission. And they'll also love the more efficient but still powerful 340-horsepower supercharged V6. Of course, the 2014 Range Rover Sport still retains Land Rover's famous off-road ability. It features Land Rover's "Terrain Response 2" system as well as a two-speed transfer case with low-range gearing.

Other cars to consider:

Audi Q7 - If you're looking for a luxury SUV with a third row, the Q7 is a great option. That's especially true for those looking to maximize gas mileage, since a 240-hp turbodiesel model is available. And while the Q7 doesn't have the "Range Rover" image, it starts at more reasonable $47,500.

Lexus GX 460 - Although most shoppers will never use it, the GX 460's off-road ability is similar to the Sport's. Also offered with a standard third row, the GX 460 uses a standard V8 and starts around $54,500.

Mercedes GL-Class - While the GL-Class is larger than the Range Rover Sport, its price tag isn't. In fact, the GL's $63,000 base price puts it in direct competition with the Range Rover Sport. Shoppers who need more space will undoubtedly choose the Mercedes.

Used Range Rover - If you don't need the third row, a used Range Rover might be a good choice. While a new 2013 model is far more expensive than the Sport, certified pre-owened 2011 and 2012 models are already priced like a new Sport and come with an extended warranty. They'll be even more reasonable when the new Sport comes out this fall.

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Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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