2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport: Top Tether Trouble

14RRS_tetherhooked

Given the proliferation of Land Rover Range Rover Sports that line the drop-off lane of an elite private school near my home, one might assume that it's a near-perfect family car. After recently test-driving the redesigned 2014 Range Rover Sport, however, I've decided that it's not the best choice for those of us with kids who are still in child-safety seats.

2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Video

Sure, the Range Rover Sport is magnificent. A rare specimen of beauty and brawn, it drives like a regal boss around town and can off-road like a beast. The newly updated interior is quiet, comfortable and spacious. Then you try to install child-safety seats and all hell breaks loose.

14RRS_tether2

That's because the top tether anchors are poorly placed. Tether anchors are used with forward-facing convertible and combination car seats, and they keep the car seat from moving forward or to the side in a crash, reducing a child's forward head and neck movement by as much as 8 inches.

In the Range Rover Sport, three tether anchors are located on the seatbacks, where the cargo floor and the seatback meet. I'd say they're even a little below that perpendicular point, which makes it rather difficult to use them.

14RRS_tether3

For a moment, you might think you're saved the agony of installation when you discover the rear seats fold forward with the flip of a lever. Once you've pulled that lever, you realize the seat doesn't really fold with a car seat in its way, so that's no help at all.

Then you start the awkward fight to get the forward-facing convertible installed, getting in and out of the car for a better angle, jamming your hand down the narrow opening between the seatback and the cargo area to get to the tether anchor and grunting. Neighbors gather to watch. After 25 minutes, you're victorious. You scowl at the unintended audience that hovers at the edge of your lawn and drive off. Never mind the blood streaming from your knuckles.

I suppose if you opted for the newly available third row in the Sport, it would make accessing this hook easier. However, my test car did not come with that row and not everyone who purchases the Sport opts for it.

Of course, the 2014 Range Rover Sport is not the only car to cause great frustration with its Latch system. My colleagues can back me up on this:

Carrie Kim said of the Chrysler 200's top tether hook, "I almost hit the thing with a baseball bat; I was so frustrated!"

Chrysler's 300 gets a nod from BreAnn Ahara: "My hands were red, raw and shaking afterward. If you can have PTSD from Latch, that would be it for me."

Finally, Sara Lacey added that the Toyota Prius V's top tether hooks would make anyone feel "irritated."

Irritated indeed. I want to love the Range Rover Sport because it really is nearly perfect, just not for those of us who need to regularly use car seats. And that is irritating.

Cars.com photos by Evan Sears and Courtney Messenbaugh

Comments 

CTMechE

"Off-road like a beast?" The V6 doesn't even offer a low-range, and the base V6 Range Rover Sport HSE comes with 20" summer tires. No chance of off roading, and good luck if you expect to stop in the snow or ice.

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/03/sedan-vs-suv-which-has-the-best-winter-stopping-ability/index.htm?loginMethod=auto

Jason

I have the new Range Rover Sport HSE with a V6 Engine. They offer low range as part of the heavy duty package, however it's already more off-road capable than any vehicle I have ever driven. We have a house in Mammoth and actually just used it and severe conditions. Showing me consumer reports is laughable as that publication has no idea what makes a beautiful luxurious car. Btw, my car stopped on a dime and the 20'' wheels are mud and snow rated. FYI, I had a BMW X5 previously and, sorry, but the new Range Rover trumps that vehicle.

Post a Comment 

Please remember a few rules before posting comments:

  • If you don't want people to see your email address, simply type in the URL of your favorite website or leave the field empty.
  • Do not mention specific car dealers by name. Feel free to mention your city, state and brand.
  • Try to be civil to your fellow blog readers. This blog is not a fan or enthusiast forum, it is meant to help people during the car-buying process and during the time between purchases, so shoppers can keep a pulse on the market.
  • Stay on topic. We want to hear your opinions and thoughts, but please only comment about the specified topic in the blog post.
view posting rules

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Search Results

KickingTires Search Results for

Search Kicking Tires

KickingTires iPhone App
Ask.cars.com