How I traded-in my Kia Sorento for a Range Rover Sport Autobiography

If I was going to be sensible in my choice of car, it would have been a Volvo XC90 PHEV.

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The Itch that caused it all

Folks who have read my thread and/or my signature know that my 2016 KIA Sorento is already out and has been replaced by a 2019 Range Rover Sport but let me walk you through the journey.

When it was clear to me that I had to keep the Sorento till it died of natural causes, all I thought about was to give it a 2nd life with:

  • Install Tow Hook
  • Upgrade Audio System. Total Upheaval.
  • Upgrade wheels with Vossen CVT
  • LED light bar in Bumper.

Kept a 6,000 € budget as this would have to keep me from thinking about selling the car for some years to come.

Fooled around the configurator a bit more with Vossen CVTs and I started to like the look.

In the meantime, I was helping my neighbor wrench his LR3 and make it trail-ready.

Exposure to his car and a few trail rides later, I started looking for used LR Discovery-ies and Land Cruisers in between Team meetings. Tried looking for Mercedes GL (now GLS) too but finding versions that came with locking differentials like the G Wagen are super rare. Even configured a new Discovery too but the high purchase price and no PHEV option put me off. I don't buy Diesels. Ever. Didn't bother to look for a used Land Cruiser because they were all diesels. Stuck a note to self - "Stay away from Car sites.. new or old".

Many months went by and an LC300 with a 4.0L Petrol showed up at a common friend's place. Turns out it was for sale!

I remembered a nice conversation with our very own @tsk1979 about off-roading in a Toyota/Lexus and this one piqued my interest. LC300s are not sold in Finland. Only the Prados are sold making this LC300 a unique piece. Quick chat with friend's friend and I pulled out my Barge pole and distanced myself from it. No, it was not a drug mule or anything remotely close. It was imported from Dubai and was a GCC spec car and couldn't be registered in Finland as-is. Needed some work before it became ok to register. There are many such converted LCs. I wasn't going for it. Phew. Close call.

Some more time goes by and I bumped into Doug De Muro's video on the 2023 Range Rover Sport. The symptoms showed up again and the same pattern emerged. I was soon configuring a 2023 Range Rover Sport PHEV. With all the options I configured, I was soon looking at a 1,66,000 € price.

My bank account said-

Curiosity got the better of me and I quickly switched over to my friend's used car company site to see what a similar spec used RRS goes for these days and Voila!

Found this guy - a 2019 Range Rover Sport P400e Autobiography. It was in the exact spec as the one I had configured!

As I was browsing the site, wife turned up and immediately said "That car looks awesome. Which one is it? How much? Let's go see it tomorrow". I checked her temperature, normal… no bumps on her head.

Something was not right. I had to fight hard for my 6k € budget to 2nd life the Sorento and here she approved way more than that. That's when I heard my inner voice say "Don't jinx it by asking again".

Spent the rest of the day justifying to myself if I was indeed trapping myself with a Range Rover that has a dubious rapport for quality. If I was going to be sensible in my choice of car, it would have been a Volvo XC90 PHEV. Spent much more time comparing XC90 and RRS all day long.

The Sin

Woke up the next morning and checked with my wife if we were still on plan while checking again for any head bumps. None found. Pinched myself. It was real. we were indeed driving over to my friend's dealership. Couldn't believe this was happening.

30 mins of driving later, we reached the place and went straight to the car we had chosen. There were other examples too but this one caught our attention and locked us in. Did this car choose me like the Sorento chose me? This can't be happening again. It didn't go very well last time around.

Much like in the case of the Sorento, wife and daughter were super thrilled and emotionally connected with this car much before I did all the necessary due diligence. Eventually, we took the car out for a drive. The sheer opulence, comfortable effortless drive, silent cabin etc. was enough to get back to the showroom and make conditional acceptance. Conditional since the Sorento had to be traded in and my loan negotiations had to be concluded. While I started talking to my bank, the sales rep checked out the Sorento and sent out the details to his team to make me an offer which was to come by the following day.

And just like that, we drove in to 'see' a car and drove out with a firm plan to replace the Sorento with a Range Rover Sport. I was just not prepared for an expense of this scale. I was living with a zero EMI car since it was fully paid for and suddenly I was to have a very big EMI.

I believe the deal was already made the moment we left the browser and drove to the showroom.

To buy or not to Buy

The 1 day we got till we received the quote for Trade-in was a good time to re-evaluate what we were getting into. I mean, it was all so spontaneous. This spontaneity was ok when buying a relatively cheap Sorento. Not for a car at this price. Negotiated a good deal for a loan and told my wife that I was ready to call off the deal if the dealer gave a ridiculously low value for the Sorento. I made some elementary comparisons and set myself a threshold.

Turns out, the sales rep had read Mario Puzo a few times over and thought…

It was indeed an offer I could not refuse. Heck, I didn't have a horse whose head I'd find in my bed. The offer was genuinely way more than my threshold. In fact, the selling price was around what was quoted in what I had imagined even before the Sorento was shipped out of the US. Near Zero Depreciation for the 5 yrs and 75k kms of usage.

With that, the deal was made: Sorento Out | Range Rover Sport P400e Autobiography In.

Continue reading about 14000rpm's Range Rover Sport P400e Autobiography for BHPian comments, insights and more information.

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