Wanna be a hustler? Roll up

CAR REVIEW

When Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr redefined the genre of rap music and introduced the world to hip-hop, his album Doggystyle would include the kinds of interludes that had made rap classics so pugnacious. 

Somewhere between Gin and Juice and Pump Pump, Snoop Dogg, as Mr Broadus Jr is better known, takes us inside a classroom where a “Mr Buttworth” is teaching a class on “what you would like to be when you grow up”. Answers include the expected policeman and the fireman, and eventually we are introduced to a young Snoop donning French braids. “What would you like to be when you grow up?” the docile Mr Buttworth ventures.

“I wanna be a motherfucking hustler. You better ask somebody.”

Many a youth has lived vicariously through the adventures of Snoop and some may even have worn blue bandanas in imitation of their hero. And like Snoop, who is happy to switch up his hustle for a kids’ show or to join Katie Perry in song, those youths likely swapped their baggy jeans for a suit and tie. Such is the hustle. 

The one telltale sign of what lurks beneath is the ride. That’s what Range Rover says to me. Sleek, styling, super luxurious. Motherfucking hustler.

That was certainly the case with the Range Rover Sport PHEV — for “plug-in hybrid electric vehicle”. When it comes to looks Land Rover thankfully decided against the accentuated sloping back, which would otherwise have reduced your boot space while simultaneously making the vehicle look like it’s got a receding hairline. 

Here the lines are sleek with slits for headlamps and fairly low profiles that altogether make for a very attractive-looking SUV. The vehicle is no slouch in the off-road department and can probably clamber up spaces we wouldn’t. But that’s not what the driver of this car is likely to buy it for. 

Combining its 221kW engine with the 105kW electric one, this is a car that certainly presses you back into your plush seat when you want to have a go. The claimed 100m in 6.7 seconds is definitely not far off. Then there are all the other lovely trimmings that we’ve come to expect from this brand, including a curtain of sound that’s difficult to match. 

There’s also this really considerate ability to lower and raise the vehicle when attending to things in the boot, which could comfortably take baggage for four people, which is incidentally the capacity for this vehicle. 

A special mention must be made of the seats, which offer a level of luxury and comfort seldom seen. 

The ride quality leaves little to complain about with the car taking urban cornering, occasional off-roading and stretches of highway equally in its stride. The real problem with this vehicle is the PHEV part. It took a while for me to discover the correct way to open the plug-in port on the vehicle and run it through my kitchen window for overnight charging. 

Like me, I expect few people have homes equipped for charging an electric vehicle yet. But that’s easily remedied. More worryingly, a large part of the selling point of this vehicle will take you no more than 48km. For that long an acronym I’d expect a bit more. 

I’m told that the ability to travel this small number of kilometres on a full charge works for the Europeans. Probably not the ones I know. It’s also fairly easy to run through your charge in a shorter time and during the entire test period, trying to make that charge last for as long as possible was a fraught experience. 

The vehicle costs R1.7-million. I expect Snoop has one or some upgraded version of it, for in the end, this is a car many people will covet. It all depends on your hustle. 

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