Sixty years after the first Land Rovers began to ply their way across rural England, the iconic British automaker has rolled out the LR2, a compact SUV which successfully balances off road utility with around town practicality and good looks. Replacing the entry-level Freelander, the LR2 is part of the recent model nomenclature trend used by Land Rover to identify some of its models.
Off Road Workhorse
The LR2 accomplishes what many other vehicles equipped with standard full time all wheel drive cannot do, which is to cross shallow brooks, traverse rocky terrain, and ascend steep slopes. Standard hill descent, roll stability, and dynamic stability control features are part of a larger braking and control system which constitutes Land Rover’s capable Terrain Response System, maximizing traction and control for a variety of conditions including sand, mud, ruts, snow, gravel, and grass.
The exterior of the LR2 faithfully upholds its Land Rover lineage thanks to its eggshell-shaped grille, clamshell hood, side gills, and ample wheel arches. Interlocking bi-Xenon pivotal headlights are a contemporary feature designed to adjust to outside conditions automatically. Turn on the windshield wipers and the LR2 independently senses moisture, activating the headlight wipers for you. Front and rear fog lights are additional important safety features that come standard on the LR2, while seven airbags protect occupants including a driver-side knee airbag.
Capable I6 Engine
The LR2’s 24-valve 3.2L I6 engine produces 230 horsepower and is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission that features manual shift control. Together, they help the Land Rover achieve 22 mpg on the highway which compares favorably with similar models from Lexus, BMW, and Volvo.
Inside, the LR2 cabin is overflowing with technological sophistication and luxury appointments. Seating five, the LR2 offers many of the same touches found in larger Land Rovers. The 14-speaker Alpine surround sound audio system is a passenger pleaser, as is the front dual panel sunroof with built-in blinds and the rear skylight. Interior trim appointments include perforated leather seating surfaces with twin-stitched side bolsters and dark eucalyptus trim.
Not Enough Storage
The storage area behind the rear seat is quite limited and the standard sunroof/skylight arrangement negates a roof rack option. One option to expand carrying capacity is to choose the towing package, quite suitable to tow a boat or camper weighing up to 3500 lbs.
When fully equipped to include various option packages such as cold climate (heated front seats, heated windshield, and heated windshield-wiper jets) and technology (SIRIUS satellite radio, phone integration system, etc.), a fully equipped Land Rover LR2 is priced in the neighborhood of $40,000, with taxes, tags and destination charges extra.
Affordable British Luxury
If you are looking for a luxurious, but economical SUV the Land Rover LR2 should be considered.
Photo Credit: LandRover