The Land Rover LR4 first went on sale two years ago as a replacement for the underpowered LR3. Although the styling of the two vehicles looked virtually identical, the changes were immediately noticeable when you floored the gas pedal -- the LR4 actually accelerated at a good pace. Ride, handling, performance, refinement, and interior ergonomics are leaps and bounds better in the LR4 than the LR3. The 5.0-liter V-8 engine pumps out a healthy 375 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque, but it's no surprise to find out that it manages only 17 mpg on the highway. However, off-highway driving is where the LR4 really proves its worth thanks to an adjustable air suspension and the complex Terrain Response system. Land Rovers are supposed to be able to ford rivers and climb mountains yet still look sophisticated enough to park in front of a castle, and the LR4 certainly delivers the goods. Although no one would describe the LR4 as inexpensive, it costs significantly less than a Range Rover, and it mimics its more upscale sibling with similarly regal British exterior styling, the same base V-8 engine, and sophisticated front and rear air suspensions. Like many mid-size SUVs, the LR4 is offered with an optional third row that increases seating capacity to seven. Although the Land Rover LR4 is a big, heavy vehicle, it is easier to maneuver around town than several of its competitors thanks to a low beltline, slim A-pillars, and a large rear glass area that all enhance outward visibility.
Trim levels: LR4, HSE, HSE LUX
Body style: SUV, 5- or 7-passenger
Engine: 5.0L V-8, 375 hp, 375 lb-ft
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Passenger volume: N/A
Capacities: Towing 7716 lb; cargo (behind third/middle/front seats) 9.9/42.1/90.3 cu ft
The 2012 Land Rover LR4 receives two new sets of alloy wheels, new exterior paint colors, revised column control stalks, a more compact ignition key design, upgraded audio systems, a new touch-screen navigation system, hard-drive audio storage, improved iPod connectivity, voice control for the navigation system, a USB socket for the rear entertainment system, and a new instrument cluster display with more detailed vehicle information.
Stability and traction control; ABS; electronic brake assist; rear park-distance control; multistage front, side, side curtain, and thorax air bags; trailer-stability assist; and rain-sensing wipers are standard. A 360-degree camera system, active headlights, and a blind-spot monitoring system are optional.
EPA Fuel Economy
All: 12 mpg city/17 mpg highway
- Upscale looks
You Won't Like
- Chugs gas
Somewhat cramped third row
Upscale looks meet rugged capability.
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