The Land Rover LR4 plays the roll of "family vehicle" in the luxury SUV-maker's lineup. The LR4 plies its trade against vehicles like the Audi A7, Cadillac Escalade, Infiniti QX56, Lexus LX 570, Lincoln Navigator, and Mercedes-Benz GL-Class.
|2011 Land Rover LR4 LUX|
Base Price: $47,650
At-Tested Price: $57,665
Built in United Kingdom.
7-Seat LUX Package
Engine: 5.0-liter V8
Drive Wheels: Automatic Four-Wheel Drive
The LR4 was renewed in 2010 with changes that included an all-new interior and a more powerful engine. LR4 comes only as a four-door wagon with a split-opening rear hatch. Like all Land Rover models, the LR4 packs a true off-road-ready four-wheel drive system that includes a low range and Land Rover's Terrain-Response system.
Standard passenger capacity is five on front buckets and a three-place middle bench. Optional is a two-passenger third-row seat, which boosts passenger capacity to seven.
A single model is offered. It comes with a 375-horsepower 5.0-liter V8. Sole transmission offering is a six-speed automatic. When properly equipped, the LR4's maximum towing capacity for a braked trailer is 7,716 pounds.
Standard safety equipment includes antilock four-wheel disc brakes with brake assist, stability control with rollover sensors, hill-descent control, tire-pressure monitor, rear-obstacle detection system and dual-front, front-side, and curtain side airbags. Front-obstable detection and a rear-view or surround-view camera system are optional.
LR4 lists for $47,650 and includes air conditioning with dual-zone automatic climate controls, power tilt-telescope leather-wrapped steering wheel with radio controls, cruise control, leather upholstery, eight-way power front seats with driver-seat lumbar adjustment, center console, second-row split-folding seat, wood interior trim, heated power mirrors, power windows, power door locks, keyless entry, sunroof with rear glass roof panels, harman/kardon AM/FM radio with in-dash 6-disc CD changer and digital-media player connection, Bluetooth cell-phone connection, trip computer, outside-temperature indicator, rain-sensing variable-intermittent wipers, automatic day/night rearview mirror, universal garage door opener, illuminated visor mirrors, rear defogger, rear wiper/washer, floormats, theft-deterrent system, rear privacy glass, front and rear fog lights, height-adjustable and load-leveling air suspension, 255/55HR19 tires and alloy wheels.
Two major packages are offered as options. The $4250 HSE package includes navigation system with voice recognition, rear air conditioning with controls, second-row split flat-folding seat, third-row split folding seat, high-definition radio, iPod adapter, satellite radio, third-row map lights, additional auxiliary power outlet and cargo net.
The Lux package lists for $9165 and adds to the HSE package front-obstacle-detection system, power tilt-telescope heated steering wheel, upgraded leather upholstery, heated front seats with adjustable bolsters, memory system (driver seat, mirrors, steering wheel), heated second-row seats, center console cooler box, keyless access and starting, heated windshield with heated washer jets, upgraded harman/kardon sound system, satellite radio, ambient interior lighting, xenon headlights, unique alloy wheels.
There are a few stand-alone options, include the seven-passenger seating package, rear-seat entertainment system, surround camera system, locking rear differential and 20-inch alloy wheels. The LR4 is built in the United Kingdom and has a destination charge of $850.
Get Up and Go Land Rover claims that the V8 will push the large SUV from 0 to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds. That's about class average. Sadly, the engine doesn't feel that energetic around town. That's probably due to a 5700-pound curb weight and fuel-minded throttle mapping that forces drivers to stomp on the gas pedal to get the engine to react. Mid-speed passing response is good and the transmission willingly downshifts when more power is needed.
EPA fuel-economy ratings of 12 mpg city and 17 mpg highway are at the bottom of the class, and Land Rover says that the new engine requires premium-grade gasoline.
Real-world driving proves out the dismal economy ratings. Driven with a light throttle foot and lots of open-road cruising, the LR4 will return about 17 mpg per gallon. Throw in some stop-and-go driving and a little suburban crawl and the numbers drop quickly.
Unlike most other competitors in the class, the LR4 offers true go-anywhere off-road ability. It's not as nimble as a Jeep Wrangler, but with plenty of ground clearance, an abundance of electronic aids and low-range gearing, the LR4 is as capable an off-road vehicle as any suburban owner will ever need. The beauty of Land Rover's Terrain Response system is that it takes the guess work out of off-road driving. Just set the dial appropriately, drop the LR4 into low range and modulate the throttle. The LR4's computer will do the rest.
It's interesting to note that size has plusses and minuses in an off road vehicle. Obviously, a smaller vehicle will be able to get in and out of tight trails easier, but a vehicle with a longer wheelbase, like the LR4, is better suited for rocky slope climbs.
On the Road The LR4 sports a big SUV "comfy" ride. The absorbent suspension and tall-sidewall tires do an excellent job of smothering even the roughest roads. Occasionally, a large bump, taken at highway speed, will send a jolt to passengers, but overall the ride is quite controlled and comfortable.
Just based on its sheer size and tall build, you'd think the LR4 would be unwieldy. That would only be partly true. The steering is nearly perfectly weighted and the brakes are responsive. Body lean is kept in check by the electronic suspension and the tires have good on-road grip. Combined, everything comes together to make the LR4 drive like a much smaller SUV. I would never call the LR4 sporty, but at least it isn't a handful like some other large SUVs.
Interior noise levels are low--so low you forget that the LR4 is a boxy and tall SUV. The engine is only noticeable in hard acceleration and wind noise only comes into play at extra-legal speeds.
Behind the Wheel Featuring high-quality materials and a pleasing design, the LR4's interior is well in keeping with the vehicle's upscale nature. The overall effect is very European but softened by lots of round shapes and smooth contours.
Gauges are easy to read, if somewhat unorthodox. Audio and climate controls are nicely integrated into the center stack. Ancillary controls are positioned within easy reach of the driver. Setting the Terrain Response system is still somewhat puzzling, but those going off-road should really take a trip through the owner's manual first anyway.
The LR4 places the driver in an upright and commanding seating position. It's a bit more outboard than other SUVs, but not to the point where you feel pressed to the door panel. The seats are very comfortable and there's plenty of leg and head room. Outward visibility is generally good and the myriad of electronic aids make backing and parking this large vehicle easier than expected. Step in is higher than typical, but the LR4 does "squat" a bit when parked to make ingress a little easier.
With nicely trimmed seats and plenty of head and leg room, second-row passengers are treated like first-class citizens. The optional third row isn't as roomy or comfortable as in some competitors, but it's OK for part-time use. Getting back there is a challenge as well.
Though the cargo hold isn't very deep, it is quite tall. Folding the third-row seats adds a lot of room and makes LR4 class competitive. The two-piece tailgate takes some getting used to but has advantages when loading and unloading. Inside there are lots of open and covered bins, giving the LR4 above average interior storage. Included in the Lux package is a cooled compartment in the center console. It won't really chill a drink, but it will keep it cold for a long time.
Bottom Line I've said it before and I'll say it again, "No one needs a Land Rover." That said, the LR4 is the luxury SUV-maker's best attempt at creating a credible family hauler for the American market. Off road it is everything a Land Rover should be and on road it is a very capable and useful vehicle. Demerits are obvious. The LR4 is thirsty, expensive, and a long-step-up for kids. On the plus side, the interior is fabulous and quite family friendly.
In a world that's quickly embracing crossovers, the LR4 stands resolutely as one of the last traditional SUVs. It is much more car-like than you'd expect and presents its owners with an interesting blend of personality and ability that could only be offered by a Land Rover.
|Specifications 2011 Land Roverl LR4 Lux|
|Dimensions||4-door wagon||Engine||DOHC V8|
|Wheelbase, in.||113.6||Size, liters/cu. in.||5.0 / 305|
|Length, in.||190.1||Horsepower||375 @ 6500|
|Width, in.||75.4||Torque (lb.-ft.)||375 @ 3500|
|Height, in.||74.1||Transmission||6-Speed Automatic|
|Weight, lbs.||5833||EPA Estimates, mpg||12 city / 17 highway|
|Cargo Capacity, cu. ft.||90.3|| |
|Fuel Capacity, gals.||22.8||Manufacturer's Warranty|
|Seating Capacity||7||Bumper-to-Bumper||4 years / 50,000 miles|
|Front Head Room, in.||40.4||Powertrain||None|
|Front Leg Room, in.||42.4||Corrosion||6 years / Unlimited miles|
|Second-Row Head Room, in.||42.4||Free Roadside Assistance||4 years / 50,000 miles|
|Second-Row Leg Room, in.||37.6||Free Scheduled Maintenance||None|