Land Rover LR2
The LR2 comes in a single HSE trim, powered by a 230-hp, 3.2L in-line 6-cylinder engine and 6-speed automatic transmission with full-time 4-wheel drive. The engine has variable valve timing for responsiveness throughout the rev range, and the LR2 can accelerate to 60 mph in 8.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 124 mph. EPA fuel economy ratings are 15 mpg city, 22 highway. While the suspension is tuned for comfort and to allow some off-road ability, it handles and maneuvers reasonably well in tight city spaces as well.
The LR2's boxy design pays dividends inside, with enough room for five adults--though broad-shouldered occupants might be a little tight three across in back. In front, a so-called command driving position puts you high and upright, with a good view out over the hood and around the vehicle compared to most other utility vehicles. Cargo space is quite good, too, with the boxy body allowing a versatile space with the backseat folded down.
The Land Rover LR2 is missing one key off-roading attribute--a low range--but its system provides good on-the-road traction while enabling respectable off-road ability with a host of electronic controls. Terrain Response coordinates them all, with four different modes, for normal driving; slippery conditions (like snow or gravel); mud and ruts for rugged off-road conditions; and sand--with the latter mode offering just the right amount of wheelspin. The LR2's electronic stability control and anti-lock braking system are specially calibrated for each mode, while the all-wheel drive system's electronic-locking center differential behaves for the best traction and stability for the conditions.
To help keep the LR2 moving and the driver keeping his or her cool, the LR2 includes a host of additional electronic aids: Cornering Brake Control, Engine Drag Control, Gradient Release Control and Emergency Brake Assist. Other safety features include electronic stability control front and side-curtain airbags, and a driver's side knee bag.
The LR2, as all Land Rover models, comes equipped as a luxury model. It's sold in a single trim that includes a long list of standard features such as dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, perforated leather upholstery and a 9-speaker sound system.
An HSE Lux Package is an expensive package, costing nearly $5,000, but it dramatically upgrades the look and feel of the interior, adding Windsor leather seats with contrast stitching, an upgraded driver's seat with power lumbar and premium carpet mats as well as a 480-watt Alpine surround sound system. A lower-priced HSE package pairs a Bluetooth hands-free interface with Sirius Satellite Radio, HD capability, heated side mirrors, a universal garage-door opener, adaptive headlamps and auxiliary lighting.