SUV Review: This
isn’t the best of times for sport utility vehicles like the LR2. Despite
a drop in fuel prices to a five-year low over the last few months,
people’s minds are still focused on economy, if they’re car shopping at
all, so buying an SUV today takes impeccable credit and perhaps an act
The LR2 could be an
interesting choice, though. It feels quite luxurious while inspiring
confidence with its high “command driving” position and fine quality of
materials. It comes from a family of vehicles specifically designed to
handle the rigors of off road travel while maintaining tremendous
comfort and dignity.
The LR2 carries the
blocky, rugged look worn by Land Rovers for generations, but toned down
for a new, less wealthy range of prospective buyers.
“The LR2 is simple,
uncluttered, premium and appealing to the eye,” says design director
Gerry McGovern. “Our goal was a design that is sculpted and
sophisticated, dynamic yet refined, premium and tough.”
envisioned by a different designer than the exterior, coordinates well,
maintaining the architectural ambiance of the body. Interior surfaces
boast a high luster and fit together beautifully. The standard double
sunroof lets in abundant light (however, with its translucent shade,
can’t be completely darkened). Thanks to theater seating, rear
passengers sit a little higher than those in front, so their view of the
road is expansive.
The variety of lights
and controls on the center console at night reminded me of a pilot’s
The 3.2-liter, inline
six-cylinder engine generates 230 horsepower and 234 lb.-ft. of torque.
Eighty percent of maximum torque is available across the entire rev
range. The more than two-ton vehicle car accelerates from 0-60 miles per
hour in a reasonable 8.4 seconds.
The LR2 uses a
specially developed Japanese Aisin six-speed automatic. On it, you can
select Auto, Sport, or CommandShift manual shift modes. Sport mode holds
low gears longer and shifts down more readily than Auto.
Official EPA fuel
economy figures are 15 City and 22 Highway. I averaged 17.7 mpg on
premium fuel. The EPA score for Air Pollution (7) is good; the
Greenhouse Gases score of 3 is one of the lowest I’ve ever seen, and I
have no idea why.
With no need for
special levers, the LR2’s intelligent permanent all-wheel-drive system
sends nearly all of the torque to the front wheels until you run into a
change in hazardous road conditions, at which time it instantly sends
some or most of the torque to the rear wheels as required. A specially
designed Haldex electronically controlled center coupling provides
quick, effective torque delivery.
Land Rover’s Terrain
Response System® connects the engine, gearbox, center coupling and
chassis systems to respond to the varying driving conditions. You can
select one of four settings on the center console by deciphering the
graphics that stand for General Driving, Grass - Gravel - Snow, Mud and
Ruts, or Sand. My week was spent on roads, so I left the setting in
In case actual off road
climbing is on your agenda, Land Rover’s Hill Descent Control (HDC)
automatically restricts downhill speeds under all conditions. Gradient
Release Control works in tandem with HDC to make sure that the brakes
release gradually on steep hills.
For 2009, the LR2 gets
a few little changes. Nineteen-inch aluminum alloy wheels with a Sparkle
Silver finish are standard equipment, or you can order Shadow Chrome at
minimal extra cost. The lenses on the turn signals are now clear instead
of amber, and the tail lamps get a darker gray surround color.
Inside, the leather
color changes to Almond in place of Alpaca. The instrument panel now
wears artificial wood in a Dark Laurel color or equally artificial Satin
Silver, which mimics metal instead. My tester had the latter. The rear
load area gets its own 12-volt power socket.
A more aggressive HST
package is new for 2009, and features a special mesh grille, front and
rear bumper and side enhancements and dual exhaust tips.
Basically, whether they
admire it or not, more than likely nobody will know that your car is an
’09 and not an ’08 unless you tell them.
This baby Land Rover
carries a base price of $36,150, including $775 delivery and handling
charges. My Baltic Blue test car did not come with its Monroney (window)
sticker, so I don’t know the exact price, but you can add the four
option packages that move the price upward past the $40,000 mark.
The Ford Motor Company
no longer owns Land Rover, it is now owned by the Indian company Tata,
which also acquired Jaguar from Ford. Tata is a huge, diversified
company, so the long term future of Land Rover, although uncertain,
could be bright.
By Steve Schaefer
© AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
Byline: SUV Review provided by Tony
Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
Land Rover Home Page
Column Name: The LR2 is
an interesting SUV choice
Topic: The 2009 Land
Word Count: 863
Photo Caption: The
2009 Land Rover LR2
Photo Credits: Land
Rover LR2 Internet Media
Series #: 2009 - 09
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2009 Land Rover LR2
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2009 Land Rover LR2