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#12

in Luxury Compact SUVs

MSRP: $36,600 - $36,600
Invoice: $33,306 - $33,306
MPG: 17 City / 24 Hwy
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Land Rover LR2 Performance

The 2014 Land Rover LR2’s fuel economy falls short of many rivals’ and critics say it feels sluggish from a stop. Test drivers think the LR2 has a fairly comfortable ride, but most agree that it doesn't feel as composed or nimble as rivals. Still, they're impressed with its off-roading capability, which they say is as good as it gets in the luxury compact SUV class.

  • "Drivers who expect the road-owning sensation provided by the LR4 or the Range Rover family will be disappointed. Nonetheless, you may like the LR2's relatively nimble character and, while the Ford-sourced turbo engine isn't the best of its breed, it adds noticeable pep to the LR2's step." -- AutoTrader
  • "When the time comes to leave the trails behind, the LR2 is plenty refined on the pavement, although customers seeking dynamic handling might be better served by another crossover." -- Left Lane News
  • "While the 2013 Land Rover LR2 will find few rivals in tackling tough terrain, most compact luxury crossovers are more rewarding to drive on the road." -- Edmunds (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The LR2 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 240 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. At an EPA-estimated 17/24 mpg city/highway, the LR2's fuel economy is not as good as its rivals’.

Auto journalists comment that the LR2 has sufficient power for passing on the highway, but some note that tepid throttle response makes it feel slow off the line. Test drivers comment that the transmission downshifts promptly when more power is needed for passing.

  • "Customers are more likely to be annoyed by the SUV's reluctant throttle response and moderate turbo lag." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)
  • "The transmission kicks down fairly quickly to aid passing power." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "Thanks to a chunky curb weight, even the thrust of the new turbocharged engine can do only so much. Downsizing to a four-cylinder engine did improve fuel economy over the old six. But compared to similarly powered rivals, there's no doubt the LR2 pays a fuel economy price for lugging around all that off-road ability." -- Edmunds (2013)
  • "And unlike the former powerplant, the new turbocharged 4-cylinder offers the right amount of low-end torque for passing and merging." -- Kelley Blue Book (2013)

Handling and Braking

Reviewers say the LR2 has a generally comfortable ride, but most add that it doesn’t feel as composed or smooth over bumpy roads as its rivals. They mention that its tall body and high center of gravity reduce its agility through turns. Others say that the steering isn't very responsive and offers little road feedback.

  • "While other brands may brag about their 'carlike' handling, the LR2 feels more ponderous than its rivals. Still, it confidently soaks up bumps and road imperfections, and it easily negotiates corners and tight parking lots. Wind and road noise contribute to the LR2 feeling less refined than its competitors, though." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Perhaps a sacrifice to its off-road mission, the ride is rather brittle over smaller bumps, the tall body leans more than it seemingly should in fast turns, and the steering is a bit heavy and slow." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "Road handling never has been a Land Rover strong suit, as the extended ground clearance necessary for proper off-roading (and the corresponding high center of gravity) work against nimble cornering." -- Edmunds (2013)
  • "There is one complaint to lodge, and that's with the LR2's steering. It's completely devoid of feel or feedback to the point that asking if it's actually connected to the steering rack doesn't seem unreasonable. For suburban duty, it's not a big deal, but the lack of feedback increases the sketchiness factor of an off-road expedition by a not-insignificant amount." -- Truck Trend (2013)

Off-Roading

The LR2 is equipped with full-time all-wheel drive and Land Rover's Terrain Response System that lets the driver choose modes for different types of terrain, including snow, mud, ruts, sand and rock. Reviewers write that the LR2 has great off-road abilities compared to most other luxury compact SUVs. According to test drivers, the LR2 has no problem traveling up muddy inclines, fording water or driving through pits of gravel and sand.

  • "As one would expect given Land Rover's off-road heritage, the LR2 is the mountain goat of the premium compact crossover segment." -- Left Lane News
  • "We wouldn't take it onto anything that would challenge the LR4 or a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, but the LR2 will definitely be able to tackle just about any casual off-roading trail." -- Truck Trend (2013)
  • "Although it's not at all surprising that the LR2 successfully traversed the prescribed course, the things the little ute achieved were nonetheless quite impressive -- climbing steep, muddy hills; crawling over tall, wheel-lifting, body-twisting mounds; swimming through ice-cold water slightly deeper than the floorboards; dropping confidently down roller-coaster-like grades at the brim of a sand/gravel pit (thanks, Hill Descent Control); and blasting down saturated dirt roads." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)
Review Last Updated: 5/14/14

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