in 2009 Luxury Midsize SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $21,723 - $24,955
Original MSRP: $45,975 - $45,975
MPG: 12 City / 17 Hwy
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2009 Land Rover LR3 Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The 2009 Land Rover LR3 offers good performance -- on-road and especially off-road. However, its 14 mpg combined fuel economy is dismal.

  • "Perhaps the most surprising thing I noticed during the move was how quickly the LR3 became comfortable. Despite its big size (it's over 190 inches long), it was easy to maneuver in forward or reverse." -- The Detroit News
  • "It takes a while to get accustomed to its controls and idiosyncrasies, but the LR3 is an excellent touring machine that's well ahead of its Discovery predecessor. In addition to an impressive selection of offroad features, this squared-off SUV boasts a beautifully refined powertrain that shifts gears smoothly and has no shortage of V-8 power." -- Cars.com
  • "After spending hundreds of miles off-road, we realized that if these vehicles can handle such a trek without so much as a creak, the LR3 is obviously graced with a solid platform." -- MSN
  • "With its more powerful V8 engine, better brakes, significantly improved handling, and high-tech traction control systems, combined with no loss of off-roading capability in an effort to soften it for the mass market, the LR3 is a dynamic success." -- Car.com

Acceleration and Power

The LR3's 4.4-liter V8 engine makes 300 horsepower and 315 pound-feet of torque. Some test drivers loved it, while others found it underpowered. The six-speed automatic transmission also left them unimpressed. According to the EPA, the LR3 is expected to net 12 mpg in the city and 17 on the highway.

  • "Land Rover didn't change the delicious 4.4-liter V-8 under the hood, which pulls the SUV around with 330 horsepower. For on-road driving, it's more than plenty; for off-roading, it gives you that extra oomph. As for hauling a man's worldly possessions around, it had more than enough power." -- The Detroit News
  • "V8 delivers good, not great, scoot in this weighty SUV. Land Rover says 8 sec 0-60 mph, which is midpack for this class. LR3 has ready power in highway passing, but transmission slow to downshift on hills." -- Consumer Guide
  • "In all conditions, the LR3's 300-horsepower V8 moves the vehicle eagerly, although we'd like to see a little quicker throttle response when moving from a stop." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The six-speed automatic transmission doesn't work terribly well with the engine, either. Downshifts and upshifts are occasionally poorly timed; sometimes the throttle provides quick off-the-line acceleration and sometimes barely any additional forward velocity is added." -- Car.com

Handling and Braking

Test drivers found the 2009 LR3 quite nimble for its large size. They were especially impressed by the responsive steering and all-terrain abilities. The LR3 runs on a four-wheel-drive configuration with electronic traction control (ETC), a two-speed electronic transfer gearbox and Land Rover's Terrain Response system.

  • "The mid-size SUV's tall sides do make the body sway some in turns, but during the first 100 miles, I never opened her up to find out how much it would roll." -- The Detroit News
  • "The taut suspension yields a firm ride; it's pleasant on the highway and acceptable on urban pavement. Parking the LR3 could be easier, but this SUV maneuvers adeptly with satisfying steering feel. Little correction is needed to stay on course, but the LR3 does demand close attention." -- Cars.com
  • "Using the Rock Crawl mode, we could not believe some of the Andean obstacles the LR3 clawed its way over." -- MSN
  • "Steering nicely weighted, tires grippy, but LR3 feels a bit top heavy on twisty roads and in fast lane changes. Tight turning circle means good parking lot maneuverability." -- Consumer Guide

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