2012 Land Rover LR4 Review
The 2012 Land Rover LR4 is one of the most capable off-road SUVs on the market, but shoppers looking for a low price or good fuel economy should look elsewhere.
There’s no question that the 2012 Land Rover LR4 can do things that many other SUVs and pickup trucks can’t. It’s extremely capable in sand, snow, water or mud, and its interior is full of luxurious materials and comfortable seating for seven.
Although the LR4’s truck-based frame makes it ultimately capable while fording streams or climbing mountains, it makes it a less-than-pleasant companion on paved surfaces. It guzzles premium-grade fuel like a frat boy on a brewery tour, and it doesn’t handle as well as many others in its class. Plus, it’s expensive, even for a luxury midsize SUV.
The Land Rover brand is known throughout the world for its burly, go-anywhere SUVs. Here in the U.S., its luxurious off-road monsters will mainly be used for trips to the mall on a snowy day, rather than traversing the Rubicon Trail. If you have the budget, test drivers say the Land Rover LR4 will perform most of its duties relatively well, and you’ll get the added bonus of the Land Rover cachet. However, if you can sacrifice some off-road capability for more practicality, there are better choices available.
Other Luxury SUVs to Consider
If you’re shopping the Land Rover LR4 for its luxury brand name, but don’t plan to leave the beaten path, consider the Porsche Cayenne. Reviewers say it’s one of the best-driving SUVs available, and it’s less expensive than the LR4. Its interior is also one of the nicest in the class, mimicking that of Porsche’s flagship Panamera sedan.
Shoppers who need the LR4’s off-road capability and like its upscale interior should consider the Lexus GX. It’s a bit more expensive than the Land Rover, but it’s one of the only other luxury off-road SUVs in this price range. The GX is based on the Toyota 4Runner, which earns accolades for its billy-goat abilities, but adds better on-road manners and an interior that’s fit for a Lexus.
Details: Land Rover LR4
The LR4 is available in base, HSE or HSE LUX trims. Land Rover hasn’t announced any changes for the 2012 model year, but there aren’t likely to be many, since it was heavily refreshed for 2010.
See the full list of 2012 Land Rover LR4 specifications.
- "In reality, most of the time it is used exactly the way its car-like competition is. In that capacity, this Land Rover delivers good passenger and cargo room, along with levels of refinement and comfort expected from the brand. Used off road, LR4 easily ventures many places that would leave some competitors waiting for a tow truck. Ultimately, the LR4 is challenged in the marketplace by perceptions more than reality, along with its hefty thirst for premium-grade gas.” -- Consumer Guide
- "But as the driving wore on, the LR4’s everyday dynamics compared less faborably with the others’, its V8 rumble became tedious to some, and several electronic glitches – requiring a shut-down, start-up reboot – diluted enthusiasm for its offbeat character. A logbook entry summed it up: ‘Charming. Irritating. Charming. Irritating. Charming. Irritating.’” -- Car and Driver
- "If the automotive landscape were to be metaphorically transposed onto a typical TV high school, the … Land Rover LR4 would be the dumb jock. It is absolutely massive, as strong as an ox, and immensely capable when in its element. However, where cabin tech is concerned, it's not what you'd call intelligent. The Rover checks many of the boxes that we like to see filled on our list of available cabin tech options, but it only just barely meets our standards for what's acceptable from a modern tech car, and what's there can be difficult to use.” -- CNET