The Land Rover LR2 competes in the growing premium compact SUV category. With the introduction of the Audi Q5, Volvo XC60, and forthcoming BMW X1, the premium compact SUV category is one of the hottest SUV categories. These 5 seat SUVs provide the utility and efficiency of a compact SUV but with premium comforts.
The LR2 was first introduced into Land Rover’s lineup for the 2008 model year. It replaced the similarly sized but outdated Freelander. The LR2 was all-new when it debuted. It was the first Land Rover model to offer Roll Stability Control as an option. Final assembly for the model is in Land Rover’s home country of Great Britain.
For 2011, the LR2 receives a minor refresh. The model is offered in only one trim, the HSE. It is powered by a 3.2 liter V-6 engine with 230 horsepower and 234 pound-feet of torque. It is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The LR2 has a 0 to 60 time of about 8.4 seconds with good braking. While not a speedster, the LR2 has solid driving dynamics with good handling. The model has manual selected gear changes available through the CommandShift system and a driver-selected sport mode for more spirited driving.
The LR2’s fuel economy is rated at 15mpg city and 22 mpg highway. This is somewhat low for its class. Competitors such as the Acura RDX, BMX X3 and Audi Q5 get a little better mileage. Its greater use of fuel may be partially due to its off-road features and capability.
Being a Land Rover, the LR2 maintains rugged off-road capability. It has 8.3 inches of ground clearance and can go through 20 inches of water. The LR2 comes standard with a four-wheel drive. The LR2 has excellent safety equipment that includes roll stability control, seven airbags with side curtains, emergency brake assist, dynamic stability control, antilock brakes and electronic traction control.
Driver and passengers ride in luxury in the LR2. Available features include a keyless startup, stadium seating for rear passengers, USB audio input, premium sound systems with 7 or 12 speakers, leather seating, rain sensing wipers, and controls on the steering wheel.
For 2011, the LR2 has a starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price of about $36,000. It is a quality premium compact SUV. However, Land Rover may need to make significant changes to the model soon to keep up with its growing number of competitors.