By KBB.com Editors
Replacing the gone-and-easily forgotten Freelander, last sold here in 2005, Land Rover's all-new LR2 is the first corporate offering designed primarily for U.S consumers. This premium compact four-door SUV is based on Ford's versatile C1 unit-body architecture, but displays a bold character that's uniquely Land Rover, includes seating for five and is powered by a strong six-cylinder engine. Although it lacks a dual-range transfer case and air suspension, the LR2's slick full-time all-wheel-drive (AWD) package and Land Rover's sophisticated Terrain Response System make it an extremely capable, all-season on/off-roader. Available only in well-appointed SE trim, the LR2's most direct competition will come from other upscale active-lifestyle vehicles like the Acura RDX and BMW X3. However, its mid-$30,000 price point means buyers will have plenty of other new "crossovers" to cross-shop.
If you favor tradition with lots of modern topspin, being able to carry an impressive payload of people and/or cargo in style and comfort and the ability to keep going far beyond where the pavement ends, an LR2 should be high on your list.
If you're a hard-core off-roading fanatic who regularly spends weekends negotiating the great untamed wilderness in low-range crawl mode, pass on the LR2 in favor of a more dedicated go-anywhere alternative like Land Rover's own LR3, a Nissan Xterra or a Toyota FJ Cruiser.
While a nominal replacement for the Freelander, Land Rover's all-new LR2 represents a huge leap, in quality, performance and luxury, that makes it a far more compelling total-value statement in a segment that's becoming increasingly more crowded.
Driving Impressions The LR2 is a solid and confident cruiser, with the muscle to run zero to 60 miles per hour in a claimed 8.4 seconds and the ability to pull a...4,400-pound trailer. Its six-speed automatic transmission delivers smooth, quick shifts in either mode, and the "intelligent" all-wheel-drive system that can instantly transfer power between either axle is bolstered by a comprehensive Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) package, traction control and powerful four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS). Add in a sophisticated Roll Stability Control system, Terrain Response System programming (that adapts for all types of paved or unpaved surfaces) and Land Rover's patented Gradient Release Control and Hill Descent Control, and you end up with an SUV that's amazingly poised, regardless of how or where you travel.
Terrain Response System
This exclusive Land Rover standard feature matches up throttle, transmission, anti-lock brakes and ESP programming, by using one of four different computer algorithms that optimize power delivery characteristics, no matter what kind of surface you're driving on—from grass to snow to sand to plain old pavement.
Excellent Interior Space
In keeping with a longstanding Land Rover tradition, the LR2's cabin is roomy and flexible. The rear seat can comfortably accommodate two adults or three children, and folds flat to expand cargo capacity from 26.5 cubic feet to a maximum 58.9 cubic feet of space.
You'll find plenty of Land Rover heritage inside the LR2 as well, but it far surpasses the departed Freelander with respect to design, materials and build quality. Although barely three inches longer than the Freelander, the LR2 gains almost four inches in wheelbase, which leads to a considerably larger cabin with adult-friendly seating space in the front and rear quarters. Both seat-up and seat-down cargo capacities have been increased by over 25 percent, and the rear bay is easily accessed by a large, one-piece rear hatch with a bumper-level cutout. Legible gauges and fairly intuitive positioning of main controls, plus loads of cup and bottle holders, covered and open stow areas and dual 12-volt powerpoints further add to its charm as a daily driver.Exterior
Although softened a bit around its edges, the LR2's angular sheetmetal still displays numerous current-generation corporate cues, highlighted by front and rear lamp designs and functional side vents reminiscent of the Range Rover Sport, and a subtle LR3-style rear roofline kickup. Despite short front and rear overhangs and 8.3-inches of ground clearance, that enhance the LR2's off-road capabilities, entry and exit to both front and rear seats is a low-stress exercise. Its large glass area—including a dual-panel panoramic sunroof—aid outward visibility and enhance the feeling of spaciousness. The package is aggressively anchored by standard 18-inch alloy wheels mounting V-rated 235/60 all-season performance tires.
The multifaceted LR2 bolsters its impressive mechanical roster of all-wheel drive, Roll Stability Control (RSC), Terrain Response System, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and Hill Descent Control/Gradient Release Control with numerous people-pleasing touches. Topping the list are a host of power assists, dual-zone climate control, leather upholstery, nine-speaker AM/FM/MP3 sound system with six-disc CD changer, Eucalyptus wood or metallic-look accent trim, power front bucket seats, 60/40 flat-folding rear bench seat, panoramic sunroof with a front sliding element and fixed rear glass, cruise control, rear park assist, front and rear foglights, headlamp washers and rain-sensing wipers. Passive restraints include dual front, front-side and side-curtain airbags, plus an inflatable driver's knee bolster.
With its extensive array of standard features, the list of LR2 factory extras is decidedly brief. The Technology Package includes a DVD-based touch-screen satellite navigation system, Bluetooth hands-free integrated cell phone, a 12-speaker Alpine/Dolby Pro Logic II 7.1 Surround Sound audio system, rear-seat audio controls and SIRIUS Satellite Radio. The Lighting Package brings corner-following bi-xenon HID Adaptive Front Lighting, memory driver's seat and mirrors and approach and puddle lamps. Finally, a Cold Climate Package adds heating to the front seats, windshield and windshield washers. Custom Narvik Black paint is available from the factory, while dealers offer 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped with 235/55 tires.
Powering the LR2 is a 3.2-liter DOHC in-line six coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission. Shared with Volvo, this compact, all-aluminum engine features a variable intake system, Cam Profile Switching (CPS) and Variable Valve Timing (VVT) that optimize its responsiveness. In the LR2 it also receives additional modifications to improve resistance to dust, mud and water intrusions, as well as supplemental oil pan baffling to ensure consistent lubrication when the LR2 is being driven on severe inclines. The new six-speed automatic transmission is a solid match, providing both a Sport mode that holds gears longer for quicker acceleration and a CommandShift gate that lets it function like a sequential manual gearbox.
3.2-liter in-line 6
230 horsepower @ 6300 rpm
234 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/29
By amanda on Thursday, July 31, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Haven't had an issue with the LR2 and really enjoy riding it. The SUV isn't bulky like some others and offers great visibility when driving. 2 thumbs up!"
14 people out of 30 found this review helpful
By msrover on Thursday, July 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Safe, attractive, fun to drive, good service"
Cons: "None that I have experienced yet."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have had this car for three years now, purchased as a demo with 4,000 miles on it. While it does not have a great deal of mileage on it, and I confess to "pampering" it (I do not drive it "hard"), the car has been reliable, provides me with a sense of security, and is actually fun to drive. Great pick up when I need it. I LOVE the appearance of the car in particular! I am thinking of keeping it even after the warranty runs out in January, as I would hate to change what I have. I got a great deal on it from the dealer in Massachusetts where we used to live, and have had great service on it both there and now in FL where we live. I wonder if a new one would be as good as this!"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Al on Friday, February 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Nicely equipped vehicle"
Cons: "No center console"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"The 2011 LR2 is a great vehicle if you enjoy the great outdoors. As an avid hiker and snowshoer the LR2 performs well throughout the mountains in winter. Very comfortable seating with adequate power under the hood. The negatives at 35,000 miles are the original Continental tires had to be replaced and this vehicle is also a little thirsty."
6 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By andrey on Thursday, October 24, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 43,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Price is great, but only on a used one. Great ride"
Cons: "It will break, but so is anythingelse you will buy"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"So I went to the dealer to buy 2011 Volvo XC60 and ended up buying 2010 LR2 HSE black on black all options, because under the hood they are exactly the same. LR2 did have more room and better interior, in my opinion. Before I signed the paper I had my dealer take it to Land Rover dealer and replace door seals, arm rest, key fob, tires (you bet!!), and a few days later rear differential bearing (was making noise). All this at 32K miles. Land Rover dealer service were super nice, by the way. All repairs paid for by warranty. This SUV ended up being super clean and perfect all around, I took it home for $25K. Soon after I replaced filthy semi-metallic brakes (still in new condition, just filthy) with premium ceramic pads and premium rotors. Now it is truly perfect. Volvo guts are holding up just fine. I fix my cars by myself, I spend a lot of time underneath and I will say the LR2 exhaust pipe is very rusty, and rust is found on a hood and some brackets here and there. Rust and Land Rover are made for each other I guess. Now, I am prepared to replace anything on this car by myself, since it is a Land Rover, it is just a matter of time. I even have a same year Volvo XC90 as a backup (wife's daily driver, she loves it more than my LR2 only because LR2 has a sportier/stiffer ride feel). So, I love it, would recommend it to all those who can deal with occasional repair here or there. For the money, you will not find a better deal (equipment wise, 4X4, leather and all that)."
11 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Cheryl on Friday, August 16, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive!"
Cons: "expensive frequent repairs"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"Seems like the car has had more than it's share of problems. Expensive to repair. Key fob is entirely too expensive and it should last the life of the car (or have rechargeable or replaceable batteries)!"
12 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By TheOzarks on Thursday, July 04, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,200overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "MPG/ Electronics/ Driver view/"
Cons: "Wind noise at highway speeds"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Previously owned a 2008 Range Rover ..the LR2 is of different quality due to it's pricing. Drives well. The Terrain Response System is really exceptional. The updated integrated electronics is very good and the sound system is phenomenal. MPG in mixed driving is a whopping 27.1 already! I coast and don't use cruise control ..and refrain from jump-starts from a stop."
7 people out of 7 found this review helpful