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.You'll Like This Car If...
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.You May Not Like This Car If...
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.What's New for 2008
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 It 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.Favorite Features
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.