By KBB.com Editors
Land Rover's smallest SUV, the LR2, is also 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 HSE 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 (and newer) "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 hardcore 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.
Minor exterior and interior enhancement mark the big changes on the 2009 Land Rover LR2. 19-inch wheels are now standard and a 12-volt socket has been added to the rear cargo area.
Driving Impressions The 2009 Land Rover 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 with traditional high-end materials and build quality. Although barely three inches longer than Land Rover's first small SUV, 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 are good for this class, 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 three 12-volt powerpoints (two up front and one in the rear) further add to its charm as a daily driver.Exterior
Although softened a bit around its edges, the 2009 Land Rover 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 19-inch alloy wheels mounting R-rated 235/55 all-season performance tires.
The multifaceted 2009 Land Rover 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, 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 and rear-seat audio controls. The Lighting Package brings corner-following Bi-xenon HID adaptive front lighting, memory driver's seat and mirrors and approach and puddle lamps. A Cold Climate Package adds heating to the front seats, windshield and windshield washers, while the HST Package adds several grille and body kit enhancements. Stand alone options include a personal telephone integration system with SIRIUS Satellite Radio and Santorini Black exterior paint.
Powering the 2009 Land Rover 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: 15/22
By New2Rovers on Monday, December 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 200overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "great driver-passenger visibility & comfort"
Cons: "not enough storage space for stuff (like glasses)."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I loved the styling of the car, so that won out in the end. I looked at Lexus RX and GX models, plus Kia Sorento and Toyota Highlander (Kia over Highlander - drive and see). Ultimately, the LR is its own style and ride. It's not an SUV on car chassis, and it drove better than the GX, which felt like a truck. If you like boxy off-road and rugged, there's few good alternatives. I love the view from the driver's seat - great visibility, plus I'm getting used to all the tech features (like a heated steering wheel). I live in New England, so I needed an SUV that would be great in snow, ice, and torrential rains. It's a bit more rugged in feel and handling than the Lexus RX, and that's what I wanted. The RX had a weirdly placed main dial to control the computer. Not well designed. The LR2 has dashboard that is great and all the buttons & knobs are very well designed placed. Know it's a difficult model to get. If you want one, I would go for a test drive ASAP. There is a new LR starting soon, and it's likely to replace the LR2, so current lot models may be all that is available?? Also know that current models have a V4 and older ones a V6. It does show slightly in both the drive and MPG. For horsepower and torque, it's about equal - in other words, the V6 is not necessarily more hp than the newer v4. The acceleration on the LR2 was fine - it's a heavy SUV, so don't think Porsche. The LR2 will surprise you for the size SUV that it is, as the pick up is sufficient & fun."
11 people out of 23 found this review helpful
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!"
21 people out of 37 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."
10 people out of 16 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)."
15 people out of 19 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 16 found this review helpful