By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 6.6
With the stylish and highly-capable Range Rover Evoque hogging the lion's share of the limelight, it's easy to overlook the entry-level Land Rover LR2. In an attempt to shift some attention away from its scene-stealing stablemate, the LR2 is treated to a number of functional and aesthetic revamps for 2013. Despite being the least-expensive vehicle in Land Rover's lineup, the 2013 LR2 still embodies the go-anywhere bravado of the brand's flagship models, thanks to ample ground clearance, plenty of off-road tech and standard 4-wheel drive. But when it comes to the type of refinement, comfort and panache expected of a luxury SUV, the Mercedes-Benz GLK, BMW X3 and Audi Q5 simply outclass the LR2.
If you need an SUV with real off-road capability or just desire the image of such, the 2013 Land Rover LR2 will likely meet your distinctive criteria. And, since the LR2 is a relatively low-volume product, it has a tendency to stand out among the vast field of luxury SUVs.
Those who would gladly trade a measure of off-road performance for a significant increase in sophistication and comfort will find the Audi Q5, BMW X3 or value-packed Acura RDX more appealing. While its upfront price seems attractive, Land Rover's enduring reputation for spotty reliability means the LR2 has some of the lowest residual values in the industry.
Land Rover has applied numerous changes to its gateway model for the 2013 model year. Key alterations include a new turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, improved interior electronics, a slight cosmetic face-lift and a new dash layout.
Driving Impressions While "carlike" is a term often associated with luxury SUVs, the 2013 Land Rover LR2 feels noticeably more ponderous on the road than its rivals. Nonetheless, there's a confidence to...the way it negotiates corners and tight parking spaces. Bumps and road irregularities are absorbed with minimal fuss, yielding a ride that is neither too soft nor too stiff-legged. Wind and road noise, on the other hand, are constant companions at highway speeds. Inside, the awkwardly-tall seating position might cause some drivers to feel as if they are steering from a lifeguard tower, though it does make for exceptional outward visibility.
To enhance traction and stability on a wide range of surfaces, the standard Terrain Response system can tailor certain vehicle characteristics by way of four driver-selectable settings, such as grass/gravel/snow, mud and ruts, sand, and normal driving.
MERIDIAN SOUND SYSTEM
Pumping out 825 watts of music power through 17 speakers, the newly-optional Meridian premium sound system provides audiophiles with the type of tonal accuracy, strong sound staging and crisp dynamics to which they're accustomed.
The fully recast dash is more elegant and less cluttered than before with simple, straightforward controls in place of a sea of buttons. Materials quality is good enough to satisfy expectations in the segment, though there are some cheap-looking plastics in evidence. And, while the next-generation navigation features look good on paper, they fail to improve upon the previous system's overly-complex menus, finicky location searches and jumbled graphics. On a more pragmatic front, the Land Rover LR2 can carry up to 59 cubic feet of cargo with the rear seats folded, which is on par with or better than other vehicles in the category.Exterior
Although it takes a keen eye to identify the cosmetic revisions, the new 10-spoke wheels, redesigned upper grille and LED-infused lighting elements front and rear succeed in providing the 2013 Land Rover LR2 with a more contemporary appearance while still retaining its classic styling cues. High-end HSE and HSE Lux models further distinguish themselves with silver-painted grille bar inserts, fender vents and rear finisher strip. Even with the elevated seating position, the LR2's step-in height is quite manageable for most adults. Likewise, the relatively low cargo floor helps minimize the strain of loading a week's worth of groceries.
The 5-passenger 2013 Land Rover LR2 is offered in base, HSE and HSE Lux trim levels. In base form, the LR2 comes equipped with the Terrain Response traction management system, a panoramic moonroof, leather upholstery and an 11-speaker audio system paired with a 7-inch touch-screen display. Mid-tier HSE models add a backup camera, rear park distance control and xenon headlights, while primo HSE Lux versions are highlighted by a Meridian premium audio system and an 8-way power driver's seat (6-way is standard). In terms of safety, every 2013 LR2 includes seven airbags, rollover mitigation control and active head restraints designed to help protect against whiplash injuries.
Snowbelters and the terminally-cold will rejoice at the heated steering wheel and heated front seats that comprise the cold climate package. If navigation tops your list of must-have features, we suggest you look to the aftermarket in lieu of the optional factory unit. And, while it may not be a deal-breaker, the Land Rover LR2's lack of a power liftgate is a glaring omission, particularly since nearly all luxury SUVs have offered such a convenience for the better part of a decade.
A new 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine – the same Ford-designed EcoBoost powerplant used in the Evoque – replaces the 3.2-liter inline-6 of the former model. With 240 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of peak torque, it tops the outgoing 6-cylinder engine by 10 horsepower and 16 lb-ft of torque. The carryover 6-speed automatic transmission now incorporates Land Rover's Intelligent Power System Management (IPSM), which recovers kinetic energy during deceleration and braking to charge the battery in the most energy-efficient manner. These powertrain changes translate to a 15-percent uptick in fuel economy while delivering an improved 0-60-mph time of around 8.2 seconds (down from 8.4).
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
240 horsepower 5,500 rpm
250 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 mpg
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!"
12 people out of 22 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)."
10 people out of 10 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)!"
11 people out of 13 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."
5 people out of 5 found this review helpful