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2014 Land Rover LR2

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2014 Land Rover LR2 Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.5

The new Range Rover Evoque may be the family looker, but the entry-level Land Rover LR2 SUV still deserves a strong look. Last year, Land Rover updated the engine, interior and exterior styling to draw more attention to its least expensive model. This year little has changed, but the LR2 still offers something a lot of its competition doesn't: real off-road capability. With standard all-wheel drive, ample ground clearance, and the ability to traverse nearly 20 inches of standing water, the LR2 can go where similarly priced competitors can't. On the other hand, despite last year's improvements, the 2014 Land Rover LR2 doesn't offer the refinement or panache of luxury competitors like the Mercedes-Benz GLK, BMW X3 and Audi Q5.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want your luxury SUV to have the off-road ability to back up its rugged looks, the 2014 Land Rover LR2 may just be the ticket. It also has an air of exclusivity, because the LR2 is a relatively low-volume vehicle compared to other brands.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The downside to the LR2 is that, despite its luxury nameplate, it's simply not as sophisticated or refined as competitors like the Audi Q5, BMW X3 or even the Acura RDX. Then there's Land Rover's reputation for slipshod reliability, giving the LR2 some of the industry's lowest residual values.

What's New for 2014

The 2014 Land Rover LR2 gets a handful of tweaks after last year's upgrade. The SUV's infotainment system gets a more responsive touch screen, and the SiriusXM satellite radio features better search and other usability improvements. The 825-watt Meridian sound system is available on base and HSE models as a stand-alone option.

Driving the LR2
Driving Impressions

The good news is that if you plan to take your entry-luxury SUV off road, the 2014 Land Rover LR2 is pure Land Rover. The turbocharged 4-cylinder offers broad power...

... and smooth throttle response, perfect for carefully navigating obstacles. On road, it's a different story. While other brands may brag about their "carlike" handling, the LR2 feels more ponderous than its rivals. Still, it confidently soaks up bumps and road imperfections, and it easily negotiates corners and tight parking lots. Wind and road noise contribute to the LR2 feeling less refined than its competitors, though.

TERRAIN RESPONSE
Part of the reason the Land Rover LR2 is so good off road is its Terrain Response system, which tailors vehicle characteristics to handle one of four driver-selectable settings, such as grass/gravel/snow, mud and ruts, sand and normal driving.

MERIDIAN SOUND SYSTEM
There's no doubting that the 825-watt, 17-speaker Meridian surround-sound system is one of the best out there. If you're an audiophile, you're likely to look at the Land Rover LR2 as just a fancy mobile carrying case for this sound system.

2014 Land Rover LR2 Details
Interior

Last year's upgrade to the dash has definitely paid dividends. The new dash is far more elegant and less cluttered than the old one, and the materials are mostly in line with the class, with a few cheap-looking plastics here and there. The new touch screen is designed to provide a more user-friendly experience, including improved scrolling and a QWERTY keyboard. 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

The exterior upgrades last year were far subtler than the interior’s. The 2014 Land Rover LR2 soldiers on with the same appearance, with LEDs sprinkled here and there. Unfortunately, the LR2 is starting to look a little old, especially with the Evoque and Evoque-inspired Range Rover and Range Rover Sport on the same showroom floor. High-end HSE and HSE LUX models distinguish themselves with silver-painted grille bar inserts, fender vents and rear finisher strip. Although the LR2 rides SUV-high, step-in height and cargo loading are easily manageable for adults.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 5-passenger 2014 Land Rover LR2 is offered in base, HSE and HSE LUX trims. 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 rearview camera, rear park distance control and xenon headlights, while primo HSE LUX versions are highlighted by the Meridian premium audio system and an 8-way power driver’s seat (6-way is standard). In terms of safety, every 2014 LR2 includes seven airbags, rollover-mitigation control and active head restraints designed to help protect against whiplash injuries.

Optional Equipment

While audiophiles can now order the Meridian sound system on the base and HSE models, Snowbelters and the perpetually cold will love the heated steering wheel and front seats that comprise the cold climate package. Improvements to the navigation system this year mean it merits a look as well. 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.

Under the Hood

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 carry-over 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

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