By KBB.com Editors
Although most LR3's will spend their time as pampered motor coaches to the rich and famous, a few lucky ones get to do what Land Rovers do best: Get dirty. In spite of its upscale status, the LR3 is known world-wide as one of the most capable off-road vehicles money can buy, although those that slog through the Amazon and across the Sahara typically don't have heated leather seats and high-end audio systems. Priced in the mid-$40,000 range, the LR3 borrows a host of technological advances from the Range Rover and packs them into a plush SUV that is both competent and affordable. A vastly improved quality and service record and strong resale value combine to make the LR3 a very competitive luxury SUV.You'll Like This Car If...
The LR3 truly is the most competent SUV in its price range. If you and your family spend weekends traveling deep into unexplored territories, this vehicle stands a good chance of getting you thereand back.You May Not Like This Car If...
If you're looking for a sporting ride and reasonable fuel economy, the LR3 isn't for you. Though it loves going off-road, it doesn't handle particularly well on pavement and the big, boxy shape and host of off-road capabilities combine to work against decent fuel economy.What's Significant About This Car?
A number of features are now standard equipment on every LR3. They include leather seats, a power glass sunroof, 240-watt harman/kardon audio, steering wheel touch controls, driver's-side power lumbar support and new 18-inch wheel designs for both the V6 and V8 trims.Driving It Driving Impressions
The LR3 delivers a well-mannered day-to-day driving experience. Firm, comfortable seats complement a highway ride that is pleasantly in controlnot jarringly firm nor overly soft. This well-balanced suspension also helps make the LR3 surprisingly eager and able to take on winding mountain roads. Of course, as a Land Rover, the LR3 is most amazing when taken past the pavement, and we never came close to the limits of its famously relentless off-road abilities. In all conditions, the LR3's 300-horsepower V8 moves the vehicle eagerly, although we'd like to see a little quicker throttle response when moving from a stop.Favorite Features
Terrain Response System
Five Terrain Response settingsGeneral driving, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Ruts, Sand and Rock Crawlmake it easy to get maximum performance in a variety of conditions.
550-Watt Surround Sound
The available 14-speaker harman/kardon digital surround system delivers powerful, enveloping sound.
The interior faithfully conveys the LR3's overall balance of luxury and capability. Leather seating is firm but comfortable, the controls are rugged but refined and the LR3 is available in either five-passenger or three-row, seven-passenger configurations. Although the third row offers decent room, the seating mechanisms aren't as slick and easy to operate as we've experienced in the competition. In both versions, the rear seats fold flat to create a cargo area more than six feet long. Rear passengers enjoy elevated stadium-style seating, increased stepped-roof headroom and natural lighting with glass roof panels.Exterior
Viewed from the front, you'd be forgiven for mistaking the new LR3 for its big brother, the Range Rover. The LR3 carries the extreme geometric styling all the way down the sides and around the back, and also carries a few details from the former Discovery model it replaced. Trademark styling cues include a stepped roof, large windows and an asymmetric rear tailgate that lowers load height when closed and reduces reach-in distance when open.Notable Standard Equipment
Standard equipment on a base LR3 includes a 4.0-liter V6 engine, the innovative Terrain Response System (offering five settings that adjust a variety of electronic factors to optimize the vehicle for the surface over which it's being driven), advanced four-wheel disc braking system, power sunroof, leather seating, electronic stability control, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, harman/kardon stereo with CD, front side-impact airbags, front and rear side-curtain airbags, six-way power driver's seat and alloy wheels. The SE and HSE add a more powerful 4.4-liter V8 engine along with a number of features optional on the base vehicle.Notable Optional Equipment
Extras include a touch-screen navigation system, bi-xenon adaptive headlamps, rear park distance sensors, upgraded 550-watt digital surround-sound system and, for vehicles with third-row seating, rear heating, air conditioning and side airbags.Under the Hood
Land Rover's new base LR3 is powered by a 4.0-liter V6 good for 216 horsepower. Though this engine does help lower the price and certainly can manage any off-road obstacles, it lacks the punch needed to quickly move such a heavy vehicle in day-to-day driving. We prefer the 4.4-liter V8 for the LR3. It packs the power and smoothness we expect from a Land Rover, yet delivers EPA fuel economy figures which are nearly as good as those of the V6.
216 horsepower @ 4500 rpm
269 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/19
300 horsepower @ 5500 rpm
315 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/19
The Land Rover LR3 SE V6 has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $42,150, while the V8 model starts at $48,950. A fully loaded HSE tops out around $57,000. Before you set out to buy, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price, which reflects the actual price being paid at the dealer. The V6 LR3 has a vast improvement in resale over the older Discovery models and is expected to retain a value on par with or better than the BMW X5, Audi Q7 and Acura MDX.