By KBB.com Editors
Although very few sport utility vehicle owners ever take their prized machines off-road, for those who do venture far from pavement it's tough to beat the 2009 Land Rover LR3. Even with 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 low $50,000 range, the LR3 borrows a host of technological advances from the larger Range Rover and packs them into a plush SUV that is both competent and affordable. A vastly improved quality and service record and improving resale values combine to make the LR3 a very competitive luxury SUV.
The 2009 Land Rover 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 there – and back
If you're looking for a sporting ride and reasonable fuel economy, the Land Rover LR3 isn't for you. Though it loves going off-road, it's capable but certainly not a sport sedan on pavement and the big, boxy shape and characteristics that enhance its off-road capabilities combine to work against decent fuel economy.
Minor changes include color-keyed exterior trim pieces around the wheel arches, lower tailgate and lift handle, as well as new 19-inch wheels. The LR3 is the only trim offered this year, with HSE and HSE LUX now offered as optional packages.
Driving Impressions The LR3 delivers a well-mannered day-to-day driving experience. Firm, comfortable seats complement a highway ride that is pleasantly in control – not jarringly firm or overly soft. This well-balanced suspension...also helps make the LR3 surprisingly competent 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 capabilities. 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.
Terrain Response System
Five Terrain Response settings – General driving, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Ruts, Sand and Rock Crawl – make 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 2009 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 has a few details from the long-running 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.
Standard equipment on a LR3 includes a 4.4-liter V8 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, rear park distance control, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, 240-watt harman/kardon stereo with six-disc in-dash CD changer, power driver's and passenger's seats, 19-inch alloy wheels and front, front side-impact and three-row side-curtain airbags.
The HSE Package adds DVD-based navigation, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, the Cold Climate package, front park distance control, SIRIUS Satellite Radio and a driver's information center. To this the HSE LUX adds 19-inch slotted seven-spoke wheels, premium leather seating with memory settings for the driver's seat, mirrors and steering wheel, a 550-watt harman/kardon LOGIC 7 audio system, Bi-xenon headlamps with adaptive front lighting and a center console cooler box. Individual options include a third row seat, rear-seat DVD entertainment system and rear climate control.
Land Rover's 4.4-liter V8 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 discontinued V6.
300 horsepower @ 5500 rpm
315 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/17
By Charles on Tuesday, October 28, 2014
I owned and sold this caroverall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "stunning looks and great ride when was on the road"
Cons: "never ending repairs"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"When this vehicle was not in the shop and it was running it was a dream but that dream was a nightmare. It was in the shop so much after year 5 of owning it. I kept dumping money into it $2000 here $1500 there and that was not to include reg maintenance. With every time I had the hope, I would not have to drop more into it again anytime soon. It never stopped, I truly loved the look at this vehicle but I had to stop putting money into repairs. I sold it to day I payed over $55,000 for it and 9 years later at trade in the best offer I got was around $7000. :("
5 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Iceman on Thursday, October 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 87,775overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Smooth Ride, luxury, dependable"
Cons: "Gas mileage, maintance, holding its value"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"The Lr3 is a very thirsty vehicle with the v-8 and how heavy it is hoever very safe and realiable. Maintance cost can be expensive at the actual Rover dealer its self however other places can be way less expensive. Very dependable and luxury and the ride and drive is very pleasant and smooth. I would recommend the Land Rover."
7 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By RoveringRover on Sunday, August 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 118,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfortable ride, off-road capable, roomy int."
Cons: "Pricey repairs, bad city mileage."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"The LR3 is a luxurious ride in town and a sure-footed ride on rugged, off-road adventures. By luxurious, I mean that the leather seats and quiet ride will deliver you to the opera without mussing up the evening gown, while listening to Macklemore on the Harman Kardon speaker system. And by sure-footed, I mean that the terrain response system and countless sensors will help you navigate to those places front-wheel, rear-wheel, or crossover all-wheel rides can only whimper at. The LR3 can even cross waist-deep streams without missing a step. In the city, the mileage is poor: about 14 mpg. On the highway, for me, I've seen 24 mpg as the average from Colorado to California. If you plan to never take this truck off-road, then don't buy it. There are countless other copy-cats that look rugged and are happy to limit visits to the mall and remain on paved roads. If you like to see if steep, rocky trails are really roads to Alpine meadows or lesser traveled vistas with 360 degree views, then this is the vehicle to get you there."
7 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By Tray on Friday, July 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 89,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive, good for traveling with kids/bikes"
Cons: "Too many trips to repair shop"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"This vehicle has cost me dearly even with the warranty. There is an ongoing electrical problem that 2 dealerships have failed to repair. They have kept the vehicle for 2 weeks at at time and tell it's done only to have the same failure repeat itself over and over again. It has a rough start continuously and sporadically and they cannot figure it out. One dealership even insulted me by saying it's normal. If you went to test drive this car and it started the way this one does, you would certainly walk away as it sounds horrible. This is the second one I've purchased and prayed that this one would be different than the older Discovery III I owned. They were problems with the height sensors and the CD changer as well. This is the last hurrah for me and Land Rover."
12 people out of 16 found this review helpful
By Empress on Monday, May 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 69,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive, reliable,excellent warranty"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Each time I turn the ignition, I still get a thrill after 9 years. I am reluctant to sell, but will be relocating to Europe. Duanne (Customs), do not accept cars over 5 years old, unless you"re a diplomat.The ride is smooth, the speaker syatem is flawless.The color is the same as when I purchased it, no fading."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By Joe on Tuesday, April 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 81,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This vehicle is the perfect size. I have 4 young children and I am able to fit 4 car seats with no problem. Folding down and adjusting seats is quick and easy. The weight and handling are perfect for anything Mother Nature throws at you."
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful