By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating:
Despite fuel prices that only seem to go in one direction, American roadways still teem with thirsty SUVs. While more are now based on car platforms for sedan-like comfort, the 2013 Land Rover LR4 preserves the English luxury automaker's history of blending serious off-road capability with a pleasing on-road ride. Standard features such as a powerful V8 engine, low-range gearing and 4-corner air suspension make the LR4 a real performer in the extreme rough, where rivals like the Audi Q7, BMW X5, Infiniti JX, and Porsche Cayenne would fall short. Conversely, those who don't plan to mingle with mountain goats or who bristle at the LR4's meager 14 mpg (city/highway combined) fuel economy may find a better partner in a more road-oriented crossover SUV.
If you want a vehicle that can seat up to seven and travel to the ends of the Earth, the 2013 Land Rover LR4 can give new meaning to family adventures. When not boulder hopping, the LR4 is also quite capable on the highway.
Meager fuel economy and a history of questionable reliability have cast a shadow over the Land Rover LR4. If hard-core off-roading is low on your priority list, take a look at the Audi Q7 diesel, Infiniti JX, Porsche Cayenne Diesel, or Lexus RX.
For 2013, the Land Rover LR4 is available with a Black Design aesthetic package that includes darkened exterior treatments. Five new paint colors are available, as are a premium leather option and enhancements to the navigation system.
Driving Impressions While most luxury SUVs use a unitized, car-like platform to optimize on-road comfort, the 2013 LR4 continues to favor a rigid body-on-frame design that helps the vehicle tackle rugged terrain....The compromise with these setups is often a harsher on-road experience, but the LR4 manages to deliver a compliant highway ride. At just 37.5 feet, the LR4 has a tight turning radius that betrays this SUV's ample size –- an asset when maneuvering in tight parking lots. The LR4's 375-horsepower V8 performs admirably but drinks copious amounts of fuel. While the LR4 is quick in a straight line (0-60 mph in 7.5 seconds), on twisty roads its top-heavy design produces excessive body lean at speed. Thankfully, electronic safety guards like cornering brake control keep things in check. In its natural habitat outside of civilization, the LR4 can be optimized to conquer a variety of terrain –- from snow to sand to rocks –- by merely twisting a dial.
4-CORNER AIR SUSPENSION
When the going gets tough, the LR4 gets going. With the push of a button, the LR4's electronically modulated air suspension raises the vehicle so it can clamber over obstacles that would stop lesser SUVs. Conversely, the LR4 can be lowered for easier entry. Grandma will thank you.
HILL DESCENT CONTROL
Land Rover believes you don't need to be an off-road ace to tackle the world's most demanding trails. Supplementing the Terrain Response system is Hill Descent Control. This system lets you automatically maintain a slow and steady speed down steep grades, all without ever touching the pedals.
The LR4's cabin successfully exudes both the upscale ambience of a modern luxury vehicle and the rugged sense of a serious off-roader. Quality materials abound, and the hefty buttons and dials are intuitive and clearly labeled. The LR4 is available with seating for five or seven. As expected, the interior is bathed in leather and wood. Legroom is good in the second row, but the third row is best left for kids. The LR4 has over 40 cubic feet of room behind the second row –- plenty of room for luggage or home-improvement materials. That space more than doubles with seats folded, and shrinks to just 9.9 cubic feet with the third row up.
The Land Rover LR4 complements its adventurous attitude with the boxy looks long associated with these utilitarian, go-anywhere vehicles. Yet with classy touches like jeweled headlights and symmetrical side vents, the LR4 also plays the part of a sophisticated modern-day chariot. That blocky design and abundance of windows also provide good visibility from within. One of the LR4's most defining features is in back, with its 2-piece asymmetrical tailgate. Pragmatically, this dual-opening design makes it easier to load cargo. On top is an "Alpine Roof" that consists of a power sunroof over the front seats and glass panels over the second and third rows.
The 2013 Land Rover LR4 comes in three trims: Base, HSE and HSE LUX. Even a "base" Land Rover LR4 is filled with luxurious amenities and go-anywhere capability. Standard features on all trims include rain-sensing windshield wipers, a panoramic roof, Terrain Response system, electronically controlled 4-wheel-drive, a 7-inch color touch screen, and front and rear parking sensors to aid in tight spots. Base models have standard seating for five, while HSE and HSE LUX have three rows for seven passengers. Fine audio is provided by an 11-speaker, 380-watt harman/kardon system. HSE models include a rearview camera, and HSE LUX have a navigation system and 17-speaker, 825-watt sound system.
A nifty 5-camera system is available that relays a surround view of your LR4, letting you see where your eyes can't. Other extras include a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, Windsor leather, and the new Black Design package with aesthetic enhancements and larger, 20-inch wheels in place of the standard 19-inchers. Those who plan to do serious off-roading should consider the Heavy Duty Package that includes a locking rear differential and full-size spare tire. Seven-passenger seating is optional on base models. Unlike the Acura MDX, Mercedes-Benz M-Class and the Infiniti JX, the Land Rover LR4 does not offer adaptive cruise control or a pre-collision system.
The sole powertrain combination for the 2013 Land Rover LR4 is a torque-rich V8 mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. In addition to driver-adaptable shift programming, the automatic gearbox features a sporty sequential mode that quickens shift times by 10 percent. Towing capability is commendable at 7,716 pounds. We understand that a 5.0-liter V8 hauling nearly three tons of automobile will inherently guzzle fuel like it's going out of style, but during our road test we found ourselves affirming firsthand the EPA's mpg estimate of 14 mpg. When it came time to fill up, the big V8's unquenchable thirst for premium fuel left a sizable dent in our corporate wallet.
375 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
375 lb-ft of torque @ 3,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/17 mpg
The 2013 Land Rover LR4 has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $50,000. The mid-tier HSE trim begins around $54,000, while the top-line HSE LUX is just over $59,000 and can reach over $68,000 when loaded. At these prices the 2013 LR4 is in line with the Audi Q7, BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz M-Class and Porsche Cayenne. It is several thousand more than the base prices of 7-passenger crossover SUVs such as the Infiniti JX, Acura MDX and Buick Enclave, and less than the starting price of a Lexus GX. Before buying, be sure to check the KBB Fair Purchase Price below to see what others in your area are paying. Resale value has traditionally been a sore spot for Land Rover vehicles, but the 2013 LR4's prospects are looking brighter. Its residuals are in the middle of the pack among luxury SUVs, in line with rivals like the BMW X5 and Infiniti JX, but still below the Audi Q7 and Lexus GX.
By Seattle man (WA) on Sunday, April 21, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Classy, cool, good price for what you get"
Cons: "Nothing yet, didn't love the dealer guys, thedidn'"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Love it, only owned it a month but just love it. Feels very high end and only medium high end price. Smooth ride, classy, well built, simple nav and feels much nicer than my 2012 mdx."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By MP (ME) on Tuesday, February 21, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great Value, a vehicle to fall in love with"
Cons: "Fuel economy is pretty awful"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have owned the 2010 LR4 since Jan 2010, and have just clocked 30000 miles. I think I finally have enough experience to offer some insight into the value this vehicle offers. Firstly, let me just say, I love it. Even after 2 years of ownership, I still get excited for a trip to the store or to take the dog to the beach, when I know I will be driving the LR. Addressing some of the the most commonly discussed points re. the LR4 Cost - this vehicle is not cheap, but is not much more than a 4Runner LTD, about the same as a Volvo XC90, is less than an X5 or ML/GL350. However, you get a whole lot more for your money. Value - as mentioned above, you get more for your money in the LR than its comparably sized competitors. A level of luxury that meets or beats Lexus/BMW/Mercedes, and off-road abilities that are better than any of these competitors except maybe the 4Runner. I would back the LR over the Toyota, if for nothing else, the powerplant. The 5.0L V-8 is a beast. Reliability - Land Rover has a bad reputation for reliability. This is probably deserved on some of the older models. I can only speak to my experience. I have had a couple of minor electrical issues (a bad fuel sensing unit, and a stereo power issue) that were both resolved pretty quickly under warranty. Otherwise, its rock steady. Maintenance - Oil changes cost more than a moon shot ($130ish!). BUT, you only have to do them every 15000 miles (yes, 15000 is not a typo). Tires and brakes will last between 30 and 40000 miles, if you don't drive super aggressively. Fuel Economy - worried about fuel prices? Don't bother looking at an LR until they bring a diesel to the US. This thing is thirsty. Corp Support - I haven't had any run ins with LR Nth America, though I have heard some horror stories. Not too impressed with their recent effort to charge $250 to update the maps in the Nav system. Overall Impression - this is an amazing vehicle, massively confidence inspiring. Whether bombing down the interstate at 85, or climbing an ice covered drive, or a slick snowy mountain road, the LR seems completely sure footed. It is ridiculously comfortable, and very roomy. The features offered are impressive, and make me wonder how LR sells any Range Rovers when they offer the LR4 with so many bells and whistles. Its hard to imagine going back to reliable(ly) boring old Toyota after this...."
47 people out of 49 found this review helpful
By Charles (FL) on Saturday, January 21, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Cabin, ride, and off road capability."
Cons: "Quirky blue tooth connection."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The LR4 is the most incredibly comfortable vehicle I have ever driven. And I have driven many who's price tag far exceeded that of the LR4. It's driving dynamics are the perfect blend between comfort and handling. In fact, I've enjoyed it more than the range rovers. The proper range rover has a very plush ride, too soft, the sport is far too harsh, the LR4 is the perfect balance! All this before discussing its legendary mountain goat capabilities."
7 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Donnie (NY) on Sunday, December 18, 2011
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "looks cool, drives nice"
Cons: "lots of little problems"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"I'm not sure where to start with this car. I have never paid this much for a vehicle and had this many problems, all before 11,000 miles. Water in the headliner, driver's power window stopped working, rear wiper stopped working, retractable tailgate cable broke, voice command didn't work. Really? 60k for this? I would like to say Land Rover has a long way to go as far as quality, but their track record of quirks and problems has been around for years. It appears that they will never get it right. Never again..........."
10 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By LR4ME (ME) on Sunday, November 13, 2011
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Best in class"
Cons: "Start a gas savings account now"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"After more than a decade driving Toyota/Lexus SUVs, I knew I wanted the LR4 the second I drove it. The new 5.0L V8 is super impressive, with power left over. Suspension and steering are well tuned, with a tight turn radius and decent road feel even on the interstate. Little noticeable body roll, and none of the "swaying" at high speeds in windy conditions that sometimes make SUVs feel unsafe. Winding country roads get eaten up and spat out smoothly. Off road, of course, it is effortless. Towing is fine, would like LR to include a complete tow package (including trailer brake and full size spare) as standard; regardless it feels secure and with plenty of juice for trailering (boats, which is all I have used it for). Styling is great, different from other large SUVs, but not trying too hard. Interior is nice, very well equipped, spacious and well appointed, but understated. A comparison with the Range Rover equipment leaves me wondering why anyone would spend the extra (up to $10 - 30000)? Terrain Response system is well designed and effective. Biggest gripes are fuel efficiency, and cost of oil changes. Yea, oil change interval is 15000 miles, so I guess it is priced as 3 normal oil changes? New engine design means that at home oil changes are a thing of the past. A note on reliability - LR has a terrible rep for reliability. I think this has changed since the later years of the LR3, and now the LR4. With over 25000 miles in 22 months, the only issues I have encountered are minor electrical bugs. Fuel sensor died early, was replaced and works fine since (this seemed super common, I would bet it is no longer an issue); stereo possessed by screeching demons one afternoon, and has been fine since. Mechanically this truck is solid, electrically is has personality.... Overall, love this SUV. You will too."
13 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By William (CA) on Friday, October 07, 2011
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Confidence to go anywhere you please, and in style"
Cons: "Fuel consumption"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have to admit shelling out what you would for this car was something I had to deal with, but once driving it home and seeing it in the drive, I knew I loved it. Traditionally LR's (Land Rover) have been unreliable, so I was hesitant to look at them to begin with, but once we saw the revamped 2010 we had to take a look at it. We found it had an all new V8 from Jaguar so that was a key factor overcoming the reliability issue I was concerned about. Smart move Tata. Suddenly you were getting a great engine with an interior that matched previous Range Rover's. The LR4 is bigger and more functional than the other LR models with the 2nd row seats folding completely flat matching the cargo space. Hard disc NAV. Curving headlamps. Air suspension lowers for easy entry. All Key. All of a sudden the LR4(Discovery)is no longer the hand me down, 2nd run, starving, adventurous student SUV. Being an English car you knew what you were getting into with the electronics, however, they are minor except for the rear camera, which is a common problem. Japanese system; you would think it would be money. They fixed it under warranty. Yes some lights have come on, but they havn't been anything that kept the car from functioning, and have been more of minor problems. The stereo has locked up on me using the usb port, but nothing a start/stop hadn't solved. Problem never re-occured. Advantage LR4 with the clock w/i eye sight compared to RR. Odd, but true. Still thinking that we're more active than we really are, our mtn bikes and rooftop cargo box looks at home on the LR4, not the RR. I can see where somone might say something about cheap parts, but every car has something. The LR4 there are few. We compared the Lexus models, but the consoles looked and felt cheap, chinsy even in our opinion. Our car is built solid w/o any hard plastic in the dash squeaking, or anything falling off. If you use it properly, and what it is meant for, you ultimately will bang something up on the car. That said if you want to coddle something, and pose get a lexus or any other non descript Asian brand. Or pay even more for European SUVs for matching accoutrements. Tata is onto something here and the automotive industry has recognized that fact. Knowing you have this vehicle in your garage gives you the confidence to take those trips you have always wanted. Enjoy it, everyone else does as you pass them by."
15 people out of 15 found this review helpful