KBB Editors' Overview
By Zach Vlasuk
- Updated Date: 3/19/2013
You'll Like This Car If...
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.
You May Not Like This Car If...
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.
What's New for 2013
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.
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.
Once off-road, the 2013 LR2 is pure Land Rover. The broad power curve and smooth throttle response of the turbocharged 4-cylinder engine make negotiating slippery obstacles a cinch. And, unlike the outgoing 6-cylinder engine, the LR2’s new powerplant delivers the right amount of low-end torque for passing and merging.
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.
Notable Standard Equipment
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.
Notable Optional Equipment
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.
Under the Hood
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
The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2013 Land Rover LR2 starts at just over $37,000. Top-of-the-line HSE Lux models fitted with all the trimmings go for around $47,000, which could be considered a bargain given the fact that fully-loaded European competitors hover in the $60,000 range. At its starting price, the 2013 LR2 is in line with the Mercedes-Benz GLK Class and Audi Q5, with the BMW X3 starting at roughly $40,000. Those looking for the best bang-for-the-buck in a small luxury SUV should consider the Acura RDX, as a fully-optioned version with navigation is around $40,000. To get the best deal on your next vehicle, check out KBB.com’s Fair Purchase Price tool at the bottom of this page. Likely unable to escape the dark cloud of resale value under which the Land Rover brand currently sits, the 2013 LR2 is expected to have the lowest residual values in the segment.