2013 Land Rover LR4

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2013 Land Rover LR4 Review


KBB Expert Rating: 6.1

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.

You'll Like This Car If...

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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

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.

What's New for 2013

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 the LR4
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.

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.

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.

2013 Land Rover LR4 Details
2013 Land Rover LR4 photo Interior

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.

2013 Land Rover LR4 photo

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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

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.

Optional Equipment

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.

Under the Hood

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.

5.0-liter V8
375 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
375 lb-ft of torque @ 3,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/17 mpg

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?