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2009 Land Rover LR2 Page 1

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TheCarConnection.com's SUV editors drove the new Land Rover LR2 in order to give you an expert opinion. TheCarConnection.com's SUV enthusiasts researched available road tests on the new Land Rover LR2 to produce this conclusive review and to help you find the truth where other SUV reviews might differ.

The LR2 was a completely new vehicle for 2008, and carries into this year with just a few changes in appearance. Design cues, such as the front-fender vents, echo those of its bigger brothers, the LR3 and Range Rover Sport, but the 2009 Land Rover LR2 is more rakish, practical, and carlike.

The 3.2-liter inline-six powers the 2009 Land Rover LR2 to 60 mph in 8.4 seconds; it's coupled to a smooth-shifting and responsive six-speed automatic transmission, with a manual mode and a sport mode for better response. It’s especially snappy and responsive for highway passing, while it also has enough low-end torque for modest off-road needs.

The 2009 Land Rover LR2 is a good option for those who like the legendary British marque’s styling but not its clumsy handling and extreme gas-guzzling.

Unlike most of its competitors, the 2009 Land Rover LR2 does not include a four-wheel-drive low range—which many hard-core trail drivers will say is the true indicator of an off-road-capable vehicle. The LR2 does feature a full-time four-wheel-drive system with a Haldex center differential and Gradient Release Control (as well as standard Terrain Response system on all but base models), which has a design that favors on-road performance but allows impressive ability for snow, mud, and rocky trails.

Both storage and passenger space are abundant in the 2009 Land Rover LR2. In back there's enough space for two adults or three children. Compared to other Land Rover models, the LR2's driving position is lower and more carlike. The steering isn't uncommunicative and heavy, but the 2009 Land Rover LR2 maneuvers very easily in parking lots, tight city streets, and narrow country roads alike and corners with little of the lean or drama of larger, heftier, and more trucklike SUVs. Rearward visibility is obscured by the thick back pillar.

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