Respected car reviewers agree that the 2008 Land Rover LR2's engine performance belies its powerful appearance, though overall handling is satisfactory.
A 3.2-liter inline six-cylinder engine gives the 2008 Land Rover LR2 very respectable acceleration; it can reach 60 mph in 8.4 seconds, according to Land Rover. It's coupled to a smooth-shifting and responsive six-speed automatic transmission, with a manual mode and a sport mode for better response. The powertrain is especially snappy and responsive for highway passing, while it also has enough low-end torque for most off-road needs.
Car and Driver reports that the Land Rover LR2's "transversely mounted [3.2-liter] six-cylinder makes 230 horsepower and 234 pound-feet of torque," providing "decent rather than startling performance"; off-roaders will note that "improvements allow it to operate on a greater incline without losing oil pressure." AutoWeek states that "power is only decent, not great," and ConsumerGuide says the Land Rover 2008 LR2 "lacks solid midrange punch and struggles a bit up steep grades." Nonetheless, Kelley Blue Book comes to the Land Rover LR2's defense, stating that "this compact, all-aluminum engine features a variable intake system, Cam Profile Switching (CPS) and Variable Valve Timing (VVT) that optimize its responsiveness...a solid and confident cruiser, with the muscle to run zero to 60 miles per hour in a claimed 8.4 seconds and the ability to pull a 4,400-pound trailer."
The 2008 Land Rover LR2's engine transmits its power to the drivetrain through "a six-speed Aisin-Warner automatic transmission that has manumatic shifting," reports Car and Driver. Cars.com finds the Land Rover LR2's transmission to be "adequate, though there was occasional kickdown lag and gear hunting." Kelley Blue Book says that the 2008 Land Rover LR2's "six-speed automatic transmission delivers smooth, quick shifts in either mode."
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) form the basis of the LR2's off-road credentials--its design favors on-road performance but allows impressive ability for snow, mud, and rocky trails. However, the system in the 2008 Land Rover LR2 does not include a four-wheel-drive low range, as the toughest off-road vehicles do. Car and Driver notes the "permanent all-wheel drive works through a Haldex clutch pack that's mounted in front of the rear differential." This source adds, "there is no low range, but the vehicle is equipped with hill-descent control."
Mileage is about what one should expect for this type of vehicle; the EPA estimates mileage at 16/23 mpg with the six-speed automatic. Cars.com says this "is disappointing mainly because the LR2 is less powerful and pokier than the Acura and BMW," noting that "usually the payoff for lower performance is greater efficiency, not less."
The steering isn't that communicative and feels heavy, but the 2008 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. ConsumerGuide reports that the Land Rover LR2 is "Stable and well-planted on-road feel, though [the] tall body leans more than we like in fast turns, and the steering is a tad sloppy and slow."
This source adds that the "test model's brakes felt touchy at times." Edmunds, on the other hand, says "brakes are strong with a progressive pedal feel, but the suspension allows a bit too much front-end dive."
AutoWeek notes that the Land Rover LR2 "does a great job soaking up potholes." Cars.com reports the Land Rover 2008's "ride quality is comfortable even on long hauls...ride is firm, but it's softer than its sport-oriented German and Japanese competitors."