Shopping for a new Land Rover LR2?
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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10
occasional kickdown lag and gear hunting
Stable and well-planted on-road feel
does a great job soaking up potholes
there is no low range, but the vehicle is equipped with hill-descent control
Car and Driver
The Land Rover LR2 driving experience is less about off-roading, more about on-roading-yet it squeezes plenty of both in a useful, capable performance envelope.
There's a single powertrain offered in the 2010 LR2, and it provides adequate acceleration and poor fuel economy. The LR2 shares a 3.2-liter inline-six with the Volvo XC60, in fact. It propels the LR2 to 60 mph in 8.4 seconds. Car and Driver reports power as "230 horsepower and 234 pound-feet of torque," which gives the LR2 "decent rather than startling performance." AutoWeek reiterates "power is only decent, not great," while ConsumerGuide says the Land Rover 2010 LR2 "lacks solid midrange punch and struggles a bit up steep grades." Kelley Blue Book defends the small Land Rover and calls it "a solid and confident cruiser."
The gearbox is a responsive, smooth-shifting six-speed automatic that includes a manual-shift mode and a sport mode for more engaged drivers. While it's not terribly quick off the line, the LR2 does feel responsive at highway speed and when passing. It's tuned well for some off-road torque, too, though the throttle is faster than that of most of the bigger, dirt-plugging Rovers. Kelley Blue Book says that the 2010 Land Rover LR2's "six-speed automatic transmission delivers smooth, quick shifts in either mode," but Cars.com finds the gearbox "adequate, though there was occasional kickdown lag and gear hunting."
The LR2 doesn't rank highly for fuel economy. The EPA estimates it at 16/23 mpg-"disappointing mainly because the LR2 is less powerful and pokier than the Acura [RDX] and BMW [X3]," Cars.com says, while adding "usually the payoff for lower performance is greater efficiency, not less."
The steering isn't quick or particularly communicative, but the 2010 Land Rover LR2 maneuvers very easily in parking lots, tight city streets, and narrow country roads alike, and it corners and brakes with little of the lean or drama of larger, heftier, and more trucklike SUVs. ConsumerGuide observes the LR2 has a "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." Reviewers from around the Web like its balanced ride quality, though. AutoWeek notes that the Land Rover LR2 "does a great job soaking up potholes." Cars.com reports "ride quality is comfortable even on long hauls ... ride is firm, but it's softer than its sport-oriented German and Japanese competitors." Edmunds contends the "brakes are strong with a progressive pedal feel, but the suspension allows a bit too much front-end dive."
The most critical difference from its bigger brethren? The LR2 doesn't have a low range for its four-wheel drive. Hardcore off-roaders might see this as heresy, but since it's geared for on-road driving, the LR2 defers to street comfort. Car and Driver notes the "permanent all-wheel drive works through a Haldex clutch pack that's mounted in front of the rear differential." They confirm the LR2 has Terrain Response and Gradient Release controls, to help it work through inclines and grades safely-even those involving the winter elements, rocks, or sand. According to Land Rover, the LR2 can traverse nearly 20 inches of water and has 8.3 inches of ground clearance, and its angles of approach and departure are 29 and 32 degrees, respectively. Kelley Blue Book also points out the LR2 has the "ability to pull a 4,400-pound trailer." In TheCarConnection.com's experience, the LR2 possesses more than enough trail-riding capability for most users.
The 2010 Land Rover LR2 drives more civilly than any small Land Rover before it-which brings it up to mid-pack-and there's a good measure of off-road ability still built in its chassis.