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STYLING | 8 out of 10
more distinctive and handsome than most SUVs
cabin takes a cue from more expensive Range Rovers
plenty of leather and wood to go around
It hasn't found the need to change much since its 2008 debut, and the Land Rover LR2 could be one of those vehicles that soldiers into the sunset without a body panel reshaped. It's an SUV, after all, and the unadorned, understated, boxy looks that look entirely appropriate on the LR2 aren't the kind of lines than need perpetual tweaking--or fixing.
The LR2 looks like more of an off-roader than it may actually be, and that's by design. Land Rover's lifted cues from the classic Range Rover and from its Discovery/LR4 utes, grafting them on a smaller, stubbier two-box shape, and finding a happy place between all those hard points. The LR2's resolutely angular, a hardline standout (along with the Mercedes GLK) in a class of vehicles where soft, insubstantial shapes are the way to win over new customers. Think Q5, think XC60. Here it works, too, where the Benz ute is a little too linear, a bit too five years ago. Spotters will need to know that base LR2s wear black bumpers, while HSE versions have body-color guards and a rear spoiler.
The LR2's cabin is a dead ringer for those in older Range Rovers--but it's less convincing, missing most of the lavish wood trim and elegant chrome touches of the new interiors of the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. A small strip of wood on the dash livens it up a bit. The dash sits lower than it might in an off-road vehicle, but the vertical motif that's worked its way into every Land Rover over the past decade gives this interior some lift, in the upright door pulls and the ribs that define the driver and passenger areas. New instruments are fitted for 2011.
There's lots of classic Land Rover reverb in the LR2's design.