If you want a traditionally-styled, go-anywhere SUV with the iconic Land Rover badge on the grille, look no further than Land Rover’s LR4. Updated for 2012 with a new audio and navigation system, and now supporting more connectivity options than its predecessors, the LR4 is a good choice for getting from point A to point B, regardless of road or weather conditions.
The LR4 model was introduced just a few years back, replacing the previous LR3. Land Rover has taken strides to up the quality of the LR4, fitting it with a much-improved interior featuring richer materials and a better overall layout. The SUV’s classic box-on-box styling remains conservative and elegant, and there’s no mistaking the LR4 for anything other than a Land Rover.
Unlike the modestly-powered LR2, the LR4 accelerates with authority despite its near-6,000 pound weight and full-time all-wheel-drive system. Power comes from a 5.0-liter V-8, rated at 375 horsepower and mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox, and the big SUV can click off a run from 0-60 in under 7.5 seconds. The penalty, as you’d likely guess, is that the LR4’s fuel economy leaves much to be desired: the EPA rates it at just 12 mpg city and 17 mpg highway.
When the going gets tough, however, the LR4 is in its element. Land Rover’s Terrain Response system is standard, meaning that drivers can optimize traction at the turn of a knob. There’s a Hill Start Assist function to keep drivers from rolling backwards on steep grades, and a Gradient Acceleration Control keeps speed in check on steep descents. The LR4 further benefits from a four-wheel-independent suspension system that’s air-adjustable to tailor ride height to conditions.
The LR4 can be had in both five and seven passenger versions, and there’s plenty of passenger leg room in the first two row of either version. Thanks to the LR4’s tall roof, there’s also lots of headroom in the first two rows for all but NBA players. As with many three-row SUVs, the last row is best reserved for children.
All this comfort and capability comes at a price, and the LR4 starts at just under $50,000. Go heavy on the options, and it’s possible to come close to the $70,000 barrier, but there are few SUVs on the market that can match the LR4’s capabilities and comfort. Whether that’s worth the price of admission depends entirely on your budget and perspective.