Land Rover’s slowest seller in the U.S. will get a small boost for the model year—literally. A turbocharged engine tops a list of upgrades coming to the LR2 compact crossover this fall.
The same liter four-cylinder motor that motivates the Range Rover Evoque now will power the LR2 as well, replacing the latter’s liter inline-six. Ye olde hp six, shared with several Volvos, was refined but far too thirsty to satisfy customers. The turbo four not only delivers more output than its predecessor—up 10 hp to and 16 lb-ft of torque to —but is 88 pounds lighter. Between the weight savings and the relatively better efficiency of the newer, smaller engine, Land Rover expects the LR2 to better last year’s EPA ratings of 15 mpg in the city and 22 highway. The rest of the running gear, from the six-speed automatic transmission to the Haldex all-wheel-drive system, carries over from the old vehicle.
Cosmetically, the LR2 gets a nice refresh. The grille is brightly finished and slightly altered stylistically, while the innards of the headlights and taillights have been redesigned and now pack LEDs. A few new paint colors join the roster.
Interior upgrades are more noticeable. The new center stack houses a seven-inch touch screen, and a five-inch screen is wedged between conventional dials in the gauge cluster. The screens are standard, but navigation remains an option—it gets the same user-friendlier software update as do other Land Rovers—and a rearview camera is more cash, too. The LR2 offers customers two optional sound systems, both made by a British company called Meridian. In addition to applications in Jaguar and Land Rover products, Meridian supplies the audio system for McLaren’s MPC.
The LR2 makes its auto-show debut in Los Angeles in November, and sales begin early next year. It’ll start at $37,, while a fully loaded HSE LUX will sticker at $42, That makes the top-shelf LR2 just $ cheaper than the Evoque, which has the same engine, the Range Rover badge, and is eminently cooler looking. That’s going to make the LR2 a tough sell within the Land Rover showroom.
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Land Rover LR2 Expert Review
- New powertrain
- Off-road capability
- Revised interior
- Exterior styling getting stale
- Uncommunicative steering
- Not as off-road friendly as the LR4
The Land Rover LR2 gets a thorough makeover for including a new powertrain and substantially revised interior. The Range Rover Evoque's hp turbocharged liter I-4 with lb-ft of torque replaces the LR2's naturally aspirated liter I-6 ( hp, lb-ft). With a six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive, the LR2's fuel mileage is EPA rated 17/24 mpg city/highway - an improvement of 2 mpg in both metrics over the outgoing engine. The intelligent permanent all-wheel-drive system features a Haldex center-coupling that uses a hydraulically operated multi-plate wet clutch to alter the front-rear torque split. Most of the engine's power is sent to the front wheels during normal driving, but the system can quickly transfer power to the rear wheels when needed.
During our First Drive, the LR2 encountered a storm on "our way from Montreal to Mont-Tremblant, providing us the opportunity to see how well the LR2 handled snowy pavement. The answer: quite well, even on twisty back roads. Only when it hit the occasional patch of ice did the SUV become at all unsettled, and that has more to do with ice's inherent slickness than the car. … Of course, there was an obligatory off-road section on the drive. Thanks to the storm, it was a bit snowier and muddier than Land Rover may have anticipated, but with Terrain Response in Snow (and, one section, Mud) mode, the LR2 didn't have any problems keeping up with the leading LR4 as it made its way through the forest trail." We concluded that "we wouldn't take it onto anything that would challenge the LR4 or a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, but the LR2 will definitely be able to tackle just about any casual off-roading trail."
The new powertrain is the most notable change to the LR2, while exterior updates were kept to a minimum (new HID headlights, LED taillights, and revised front and rear fascias). The interior received a much needed revamp including a redesigned center stack with a 7-inch color touch-screen, an enhanced watt Meridian audio system, and the optional satellite navigation system. The Terrain Response dial has also been replaced by buttons, as has the parking brake lever increasing center console storage. The gauge cluster features a center-mounted five-inch vehicle information screen controlled by steering wheel controls. Aintree Green, Havana, and Mauritius Blue are new exterior colors. The Land Rover LR2 SUV hasn't been rated by the NHTSA or the IIHS.
A turbocharged liter I-4 replaces liter I-6 and a Haldex all-wheel-drive system are new. For , the LR2 receives a lightly revised exterior and substantially revamped interior. Three new interior and exterior colors are available.
- Mercedes-Benz GLK
- BMW X3
- Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon
- Range Rover Evoque
A major redesign can't come soon enough
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