The Land Rover LR2 luxury SUV sits in the Land Rover lineup between the larger LR4 and the smaller Land Rover Range Rover Evoque. Much like other vehicles in the segment, the LR2 is actually a car based, crossover SUV rather than a traditional truck platform based SUV. The LR2 brings true offroad ability to the segment and is an affordable option for buyers seeking a small, luxury SUV with more offroad ability.
Land Rover LR2 Origins
Introduced in 2008, the all new Land Rover LR2 filled the slot previously occupied by the Freelander which was discontinued in 2005. Based on Ford’s Volvo platform, the LR2 was a welcomed upgrade to the Freelander’s internally developed platform. The LR2 offered more interior cargo space, higher ground clearance, and a stronger engine than its predecessor. Initial trim configurations were the SE and the higher trim level HSE which included larger 19-inch wheels, and upgraded exterior and interior styling and features.
About the Land Rover LR2
The Land Rover LR2 is a small, four-door, luxury SUV. Unlike most of its competitors, the LR2 possesses certified off-road credentials, but these come at the expense of its on-road manners and ride. The LR2 features a modified version of Land Rover’s Terrain Response off-road driving system which is arguably one of the best available four-wheel drive systems, but has been tamed somewhat for LR2 use.
Land Rover offers the LR2 at reasonable price points which, in theory, brings Land Rover quality, luxury, and ability to the majority of SUV buyers. However, Land Rover’s all things for all people strategy has essentially created an affordable SUV for a smaller group of drivers seeking the unbeaten and unpaved path to luxury.
Land Rover LR2 Features
The 2013 Land Rover LR2 did away with the less than competitive 3.2-liter, six-cylinder engine found in previous models for a more powerful 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine sourced from Ford Motor Company’s EcoBoost line. This change remediates some of the sluggishness found in previous model years and bumps output from 230 horsepower to 240 horsepower and 234 lb-ft to 250 lb-ft of torque. Other changes include an improved seven-inch, infotainment touchscreen that eliminates several extraneous switches and buttons, and subtle exterior modifications.
Available in either Base or HSE trim, the LR2 still offers a reasonable list of luxury features and segment standard finishes. HSE trims upgrade the LR2 with adaptive xenon headlights, driver seat memory settings, and satellite radio. The HSE LUX package adds a 17-speaker, surround-sound audio system with six-CD changer, additional powered seat adjustments, and premium leather upholstery. The LR2’s panoramic sunroof and its high-set headlights are mentionable features. Nevertheless, the LR2 feels more like a well-equipped Ford Explorer rather than its Audi Q5 or BMW X3 competitors.
Notably, the LR2 wears the iconic Land Rover badge, one of the last vestiges of British automotive history. Few other brands can match Land Rover’s globe-spanning off-road history; that in itself is enough to make the LR2 standout. While the LR2 falls short of competitors for cargo capacity, the high-set, upright Land Rover seating position proffers a commanding view from any angle. Rear seats are arranged in a stadium-style arrangement that offers rear passengers as good a view as front passengers. This makes the LR2 feel much less confined and allows for a much better, safety enhancing line of sight.
Land Rover LR2 Evolution
The 2013 LR2 utilizes the first-generation platform introduced on the 2008 model. 2008-2012 models employed a 3.2-liter, six-cylinder engine matched to a six-speed automatic transmission. All LR2s include a modified Terrain Response off-road driving system, but unlike its larger trailblazing siblings, the LR2’s is actually an all-wheel drive system rather than a four-wheel drive system like the LR4 and Range Rover systems. The LR2 lacks a low-gear range, which disqualifies it as a serious offroading, mud tromping, rock crawling SUV. The LR2 also uses buttons rather than a chunky knob for Terrain Response adjustments and only includes three settings for grass/gravel/snow, mud/ruts, and sand. Even so, the LR2 will still best its rivals in off-road ability.
2009 dropped the Base trim and added an HLT option package which included a revised exterior and other mild cosmetic upgrades. For 2011, Land Rover revised the grille and taillights, dropped the HSE trim, and returned the Base trim. The biggest changes came in 2013 with a new engine, more pronounced exterior modifications (including LED headlights and taillights) and some interior styling changes like an updated steering wheel.