Few would argue that Land Rover produces the world’s most desirable luxury SUVs, but there are still people who might not know how accessible a Land Rover can be. The 2012 Land Rover LR2 delivers genuine brand performance and experience at a price not far from mainstream compact SUVs.
The 2012 Land Rover LR2 embodies the brand’s 60-year-plus heritage in a crisply modern way, and an MSRP of $36,550 means you can enjoy genuine Land Rover design, capability and luxury for a price more commonly associated with minivans and entry-level European sedans, neither of which is capable of anything more than paved-road driving.
The Land Rover LR2 is a true luxury SUV that drives a lot like a good sport sedan. Chalk that up to a silky-smooth 3.2-liter inline six-cylinder engine that produces a healthy 230 hp. What you notice most about this engine is how quickly it responds in everyday driving, the result of delivering 80 percent of its 234 lb/ft of peak torque at just 1,400 rpm. A tough, smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission makes optimal use of this generous power.
That kind of response also benefits you when driving off-pavement, where the 2012 Land Rover lives up to its brand heritage with aplomb. A sophisticated chassis with four-wheel independent suspension combines with advanced intelligent all-wheel drive and the brand’s Terrain Response® system to take the Land Rover LR2 where mere crossovers fear to tread.
With a dial on the center console, you simply select a driving mode that reflects the current road (or non-road) surface conditions, and Terrain Response adjusts the vehicle’s engine, transmission, four-wheel drive and traction and stability systems accordingly. Modes that accommodate tarmac, grass, gravel, snow, mud, ruts and sand ensure that the Land Rover LR2 will have your back in difficult driving conditions. CommandShift mode lets you shift the transmission manually when appropriate, such as for greater engine control on steep inclines.
“Steep inclines” is not a phrase you see associated with many luxury SUVs these days. Being a Land Rover, the LR2 must pass a battery of vigorous engineering tests that certify its ability in such conditions. A body structure that uses a large amount of ultra-high-strength steel resists the flexing that off-road driving could otherwise induce.
When the going really gets steep, Hill Descent Control, Gradient Release Control and Roll Stability Control come to the fore to provide precision powertrain control for the kind of slow-speed maneuvering needed to get you through safely. The 8.3 inches of ground clearance provides ample room for many obstacles. A number you almost never see other SUVs reveal is fording depth, but the Land Rover LR2, which has special engine compartment features to prevent water intrusion, will get you through 19.7 inches of water.
The distinctive Land Rover design delivers functionality, too, offering nearly 60 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seatbacks folded. A 3,500-pound towing capacity (with a braked trailer) is enough to pull such recreational “toys” as watercraft, motorcycles or small boats.
Regardless of weather and road conditions, you’ll enjoy true Land Rover refinement and luxury with such standard amenities as leather-trimmed seats, a six-way power driver’s seat and four-way power front passenger seat, plus a standard panoramic dual-panel sunroof. Adding some of those features to a Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class SUV, a vehicle that starts at $35,880, does not offer comparable off-road capability and even charges extra for all-wheel drive, would require adding nearly $5,000 in options.
As in other Land Rover and Range Rover models, you can customize your level of luxury and amenities with HSE or HSE LUX trim lines. The top model comforts you with soft Windsor leather seating in a choice of four colors – ebony, almond, ivory or tan. A 480-watt Alpine® Dolby ProLogic II 7.1 Surround audio system delivers clean, powerful surround-sound through 13 speakers and includes satellite radio and HD Radio™.
Come drive the 2012 Land Rover LR2 and see how affordable a genuine Land Rover can be.