Friday, November 16, 2007
2008 Land Rover LR2
If the Land Rover LR2 doesn't knock the socks off of shoppers for an SUV of this size and price, nothing will. It offers more content than they have reason to expect, compared to what's out there. Think of it as a baby Range Rover Sport, for at least 20 grand less. It costs about $8,000 less than the next Land Rover up the scale, the LR3, and has a more powerful and smoother engine: an all-new, high-tech, inline six-cylinder built by Volvo, mated to a sophisticated six-speed automatic transmission.
The styling is clean and handsome, and the interior roomy, with leather seating surfaces, wood trim, a panoramic sunroof, fold-flat rear seats, quality sound system and all the power stuff as standard equipment. The body structure is second to none in its rigidity and safety, with liberal use of ultra-high-strength steel in the door beams and other places. The list of electronic safeguards goes on and on. ABS, EBD, EBA, DSC, ARM, CBC, HDC, GRC (they're all explained below; each could save your life, or at the least keep the vehicle under control far better than any human). Also Terrain Response, with four settings for different driving conditions: pavement; gravel, grass and snow; mud and ruts; or sand.
The long-travel suspension uses all the acquired knowledge of Land Rover engineers, and delivers a firm and stable ride in all conditions, while providing superlative cornering for an SUV that's 68.5 inches high. The vented disc brakes are big and bomb-proof. The traction system is made by Haldex, the leader in all-wheel-drive design, and it's state of the art: electronic rather than hydraulic, making it faster and more sensitive than anything that's ever found its way into an SUV.
The Land Rover LR2 has it all, for a five-seat SUV.
The only decisions to make in buying a Land Rover LR2 are about options; there is only one model, the LR2 that retails for $34,700 including $715 freight; Land Rover doesn't price the LR2 at a lower-sounding $33,985 plus freight. That price includes all the comfort and capability you expect from a Land Rover.
Standard features include leather seats, air conditioning, power doors, windows and remote entry, keyless starter button, panoramic dual panel sunroof, front and rear foglamps, power headlamp washers, rain-sensing wipers, rear park distance control, 18-inch alloy wheels, and dual-zone climate control with pollen filter and humidity sensor.
The Technology Package ($3500) includes a DVD-based navigation system, Dolby Pro Logic II Surround Sound system, Sirius satellite radio, rear seat audio controls and Bluetooth telephone system. The Lighting Package ($1050) includes bi-Xenon adaptive headlamps (they swivel in the direction of turns), approach and puddle lights, and a memory driver seat and mirrors. The Cold Climate Package ($700) includes heated front seats and a heated windshield and washer jets. You can also get a special Narvik Black paint job ($400).
Safety equipment includes electronic stability control with anti-roll technology, and anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist. There are seven airbags: two-stage frontal bags, side-impact bags for the front seats, airbag curtains for both rows, and a final small airbag for the driver's knees. There's also Hill Descent Control, which keeps the vehicle at six mph going down steep hills (even, or especially, on ice), and Gradient Release Control, which holds the vehicle on a steep hill for a moment before letting it creep up to that speed. All that's lacking in the safety equipment is a tire pressure monitor.