2008 LR3 New Car Test Drive
The Land Rover LR3 in an impressive achievement. While other mid-luxury SUVs are surrendering off-road competence, the LR3 combines responsive on-road performance with go-anywhere off-road capability in a vehicle that is comfortable, safe and secure.
The LR3 offers the competence of the more expensive Range Rover and some of its luxurious feel. Underway, the LR3 feels stable and composed, with little noise and vibration transmitted into the cabin. The brakes are excellent, something that can't be said of its predecessor, the Discovery.
The LR3 incorporates the latest in electronics in a system called Terrain Response, which selects the best combination of traction, power, gearing, and braking to suit any type of terrain and surface, to put serious off-road trekking within the reach of most enthusiasts. Simply twisting a knob to Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Ruts, Sand, or Rock Crawl optimizes the settings for the LR3's mind-boggling array of electronic controls and traction aids. In short, the LR3 can go just about anywhere on the planet. And it does it in style.
The LR3 has a spacious, airy cabin with comfortable seats. It can seat up to seven passengers with the optional third row, and the seats fold flat into the floor individually, making this a versatile utility vehicle.
For 2008, all Land Rover LR3 models come with seven-passenger seating and a V8 engine. Five-passenger models and V6s are no longer available.
The V8 is sourced from Jaguar. It has variable cam phasing, develops 300 horsepower and delivers strong throttle response with 315 pound-feet of torque on tap. It comes with a six speed automatic.
The LR3 is a highly capable off-road vehicle. All models come with a two-speed transfer case, permanent four-wheel drive, Land Rover's Terrain Response off-road system and Hill Descent Control. The LR3 also comes with an automatic load-leveling rear suspension useful for towing, and an adjustable suspension with three height settings for regular driving, off-roading, and loading. A Class III hitch gives the LR3 a 7700-pound tow rating.
The 2008 Land Rover LR3 is available in SE ($48,525) and HSE ($54,025) trim levels.
The SE comes with leather upholstery for the first- and second-row seats; dual-zone automatic climate control with rear controls; tilt/telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls; eight-way power adjustable front seats with driver's seat power lumbar adjuster; power sunroof; power-adjustable heated exterior mirrors; programmable key fob; 35/30/35 split folding second-row seat; 240-watt Harman/Kardon radio with nine speakers, six-disc in-dash CD changer, and auxiliary input jack; auto-dimming rearview mirror; rain-sensing, variable intermittent wipers; universal garage door opener; front and rear fog lights; and 18-inch aluminum wheels with 255/60HR18 mud-and-snow radials.
Options for the SE: The Technology Package ($3,500) includes a navigation system, Bluetooth hands-free cell phone link with console cradle, Sirius satellite radio, voice-activated vehicle information center, and a cooler box in the center console. The Bluetooth link and Sirius satellite radio are available separately ($800). Another package combines bi-xenon headlights with front Park Distance Control ($750). A Cold Climate package ($1,300) adds a heated windshield, heated front and second-row seats, and heated windshield washer jets; a Heavy Duty package ($625) adds a locking rear differential and a full-size spare tire. Java Black Pearlescent paint ($400) is extra.
The HSE comes standard with GPS/DVD on/off-road navigation with voice-activation and touch-screen capabilities, Bluetooth connectivity, bi-xenon headlights, a 550-watt Harman/Kardon Logic7 digital surround-sound system with 14 speakers, and 255/55HR19 mud-and-snow radials. Options exclusive to HSE: A Luxury package ($2,750) upgrades with premium leather upholstery for all three seating rows, driver's seat-cushion pocket, adaptive headlights, a center console cooler box, and the elements of the Cold Climate package. HSE buyers can also add Sirius satellite radio ($400).
Safety equipment standard across the line includes dual front airbags; torso-protecting front side airbags; head-protecting side curtain airbags for the first and second rows; side curtain airbags for the third row; tire-pressure monitor; and LATCH child seat anchors. Also standard are four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Cornering Brake Control, and emergency Brake Assist; Hill Descent Control; traction control; and all-terrain Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with Active Roll Mitigation. Front and rear obstacle detection is standard on HSE. The four-wheel drive system is also standard.