2010 LR4 New Car Test Drive
The Land Rover LR4 comes to the U.S. market as the all-new successor to the LR3. The old LR3, called Discovery 3 in other markets, won more than 100 awards for its design when new, and the LR4 is better.
The new LR4 and the more expensive Range Rover Sport share platforms, drive systems, long-travel independent suspension, and powertrains, but the Land Rover LR4 carries less standard equipment and is generally a more practical, less costly weapon for all-weather, all-terrain driving. It is also the Land Rover you need if you want to carry up to seven on a trip, because the big Range Rover and the Range Rover Sport are restricted to five seats only, while the LR4 has the option of a seven-seat layout.
The LR4 interior shares much of its technology and some of its design with the pricier Range Rover Sport, which we count as a good thing.
To accommodate the third row of seats, it is more than five inches longer in wheelbase than the Sport, which generally means a smoother ride, but it is similar in overall length, width and height, an inch or two here and there.
The LR4 competes in the crowded midsize luxury sport-utility vehicle segment, one of the largest and fastest-growing segments in the industry. LR4's direct market competitors include the Acura MDX, the Lexus RX 350, the Mercedes-Benz GLK, the Audi Q5, and the BMW X5.
The 2010 Land Rover LR4 ($47,250) comes with full-time all-wheel drive with a selectable low range. All models come with a 375-horsepower 5.0-liter dohc 32-valve V8 with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Standard features include leather seating and trim, dual-zone climate control, eight-way power seats, a multi-function steering wheel, cruise control, power windows, power mirrors, power locks, power tailgate, HomeLink, AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio with an auxiliary jack and iPod compatibility. The 7-Seat Comfort Package ($1,150) adds second- and third-row flat-folding seats, a third-row side-curtain air bag, map lights and accessory power outlet, a luggage net, and rear air conditioning with separate controls.
The HSE Package ($3,650) upgrades with 19-inch alloy wheels, front and rear park distance control, heated front and rear seats, satellite navigation, a driver information center of off-roading, Sirius satellite radio, and Bluetooth wireless connectivity. The HSE and 7-Seat Comfort Package ($4,800) offers the same features with seven-seat capacity and the associated air bags.
Option packages: HSE Plus ($4,760) adds digital radio, mood lighting, keyless entry and a rear parking camera; also available with 7 Seat Comfort Package ($5,910). The HSE Lux package ($9,565) with 7 Seat Comfort upgrades to premium leather, bi-xenon headlamps, adaptive front lighting, a center console cooler box, a 480-watt Harmon Kardon Logic7 AM/FM/CD with 14 speakers, and driver memory for seat, column and mirrors; the HSE Lux Plus package ($11,115) adds a five-camera surround camera system.
Standalone options: Cold Climate package ($1400) adds heated windshield, heated front and rear seats with three and two heat ranges, respectively, heated windshield washer jets, and a heated steering wheel. A Heavy Duty Package ($750) adds a full-size spare wheel and tire and an active locking rear differential. A rear seat entertainment system ($2500) adds dual screens, a six-disc DVD changer, wired headphones, input jacks and a remote control. There are extra-cost paints, ranging from $400 to $950, and 20-inch tires and wheels for $2500. The combinations are endless, allowing a customer to pretty much create his or her own bespoke LR4.
Safety equipment standard on all models includes front, side and roof air bags, ABS brakes, traction control, yaw control, and four-wheel drive.