2012 LR4 New Car Test Drive
The Land Rover LR4 offers amazing off-road capability yet on the road it is quiet and comfortable. Inside is a leather-appointed cabin that coddles passengers in luxury.
LR4 is still fresh from a complete redesign for 2010. Since then, Land Rover has focused on upgrading its high-tech functions. For 2012, the electrical architecture was redesigned to employ the latest infotainment functions and other technology.
The 2012 Land Rover LR4 comes standard with a harman/kardon audio system that has been upgraded to 380 watts and 14 speakers. The top optional system for the 2012 LR4 now blasts 825 watts through 17 speakers. Steering wheel stalks have been revised for 2012 for easier use and higher quality appearance.
The 2012 Land Rover LR4 HSE comes standard with a hard-drive navigation system with updated graphics for more user-friendly operation. Also redesigned for 2012 is the driver information screen within the instrument cluster, which can displays audio information, phone book entries and navigational direction symbols (augmenting the main navigation screen).
The LR4 seats five but can seat seven when equipped with an available third row. The LR4 is a midsize luxury sport utility, a class that includes the Lexus RX 350, Mercedes-Benz GLK, Audi Q5, Acura MDX, and BMW X5.
The Land Rover LR4 and Range Rover Sport share platforms, powertrains, drive systems and sophisticated suspensions. The LR4 comes standard with slightly less luxury equipment than does the Sport, though most of those features are available as options. The LR4's wheelbase is more than five inches longer than that of the Range Rover Sport yet the LR4 is only two inches longer overall. The LR4 has short front and rear overhangs to avoid damage in rugged terrain.
The LR4's looks are distinctively Land Rover. It's a happy, familiar shape that manages to pull off both boxy and, thanks to rounded edges at every opportunity, svelte if not sleek.
The cabin is a complete success in terms of comfort, luxury and utility. Everything is lush to the eye and hand, and the quality of the interior materials is a high as it gets, beautifully fit and finished.
Underway, the Land Rover LR4 is very comfortable and quiet. The LR4's capability off road is nothing short of phenomenal. Its suspension articulation coupled with the latest in traction control technology allow the LR4 to creep over extremely rugged terrain, the worst off-road trails, the most primitive of roads, and in all kinds of weather.
The Land Rover LR4 comes with a 5.0-liter 32-valve V8 with direct injection and variable camshaft timing, making 375 horsepower and 375 foot-pounds of torque. The 6-speed automatic transmission shifts sharply, and has Normal, Sport and Manual modes. The LR4 can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in only 7.5 seconds, a sprightly pace given the LR4's weight of about 5850 pounds.
All LR4 models come with full-time all-wheel drive with a selectable low range, although it's an understatement to describe the Land Rover's state-of-the-art traction-control system so simply. For off-highway travel, the electronic two-speed transfer case can be shifted on the fly. But the magic is in the Terrain Response System, with its five settings: Highway, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Ruts, Sand, and Rock Crawl. All you have to do is look out the windshield, select the correct setting for the terrain, and the LR4 will coordinate all of its off-road technology accordingly, including setting the suspension height. The system also includes Hill Start Assist and Gradient Acceleration control, which helps maintain downhill speeds on rough or slippery terrain when Hill Descent Control isn't set. If you want to drive to Tierra del Fuego, an LR4 would be a great choice.
The LR4 meets the government's ULEV2 emissions requirements, meaning it's greener than required by law. It's no economy vehicle, however, with an EPA rating of 12/17 mpg City/Highway.
The 2012 Land Rover LR4 ($47,650) comes standard with leather seating and trim; dual-zone climate control; eight-way power seats; a multi-function steering wheel,; cruise control; keyless entry; power windows, mirrors, locks and tailgate; HomeLink; collapsible steering column; AM/FM/MP3 audio with an auxiliary jack, iPod compatibility, and virtual CD player; electronic parking brake; front and rear foglamps; privacy glass; power sunroof with Alpine roof; rear park distance control; Hill Descent Control; Hill Start Assist; Gradient Acceleration Control; 4-wheel electronic traction control, and 19-inch alloy wheels. LR4 comes standard with seating for five.
The 7-Seat Comfort Package ($1,250) adds a third row of flat-folding seats, longer head curtain airbags, second-row climate controls with additional outlets, and a third-row map lights and accessory power outlet. (All prices are Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices, which do not include destination charge and may change at any time without notice.)
LR4 HSE ($53,975) upgrades with voice-activated HDD navigation with 7-inch touch screen, rearview camera, Bluetooth hands-free phone capability, front and rear park distance control, driver information center for off-roading, Sirius satellite radio, halogen projection headlamps with LED lighting, map light, and the 7-seat package. The HSE Luxury Package ($5,000) adds 825-watt harman/kardon audio; Xenon headlamps; heated seats front and rear, memory for the driver's seat, steering wheel and mirrors; electronic power steering; premium leather; and heated windshield washers.
The HSE Vision Assist Package ($1,800) includes bi-xenon HID headlamps, Adaptive Front Lighting System, Automatic High Beam Assist, and the Surround Camera System.
Options for LR4 include harman/kardon Logic7 audio ($900); Climate Comfort Package ($1,500) with heated front and rear seats, steering wheel, windshield and washer jets; Heavy Duty Package ($750) with active locking rear differential and full-size spare wheel and tire; a revised rear-seat entertainment system ($2,500), now with dual 8-inch screens, six-disc DVD changer, WhiteFire headphones and remote. There are also special paints, and 20-inch tires and wheels ($2,500-3,000). Black lacquer interior wood trim, previously an extra-cost option, is now offered for no extra charge.
Safety equipment standard on all models includes six airbags, collision-activated inertia switch (unlocks doors, turns off fuel pump and activates hazard flashers), Dynamic Stability Control, ABS with Electronic Brake force Distribution and Emergency Brake Assist, and tire pressure monitor. The 7-seat package includes curtain airbag protection for the third-row seats.