2015 LR4 New Car Test Drive
The Land Rover LR4 offers amazing off-road capability, yet on the road it's quiet and comfortable. Inside is a leather-appointed cabin that coddles passengers in luxury.
The Land Rover LR4 is in many ways the classic modern Land Rover, a midsize luxury sport-utility known in the rest of the world (and previously known here) as the Discovery. The LR4 seats five, or can carry seven when equipped with a third row.
For 2014, a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine replaced the previous V8. The V6 is rated at 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet with EPA-estimated fuel economy of 15/19 mpg City/Highway. It's paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission with CommandShift and Sport modes. An LR4 can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in only 7.7 seconds, according to Land Rover, a sprightly pace given the LR4's hefty weight of 5655 pounds.
For 2015, side steps are standard, and the LR4 gains connectivity with Land Rover InControl Apps and smartphone integration. A new option for 2015 blends dual-tone Windsor leather seats with a wood/leather steering wheel.
Three versions are offered: LR4, LR4 HSE, and LR4 HSE LUX. 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 Range Rover Sport, though most of those features are available as options. A single-speed all-wheel-drive transfer case is standard, and a 2-speed 4WD transfer case is available.
We've found the LR4 impressive on- and off-road. 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.
For off-highway travel, the available two-speed transfer case can be shifted on the fly.
But the magic lies 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.
The hard-drive navigation system, standard on the up-level HSE model, features user-friendly graphics. A guidance feature supplements the junction map and icon-based information with details of the actual road signage seen along the route. Say What You See voice activation for onboard and connected devices helps the user learn applicable voice commands, by displaying a step-by-step format on the 7-inch touch-screen.
The Land Rover LR4 is to some extent in its own class but is most comparable to the Lexus RX 350, Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class, Audi Q5, Acura MDX, and BMW X5.
The 2015 Land Rover LR4 ($50,400) comes standard with leather seating surfaces and interior trim; dual-zone automatic climate control; eight-way power seats; a multi-function tilt/telescopic steering wheel, cruise control; keyless entry; power windows, mirrors, locks and tailgate; HomeLink; collapsible steering column; Meridian 380-watt, 11-speaker audio with an auxiliary jack and iPod compatibility; electronic parking brake; front and rear foglamps; privacy glass; power sunroof with fixed Alpine roof; rear park distance control; rearview camera; air suspension; Terrain Response System; Hill Descent Control; Hill Start Assist; Gradient Release Acceleration Control; four-wheel electronic traction control, rotary gear selector; intelligent Start/Stop technology; and 19-inch alloy wheels. LR4 comes standard with seating for five. (All New Car Test Drive prices are Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices, which do not include destination charge and may change at any time without notice.)
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. Newly optional are dual-tone Windsor leather seats, with a wood/leather steering wheel.
LR4 HSE ($55,300) includes the 7-Seat Comfort Package, second-row air-conditioning controls, voice-activated HDD navigation with 7-inch touch screen, front park distance control, xenon headlamps with LED lighting, and 7-spoke 19-inch alloy wheels.
LR4 HSE LUX ($60,600) adds a Climate Control package, premium leather seating, ambient lighting, a cooler box, power steering column, eight-way power front seats with driver's memory, 825-watt Meridian Surround Sound audio with 17 speakers, and unique 19-inch alloy wheels. Also included is an Extended Windsor Leather Package with electrically-adjustable driver's seat bolsters.
The optional Vision Assist Package for HSE and HSE LUX ($1,600) includes anAdaptive Front Lighting System, Automatic High Beam Assist, and the Surround Camera System with reverse traffic detection, Tow Assist, and Tow Hitch Assist. Using five cameras, the Surround Camera System provides a nearly 360-degree view of the vehicle. Other options include the Climate Comfort Package ($1,500) with heated front and rear seats, steering wheel, windshield and washer jets. The Heavy Duty Package ($1,350) includes a two-speed transfer case, Rock Crawl mode, locking rear differential, and full-size spare wheel and tire. A rear-seat entertainment system ($2,500) has dual 8-inch screens, a six-disc DVD changer, WhiteFire headphones and remote. Also available are special paints, and 20-inch tires and wheels. Also available is a Black DesignPackage ($1,600 with 19-inch wheels, or $3,500 with 20-inch wheels). SiriusXM satellite/HD radio also is optional ($750).
Safety equipment standard on all models includes six airbags (eight airbags with third-row seats), 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, rear parking camera, and tire pressure monitor. Blind Spot Monitoring is available.