The 2011 Land Rover LR2 is powered by an aging 3.2-liter in-line six-cylinder engine that dates back to the days when Ford owned Land Rover and Volvo. We fully expect Land Rover to drop this engine from the LR2 lineup in favor of the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that powers the new Range Rover Evoque, since the Evoque and the LR2 are built at the same plant. As we went to press, Land Rover refused to confirm our suspicions, but it did tell us that a substantial upgrade would be coming in late 2011. If the 2.0-liter engine does find its way under the hood of the LR2, expect much improved fuel economy and perhaps slightly better performance thanks to the flatter torque curve from the turbo powerplant. Powertrain questions aside, the LR2 doesn’t disappoint in terms of off-road performance. It features Land Rover’s signature Terrain Response system, which allows the driver to switch settings to a variety of preconfigured scenarios, ranging from sand to mud to snow, so that any off-roading situation can be tackled with assurance. The LR2 has a variety of standard features — panoramic sunroof, leather seating, park distance control, and rain-sensing wipers — that are usually only available as options in its competitors. If you take that into account, the LR2’s relatively high price is fairly competitive.
Trim levels: LR2, HSE, HSE LUX
Body style: SUV, 5-passenger
Engine: 3.2L I-6, 230 hp, 234 lb-ft
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Passenger volume: N/A
Capacities: Towing 3500 lb; cargo space (rear seats up/down) 26.7/58.9 cu ft
Rumors suggest that the 2012 Land Rover LR2 will get a meaningful upgrade in the engine department. Expect the Evoque’s 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 to find its way under the LR2’s hood. That would mean the LR2 jumps from 230 hp and 234 lb-ft of torque to a more respectable 240 hp and 251 lb-ft while increasing fuel economy (the Evoque is rated at 19/28 mpg).
ABS; front, side, and side curtain air bags; a driver’s knee air bag; traction and stability control; electronic brake-force distribution; corner brake control; roll-stability control; emergency brake assist; hill-descent control; a tire-pressure monitoring system; park-distance control; and rain-sensing wipers are all standard.
All: 15 mpg city/22 mpg highway
- Engine upgrade likely
- Lots of standard equipment
- Poor fuel economy
Land Rover’s smallest vehicle likely gets an upgrade.
- Audi Q5
- BMW X3
- Infiniti EX35
- Mercedes-Benz GLK