Related articles
Test Drive: 2012 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Supercharged
Test Drive: 2012 Acura MDX
First Drive: 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

Manufacturer’s Website
Land Rover Canada

Review and photos by Jonathan Yarkony

Photo Gallery:
2012 Land Rover LR4

On the surface, the Land Rover LR4 is an overweight, overcapable, monstrosity of excess.

I love it.

Test Drive: 2012 Land Rover LR4 car test drives luxury cars landrover
Test Drive: 2012 Land Rover LR4 car test drives luxury cars landrover
2012 Land Rover LR4 HSE Lux. Click image to enlarge

Not necessarily because of the reasons cited above, but despite the penalty of its 15+ L/100 km of fuel consumption, I fell in love with its simple but elegant design, understated luxurious interior, and the practicality of its three-row seating. If I’d had more time, I would have gone looking for trails and gulches and broken apocalyptic landscape through which to drive this eminently capable off-roader.

Unfortunately, I didn’t make it any further than a gravel road in a rainstorm, although from the LR4’s poise, you wouldn’t have known it was anything but a sunny day if not for our family’s soaking wet clothes from being caught out in a flash-thunderstorm.

Although capable of globe-traversing feats, the LR4 is more likely to shuttle tots and teens to malls and family dinner nights and putter along on the commute to work. In this capacity I can vouch for it.

On city roads, the LR4 is reasonably steady, tracking straight and quiet on the highway; but as with any serious off-roading vehicle, there is a fair amount of body roll when taking turns aggressively and big, roly-poly bounces when you take on pavement heaves and parking lot ramps and any sort of uneven terrain. Quite fun in a clown-car kind of way, and it keeps your driving well in check before you reach any sort of understeer or oversteer antics.

However, one does need to be cautious with throttle application—the LR4’s only engine option is a mighty 5.0L V8 that makes 375 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque. It’s enough to get the 2,649 kg (5,833 lb.) brick to 100 km/h in less than eight seconds, which is “yikes” fast in a vehicle of this size. It also makes all the right noises and growls for a V8, albeit never overwhelming the cabin with noise, as befitting this luxurious ute’s demeanour.

Test Drive: 2012 Land Rover LR4 car test drives luxury cars landrover
2012 Land Rover LR4 HSE Lux. Click image to enlarge

Although it’s tempting to look at this engine as an old-school big V8 in a big truck, Land Rover has done its due diligence in equipping this engine with direct fuel injection and variable valve timing for improved efficiency and power. Official NRCan fuel consumption rating is 17.1 L/100 km in the city and 11.6 L/100 km highway, so my final 15.1 over almost 500 km was within estimates and reason.

The LR4 is also rated to tow up to 3,500 kg (7,716 lb.) with a Trailer Stability Assist program that counteracts unwanted vehicle movement caused by the trailer.

The transmission is a six-speed automatic with manual mode and three shift modes: Normal, Sport and Manual. I left it in Normal all week and had no cause to complain about it as I preferred its smooth subtle shifts and saw no reason to exercise its Sport mode or think for myself in Manual mode.




About Jonathan Yarkony

Jonathan Yarkony is the Senior Editor for Autos.ca, a Brampton-based automotive writer with eight years of experience evaluating cars and an AJAC member.