Vehicle Type: Compact Luxury Utility

History/Description:  With the goal of bringing trademark Land Rover capability and luxury into a more compact package, the LR2 launched for model year 2008 with a focus on attainable pricing, maneuverability, and all-season, all-surface driving confidence. Land Rover’s answer to a then-emerging market of compact luxury utility vehicles, LR2 can be cross-shopped with comparable models from BMW, Lincoln, Acura, Audi, Mercedes, Infiniti and others.

Arguably, the LR2 will be the most capable machine amongst its direct used-car competitors, for shoppers who actually plan to use it on the road less travelled. A tight turning circle and good all-around visibility make the LR2 easy to park at Costco, but also a cinch to maneuver around logs and rocks and boulders and other potential hazards you’d rather avoid on the path ahead. A terrain response system with various selectable off-road modes, as well as generous ground clearance and reasonable overhangs adds further confidence.

Feature content for the dirt-ready five-seater included leather seats, dual-zone climate control, parking assist, xenon lights, a sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, premium audio and more.  An HSE variant was available in later years, offering the same smattering of High Specification Edition equipment as the brand’s bigger posh-utes. Upgraded leathers, a potent Meridian audio system and Bluetooth were available or standard, depending on the model.

Engines/Trim: Earlier models got a Volvo-sourced 3.2L straight-six, good for 230 hp. A six-speed automatic and one-speed, full-time four-wheel drive system were on board all models. From model-year 2013, a 2.0L four with turbocharger was fitted to all units, offering up a slight improvement in output, and easier fuel consumption.

What Owners Like: Owners rate build quality, the LR2’s luxurious interior, a tall and commanding driving position, and a sense of go-anywhere-anytime confidence highly, with power output noted as adequate or better. The high-end stereo system and xenon headlights are highly rated, too. Uniqueness and overall value in a small and capable luxury utility vehicle helped attract many shoppers to the LR2.

What Owners Dislike: Some owners wish for a quieter ride, and note that ride quality can suffer on rougher paved surfaces, especially on models with larger wheel sizes. A common complaint, especially on earlier models with the 3.2L engine, is heavy fuel consumption that’s far from the advertised figures in real life, and the LR2’s relatively tall ride height means it’s not noted for exceptional handling.

Here’s a look some owner reviews.

The Test Drive: Start your test-driving process ensuring the seller of the LR2 you’re interested in is willing to meet you at a mechanic, preferably one at a Land Rover dealership, or allow you to take the potential used LR2 candidate in for a pre-purchase inspection. Buying a luxury utility vehicle without at least a basic check-over by a technician is strongly advised against.

First up, standard utility-vehicle checks should be considered mandatory. The underside should be inspected for signs of excessive rust, dangling bits of turf, floor-pan damage caused by careless off-roading, and fluid leakage from differentials and axles. Look inside of door sills, behind rubber weather strips, and underneath carpeting for signs of sand and silt, which could indicate the model you’re considering has formerly visited been swamped in an off-road setting, which can cause a world of problems.

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