Known as Discovery 4 in the rest of the world, the Land Rover LR4 is a midsize luxury sport-utility, a class that includes the Lexus RX 350, Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class, Audi Q5, Acura MDX, and BMW X5. The LR4 seats five, or can carry seven when equipped with a third row.
Until 2014, the Land Rover LR4 held a 5.0-liter, 32-valve V8 with direct injection, making 375 horsepower and 375 pound-feet of torque. For 2014, a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 has replaced the V8, issuing 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet. Intelligent Stop/Start helps boost fuel economy from the previous 12/17 mpg to 14/19 mpg City/Highway. A new 8-speed ZF automatic transmission with CommandShift and Sport mode replaces the prior 6-speed unit. With its new V6, an LR4 can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in only 7.7 seconds, a sprightly pace given the LR4's weight of 5655 pounds.
A new single-speed all-wheel-drive transfer case is newly standard for 2014, and a 2-speed 4WD transfer case is available. Front-end styling has been revised, including a new bumper, headlamps and foglights. New outside mirrors contain integrated turn signals and accommodate available Blind Spot Monitoring. New Meridian audio systems replace the prior Harman Kardon units. A rear parking camera is now standard.
Three versions are offered: LR4, LR4 HSE, and new LR4 HSE LUX. The Land Rover LR4 and Range Rover Sport continue to 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 2014 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.
We were impressed during our test drives of the V8 model in Scotland and off-road in Colorado, as well a subsequent on-road evaluation in the wintry Midwest with the new V6 engine. We expected no less, of course, as 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. If you want to drive to Tierra del Fuego, an LR4 would be a great choice.
The LR4 is still fresh from a complete redesign for 2010. Since then, Land Rover has focused on upgrading its high-tech functions.
The hard-drive navigation system, standard on the up-level HSE model, features user-friendly graphics. The towards guidance feature supplements the junction map and icon-based information with details of the actual road signage seen by the driver 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.
LR4 meets the government's ULEV2 emissions requirements, meaning it's greener than required by law.
The 2014 Land Rover LR4 ($49,700) 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; 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; 4-wheel electronic traction control, rotary gear selector; intelligent Start/Stop technology; 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 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.)
LR4 HSE ($54,600) 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 ($59,900) 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 for 2014 is an Extended Windsor Leather Package with electrically-adjustable driver's seat bolsters.
The 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. Black lacquer interior wood trim ($350) also is offered. So is a Black DesignPackage ($1,600 with 19-inch wheels, or $3,500 with 20-inch wheels). Sirius 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, and tire pressure monitor.