Maybe I'm the only one who notices, but I'm a slave to fashion. It's often more wishful thinking than reality for this suburban mom of three, but I do care. I try to keep up with skirt lengths and general trends, and sometimes I crave a little recognition for these efforts - especially considering the fact that I don't get any at home. I'm currently trying to convince my husband to wear a couple of "British"-cut dress shirts I bought him earlier this year, but he won't budge from his 1980s-era button-down Oxford. "Boring," I say. "Classic," he says. I say "live a little," and he says, "my shirts are already lived in." What can I do? Comfort over style is tough to argue with.
My drive in the Land Rover LR2 reminded me a bit of those British dress shirts. The LR2's sense of style is modern, not classic. It has a Euro unfamiliarity that gives me the same vibe as some European shoes: They look great in Paris, but are just plain weird in Omaha. For example, let's discuss the orange color of my test car - I'm sorry, the Tambora Flame color. It's a tangerine-ish orange with a gold-ish sparkly metallic finish, somehow making the LR2 look both yummy and slightly annoying. It wasn't until I parked next to a school bus at my son's tennis match that I realized I'd seen this color (albeit a less sparkly version) before.
I liked the color, but wondered if I could really live with it for more than a few months. Of course, just driving this car a few months seemed impossible when I couldn't even figure out how to unlock all the passenger doors. Is this an example of that infamous British humor? When I went to transfer my kids' boosters from my car to the LR2, I couldn't find an unlock button on the door, or in any other logical place I could think of. Finally I just used the unlock button on the fob; it wasn't until I started the car and began to adjust my seat that I saw the interior unlock button directly under the navigation screen, along with the hazard-lights button. Well, sure, that makes sense - about as much as the LR2's two-step process to start the car. First, insert the weird-looking key into a slot in the dash, then press the start button. Why they didn't make this a proximity key and save me the purse digging baffles me.
Unlike those tailored shirts, I could not seem to get a good fit in the LR2. I bumped my head upon entering the vehicle, and when seated with my hands comfortably reaching the steering wheel, my feet could barely reach the pedals. After several adjustments I found an OK position, but then I couldn't reach the side mirror controls without leaning forward - hardly an ideal scenario: Lean forward, adjust, lean back. Not right. Lean forward again, adjust again, lean back again. Still not there. After the third time, I just gave up and leaned forward slightly every time I wanted to check my mirrors.
I realize this is a pretty bleak scene I've set for the LR2, so it may surprise you to learn that there were some things I liked. My kids loved the second moonroof, which was above their heads, and the quick snap-back screen that covered it. They never needed help buckling their seat belts, which always helps with mom's sanity factor, and I was able to transport a new computer stand for my son with room to spare. Of course, folding the 60/40-split bench to accommodate the stand was yet another two-step process (pull strap to pop seat forward, then release and tilt the back down) that would never fly with my kids and groceries in tow. It did, however, offer great access to the multitude of crumbs that inevitably found their way under the seats.
In the Land Rover LR2, British style and luxury has been kicked up a notch over the Freelander, which this model replaces. The overall experience, though, still leaves me a bit underwhelmed. Just like my husband and those British dress shirts, this car is slightly out of my comfort zone.
*For more information on the 2008 Land Rover LR2 and its safety features, visit Cars.com. With questions or comments regarding this review, write to email@example.com.
LET'S TALK NUMBERS
Latch Connectors: 2
Seating Capacity (includes driver): 5
IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT
Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Fair - Ample
Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Fair - Ample
SENSE AND STYLE
Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Fair - Great
Fun Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove On): Good Times
2008 Land Rover LR2 AWD SE
Base price: $33,985
Engine: 230-hp, 3.2-liter I-6
Fuel: 16/23 mpg
Ground Clearance: 8.3'
Turning Radius: 18.5'
Cargo space: 26.7 - 58.9 cu. ft.
NHTSA Crash-Test Ratings
Driver's side: 5 Stars
Passenger's side: 5 Stars
Front occupant: 5 Stars
Rear occupant: 5 Stars
Rollover resistance: 4 Stars
Cars.com Expert Reviews
|Joe Wiesenfelder||Cars.com National||September 27, 2007|
|Kelsey Mays||Cars.com National||April 11, 2007|
|Steven Cole Smith||Orlando Sentinel||November 16, 2008|
|Jim Mateja||chicagotribune.com||January 20, 2008|
|Emily Hansen||Mother Proof||September 14, 2007|
|Mark Glover||The Sacramento Bee||June 8, 2007|
|Steven Cole Smith||Orlando Sentinel||May 12, 2007|
|Royal Ford||Boston.com||May 5, 2007|
|Scott Burgess||The Detroit Newspapers||March 14, 2007|
|Royal Ford||Boston.com||March 11, 2007|
|Dan Neil||Los Angeles Times||March 7, 2007|
|Warren Brown||washingtonpost.com||March 4, 2007|
|G. Chambers Williams III||Star-Telegram.com||February 27, 2007|
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