By Cars.com EditorsMay 13, 2009
About the video
Cars.com's Joe Wiesenfelder walks you through the 2008 Land Rover LR2. It competes with the BMW X3 and Acura RDX.
<v Joe>Hi, I'm Joe Weisenfelder. I'm at the cars.com winter test grounds. They're the same as the summer test grounds, but now it's winter. Fortunately, this week we have the Land Rover LR2, it's a compact premium slash luxury SUV.
It's actually one of our top 10 urban cars because the length from bumper to bumper is smaller, and the turning circle is tighter than some of the competitors like the BMW X3 and the Acura RDX. Now this is a brand new trim level. The HSC, for months there was only the SE I'll show you what distinguishes it, the bumper on this one is body colored, the wheels are 19 inches instead of 18 inches, and the door handles are what they call titanium instead of black. That's the color, not the material. Now in the other trim level, the SE I couldn't help but notice this platform, Is pretty prominent that the seat is sitting on, on a nearest interstate trip, I was uncomfortable. I kept feeling like that's where my feet wanted to go, and it was made worse by the fact that the front of the cushion wouldn't adjust up and down for tilt. On the HSE Here, there is that adjustment and it does make a difference. Another problem with the SE is it didn't have any covered storage in the center console, Land Rover promised to give us one, and there it is, there's your covered storage folks. Worth the wait? I'm going to say no. We like the double moon roofs. It's good to have a backseat, front seat. What I don't like is the sunshade. I kind of like my sun shade to shade the sun. Just a thought. It doesn't really do that. It lets a lot of light through and also lets the cold through in the winter, you get the cranium freeze and sound also comes through. Now there's a push button start, which is getting to be pretty common. But before you can do that, you have to put the whole key fob into the dashboard. I have some ergonomics problems with the navigation system, too, It's a touchscreen, which I like, but you'll see that the menus are kind of slow. You hit the button and they sweep in and out. That gets old really quickly. Also, changing the zoom level are these tiny little buttons on the side. It's way too easy to hit the wrong thing, end up in the middle of the map like that. It's kind of a drag. It's not all ergonomics problems. We actually really like this model. One of the neat things it has that you won't see almost anywhere else is a knob to let you choose the terrain that you're on, and a lot of trucks, if you want to get ready for snow or off-road or anything like that, you've got to flip this, connect that, lock that, if you don't know what you're doing, you don't know what you're doing. In this case, you look outside, you see a snowflake, you look down here, you see a snowflake, turn the knob. You're ready to go. Now this is a compact SUV. The backseat isn't huge. The passenger seat here is all the way back though, and I can make it work. I'm six feet tall. The LR2 has a unique place in the market. It's a real SUV, It looks like one, it's fully off-road capable while BMW and Acura are going more for the sporty on-road look and driving experience. It's a six cylinder. It's not quite as fuel efficient as we'd like it to be, but it's better than the average midsize off-roader, and it's definitely better than the larger land rovers. <v Narrator>For additional information on this car, or any other, go to cars.com and our blog Kicking Tires.