By Cars.com EditorsApril 30, 2010
About the video
Cars.com's Mike Hanley takes a look at the 2010 Land Rover LR4. It competes with the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz M-Class.
<v Narrator>cars.com auto review. Hi, I'm Mike Hanley with cars.com.
Luxury SUVs have fallen out of favor with some manufacturers, but Land Rover is sticking with the segment it helped create with the new LR 4, it's the successor to Land Rover's LR3 SUV, and it packs a more powerful engine and a much more luxurious interior. The principle styling changes that separate the LR4 from the LR3 are all up front. It has this new grill, new headlight design, and overall look that's much more similar to the top of the line Range Rover. But when you get around the side of the vehicle, you can really see how similar the profile is with the outgoing LR3. And around back, there are some modest taillight updates, but overall, the shape is similar to the model it replaces. The LR4 is powered by a 375 horsepower V8 engine that makes 75 more horsepower than the old LR3's engine did. And it's definitely nice to have when accelerating this vehicle, because this is a big SUV. And the engine teams with a six speed automatic transmission and combined fuel economy for this model is 12 miles per gallon in the city and 17 on the highway. Now that doesn't sound that great, but it's actually the same fuel economy figures that the old, less powerful LR3 achieved. One of the problems with the old LR3 was that its interior didn't seem nice enough to be in a luxury SUV. There were a lot of black plastic buttons in the middle that just didn't say luxury, but Land Rovers really addressed that with the new LR4's cabin. It has this all new center console center control panel design that is really upscale, has a lot of nice materials in it. So I think it's now positioned to compete a lot better with other models in its class. What you also get with the LR4's cabin is a really high seating position with great views forward and out the side windows. For a vehicle as large as the LR4 its backseat is a little disappointing. It's not especially roomy for adult passengers with not much extra leg room and not a lot of thigh support either, for taller people. Now that could be because they're trying to balance leg room between the second row and the optional third row, which increases seating capacity from five people to seven, but still for a vehicle this big you'd expect the backseat to have a little more space. One of the LR4's distinctive styling elements is it's lift gate tailgate combination, but there are some consequences when it comes to cargo with this design. For one, if you leave the tailgate up, you have to clear this wall if you're going to pull a bag out of it or put one in. But when you put the tailgate down, it puts you about a foot back from the rear of the vehicle, which means you're going to have to reach further in to grab any luggage there. So for some types of bags, it could present some challenges. Land Rovers have always been known for their off-road capability, but the new LR4 should also be appealing to people just looking for a luxury SUV because the changes that have been made make it much more luxurious overall, and also move it a lot closer to the top of the line $80,000 Range Rover, both in terms of its ride comfort, and power. <v Narrator>For more car related news, go to cars.com or our blog KickingTires.net.