2008 Land Rover LR2 SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Land Rover LR2 SUV

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Land Rover LR2 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.2 L Inline 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 230 hp @ 6300 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/22 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Land Rover LR2

  • The 2008 Land Rover LR2 represents a meaningful advance over its predecessor, but alongside present-day competition in the compact luxury SUV class, it comes up short in performance, handling and cabin quality.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Advanced technology gives it uncommon all-terrain skills for a car-based SUV, comfortable ride, roomy passenger quarters.

  • Cons

    Mediocre acceleration for a luxury-brand SUV, modest handling on pavement, workaday interior design and materials, below-average cargo capacity.

  • What's New for 2008

    Replacing the old Freelander, the 2008 Land Rover LR2 is an all-new small luxury SUV tuned for a compromise between on- and off-road performance.

Full 2008 Land Rover LR2 Review

What's New for 2008

Replacing the old Freelander, the 2008 Land Rover LR2 is an all-new small luxury SUV tuned for a compromise between on- and off-road performance.


Because pedigree comes from prowess, every Land Rover must be made from the absolute toughest stuff, ready to rough it up on the world's toughest trails at a moment's notice. So goes the old thinking, anyway. More recently, the company's vehicles have been increasingly able to provide on-road comfort and performance as well. For a prime example of this shift in philosophy, look no further than the 2008 Land Rover LR2.

Land Rover clearly designed its new LR2 compact SUV for a life on pavement, but the company tried to preserve a modicum of off-road capability in the process. As a replacement for the now discontinued Freelander, the 2008 Land Rover LR2 comes to life with lots of mechanical DNA from parent company Ford's Volvo S40 and European-market Ford Focus. The resulting lightweight unibody construction, all-independent suspension, and new inline six-cylinder engine make this the easiest Land Rover to drive in history, while leather seats, wood trim, dual sunroofs, and room for four are meant to keep the brand's upscale luxury image intact.

In addition, this all-new LR2 still packs enough tools to handle light- and even medium-duty off-highway trails. Among them are a healthy 8.3 inches of ground clearance, standard all-wheel drive, and Land Rover's Terrain Response system, which provides four driver-selectable modes tailored for varying terrain. Each mode specifies different settings for the engine, transmission, center differential, suspension, traction and stability control system and hill descent control system. During our testing of a 2008 Land Rover LR2, Terrain Response proved its worth as the LR2 scaled rutted dirt trails with considerably more gusto and poise than most car-based sport-utilities.

However, as small luxury SUVs go, Land Rover's latest is not the ultimate on-roader. Among the LR2's flaws are soft handling on pavement and just-adequate acceleration. Inside, its cabin looks more utilitarian than it does elegant, and materials are unimpressive for a premium-brand sport-utility. To its credit, the LR2 does have more off-road capability and a more forgiving ride than firmly tuned rivals like the Acura RDX, BMW X3 and Infiniti EX35. But these competitors provide better performance, sportier handling, higher-grade interiors and more in the way of overall refinement. Accordingly, we think most compact luxury SUV shoppers will be happier with an X3, EX35 or RDX than they will with the 2008 Land Rover LR2.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Land Rover LR2 is a small, four-door luxury SUV offered in SE and HSE trim levels. Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, a dual-panel sunroof, leather seating, power front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a nine-speaker Alpine stereo with a six-disc MP3/CD changer and auxiliary input jack, push-button ignition, automatic headlights and wipers, and rear parking sensors. The LR2 HSE adds 19-inch wheels, body-colored bumpers and side sills, upgraded power front seats and an interior storage box.

Additional equipment is bundled into three options packages. The largest of these is the Technology Package, which contains a navigation system, an upgraded surround-sound audio system, satellite radio, rear-seat audio controls and Bluetooth phone connectivity. The Lighting Package offers adaptive xenon headlights, and driver-seat memory, while the Cold Climate Package provides heating for the front seats, windshield and washer jets.

Powertrains and Performance

Every Land Rover LR2 comes with a 3.2-liter inline-6 providing 230 horsepower and 234 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with a six-speed automatic transmission with sport and manual shift modes. Land Rover claims the LR2 can reach 60 mph in 8.4 seconds, but during our own instrumented testing, an LR2 tester did no better than 9.3 seconds. The all-wheel-drive system sends nearly all of the engine's power to the front wheels by default, though it can redirect most of it to the rear wheels to maximize traction in off-road situations. The AWD has no low range ("4 Lo") for serious off-roading, but for casual off-roaders, the LR2's Terrain Response system largely compensates by providing meaningful changes in engine and transmission behavior when the driver switches from the default "General Driving" mode to any of the three off-road modes (Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Ruts, and Sand). Fuel economy is 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway, which is disappointing considering its modest acceleration.


The 2008 Land Rover LR2 comes with side airbags for the driver and front passenger, side curtain airbags for all outboard passengers and a driver's knee bag. Antilock brakes, traction control and stability control with a rollover sensor are also standard.

Interior Design and Special Features

The LR2 has an unmistakable Land Rover feel to it, which means plenty of leather and wood to go around, plus a traditional upright seating position and a utilitarian control layout with numerous buttons. Materials are average in quality and the overall look isn't very elegant, and the busy instrument panel is a little hard to read at a glance. Although the climate and audio controls are clunky to use at first, the optional navigation system's touchscreen interface couldn't be simpler. Cupholders and storage slots are sprinkled liberally throughout the cabin.

The LR2's front seats offer plenty of legroom and headroom, and the steering wheel's wide range of telescope adjustment makes it easy to find a comfortable driving position. The backseat has ample room as well, but the low-mounted bench compromises comfort for adults. Cargo space behind the rear seats is a bit small at 27 cubic feet due to the LR2's high cargo floor. Maximum capacity is only 59 cubic feet, but the rear seats do fold completely flat (though the seat-bottom cushions must be folded up separately).

Driving Impressions

The 2008 Land Rover LR2 is easily Land Rover's most accessible SUV to date, thanks to its relatively modest size and weight that make it easy to toss around and park. On the downside, acceleration is mediocre for a luxury SUV, due to the engine's minimal low-end torque and the transmission's sluggish response off the line. Handling on pavement is unimpressive, as the LR2 exhibits considerable body roll around turns. The steering is well weighted but low on feedback, and more demanding drivers may be put off by its unusually quick response just off center. The brakes are strong with a progressive pedal feel, but the suspension allows a bit too much front-end dive. One advantage the Land Rover does offer is a comfortable ride quality, as it's more compliant than either the RDX or X3. The LR2 is also a superior off-road vehicle, but we doubt most compact luxury SUV buyers will see this as a significant advantage.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found this review helpful


by on
Vehicle: 2008 Land Rover LR2 SE 4dr SUV AWD (3.2L 6cyl 6A)

Just about to turn 150,000 miles. Been a great vehicle. Only thing that has gone wrong is AM radio and a broken spring on the shift lever. Have only done routine maintenance. Still on 3rd set of tires, brakes replaced at about 75K and oil changes. Best vehicle I have owned and have been driving for about 40 years. Lots of nice little features, and well designed. Handles great and has been reliable. I tow a small boat, carry bikes, kayaks and stand up paddle boards during the summer. Average about 21 mpg, mostly highway.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

1,000 mile review

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Vehicle: 2008 Land Rover LR2 SE 4dr SUV AWD (3.2L 6cyl 6A)

I just bought this car a few weeks ago. I wanted an SUV and was having trouble deciding. First, I looked at the FJ Cruiser. Love that car, reliable, safe, fun to drive and a great offroader. However, the visibility was horrible. Next, I looked at the Nissan Xterra. The price was very high considering the features. Then, I looked at the Acura RDX. I liked it, but found it small and didn't have a strong offroad capability. I also looked at the Jeep Liberty, but found the ride horrible despite the nice interior and features. So, I stumbled upon this LR2. I wanted to stay away from Land Rover because of the reliability. However, this car has it all. No problems yet! Look below at the features!

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

94,000 mile review

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Vehicle: 2008 Land Rover LR2 SE 4dr SUV AWD (3.2L 6cyl 6A)

Been very reliable. Only routine maintenance. Oil changes, brakes at 75,000 miles, tires about every 42,000 miles. Fun to drive, good gas mileage for it's size. Still don't like te key, but it seems to be the new trend. At the moment, it's the nicest vehicle I have ever owned. It's my 6th vehicle and I never get rid of them with under 150K miles on them.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

Reliability is the problem

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Vehicle: 2008 Land Rover LR2 HSE 4dr SUV AWD (3.2L 6cyl 6A)

Once i saw this car i loved the exterior and interior and lots of extras it came with. So i dropped my first choice back then which was the vw Touareg, as i had a concern about the vw reliability. Unfortunately i was totally wrong cause it i never suffered with a car like this LR2, every now and then it should be towed to the dealer for electrical problems, that actually there is no real solution for them. Engine fault and transmission fault are keeping flashing in your face! tail gate got stuck more than once. What a great loss i had spent a fortune to own this LR2 and i cannot depend for long journeys in it.

Best vehicle owned

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Land Rover LR2 HSE 4dr SUV AWD (3.2L 6cyl 6A)

I work out of town for a living and average around 40,000km a yr on my vehicles, the Land Rover LR2 has been the best vehicle I have owned and I have owned everything from trucks to cars to vans and I wouldn't drive anything other than my Land rover. admittedly the cargo space is a little tight but aside from that this vehicle is solid! I live in Canada and going through the 7 months of Canadian winters you need a reliable vehicle. Aside from the schedule maintenance I haven't had a single issue with it, even after putting 30000 km on it in 9 months the engine still purrs like a kitten. Love it thanks for the dependability Land Rover. Good job!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Unreliable lemon

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Land Rover LR2 SE 4dr SUV AWD (3.2L 6cyl 6A)

This is my wife's car. She acknowledges that it was a bad choice. Like someone else said, this is not a real SUV. This is a very low car that should really be a station wagon, but a wagon is better because it has more cargo room. The cargo room in the LR2 is a joke. What were they thinking? You could fit one stroller in there and that's it. This is a city car. It will get you from A to B in relative style, and it's easy to park. That's it. It is not a good grocery getter, not a good family car, nothing like that. This car is really meant for single young professionals who are frugal with their money and want to drive a brand name. Electrical left us stranded more than once.

Talk About The 2008 LR2

2008 Land Rover LR2 Discussions See all Started By

Anyone else having a problem with their LR2 displaying a "hood open" error?...

I have about 37K miles on my 2008 LR2 and will be replacing the tires shortly. I am considering replacing the OEM Conti's with a new tire from Toyo called Versado CUV. Anyway, my question involves t...


Gas Mileage


  • 15
  • cty
  • 22
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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