Full 2010 Land Rover LR2 Review
What's New for 2010
The 2010 Land Rover LR2 returns largely unchanged, except for a reorganization of optional packages.
As Land Rovers have made the migration from the untamed African plains to the civilized highways and boulevards of the cities, these go-anywhere terrain-chomping behemoths have had to adapt to their new surroundings. The larger of the Land Rover species have become like game trophies for the well-to-do with great success, but what about the more budget-conscious buyer who desires a bit of status when conquering the local shopping mall?
The 2010 Land Rover LR2 attempts to fill the brand's entry-level position by delivering the luxury, prestige and off-road prowess of the brand's flagship models in a more city-oriented and pocketbook-friendly package. Developed at a time when then-parent company Ford ran the show, the LR2 shares some mechanical bits with a couple Volvo products. But you'd never know it, as the LR2 still embodies Land Rover's off-road heritage with 8.3 inches of ground clearance, standard all-wheel-drive and plenty of electronic aids to help navigate treacherous terrain.
As with other Land Rovers, the LR2 can also soak up potholes with ease while the comfortable passenger compartment remains undisturbed. However, these positive attributes are outweighed by a variety of faults. Sluggish acceleration is one of them, the main culprit being a combination of a heavy 2-ton curb weight and a modest 230-horsepower engine. The LR2's off-road bias also limits its handling capabilities on the pavement, which is probably where it's going to spend most of its time. Finally, the cabin is more utilitarian than luxurious, and its cargo capacity is less than many competing luxury crossovers provide.
To its credit, Land Rover employed the small luxury crossover formula way before most other luxury brands, starting with its original Freelander and now the LR2. Unfortunately, most other newer models have surpassed the 2010 Land Rover LR2 in terms of all-around competence. Unless your driveway looks like a motocross track, you would be better served by more well-rounded choices like the Acura RDX, Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes GLK-Class and Volvo XC60.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2010 Land Rover LR2 is categorized as a small luxury crossover SUV that is available in one trim level: HSE. Standard features includes 19-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, foglights, a dual-panel sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, automatic xenon headlights, rear parking sensors, perforated leather seats, power front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless ignition/entry, a trip computer and a nine-speaker Alpine stereo with a six-CD/MP3 changer and an auxiliary audio jack.
Options are grouped into several packages. The HSE Plus package adds heated exterior mirrors, adaptive headlights, driver seat memory, Bluetooth and satellite and HD radio. Stepping up to the HSE LUX package gets you the above equipment plus a navigation system and an upgraded 13-speaker surround-sound system with a rear seat headphone module. Other options include the Style pack, which consists of a variety of exterior enhancements and the Climate Control package that adds a heated windshield, heated washer jets and heated front seats. In addition, 18-inch wheels are available as a stand-alone option.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2010 Land Rover LR2 is powered by a 3.2-liter inline-6 that produces 230 hp and 234 pound-feet of torque. This engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control. At our test track, the LR2 turned-in a 0-60-mph time of 9.3 seconds, which is quite a bit slower than some competitors -- no doubt a byproduct of its heavy 4,300-pound curb weight. This weight also negatively affects fuel economy, as the LR2 manages to only achieve an EPA-estimated 15 mpg city/22 mpg highway and 17 mpg combined.
The LR2 lives up to Land Rover's off-road heritage with its ability to navigate unpaved terrain, but it is more focused on taming city streets and highways. The all-wheel-drive system directs most of the engine's power to the front wheels, sending some drive to the rear wheels only when off-road conditions dictate. The lack of low-range gearing keeps the LR2 from dominating more serious off-road obstacles, but the Terrain Response system helps to compensate by optimizing engine, transmission, center differential and assorted systems to increase mobility in four user-selectable conditions: General Driving, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Ruts and Sand.
The 2010 Land Rover LR2 comes with a decent complement of safety features that includes antilock brakes with brake assist, traction and stability control, roll stability control, hill descent control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a driver's knee airbag.
Interior Design and Special Features
As is typical for all current Land Rovers, the entry-level LR2 surrounds occupants with plenty of supple leathers and rich wood trim, but unlike the others, some materials are merely average and fall short of our expectations for a luxury SUV. An upright seating position up front provides plenty of legroom and headroom for larger adults, though some may find the low-mounted rear bench a tad uncomfortable. From the driver seat, the instruments and controls are a bit busy and hard to read at a glance, but the optional navigation system is mercifully simple and easy to operate. Cargo space comes up short against the competition, allowing for only 27 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 59 cubes with the seats folded.
The 2010 LR2's smooth, luxurious ride is typical for a Land Rover. In terms of performance, though, the LR2 struggles to keep up with the competition. Acceleration is on the slow end, the steering is uncommunicative and the suspension suffers from pronounced body roll when cornering. The brakes are capable and have a solid pedal feel, but when used aggressively, the front end tends to nose down quite dramatically. The 2010 Land Rover LR2 does manage to best the competition when it comes to off-road performance, however. Its decent ground clearance, long suspension travel and electronic aids combine to give the LR2 the ability to explore terrain that most other luxury SUVs would fear to tread upon.