What's New for 2007
The 2007 Land Rover LR3 adds leather upholstery, a power sunroof and a nine-speaker Harman Kardon sound system to its standard features list, and V8 models get standard three-row, seven-passenger seating. The driver seat of all LR3s adds a power lumbar adjuster, the turn-signal switch gets a new three-flash position and the front passenger-side power window gets one-touch capability. In addition, the instrument cluster now includes a clock.
Modern SUVs have a lot to live up to in their war to win market share. We expect them to swallow passengers like buses and drive like cars, and some buyers even expect off-road capability to be part of the mix. With ample passenger room and a versatile chassis and four-wheel-drive system, the 2007 Land Rover LR3 is armed for this skirmish.
The LR3 offers a fair degree of Land Rover's trademark elegance, with standard leather seating and attractive furnishings. Materials and build quality are mostly impressive, though some plastic bits tend to exhibit an unfortunate willingness to break loose. This Land Rover makes room for family, with standard three-row seven-passenger seating on V8 models; the third-row seat is available as an option on the entry-level V6 model. A standard power sunroof opens a window to the sky, and both the second- and third-row seats can be folded flat for increased cargo capacity. Other standard interior amenities include a nine-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound stereo and one-touch power windows. The options list includes a touchscreen navigation system and Bluetooth connectivity.
Two engines are available. A base V6 offers 216 horsepower, while an optional V8 generates 300 hp. Although the V8 is definitely the engine you want, it doesn't feel nearly as powerful as it should; we suspect the LR3's hefty curb weight is to blame for that. Ride quality on pavement is acceptable, but handling is on the tippy side for a modern-day SUV, a quality that can get annoying if you never take advantage of the LR3's considerable all-terrain capability. Equipped with some of the most impressive off-road hardware in this price range, the Land Rover LR3 boasts full-time, dual-range four-wheel drive and ride height control, so it can tackle everything from rain-slick turnpikes to mud-filled bogs with ease.
The 2007 Land Rover LR3 is a refined and well-engineered road warrior, but it's up against some heavy artillery. If off-roading isn't on your itinerary, we'd recommend you take the Acura MDX, Audi Q7, BMW X5, Cadillac SRX or Volvo XC90 for a spin, since all offer superior on-road dynamics along with the requisite third-row seat option. And although it trails in snob appeal, the Lexus GX 470 is more affordable than the LR3, performs just as well in the dirt and feels more stable on pavement. Still, there's no denying the glamorous appeal of the Land Rover brand. If you're looking for an SUV that will remain poised on all types of terrain while managing to impress the neighbors, the 2007 Land Rover LR3 will not disappoint.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
A midsize luxury SUV capable of seating up to seven passengers, the Land Rover LR3 is offered in two trim levels, SE and HSE. The SE comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control and a nine-speaker 240-watt Harman Kardon audio system with a six-disc CD changer and an MP3 player input jack; V8 models also have rear parking sensors and a third-row seat (optional on the SE V6). High-line LR3 HSE models get 19-inch wheels, xenon headlights, a 14-speaker 550-watt Harman Kardon surround sound system, a navigation system (with on- and off-road mapping), Bluetooth connectivity, driver-seat memory settings and front parking sensors. Various options packages are available that allow buyers to add amenities like heated first- and second-row seats and adaptive headlights. The Heavy Duty Package offers a rear locking differential and a full-size spare tire.
Powertrains and Performance
Land Rover's LR3 has two available engines. The SE model can be ordered with either a 216-hp, 4.0-liter V6 or a 300-hp, 4.4-liter V8. The HSE comes with the V8 only. Both engines have a six-speed automatic transmission that channels power to the ground through a sophisticated four-wheel-drive system. With a rotary knob controlling five settings (general, snow-grass-gravel, mud and ruts, sand, and rock crawl), the 4WD system optimizes everything for the conditions, from throttle response to the stability control system to the differentials. The LR3 also features a fully independent suspension, which utilizes electronically controlled air springs to automatically adapt to virtually any terrain or off-road challenge. Properly equipped, the V8-engined LR3 can tow up to 7,700 pounds.
Safety features on the 2007 Land Rover LR3 include antilock disc brakes, traction control, stability control with active antiroll technology, hill-descent control, front-seat side airbags and three-row head curtain airbags. Rear parking sensors are included on all LR3s, while front bumper sensors are standard on the HSE and optional on the SE. Adaptive headlights, which "look" around corners and adjust up and down to counter the effects of hard braking, are also available.
Interior Design and Special Features
The Land Rover LR3 features a spacious cabin packed with clever storage solutions, as well as either five or seven seats trimmed in leather. Both the second- and third-row seats fold into the floor when not in use to create a vast, flat, loading space; maximum cargo capacity is 90 cubic feet. A commanding driving position and elevated stadium seating give the driver and passengers alike a clear view of their surroundings and a standard power sunroof enhances that view even further. The dash has a simple, geometric look that is very similar to the elegant design employed in the Range Rover. The control layout is straightforward, but it's heavy on small buttons, which require a little more attention to use than we'd like. Every tactile surface is thickly padded, as one would expect in a vehicle of this caliber. Build quality is not universally solid, though, as some small parts can come loose after repeated use.
Given that the base V6 offers barely enough power for a 2.5-ton vehicle, we'd steer most buyers toward the V8. Even with 300 hp on tap, the V8-equipped Land Rover LR3 is no rocket, especially with a full load of passengers. Thanks to solid performance from the six-speed transmission, though, there is always adequate power available underfoot. The advanced suspension makes for a comfortable ride on the highway, though the vehicle's high center of gravity gives it a somewhat tippy feel when negotiating corners. Solid feedback from the rack-and-pinion steering lends the Rover a crisp feel behind the wheel, though, and a tight turning radius makes it fairly maneuverable in parking lots. With the sophisticated four-wheel-drive system, there's also plenty of traction if you ever feel the need to go exploring off-road.