Used 2015 Land Rover LR4 Review

Though not without faults, the 2015 Land Rover LR4 is a solid choice for a luxury SUV, offering the expected off-road chops along with a top-notch interior and a somewhat more fuel-efficient standard supercharged V6.




what's new

After some major changes last year, the 2015 LR4 gets mostly incremental improvements for 2015: Side steps are now standard, while adaptive cruise control, a suite of smartphone apps and a wood-and-leather steering wheel are added to the options list.

vehicle overview

It seems like the premium SUV market is getting more crowded by the day, but probably no brand has more credibility than Land Rover for combining luxury with genuine ground-crunching capability. Even with the growing number of choices, the Land Rover LR4 has long been a very likable choice for a luxury SUV as it's equally capable of pulling off carpool duty, a night at the opera or climbing a snow-covered trail to that getaway cabin.

This pleasingly wide range of versatility is a result of its available three-row seating (that provides for up to seven adults), serious off-roading hardware and a powerful supercharged V6 that makes the LR4 at least a little more mindful of fuel consumption than previous V8-powered versions. The 2015 LR4 also continues to give up nothing as a pure luxury vehicle. The cabin shows off Land Rover's unmistakable design flair and is swathed in rich materials, while recent upgrades to its electronics made available some of the convenience and safety features expected in this price range.

As appealing as the LR4 is, however, it's important to ponder how much you really need its formidable off-road capability. It's a big reason why the LR4 weighs nearly 3 tons, resulting in certain compromises in the areas of on-pavement maneuverability, performance and fuel economy.

As such, there are a number of outstanding three-row crossovers that you might find just as luxurious and better everyday on-pavement companions. The Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is perhaps its closest competitor and comes closest to the LR4 in terms of third-row space, but it is more expensive. The Acura MDX and Infiniti QX60 are smaller and have more restrictive third rows, but are loaded with technology and are comparative bargains in this class.

If you are mainly interested in the LR4 for its rugged credentials, alternatives include the Lexus GX 460 and Land Rover's own Range Rover Sport, which is better on-road but still capable of venturing off the beaten path. Just don't expect the same sort of passenger space. None of these, however, blend luxury, practicality and hard-core trail capability quite as well as the 2015 Land Rover LR4.

trim levels & features

The 2015 Land Rover LR4 is a midsize luxury SUV offered in three trims: base, HSE and HSE Lux. Five-passenger seating is standard, but third-row seats are available.

There's an extensive list of standard features for the 2015 LR4: 19-inch alloy wheels, an adaptive air suspension, front and rear foglights, automatic wipers, side steps, heated exterior mirrors, a power front sunroof, fixed rear "Alpine" sunroof, rear privacy glass and rear parking sensors. Moving inside, you'll find dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, eight-way power front seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a rearview camera, a 7-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and an 11-speaker Meridian audio system with a CD player, a USB/iPod interface and an auxiliary audio jack. The 7 Seat Comfort package adds rear climate controls and ducts, and a 50/50-split-folding third-row seat that includes extra map lights and an extension of the side curtain airbags.

Going to the LR4 HSE brings different 19-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, LED running lights, front parking sensors, power-folding mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, a navigation system, voice controls and the 7 Seat Comfort package. The Climate Comfort option package, available on both the base and HSE trims, bundles a heated windshield, heated windshield washer jets, heated front and second-row seats and a heated steering wheel.

At the top of the LR4 food chain is HSE Lux, which incorporates all of the previous equipment and adds unique 19-inch alloy wheels, upgraded leather upholstery and trim, a driver seat with power-adjustable side bolsters, driver memory settings, a power-adjustable steering wheel, interior ambient lighting, a center console cooler box and an upgraded 17-speaker Meridian surround-sound audio system (available separately on the HSE).

Options on the HSE and HSE Lux include adaptive cruise control, a rear-seat entertainment system and the Vision Assist package, which adds adaptive xenon headlights, automatic high-beam control, a 360-degree-view camera system and a blind spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert.

Options available on all models include special 20-inch wheel designs, smartphone apps and a Heavy-Duty package that includes a two-speed transfer case for the all-wheel-drive system, a locking rear differential and a full-size spare tire. The Black Design package consists of blacked-out exterior trim and black 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels.

performance & mpg

Every 2015 Land Rover LR4 is powered by a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 that produces 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. This engine is paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Also standard is an auto stop-start function that shuts down the engine to conserve fuel when you're stopped in traffic. In Edmunds testing, the LR4 accelerated to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, which is an average time for its class.

The EPA estimates fuel economy for the 2015 LR4 at just 16 mpg combined (15 city/19 highway), figures that are a little lower than average for this class, although generally the same as competitors' V8 models with similar horsepower. Properly equipped, the LR4 can tow a healthy 7,700 pounds.

Full-time four-wheel drive is standard for all LR4s, employing a single-speed transfer case that's more efficient in everyday driving. The LR4's traditional two-speed transfer case, which offers low-range gearing and a locking rear differential, is still available as part of the Heavy Duty option package for those who plan to partake in particularly challenging off-road driving.

Either AWD system is governed by the Terrain Response driver control that helps optimize operation via a center-console-mounted knob that allows you to toggle among four standard settings (general, grass/gravel/snow, sand and mud/ruts). Models equipped with the two-speed transfer case also get a fifth "rock crawl" setting.

Each of these modes alters engine, transmission and suspension calibrations to allow the LR4 to tackle a wide variety of terrain. The LR4's electronically controlled air suspension also helps in this regard, with settings ranging from a lowered height that enables easy entry and exit to a fully raised position that maximizes ground clearance on particularly gnarly stretches of trail.

safety

Standard safety features on the 2015 Land Rover LR4 include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control (with rollover mitigation technology and trailer stability assist), hill-descent control, hill start assist, rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. Passive safety measures include front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags that extend to cover the third-row seat on models so equipped. A blind-spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert system and a 360-degree parking camera are optional, as is adaptive cruise control that will not fully brake the LR4 to a stop but will initiate braking if the system determines closing speeds are unsafe.

In Edmunds brake testing, the LR4 consistently came to a stop in 123 feet from 60 mph, which is a good result for an SUV of this size. Though there was significant nosedive, it remained controllable and composed.

driving

The 2015 Land Rover LR4 is a heavy vehicle that seldom permits you to fully forget its mass, but the 340 hp from the smooth but snarly supercharged V6 holds its own. The engine has fine responses, and the superb shifting from the eight-speed automatic transmission always has power at the ready for most situations -- something you expect from a premium vehicle.

The adjustable air suspension rounds off the corners of even the nastiest bumps and potholes and does its best to keep the body fairly level during cornering, despite its high center of gravity. The stability control intervenes long before drivers come close to finding the LR4's handling limitations, but it's a gentle intervention that keeps the vehicle on its intended path.

Naturally, the Land Rover LR4 really shines brightest after you've left the civilized world far behind, thanks to its sophisticated four-wheel-drive system. Equipped with the optional low-range transfer case and locking rear differential, this luxury SUV will handle the wilds of Namibia as easily as it does the parking lot at Nordstrom.

interior

Cool and austere, the 2015 LR4's interior is almost Scandinavian in its melding of simple design and shapes and high-quality materials. This isn't the interior you want if you like to wow the neighbors with buttons and gadgets; everything in the LR4's cabin is subdued and exceptional in its effort to avoid distraction while maximizing functionality.

Not that there's not a little bit of gee-whiz. The interior's signature feature is the polished rotary knob for the transmission that automatically rises from the center console when you first enter. It's the highlight of a center section dominated by simple round knobs to manage the infotainment and climate control, all of which support the overall minimalist cabin motif.

The LR4's touchscreen and optional navigation system work adequately, but compared with the newer electronics interfaces found in various competitors, the setup is a little dated, with slower response times and less streamlined menu structures. Nor will you find the touchscreen's total surface area on par with the almost shockingly large screens working their way into luxury vehicles.

For most, one of the LR4's prime interior treats will be the exceptionally upright position of the front seats. You sit regally upright without the need to extend your legs forward, and it highlights the outstanding headroom provided by the LR4's tall roof line, as well as the good sight lines through the upright windshield and large side windows, including novel rear "Alpine roof" skylights that bring in more daylight for those in the backseats.

Folding the adult-friendly third-row seat takes a little practice to deploy or stow quickly, but once down, there's a spacious 42 cubic feet left behind. Folding both rear rows down yields a generous 90 cubic feet, while there is a typically small 10 cubic feet with all rows in place. Whether for cargo or passengers, selecting the "Access" ride height drops the body down for easier loading and entry.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.