Reviews

2015 Land Rover LR2 Walk Around

The LR2 is undeniably Land Rover, perhaps better looking than the bigger LR4, which appears boxy and slightly awkward. The LR2 remains more elegant and curved. Proportionally, it works and definitely looks more expensive than its relatively average price tag suggests.

Headlights feature the latest xenon and LED technology, set off with a graphic design in the front running lights. The grille and fog lamp bezels sport a bright finish with subtle paint detailing the grille surround, insert bars and fender vent.

At the side, the LR2 presents narrow A-pillars, in an attempt to improve vision for the driver. Below is a thin aluminum-look engine vent, right next to the protruding fenders and the 18-inch standard alloy wheels. A choice of 19-inch wheels is available.

At the back of the Land Rover LR2, the taillights receive the same treatment as the front, with a slightly more modern design. The whole rear end looks very Range Rover.

The LR2 looks tasteful and sophisticated and catches your attention without shouting look at me.

Interior

Slip behind the wheel of the LR2 and you feel like you are getting what you paid for. Materials feel about right for a $40,000 car, and comfort is excellent.

The dual sunroof bathes you with light, making the cabin feel airy and roomy. Leather-wrapped seats offer good support and feel comfortable even during long, arduous driving.

The seating position feels unusually high, which is great when off-roading, as it allows superior vision to spot any concealed roots or rocks. When on normal roads, however, it felt like we needed to drop the seat down an inch or so, but that just wasn't an option. Tall drivers might find it annoying.

The LR2 infotainment system has a 7-inch touch screen on the console, using capacitive technology that promises improved scrolling on the main navigation screen (if so equipped). From here you can control the Meridian audio system and the optional navigation. A QWERTY keyboard permits phonebook searching. SiriusXM satellite radio incorporates such features as artist memory seek, learn/game memory seek, and instant replay.

If you opt for an upper model, you will be granted a rearview camera that incorporates Hitch Assist to help with backing up if towing a boat or trailer, showing the exact location of the tow ball.

The imaginatively named Say What You See voice activation effectively allows you to say what you want the car to do: increase temperature, etc.

Below the screen is a horde of buttons and dials. The font used for wording the buttons looks a little big, bland and boring, like something from a Kindergarten's Learn to Read book.

Buttons behind the gearshift lever have replaced the original Terrain Response dial, and the handbrake is an intelligent electric brake button. It qualifies as intelligent, apparently, because it adjusts brake force according to the slope and brake temperature.

Passive Start is standard on the LR2, meaning as long as you have the key on you, a press of the start button adjacent to the steering wheel is all you need to fire up the engine.

The steering wheel is soft to touch, and the buttons are intuitive and easily reached with your fingertips. A 5-inch instrument cluster is behind, displaying information such as temperature and fuel levels, gear position and Terrain Response mode. All of this sits between the traditional dials.

The second row provides plenty of legroom (36.4 inches). Cargo space is enough to manage a long off-roading adventure with the whole family: 26.7 cubic feet with the rear seats up, 58.9 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down.

Other than minor complaints about the buttons and high seating position, there really is not a whole lot to moan about with the LR2's interior. It's right there matching expectations in the $40,000 price range, if not exceeding them.

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