Land Rover LR4 Dare you to get it stuck
March 25, 2013
The LR4 Land Rover is fun to drive and it's a great Colorado SUV. It didn't come with a trailer hitch so I couldn't take the horses to the Rockies but I did find some sand, rocks and logs to climb. I took pictures of Aspens turning last fall between Bailey and George Town. It's luxury, and everyone knows it, a long way from the Land Rovers we saw in African safari movies. You feel a little richer by driving it, though the LR4 model looks like the more expensive Range Rover's, it's a descendent of the past Discovery model closer to entry level Rover. You can see the Discovery traits with the second row taller door and slanted rear door.
I pulled off the rear bumper cover to attach a trailer hitch and found the tow ring. A very special hitch plugs in from the bottom of the rear ladder frame. A shame I couldn't tow trailers, it's rated to tow 7,716 pounds with trailer brakes but only 550 pounds tongue weight which is less than 10 percent. Light tongue weights is a European thing. The LR4 is manufactured in England.
The auto leveling 4-corner air suspension would've been nice to use with a trailer also, though it works well 4-wheeling with multiple modes and height settings. And the rear backup camera is unique as you can leave it on. Which would be one way of watching your trailer coupler and electrical cord bounce down the road as well as seeing close up who's tailgating you with road rage.
The independent suspension with auto air ride all around, multiple height modes worked well when I tried to get stuck in deep sand. Low gear and Hill decent will hold you from speeding up down hill. The rear view camera is nice for backing over boulders. Off road mode works only in low range, I guess rock climbing is a slow sport. Like a big sophisticated ATV, the LR4 has All-Terrain Dynamic Stability Control, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Cornering Brake Control, Hill Descent Control, and Emergency Brake Assist. Making it fun to go from hill climbing, sandy creek drifting and back to the road for stability in rain and snow.
Front visibility is great, but the big rear corners make the mirrors and rear camera helpful looking out the rear. On each side of the rear frame are big chunks of solid steel mounted in rubber. These take the vibration out of chassis. Ford F450 pickups have these also but just on the drivers side. The LR4 is a smooth ride, part of the wealthy overall experience I only get for a week at a time during the review. At $59,075 MSRP, the LR4's not out of line with it's competitors in the Luxury class or mid-size SUV class.
If you are a sun worshiper, this is the truck for you. Three moon roofs, the front one is a power moon roof, the other two are more like sky lights. The center console is a cooler but only for cans, pop bottles are too tall. Its seven speakers and a great entertainment center should entertain the crew. The navigation screen is not easy to figure out, have to read the book. The rear seats fold flat for a decent cargo area.
The LR4 has nice lines, 19-inch wheels fill the wheel wells well matching the curves. Great lights, Xenon projection headlights will even spot the Angus cattle that jump the fence on long stretches of highway that I travel. Front and rear fog lights will be nice for Wyoming snow storms. May not even need the six air bags.
Engine is a 5.0L V-8 aluminum, high compression gas engine, 375 hp 375 torque with direct injection. Transmission is six speed automatic, full time 4×4. This translates to 12 city 17 highway Miles-Per-Gallon from the EPA.
Kent Sundling (alias "Mr. Truck") spent 20 years wearing out pickup trucks as only a farmer could. With over 1 million miles pulling trailers, Mr. Truck has a unique collection of truck and farm stories that will educate and entertain. Mr.Truck gave up his bib overalls and John Deeres in his quest to save the farm and moved to the big city to sell trucks. After selling trucks for 10 years, this farmer now writes for eight magazines and owns over two dozen Web sites, helping folks find the "Right Truck." If you have a question for Mr. Truck, you may contact him at his Web site, http://www.MrTruck.net. ❖