The name Land Rover means two things to most people. It means British luxury so a certain level of opulence is expected when you open the door. It also means that the vehicle in question is one of the most capable off-road vehicles on the planet. The LR4 aims to combine both of those things at a price point that’s more affordable than the brand’s fancier offerings.
Once upon a time, every SUV was a box on wheels. They looked like boxes and drove like boxes and the way they looked let you know that they would take to the mud, rocks, and dirt like a fish to water. Those boxy looks have changed over the years, but not with the LR4.
It looks like a traditional SUV in that it is very square and very tall, hearkening back to the days of yore. This is a look that you’ll either love and embrace for being almost retro and even hipster, or hate because it looks old-fashioned. The LR4 doesn’t look like every other SUV.
The looks on the inside uphold the Land Rover reputation for luxury. It is thoroughly modern and very civilized without any flash. Controls are clean and uncluttered and surfaces are rich. There is lots of leather, including on the tilt and telescopic steering wheel and seats.
Seating position is high so you can easily see over that big hood, and as you move back to the second and third row they are staged stadium-style rather than perfectly in a line for better visibility for everyone. The second row is comfortable and roomy, even with three passengers, but the back row is best reserved for kids.
High-end British company Meridian has provided an all new sound system this year. The 300-watt system with subwoofer pumps sound out to 11 speakers with an 825-watt, 17-speaker system available. Bluetooth telephone connectivity and audio streaming are featured and there is USB and iPod connectivity as well as an aux jack. Control of the system is managed through a 7″ color touchscreen and buttons on the center console.
The HSE LUX package that my test vehicle had included that beefier stereo and SirisuXM Satellite and HD Radio, ambient lighting, cooler box, adjustable bolsters and 19″ alloy wheels. It also added 8-way power adjustable front seats. This is a $10,200 option, so if you want the capability but don’t want the fancy stuff inside, you can save quite a bit by getting the base model.
There’s a good chance that owners of this car will never truly take it off-road but instead spend most of their time driving on the highway. That doesn’t mean that Land Rover didn’t pack a ridiculous amount of off-road capability into this car, just in case, and you really should try it out.
The Terrain Response System adds General, Snow, Mud, Sand, and Rock Crawl modes that switch at the touch of a button and there’s permanent 4WD with traction control. Hill descent control, all-terrain dynamic stability control, and air suspension with adjustable heights combine to create one off-road ready SUV.
Power is provided via a new 3.0-liter supercharged V6 with direct injection. This gives you 340 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque that easily moves the LR4 without hesitation. It also provides better fuel efficiency than the prior year’s engine with 14 city/19 highway/ 16 combined. That may be better than last year’s numbers, but it’s still going to hurt for those with a long commute.
The drawback to being so off-road ready is that it’s not as pleasant to drive on regular old roads. That high, boxy style makes it feel top-heavy and the steering is numb. Although comfortable for a longer ride, handling is not the best on the highway with a lot of sway and body roll that is a little nerve-wracking if you’re forced to make an abrupt maneuver.
You’ll ride in safety with lots of airbags to protect both front and rear passengers. There are also seat belt pre-tensioners and rear park distance control with a rear view camera to make doubly sure that you’ve got nothing behind the car.
The 2014 Land Rover LR4 starts at $50K with options that can take that north of $60K. This makes it a significantly more affordable Land Rover than other models. While a little luxury may be sacrificed, the off-road capability is still strong making this a nice way to get yourself into a Land Rover without breaking into the kids’ college funds.
2014 Land Rover LR4 HSE Luxury
Base Price: $49,700
Price As Tested: $63,800 (not including destination charge)
- Off-Road Capability
- Comfortable Interior
- Traditional Styling
- Poor Fuel Economy
- Numb Steering
- Top-Heavy Feel