Without a doubt, the most significant change to the 2013 Land Rover LR2 SUV is what is under the hood. Replacing the straight-six is what promises to be a more powerful and fuel-efficient turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. It mates with a six-speed automatic transmission to send power to all wheels via the permanent all-wheel drive system. Now, some people may be taken back by a four-cylinder in a vehicle of this size, but it produces 240 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque, which should be enough to put most minds at ease. This all-aluminum engine is 88 pounds lighter than its six-cylinder predecessor, helping the LR2 to accelerate zero to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds. While this won’t win you any races, it is certainly nothing to turn your nose up at either. Not much has changed in terms of handling. Although the vehicle does provide some legitimate off-road capabilities, it does suffer from significant body roll and uncommunicative steering. Fuel-economy information has not been released yet, but anything has got to be better than last year’s model returning 15 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway.
• Infotainment System - The new seven-inch touchscreen on the center stack controls the vehicles infotainment system. This includes audio and the optional navigation system.
• Audio - The base nine-speaker audio system is nothing to complain about. It features a single slot CD player as well as MP3 capability. Those that prefer a more enhanced listening experience will want to upgrade to the 17-speaker Meridian system that cranks out 825 watts of power.
• Navigation - An optional hard drive navigation system will get you where you need to go with accuracy and fantastic rerouting capabilities.
• Universal Remote - Stop fighting with remotes on your dashboard and visor. The universal remote allows you to program everything to this one unit.
Don’t expect to see any crash test ratings for the 2013 LR2, as Land Rover tends to fly under the radar of the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. There are not suggested to be any variations in terms of safety features from last year’s model. So, you can expect to see:
• Hill descent control
• Emergency brakeforce distribution
• Electronic traction control
• Corner brake control
• Dynamic stability control
• Roll stability control
• Alarm with immobilizer
• Child seat anchors
• Tire pressure monitoring
• Whiplash protection system in front head restraints
• Dusk sensing headlamps
• Rear door safety locks
Exterior changes on the LR2 are limited to new wheel designs, revamped headlights and three new colors. Although it is plagued with the boxy styling that Land Rover is known for, the LR2 manages to look youthful and even a little sporty.
Rectilinear surface and round knob themes pretty much dominate throughout the cabin. You will find a sophisticated yet charming appeal with several colors to choose from for the leather upholstery. Dual sunroofs offer an airy feel for all passengers, while drivers appreciate a new seven-inch touchscreen display for audio and optional navigation. The front offers an upright, supportive and comfortable seating position, and although all passengers have an abundance of legroom, the bench seat in the rear could grow to be uncomfortable on a long ride.
The LR2 falls a bit short of the competition in terms of cargo space, but it still grants more than enough for most people. Behind the rear seat, there is 26.7 cubic feet, and if you fold the rear seat down, you get 58.9 cubic feet.