In terms of performance, it is extremely hard to find something to get excited about with the 2012 Land Rover LR2 SUV. In fact, it fails in so many ways, it is confusing how the vehicle can be such a strong seller for the line. Is it because of the name, or that it lets everyone around know you are the rugged outdoor type?
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The LR2 is powered by a modest 3.2-liter inline-6 that delivers 230 horsepower and 234 pound-feet of torque. Zero to 60 mph takes a pokey 9.3 seconds and fuel-economy is certainly nothing to get excited about at 15 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway.
On a positive side, the LR2 is only available as an all-wheel drive, and it does do a fantastic job of identifying weather and road conditions. It optimizes center differential engagement, engine power, throttle response, transmission gearing and traction control to increase mobility in four different settings.<>A six-speed automatic is the only transmission available, which is pretty standard for an SUV on this segment. As for the ride, there is a ton of body roll, steering is uncommunicative, acceleration is slow and if you brake hard, your front end takes a giant nose dive.
Interestingly, crash test results for the 2012 Land Rover LR2 are impossible to find, as are braking capabilities. Of course, this could be a good thing for sales considering Land Rover generally struggles to get better than “Marginal” ratings in this department. The fact that they have a driver’s knee airbag is a strong selling point. It helps to keep the driver from submarining under the dash in the event of a collision. Other than that, safety features are plentiful, but really about what you find elsewhere.
The styling of the 2012 LR2 will either be loved or hated by consumers. This really is not a vehicle that you will sit on the fence with. It features the same boxy styling of other Land Rovers, but a sportier front end. Privacy glass and a rear tailgate spoiler do add a hint of sophistication, and the fact that it is available in 11 colors does offer many opportunities for personalization.
Finally, the LR2 excels in a category. Seating for five is significant with an abundance of leg and head room for all; however the rear bench seat does not win any awards for comfort. Occupants are surrounded by rich wood trim and supple leathers, but it is still not quite up to luxury standards.
An upright seated position gives the driver a better command of the road, and stadium seating ensures everyone has a good view. The touchscreen navigation system is incredibly easy to operate, but the rest of the controls and instruments are placed too close together, making it a bit busy.
Although the LR2 does offer a good amount of cargo room, it does fall short when compared to the competition. Behind the rear seat, there is 26.7 cubic feet, but when the seat is folded down, it offers 58.9 cubic feet.