2012 Land Rover LR4 | road test

Posted on May 10, 2012 by

Quick Review

GoodGood Engine, comfort, off-road ability
BadBadMinor quality issues
SpecsSpecs5-litre V8; 375bhp, 508Nm
PricePriceAED 264,000
RatingEditors Rating Four Star

If I could afford to splurge, I’d buy the Land Rover Defender in a heartbeat. For me it’s the ultimate go anywhere vehicle and I believe it compliments my lifestyle perfectly. It has the iconic Land Rover silhouette, a bulletproof image and off-road capabilities of a battle tank. All that’s missing is passenger comfort and modern day features and I could live with that. However, most buyers wont fall for the Defender’s USPs and want a lot more out of their new Land Rover. How about a Land Rover that gives you all of the above along with top class luxury and contemporary features without threatening to rip your bank account to shreds? It’s time to take a good look at the 2012 .

Conceived over two decades ago, Land Rover built the Discovery series to plug the gap between the utilitarian Defender and the luxurious Range Rover. It fit in right in in terms of features and creature comforts. Staying true to tradition, the Discovery could go anywhere its siblings could and that made it an instant hit in the SUV community. Over the years, this model has progressed considerably and has gone on to become the modern day LR4.

Those who appreciate traditional Land Rover looks will like the upright, tall and boxy design of the LR4. It borrows heavily from the LR2 and the top-of-the-line Range Rover and most importantly, it’s hardly any different from the model it replaces. It will take some effort to distinguish the LR4 from the LR3 if both were parked side by side. You will notice a slightly redesigned front bumper along with subtle changes around the body but that suggests more of a body kit on the LR3 than anything else. We drove the LR4 Pursuit edition that is specially designed for the MENA region. It has a number of cosmetic additions to make it appear even more butch. Additions include front and rear light guards, a front bull bar, a rear access ladder and additional impact protection for the underbody.

The LR4 is available in two trim levels, SE and HSE. We drove the HSE that pretty much rivals the Range Rover in every aspect. The interior is well appointed and luxurious. The only shortcoming is quality on some plastic parts and the overall finish if you have an eye for detail. The leather finish on the dashboard and the stitching had some inconsistencies and once you notice them it’s difficult not to think about them every five minutes. You don’t expect these kinds of discrepancies from a car like this. Yes, some might say, “it’s a Land Rover, what did you expect?” Currently, Land Rover is not suffering from a poor product line-up; it’s these stereotypes regarding quality and maintenance that are affecting the brand and they need to be ironed out.

Standard features include 19-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, leather upholstery, parking sensors with a reversing camera, voice guided navigation, cool box, LED daytime running lights, power front seats, four-zone automatic climate control, keyless ignition/entry, four-way adjustable power steering column, a power tilt-and-slide front sunroof, a fixed rear sunroof, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming and a 12-speaker Herman Kardon stereo with touchscreen controls, an in-dash CD changer, two USB ports, an iPod interface.

The 2012 Land Rover LR4 is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 engine with a maximum output of 375bhp and 508Nm of torque. Power is transferred to a permanent all-wheel-drive system via a 6-speed automatic transmission. The engine is one of the best features of this SUV. It feels abundant on power and torque and no matter what the driving situation is, it pushes and shoves its way out of everything. It never feels out of breath even in the softest of sands and the steepest of dunes.

To make things even better, the Land Rover LR4 has five sophisticated drive modes that can be selected using a knob mounted in the centre console. You can select between general, grass/gravel/snow, sand, mud and ruts, and rock crawl. Obviously, I didn’t have the opportunity to test them all but I did try the sand mode extensively and I must admit, it’s very impressive. The problems you face with other SUVs in sand is that the traction control needs to be turned off on most of them. However, the sand mode in the LR4 has been programmed in a way that it never cuts power and ensures you have optimal traction always. The adaptive air suspension also comes in extremely handy in making sure you have additional ground clearance and a better approach and departure angle. If you plan to buy this SUV, I beg you to take it off-road to understand what it’s really capable of and do some justice to the engineering involved.

On road the LR4 feels very agile and quick. This SUV can reach from 0 to 100kmph in less than eight seconds, which is impressive for a car this big and this heavy. The ride is comfortable and well cushioned. What I liked the most about driving this SUV was the overall visibility, which is excellent. Also, tackling corners at high speed isn’t a hellish experience like most soft sprung SUVs once you set the ride height in its lowest possible position.

Standard safety features on the 2012 Land Rover LR4 HSE include ABS, six airbags, traction control; stability control, hill descent control and hill start assist. There are also several optional features like third row airbags and all round cameras for blind spot visibility while off-roading to name a few.

In a nutshell, the 2012 Land Rover LR4 is a muscular, well-appointed and powerful SUV that offers a good drive on-road and off it. It has all the features and comfort to stop a potential Range Rover customer dead in his track and has enough off road prowess that rivals the Defender. Priced it AED 234,000 for the SE variant and AED 264,000 for the HSE variant, the 2012 Land Rover LR4 is a worthy adversary in the face of its Japanese and German rivals.

Specifications

Price: AED 264,000

Price range: AED 234,000 – AED 264,000

Drivetrain

Engine: 5-litre V8
Layout: Front engine, permanent all wheel drive
Max. power: 375bhp @ 6500rpm
Max torque: 508Nm @ 3500rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Dimensions (mm)

Length: 4838
Width: 1915
Height: 1882
Wheelbase: 2885
Curb Weight: 2670kg
Fuel tank capacity: 86 litre
Seating capacity: 5 (7 with optional package)

Competitors

Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, Volkswagen Touareg , BMW X3, Audi Q5, Ford Explorer

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