2015 Land Rover LR4 HSE Black Pack | Road Test
* The intelligent Terrain Control system makes driving off-road an absolute breeze.
* Ample amounts of tech to cater to the young'uns and the avid off-roader alike.
* Disappointing to see just how similar the LR4 is to the previous generation model.
* A locking glove box would make for an interesting addition to the Valet mode.
Introduction & Summary
Over the past sixty six years, Land Rover has earned its reputation for producing some of the most capable off-road vehicles on the planet and in the process, it has also become one of the oldest four-wheel-drive vehicle manufacturers in the world, second only to American producer, Jeep. But while Land Rovers’ have been held in high regard for their capability, they’ve also earned a slightly unfavourable reputation in the bargain, a reputation that claims: ‘Land Rovers’ are only bought by those who couldn’t afford to drive a Range Rover out of the showroom.’
The 2015 Land Rover LR4, however, is here to contest that…
Styling & Design
Referred to as the Discovery in most parts of the world (except for North America and the Middle East), the Land Rover LR4 is as you’ve probably already deciphered, the fourth member in the Discovery family. Keeping with the tradition of carrying out significant changes to every alternate generation, the fourth generation model is nearly identical to its predecessor, retaining its overall styling and the timeless two-stage ascending roofline as well.
Hop inside and you’ll notice the designers’ haven’t been very creative with the interior either. Featuring ample amounts of Ivory leather, piano black trim, and silver accents, the selection of materials is impeccable, yet, with rubberized rotary knobs and military style storage boxes hinting at the LR4’s brawny side, the interior is best described as a blend of ruggedness and luxury, with none overpowering the other.
While at first glance the LR4 may come off as slightly archaic, with its diminutive infotainment screen, black and white instrument cluster display, and lack of LED interior lighting, scratching below the surface reveals that in actuality, the proud Brit is filled with a plethora of tech. Five different camera angles (including one to ensure you don’t scuff the 20 inch alloys), a valet mode that locks the multimedia screen and tailgate, as well as a Cross Traffic Alert system, are just the tip of the iceberg.
The Bluetooth system on the other hand is award worthy in itself, for it is in all likelihood one of the easiest systems we have encountered in all of 2014. Giving the driver the option to either pair the car to a phone, or vice versa, there’s no need to have the manual or six IT graduate friends at hand to help you link your device to the vehicle. It really is, simplicity at its best.
Performance, Ride & Handling
Fitted with the same engine found in the Jaguar XF and the phenomenal F-TYPE, the 3.0 litre supercharged V6 engine churns out 340 horsepower at 6,500 RPM and a tarmac rippling 450 Nm of torque from just 3,500 RPM. Mated to an eight speed automatic transmission, the LR4 channels power to all four wheels and accelerates to 100 km/h in a reasonable 8.1 seconds.
Armed with a phenomenal Terrain Control selector that adapts the suspension height, gearing, differentials, and traction control system according to the mode selected, drivers’ are simply left to peep out of their window and match the terrain they see with the logo on the Terrain Control switch. Carrying out the necessary alterations, the LR4 ploughs through mud, crawls over rocks, powers through gravel, and charges through sand dunes, making the driver look like the God of all terrain, as others watch in amazement with their jaw to the floor.
Offering three different ride heights, the air suspension ensures ingress and egress is never a challenge, yet, it is able to lift the 1,887mm tall SUV high enough to climb the tricky stuff without having to worry about ground clearance, or losing a bumper. Best described as firm but forgiving, the suspension is definitely on the stiff side, but resulting in significantly less body roll than expected and the ability to soak up road undulations effortlessly, it strikes the perfect balance, both on and off the road.
While the sound of a 3.0 litre engine in a vehicle that weighs 2,565 kg is sure to have you questioning the decision of the boffins at Land Rover, arrive at the trickiest patch of dunes and as the oodles of torque carry the LR4 to the top, you’re bound to be left speechless. On the way down, engage Hill Descent Control (HDC) and the LR4 makes its way ever so gracefully, braking each wheel individually and leaving you with the task of only controlling the steering.
For times when you wish to take your 2015 Land Rover LR4 for a little swim into the wadis at Hatta or elsewhere around the world, the side mirrors are also fitted with wade sensors, which trigger at a minimum depth of 0.15 metres and warn the driver if the vehicle is nearing its 0.65 metres maximum wading depth. Frankly, this wasn’t a feature we got around to experimenting with, but by judging just how well it managed every other terrain, we don’t doubt its capability one bit when a little bit of H20 is sprinkled into the equation.
Comfort & Practicality
Up front, the driver and front seat passenger are bestowed with captain seats, making them feel like royalty with their rear end parked in a throne, but that’s not to say the others are to feel left out. Each row of seating receives its very own sunroof and since each row sits higher than the preceding row, the large windows offer unobstructed view of the great outdoors.
Practicality wise, the LR4 does reasonably well too, sipping 13 litres for every 100 kilometres and allowing for 280 litres, 1,192 litres, and 2,558 litres of storage behind the third, second, and first row of seating respectively. Accessing the third row of seating, or even folding and unfolding them for that matter, is a complicated task in itself that will have you wishing you hadn’t sent your mates back home after figuring out the Bluetooth system all by yourself.
Price & Verdict
The 2015 Land Rover LR4 may come off a mommy wagon, something that is ideal for the school run and spacious enough to accommodate groceries for the month, but while it may be able to do that extremely well, its capabilities only truly begin to shine when it’s off the tarmac. Commanding a steep AED 25,000 premium over the standard price, the optional Black Pack that can be seen on our test car not only rockets the price to an eye watering AED 299,000, but also gets you onto a waiting list for four months, as it isn’t a dealer fitment.
More importantly, you can eliminate all the dark cosmetic bits and get your hands on a top of the line LR4 for just AED 274,000. Sure, it is more expensive than the no nonsense Land Rover Defender, but that’s because you’re paying for refinement. What’s certain either way though, is that the claim can be put to rest, as Land Rovers’ aren’t bought by those who cannot afford a Range Rover, but by those who simply wish to use their vehicle for its intended purpose – the rough stuff.
Nazwa to Badayer in a Land Rover LR4 HSE Black Pack