Friday, November 24, 2017

(Look-back review) Devon goes lux in a Land Rover

File:2011 Land Rover LR4 -- 12-31-2010 2.jpg
The Land Rover LR4 is one of those vehicles that can fit up to seven passengers and still offer plenty of luxury that you’d expect from a Land Rover. It can be used as a workhorse and has legendary off-road capability. So does this mean that this Land Rover is a real jack of all trade?

Performance:  The only engine on hand with the LR4 is a 5-liter eight-cylinder producing 375hp. Acceleration is smooth and brisk on the highway and even around town it doesn’t feel overpowered. This is highly due to the fact that the LR4 weighs 5,600lbs. It won’t feel like a sports car but it at the same time it will never feel underpowered once up to speed.

Ride & Handling: The LR4 won’t defy the laws of physics as well as a BMW X5 would, but it does a good enough job of staying composed and taut feeling through bends. Highway driving is where the LR4 shines. The air suspension does an amazing job of ironing out bumps and road imperfections providing a smooth supple ride all will enjoy. The Land Rover isn’t aerodynamic but it does filter out wind noise quite well. There is however some wind noise that can be heard from the chunky side mirrors. This can be drained out by the radio.

Behind the wheel:  The LR4 has a very good view of the road ahead.  The driver’s seat has tons of adjustments and there are plenty of storage compartments too. The controls and dials on the dashboard are easy to navigate but a tad fiddly to operate. The LR4 can seat up to seven, however it can’t do the seven passengers and their luggage trick as well as a Mercedes GL. There’s plenty of room when you fold down the third row seat. The tailgate opens in split that can serve as a seat or viewing platform.

Equipment: All LR4s come well equipped including air-con, four electric windows, Bluetooth and keyless entry. You’ll have to pay extra for Xenon headlamps and satellite navigation system. Our pick would be the mid-range HSE which comes well equipped and is still offered at a decent price. Top of the range adds more features but is harder to justify the higher price tag.

Buying & owning: The LR4 isn’t a cheap car to buy or run. Your fuel bills will be high due to the thirsty eight-cylinder engine. We think that a diesel engine option would really help cut some of the sting out of the running costs, as well as make the LR4 even more desirable. Resale value should be pretty strong when it comes to selling too.

Quality & Safety: The materials used in the cabin show that much detail were given. It feels classy and solid but the biggest question still remains is the reliability record. Our tester car suffered its fair share of electrical issues. The Satellite navigation system completely shut off and took nearly five minutes to restart and car failed to start after a brief stop fuel stop. Stability control and hill decent control all come standard to help aid in on-road and off-road. Thieves won’t bother with the LR4 as it comes standard with an alarm, immobilizer and deadlocks.

The LR4 is a classy well rounded sport utility vehicle that seats up to seven. There’s plenty of comfort in on-road and off-road capabilities with a luxurious cabin that can lives up the Land Rover standards. However with all this comfort and refinement reliability has been a bit of an issue. Our tester car suffered a few glitches on the test drive. If you can ignore these bits the LR4 is a rewarding vehicle to own and a fantastic car to have if you need seven seats or just want the Land Rover badge. However, there are better alternates out there that are much better in terms of quality and running costs.

Likes: Luxurious ride on road and off-road with commanding view of the road ahead. Can seat up to seven yet doesn’t feel its size when you’re on the road.

Dislikes: Running costs will be high. Electrical issues questions long term reliability. No diesel engine option.

Devon's Quick Summary.

Performance: Eight-cylinder pulls well but is very thirsty.
Ride & handling: Isn't as sharp as an X5 but does a good job.
Behind the wheel: Excellent visibility with superb driving position.
Equipment: Well equipped but lacking a few items that should be standard.
Buying & owning: Isn't cheap to buy nor cheap to run.
Quality & Safety: Reliability is very questionable.

 Devon M 

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