Unlike other expensive and pretty Sport Utility Vehicles, the Land Rover is an SUV you can take out for an adventure, get muddied up and not be afraid that you broke it.
Not built to just get by on its looks, the 2010 LR4 is rugged, durable and meant to be taken off the road.
For 2010, Land Rover’s LR4 replaces the LR3. The new version has been significantly revised in the interior and under the hood.
The biggest alteration to the Land Rover is the powerplant. The new engine is the most important in a number of refinements made to the LR4. The new 5.0-liter V-8 is now built with a Direct Injection fuel delivery system. The LR’s V-8 gains a performance increase over the previous 4.4-liter V-8 engine by 25 percent in horsepower and 19 percent in torque. With Direction Injection the new LR meets the Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle 2 regulations.
The 2010 LR4’s 5.0L V-8 generates 375 horsepower and 375 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine is mated to a revised six-speed adaptive automatic transmission. Land Rover says its engineers made the six automatic ultra smooth with refined shifts. The Land Rover’s automatic transmission features an Intelligent Sport Mode to adapt to sporty driving styles.
The LR4 with its permanent four-wheel drive set-up, V-8 performance and big curb weight of more than 5,800 pounds delivers dismal numbers in the EPA fuel economy standards. The EPA estimates drivers will get only 12 miles per gallon in city driving and 17 mpg on the highway.
But let’s not forget, the Land Rover is a serious sport utility vehicle and is constructed to take on big, powerful on- and off-road responsibilities. It can go from 0 to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds, it’s got a ground clearance of 9.4 inches for off-road adventuring, it will tow up to 7,716 pounds, has a payload capacity of 1,325 pounds, a roof rack load of 165 pounds and will ford water 27.6 inches high.
The LR4 is an all-around better handling and much-improved SUV over the previous LR3. Engineers went to work all over this vehicle. They revised the entire suspension architecture, made the steering better, gave it larger brakes and enhanced its Terrain Response program.
Land Rover introduces “Sand Launch Control” for the Sand setting. Sand is a power-hungry and difficult surface and the new enhancement makes driving out of sand easier. For the Rock Crawl setting, Land Rover offers a more composed drive through rocky surfaces with a revised low-level braking application to reduce the vehicle’s roll tendency.
The Terrain Response control dial has been relocated on the center console. Its repositioning simplifies the moving of the land-use dials and gives more room for the cupholder base.
All of the controls are more inclined toward the driver for intuitive access, which is seemlessly enhanced by the reduction in the number of controls, Land Rover points out. I do have to say from a driver’s point of view, the new layout felt uncluttered, which lent to a more intuitive operation. And clearly, a new handcrafted feel in the interior makes the LR feel less austere and mechanical and more responsive and luxurious.
Buyers have a choice natural wood finishes and there are two new interior contrast colors to complement the light Almond color: they are a mid-tone Nutmeg and a dark Arabica.
The LR4, standard as a five-passenger model, can seat up to seven people with the available third-row option. Land Rover’s starting price for the 2010 LR is $47,250. — Connie Keane, Motor Matters
Next New On Wheels: 2010 Audi A5
Next New On Wheels (Bonus Wheels): 2010 Acura TSX
2010 LAND ROVER LR4
VEHICLE TYPE_________________ 5/7-passenger 4WD SUV
BASE PRICE___________________ $47,250 (as tested: $55,710)
ENGINE TYPE__________________ 32-valve DOHC V-8 w/DI
HORSEPOWER (net)_____________ 375 at 6500 rpm
TORQUE (lb.-ft.)_____________ 375 at 3500 rpm
TRANSMISSION_________________ 6-speed automatic
WHEELBASE____________________ 113.6 in.
OVERALL LENGTH_______________ 190.1 in.
CURB WEIGHT__________________ 5,833 lbs.
FUEL CAPACITY________________ 22.8 gal.
EPA MILEAGE RATING___________ 12 mpg city, 17 mpg highway
2011 BUICK REGAL: General Motors desperately wants younger people to like Buick. GM also desperately needs to make money. The company hopes the 2011 Regal will help accomplish both tasks. The Regal isn’t exactly small, but it will be the smallest Buick in some time. It’s based on the responsive underpinnings of GM’s Opel Insignia from Europe and the Regal’s tight sheet metal and interior reflect that aesthetic. Although we question re-commissioning the Regal name, it indeed could be the first Buick since the 1980s to be at least semi-cool. When it goes on sale later this year it will be priced at $26,995. (Source: FreeWheeling, Motor Matters)
ASK THE AUTO DOC: My Hyundai Santa Fe 3.5-liter V-6 has 12,000 miles. The shop suggested I have the fuel injectors cleaned. Do you think this is too soon for this service? Answer: My recommendation for fuel-injector cleaning is simple. At each oil change I recommend a good quality bottle of fuel-injector cleaner be put in the gas tank. Where applicable I also recommend the fuel filter be replaced at two years or 24,000 miles. This is only for vehicles with external fuel filters. (Source: Ask the Auto Doctor, Motor Matters)
WINTER DRIVING TIP: Make sure your suspension system is properly tuned. Shocks and struts are critical to handling, and every bit of vehicle performance helps on ice and snow. Road adhesion is directly influenced by shock absorber or strut performance; worn shocks or struts can cause excessive weight transfer, which reduces the ability of the tires to grip the road. (Source: Bridgestone)
Copyright, Motor Matters, 2010