It can’t be said that the builder of the best SUVs in the world builds a truly “entry level” vehicle, but the LR4 is as close as Land Rover comes.
With an MRSP starting around $50,000, the 2016 Land Rover LR4 is by no means an easily affordable SUV. In fact, there are very capable SUVs from U.S. and Japanese manufacturers available right now for about half of what the new LR4 will run you. I’ve reviewed many of them and like quite a few — but none of those are Land Rovers.
There is an innate quality a Land Rover possesses that other SUVs lack. They might aspire to it. They might even achieve a feel of their own that is as appealing as this ethereal “Land Roverness” of which I write. But, that sensation will not be the same as driving a Land Rover.
Regardless of what model you might be driving, regardless of its trim level, a Land Rover is stately, grounded, confident and controlled — all while hiding a toughness and capability that hides under this more cultured personality. A Land Rover is a well-dressed, soft-spoken and educated gentleman who can kick the hell out of you if riled.
To put it another way, James Bond drove a Bentley. In the movies, he’s an Aston Martin man. You could argue a Land Rover shares his personality — a British gentleman tough enough to survive any rough spot.
The LR4 would be comfortable driving down Pall Mall toward Buckingham Palace, tackling dirt roads along the African Veldt or safely touring kids through big city suburbia. At its heart is the 340 horsepower, 3.0 liter V6 engine partnered to an eight speed automatic transmission.
Like all capable Land Rovers, the LR4 uses all-wheel-drive to master the unfortunate terrain surrendering under its wheels. The onboard AI offers a set of driver-selectable driving modes, offering assistance in mud, snow, etc. Other aids at the driver’s fingertips include Hill Descent Control and Adjustable Air Suspension to raise and lower the vehicle for off-roading to accompany the Terrain Response System.
Inside the LR4, there’s seating for seven and interior luxury appointments including power everything, zone climate control, full infotainment system, backup camera, etc. The combined effect provides mobile toughness controlled by a driver enveloped in comfort and luxury.
The driving experience is smooth and capable. You cruise past lesser drivers down their in the lesser vehicles as you go about your business. Thanks to the LR4’s weight distribution and AWD, the vehicle avoids the top heavy, understeering sensation some bigger SUVs throw at you in turns at speed.
I have a feeling other automotive manufacturers get tired of reading lines like this, but a would-be owner simply can’t get a hold of a better SUV for the price hung on the window of the Land Rover LR4. While the vehicle isn’t the automaker’s biggest, most powerful or most feature packed selection, it does offer the all around Land Rover experience within reach of the most buyers.