2016 Land Rover LR4
The Land Rover LR4 is a full-size SUV with impressive off-road and towing capabilities and enough room to seat seven passengers in comfort. It is essentially a refreshed version of the old LR3 with a revised exterior, a more powerful engine and a more luxurious cabin.
Called Discovery outside of the United States, the LR4 was given a minor aesthetic redesign for the latest model year that consists of a new front grille, a revised front bumper and new-look headlights complete with LED accents.
Front end aside, the LR4's body has changed very little since it was introduced in 2009, and its overall silhouette is heavily inspired by the original Discovery that bowed in 1989.
The LR4 boasts a simple, functional dashboard with discreet wood accents, an easy-to-read instrument cluster made up of two analog gauges and a vehicle information screen and a rotary gear selector also found in other Land Rovers.
A touch screen mounted on the center stack bundles the SUV's entertainment, connectivity and navigation (if equipped) functions into a single unit. It also displays images received from the rear-view camera and allows the driver to zoom in.
The LR4 is available with Jaguar - Land Rover's new InControl Apps, smartphone integration software designed to work seamlessly with both Apple and Android devices. Passengers can access the bulk of their phone's features on the touch screen and use additional purpose-designed apps to book a hotel room, get parking information, check traffic and make conference calls.
All LR4s regardless of trim level come standard with room for up to five passengers, but buyers can order the SUV with optional third row of seats that makes it possible to carry seven passengers. The LR4 boasts 9.9 cubic feet of trunk space with all three rows of seats up, 42.1 cubic feet with five adults on board and 90.3 cubic feet with the third and second rows folded flat.
Under the Hood
The LR4's fuel-thirsty V8 engine has been replaced by a more efficient 3.0-liter V6 unit that uses a supercharger to generate 340 horsepower and 331 lb-ft. of torque. Linked to a brand new eight-speed automatic transmission designed by ZF, the 5,655-pound LR4 can sprint from zero to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 121 mph.
The new transmissions helps the LR4 return 14 mpg in the city and 19 on the highway when burning premium gasoline.
Since few buyers take their LR4 off the pavement, the standard transfer case is a single-speed unit that provides a 42/58-percent front-rear torque split. A two-speed unit better suited to off-road driving is available as an option.
A four-corner independent height-adjustable air suspension improves on-road ride and handling while retaining the SUV's well-known off-road prowess, and Land Rover's Terrain Response system helps optimize the vehicle for a variety of situations. Terrain Response offers five settings: general, grass/gravel/snow, mud/ruts, sand, and rock crawl. For more information about Terrain Response, visit our Spotlight On: Land Rover Terrain Response in-depth article.
Trim Level Breakdown
The LR4 is offered in base, HSE and HSE LUX trim levels.
The base model LR4 comes standard with leather upholstery, a rear-view camera, power seats, a power sunroof and an "Alpine" glass rear roof, dual-zone automatic climate control, an AM/FM/CD sound system with a USB port and a seven-inch touch-screen, 19-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth smartphone connectivity and more.
The HSE brings a hard drive-based navigation system, LED front accent lighting and voice recognition capability. The HSE LUX adds a premium leather upholstery, heated front and second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, interior mood lighting and rear climate control.
Options include the Heavy-Duty Package, which includes an active locking rear differential with a full-size spare tire, and the Vision Assist Package, which includes a surround camera system and a tow hitch assist system. Finally, an available Black Design package brings stygian exterior trim and black 19- or 20-inch wheels.
All LR4 models come standard with dual front, side and full-length side curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems and electronic brake assist.
Safety-minded buyers can order a wide array of optional driving aids including Wade Sensing, Blind Spot Monitoring, Closing Vehicle Sensing, Reverse Traffic Detection and T-junction Cameras.
While rivals like the BMW X5, Audi Q7 and Acura MDX provide more refined on-road driving dynamics, only the Lexus GX can come close to the LR4's off-road prowess.