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2011 Land Rover LR4 HSE – Inspector Gadget's personal SUV

Tuesday January 4th, 2011 at 12:11 PM
Posted by: bclark

2011 Land Rover LR4

Handling

On the highway, the LR4 exhibits rock-solid straight-line tracking and on-center feel while delivering a very smooth ride. When I did hit a bump or dip, the suspension was very well damped and did not over-cycle at all. Compress the suspension and there is one, undetectable rebound action. Extend the suspension and there is one undetectable compression action. With this controlled behavior, the LR4 made every road feel flat and newly paved. Well done!

Surprisingly, the LR4 was also poised and confident on windy country roads, at least for an SUV. At speed, on the tarmac, the LR4’s suspension lowers the ride height to aid aerodynamics and handling. Additionally, the computer can increase sway-bar firmness at speed, adding to that feeling of control.

Around town, the LR4 drives like a much smaller SUV than its size suggests. The steering is perfectly assisted and it turns on a dime, making parking effortless. The suspension really swallowed up the rough roads of San Francisco and when I was stopped on the STEEP hills waiting for a traffic signal, the Hill Start assist kept the vehicle from rolling backwards when I switched from the brake pedal to the gas pedal.

2011 Land Rover LR4 2011 Land Rover LR4

Styling

I love the styling of the LR4.  It looks muscular and maneuverable – and it is. It looks small from the outside, but it’s roomy on the inside. Although very similar in appearance to the previous LR3, the LR4 looks very well finished with its signature LED lighting, fog lights, and updated interior. The large windows and their low-slung placement looks a bit odd from outside, but it all makes sense when you sit in the driver’s seat, as they make for excellent visibility.

Value

This is the tough part for me. The LR4 is expensive. I loved this SUV, but decked-out with options, it nears the $58k mark. The options are all great, so I don’t know what I’d cut to get the price down to something more affordable. Keep in mind that if you buy it, you have to feed it too. I was able to get 19 MPG on the highway during long trips, but only a measly 12 MPG in the city and maybe 14 MPG combined.

For what you get, it’s money well spent. You can carry 7 passengers and minimal cargo, if any. However, it’s not the size of a school bus like some other SUV’s and remains maneuverable in tight parking lots, small roads and off-road. Or you can carry 5 passengers, plus lots of luggage. Or you can fold down all the seats and carry two passengers with gobs of stuff.

The LR4 can ride luxury-car smooth Monday through Friday and then be a capable off-road vehicle on the weekends. How many other SUV’s can pull that off?

2011 Land Rover LR4 signature LED lights

Who should buy it?

If you are in the market for any new car, you should check out the LR4. If you are looking for a sports car or something more reasonably priced, this might not be the car for you, but if you are looking to buy any type of luxury sedan, crossover, or SUV, you need to test-drive an LR4 before making a decision – particularly if you lead an active lifestyle and love the outdoors. If you are a gadget-guy like I am, I can’t think of a better, more versatile SUV out there. The LR4 is my SUV nirvana.

Conclusion

The Land Rover LR4 has completely won me over as my favorite do-it-all vehicle.  It’s something I can use to get to the most remote mountain bike trailheads; something that will get me to the snow country and back safely and comfortably, something tough yet refined, something powerful yet smooth, something large enough to transport seven adults, yet nimble on its feet – er wheels.

The LR4 has a mind-boggling number of useful features. Versatility is underscored by the LR4, options are plentiful and the seating configurations seem endless. If Inspector Gadget were shopping for an SUV, this would undoubtedly be his first choice.

2011 Land Rover LR4 has over 90 cubic feet of cargo space behind the front row seats

BUILD INTERIOR PERFORMANCE HANDLING STYLING VALUE OVERALL
RATING 4.5 5.0 5.0 4.5 5.0 5.0 4.8/A


2011 Land Rover LR4 Photo Gallery

2011 Land Rover LR4

2011 Land Rover LR4 Specs

Land RoverThe official website of Land Rover – www.landrover.com

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2 Responses to 2011 Land Rover LR4 HSE – Inspector Gadget's personal SUV

  1. Peter Anastopulos says:

    The most exciting thing about this car that it’s being condensed by it’s former parents(Ford) and will be the DNA for the new Explorer .I love the new Explorer and think it will translate in to a much more useful vehicle .The reason this car is expensive is that it’s built in the UK in small amounts .Mass production will make this car stronger.

  2. Bill Clark says:

    Go test-drive the LR4 and let me know your thoughts :-).

    Comments from actual LR4-owners are welcome and appreciated too.

    Anyone using this SUV to haul mountain bikes with a bike-rack on the factory hitch receiver? I am sure the selectable ride-height helps with ground clearance when a bike rack is attached, but I can only speculate. I have scraped up a few bike racks on other SUV’s that way, especially when carrying the extended 4-bike rack on the receiver.





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