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2008 Land Rover LR2 Road Test
New technologies enhance baby Land Rover
By Bill Roebuck
The 2008 LR2 HSE is new from the ground up and it delivers excellent, nimble on-road performance as well as the class-leading off-road capability expected of a Land Rover.
After driving the Range Rover Sport for a week (a vehicle I didn't much like, although most of my experience with it was in the city, which isn't really where it belongs), I was quite happy to switch to the smaller, more versatile and better-designed LR2.
It's one of the nicest-looking SUVs on the market, in my view. And it was just the right size for my typical city driving -- not too big, not too small. And it was comforting to know that if I needed to overcome an off-road challenge, the LR2 was pretty likely to meet it head-on, despite the lack of 4WD low gearing for tough slogging.
The car-based LR2 shares its platform with the Volvo V70 wagon and S80 sedan, which were developed when Volvo was owned by Ford. By the way, Tata Motors acquired the Jaguar Land Rover businesses from Ford Motor Company on March 26, 2008. Tata Motors is India's largest automobile company. With over four million Tata vehicles plying in India, it is the leader in commercial vehicles and among the top three in passenger vehicles.
The 2008 model has a sportier stance than its the Freelander model it replaced, with body-colour bumpers and side sills, a rear spoiler, titanium colored door handles and 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.
Changes to the interior see 8x6-way power adjustable seats and a storage box with a sliding cover.
The LR2 is packed with new technologies to improve both on-road and off-road performance. Land Roverís unique Terrain Response is standard, making off-road use easier. I expect it would be just about as capable as pricier Land Rover and Range Rover models.
Other advanced technologies include permanent intelligent all-wheel-drive system for superior traction and enhanced on-road fuel economy, and the patented Gradient Release Control that works in conjunction with Hill Decent Control, to improve driver confidence and control when releasing the brakes on steep and slippery slopes.
Technical highlights of the new LR2 HSE include a 3.2-litre inline-six engine featuring advanced technologies to deliver an combination of performance and economy. The 230-bhp inline six cylinder engine provides 0-100 km/h acceleration in 8.9 seconds.
The engine is matched to a six-speed automatic transmission, with Land Roverís CommandShift offering manual sequential gear changes when required. There is also a driver-selectable sport mode for even more responsive performance.
LR2 HSE -- $44,900
Posted June 10, 2008