2013 Land Rover LR2 SUV - FROM $
The LR2's off-road prowess and all-weather capability are impressive, and a new, more fuel-efficient engine should improve fuel economy. But whether it measures up to other compact luxury crossovers on the street remains to be seen.
What's New for 2013
Along with subtle styling enhancements, the 2013 Land Rover LR2 gets a smaller and more fuel-efficient engine.
First downsizing hit the economy and the workplace. Now it's showing up in the luxury car ranks as well. Not even Land Rover is immune. The 2013 Land Rover LR2 loses its thirsty six-cylinder engine in favor of a new turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, the same engine also found in the Range Rover Evoque.
The new engine weighs 88 pounds less than the outgoing 3.2-liter six-cylinder and gets a 10-horsepower boost for 240 hp total. A six-speed automatic transmission should help the powertrain achieve better fuel economy than the six-cylinder's miserable 15 mpg city/22 mpg highway. Land Rover hasn't announced the LR2's fuel economy, but the 2.0-liter in the Evoque returns 18 city/28 highway and 22 mpg combined.
The 2013 LR2 will share more with the Evoque than just an engine. It also borrows a bit of the baby Range Rover's cabin class, with a new center console and 7-inch touchscreen audio and navigation interface. The HSE trim level even gets a rearview camera with "Hitch Assist" -- a graphic superimposed on the camera view that shows the position of the tow ball -- making it easier to secure your trailer.
Outside the LR2 gets new headlights, taillights and 18-inch alloy wheels. Rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlights come standard, and those in colder climates can opt for a heated windshield and heated washer jets.
The 2013 Land Rover LR2 will ride on the same all-wheel-drive unibody platform as the current model. The LR2 will also offer Terrain Response, a feature found on pricier Range Rovers that automatically optimizes the suspension to wet, muddy and sandy road conditions, and most surfaces in between. With 8.3 inches of ground clearance, the new LR2 should still measure up to Land Rover's off-road pedigree. Whether it offers any better manners on the road is another question.
The 2013 Land Rover LR2 should start with a base price slightly lower than the all-wheel-drive BMW X3, but slightly more than the Audi Q5. The Acura RDX is another possibly overlooked competitor, although the new LR2's main competition could well be the Evoque, which offers impeccable civility on the road and a high dose of style and statement for not much more money.
Check back for a full review of the 2013 Land Rover LR2, including specs, driving impressions and buying advice as it becomes available.