2009 Land Rover LR2 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2009 Land Rover LR2 was new.


Performance: 8.0

The Land Rover LR2 has a competent on-road ride and good off-road abilities, but it's heavy and doesn't stand out in a very competitive class. In addition, Land Rover's decision not to include a low-range transfer case will prevent the LR2 from being used in the most extreme off-road situations.

  • "The straight-six is strong, with enough oomph to keep things interesting. Considering this little ute's off-road capabilities, the on-road ride was OK." -- AutoWeek
  • "Few compact SUVs ride better overall. LR2's soft suspension with long wheel travel absorbs big ruts and dips but allows mild pitching. SE's 18-inch tires can cause minor thump and jiggle on sharp bumps and rippled freeways. The stout-feeling structure compensates." -- Consumer Guide
  • "While far from possessing sports-car handling traits (concealing 4300 lb. is a difficult task), the LR2 qualities are laudable ride comfort, predictable handling with good steering communication, and the second quickest time in Land Rover's lineup (behind the supercharged Range Rover Sport) around the 13-mile loop." -- Road and Track
  • "Mediocre acceleration for a luxury-brand SUV, modest handling on pavement..." -- Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

The 2009 Land Rover LR2 comes with a 3.2-liter 230-horsepower six-cylinder engine. Reviewers find the engine adequate but unexceptional. According to the EPA, the LR2 achieves 15/22 mpg city/highway.

  • "Acceleration is good on the highway. It's a bigger ride but not mammoth. You get a good view of the road, and some will like the image the LR brand conveys. That said, this is one expensive ride, and there are a lot of vehicles you could get for the price." -- AutoWeek
  • "Adequate overall, aided by a smooth and responsive automatic transmission. Land Rover claims 8.4 seconds 0-60 mph, but it doesn't feel that quick. LR2 lacks solid midrange punch and struggles a bit up steep grades." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The six-cylinder engine provides decent rather than startling performance." -- Car and Driver

Handling and Braking

Reviewers say the LR2 handles well thanks to stability and traction control systems. However, its on-pavement ride still doesn't measure up to top competitors.

  • "On tarmac, the LR2 displays a confident, compliant ride free of the harshness of some of its rivals, though it probably lacks their ultimate handling tenacity." --Motor Trend
  • "The steering response is nimble enough but retains that Land Rover robustness designed to withstand jarring abuse on rough terrain." -- Forbes
  • "Among the LR2's flaws are soft handling on pavement and just-adequate acceleration." -- Edmunds
  • "The suspension soaks up bumps as it should, but it's firm enough to let the LR2 corner as well as any SUV this size. It never feels tipsy, as the Discovery used to." -- Orlando Sentinel
  • "Stable and well-planted on-road feel, though LR2's tall body leans more than we like in fast turns, and the steering is a tad sloppy and slow. One test model's brakes felt touchy at times." -- Consumer Guide


Off-road driving is a Land Rover specialty. Most reviewers feel that the LR2 holds its own in this department even despite the fact that it lacks a low-speed transfer case.

  • "Diehard off-roaders will note that, despite Terrain Response and all the electronic caretakers, the LR2 lacks a two-speed transfer case with low range. Unless you plan to tackle serious boulders and such, though, you probably won't miss it." -- Motor Trend
  • "While the LR2 lacks low-range gearing to be able to tackle the toughest off-road situations, it makes the best of things with its own rendition of Land Rover's robust and high-tech Terrain Response system found on pricier models." -- Forbes
  • "The Terrain Response system and generous ground clearance provided sure passage on tricky off-road driving courses despite the fact that this vehicle doesn't have low-range gearing." -- Consumer Guide

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