2012 Land Rover LR2 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2012 Land Rover LR2 was new.


Performance: 7.6

The 2012 Land Rover LR2 has impressive off-road abilities, but reviewers find that it isn’t the best companion in the city. Test drivers are disappointed with its underpowered engine, poor fuel economy and imprecise steering.

  • "As with other Land Rovers, the LR2 can also soak up potholes with ease while the comfortable passenger compartment remains undisturbed. However, these positive attributes are outweighed by a variety of faults. Sluggish acceleration is one of them, the main culprit being a combination of a heavy 2-ton curb weight and a modest 230-horsepower engine.” -- Edmunds
  • "Few compact SUVs ride better overall. LR2's soft suspension with long wheel travel absorbs big ruts and dips but allows mild pitching. The tires can cause minor thump and jiggle on sharp bumps and rippled freeways. The stout-feeling structure compensates." -- Consumer Guide

Acceleration and Power

The Land Rover LR2 comes with a 3.2-liter inline six-cylinder engine that makes 230 horsepower. Reviewers find the engine underpowered when starting from a stop and traveling uphill, but call its standard six-speed automatic transmission smooth.  

The LR2 is only available with the 3.2-liter engine, so if you want a more powerful luxury compact SUV, you should look at competitors like the Volvo XC60, which offers a choice between two engines. The XC60 offers optional all-wheel drive unlike the standard all-wheel drive of the LR2, but the all-wheel drive XC60’s fuel economy ratings are higher than the LR2’s EPA-estimated 15/22 mpg city/highway.

  • "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 mid-range punch and struggles a bit up steep grades." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "But once you hit the pavement, the LR2 shows evidence of its off-road breeding with driving dynamics that are a little ponderous, with noticeable body roll and un-noticeable acceleration." -- Edmunds 
  • "Though starting to show its age, the LR2's 230-horsepower 6-cylinder engine and 6-speed automatic transmission still adequately hustle the Land Rover to speed, especially when using Sport mode, and the 0-60-mph time is a respectable 8.4 seconds." -- Kelley Blue Book

Handling and Braking

Reviewers give different assessments of the 2012 LR2’s handling and braking abilities. One finds that the LR2 suffers from body lean, imprecise steering and touchy brakes. A different reviewer says that while the LR2’s brakes are strong, sudden use of them causes extensive nose dive.

  • "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. 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
  • "The brakes are capable and have a solid pedal feel, but when used aggressively, make the front end dive quite dramatically." -- Edmunds


Land Rovers are known for their off-road abilities, and reviewers agree that the 2012 LR2 isn’t hindered by unpaved terrain and muddy or snowy conditions. All LR2 models have a Terrain Response system. Controlled by a dial, Terrain Response adjusts the engine, transmission and traction settings to accommodate paved, grassy, gravely, snowy, muddy, uneven and sandy conditions.

  • "If you're breaking trail to your farm in Bucks County, this could be the right sort of everyday vehicle for you, as Land Rover's all-terrain technology definitely will get through the mud or snow. With standard all-wheel drive, plenty of ground clearance and electronic assistants to tame a variety of surfaces, there are few remote locations that would be out of reach." -- Edmunds
  • "When venturing off the beaten path, the LR2 is a more than capable and will do most of the thinking for you. With its high-tech Terrain Management system, all it takes is a twist of a dial to optimize the Land Rover for surfaces such as grass, gravel, snow, mud or ruts." -- Kelley Blue Book

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