2013 Land Rover LR2 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 Land Rover LR2 was new.


Performance: 6.9

Test drivers say that the 2013 Land Rover LR2 offers excellent off-road ability and a comfortable ride. However, they also write that the LR2’s sloppy handling and lackluster acceleration make it an underwhelming performer if you don’t plan to venture off-road.

  • "Highway wind and road noise are fairly well subdued, and the engine only makes itself known under acceleration." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "While the 2013 Land Rover LR2 will find few rivals in tackling tough terrain, most compact luxury crossovers are more rewarding to drive on the road." -- Edmunds 
  • "Driving from Montreal to the test facility, we experience the LR2's sophisticated ride on highways, through construction zones, and over back roads with varying degrees of smoothness and frost heaves." -- Boston Globe
  • "A storm rolled in as we made our way from Montreal to Mont-Tremblant, providing us the opportunity to see how well the LR2 handled snowy pavement. The answer: quite well, even on twisty back roads. Only when it hit the occasional patch of ice did the SUV become at all unsettled, and that has more to do with ice's inherent slickness than the car." -- Truck Trend 

Acceleration and Power

The 2013 Land Rover LR2 is powered by a new 240-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which replaces the six-cylinder engine found in the 2012 model. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. The EPA reports that the 2013 Land Rover LR2 gets 17/24 mpg city/highway, which is worse than what comparably-equipped SUVs like the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Range Rover Evoque get.

Although one test driver says that the new engine gives the LR2 enough power in most situations, other reviewers write that the LR2 accelerates slowly, and that the turbo four lacks the smooth power delivery of the 2012 model’s six-cylinder engine. Additionally, one critic notes that while the 2013 LR2 is more fuel-efficient than the previous model, other SUVs in the class still provide better fuel economy.

  • "Although its increased power and better fuel economy look good on paper, the new 4-cylinder turbo isn't as instant or linear in its power delivery as the old inline six." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "Thanks to a chunky curb weight, even the thrust of the new turbocharged engine can do only so much. Downsizing to a four-cylinder engine did improve fuel economy over the old six. But compared to similarly powered rivals, there's no doubt the LR2 pays a fuel economy price for lugging around all that off-road ability." -- Edmunds 
  • "Customers are more likely to be annoyed by the SUV's reluctant throttle response and moderate turbo lag." -- Automobile Magazine 
  • "... unlike the former powerplant, the new turbocharged 4-cylinder offers the right amount of low-end torque for passing and merging." -- Kelley Blue Book 

Handling and Braking

One reviewer says that the 2013 LR2 has composed driving dynamics, but other test drivers aren’t as impressed with the LR2’s handling abilities. A few write that while the LR2’s tall stance is an asset off road, it also means that the LR2 doesn’t corner as well as other luxury crossovers.

  • "Partly due to its tall body, LR2 leans more in mid- and high-speed corners than do most rivals. Steering is also somewhat slow (in that you have to turn the steering wheel farther to get around a given corner) and takes a bit more effort than is normal for the class." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "Road handling never has been a Land Rover strong suit, as the extended ground clearance necessary for proper off-roading (and the corresponding high center of gravity) work against nimble cornering." -- Edmunds 
  • "Piloting the LR2 on a wide variety of roads in la belle province was a pleasant reminder of the little LR's adeptness. It's no sportier than competitors such as the Audi Q5, the BMW X3, and the Mercedes-Benz GLK -- in other words, it's clearly no sports car -- but it follows twisty corners well, exhibiting good body control and nice steering feel and weight." -- Automobile Magazine 
  • "There is one complaint to lodge, and that's with the LR2's steering. It's completely devoid of feel or feedback to the point that asking if it's actually connected to the steering rack doesn't seem unreasonable. For suburban duty, it's not a big deal, but the lack of feedback increases the sketchiness factor of an off-road expedition by a not-insignificant amount." -- Truck Trend 


The LR2 comes with all-wheel drive and Land Rover’s Terrain Response system, which offers different drive modes to maximize traction depending on the terrain. Although one test driver notes that SUVs like the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and Land Rover LR4 are a bit more capable off the beaten path, reviewers agree that the 2013 LR2 performs better off-road than most two-row luxury SUVs.

  • "Although it lacks low-range gearing for heavy-duty off-road work, the LR2 is still highly capable in the rough." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "And its 8.3 inches of ground clearance imparts the same kind of high-stepping ability that enables the grander Range Rover to handle the gnarliest off-road challenges. Truly, the LR2 is the best off-roader in its class." -- Edmunds 
  • "We wouldn't take it onto anything that would challenge the LR4 or a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, but the LR2 will definitely be able to tackle just about any casual off-roading trail." -- Truck Trend 
  • "At one point, the LR2's side mirror nearly scraped along a beaver dam that prevented the trail from being washed out by about four feet of water, and for most of the afternoon the LR2's skid plates were getting a workout that would leave most CUVs in need of new oil pans. This course also showed off the LR2's water fording abilities (19.7 inches), suspension articulation and frame rigidity." -- Autoblog

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