2010 Land Rover LR4 Road Test Review

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Fording a body of water is de rigueur on any Land Rover demonstration drive. So every time we passed one, I asked my Land Rover guide Chris Tefke, "Is this it?" And repeatedly, in the ethereally calm manner I believe must be a required personality trait of the profession, (you'd get a Buckingham Palace guard to lose their cool before you'd see a Land Rover guide raise his voice) Chris replied, "No Lyndon, it isn't." 
After about three such incidents I quip, "Oh, I get it, since Ford sold you guys, you don't ford anymore – is that it?"
As unflappable as their guides, the 2010 Land Rover lineup is exceptionally smooth as well. New engines, all-new interiors and tasteful exterior revisions simultaneously freshen the lineup and infuse the luxurious go-anywhere SUVs with significant horsepower upgrades.
In fact, because of an all-new engine, an all-new interior and significant updates to its external appearance, the Land Rover LR3 evolves into the LR4 for 2010.
Land Rovers have shared engines with their siblings from Jaguar since 2005. For 2010, the Land Rover LR4 gets the new 375 horsepower V8 currently found in Jaguar's cars. Of course, the engine is adapted to withstand rigors a Jaguar is never expected to experience. Land Rover's enhancements endow the engine with better low speed torque characteristics and the ability to run at the extreme angles encountered off-road. There is also more protection from dust and rocks along with improved sealing for wading.
And eventually, we did ford a pond, the sale to India's Tata Motors notwithstanding.

On the appearance front, the grille has been cleaned up, as have the bumpers. Two signature curvilinear sets of LEDs act as daytime running lamps, giving the Land Rover a distinctive appearance. Additionally, the fender flares are now body colour, rather than black.
The new tail lamp design uses a circular set of LEDs to provide illumination.
Inside, while still seating up to seven, the interior is entirely new, from steering wheel to door panels to seats to centre console. White LEDs illuminate the door handles and map pockets. All interior switches have been upgraded for a more luxurious look and the dash has been redesigned as well. Proximity sensing keyless entry and push button start are incorporated for the first time and the Thin Film Transistor (TFT) display makes its Land Rover debut.
TFT displays are the wave of the future, permitting designers to cram more information into less space by providing the luxury of infinite reconfiguration. Information is projected onto a screen in front of the driver and can be changed at the touch of a button. Instrument Panel designers are no longer limited by space, as TFT screens allow the driver to call up whatever information they need for the task at hand.
The navigation system is now hard drive based and the output of five digital cameras strategically placed around the LR4 is transmitted to its screen as well. This helps the driver place the vehicle in off-road situations as well as assisting parking and towing.
On the road, the LR4 delivers the smooth operation one expects from a Land Rover. Acceleration is strong thanks to the 375 lb-ft of torque the 5.0-litre direct injected V8 delivers at a relatively low 3,500 rpm. Transmitted to all four wheels by an upgraded six-speed ZF transmission, the V8's output can be modulated manually by using the transmission in the Commandshift mode.
Ride quality is a bit on the soft side and some body roll can be detected in the corners. Still the agility factor is high, steering is accurate, braking is sharp, and the LR4 executes parking, cornering and avoidance maneuvers with ease.
Off-road, the Land Rover Terrain Response System now offers Sand Launch Control to limit wheel slip, making it easier to drive over extremely soft surfaces. In the Rock Crawl mode, the brakes now provide low-level brake force to reduce the vehicle's roll tendency, and the intervention of the traction control system gives a more composed drive through rocky terrain.
The Hill Descent Control feature now incorporates Gradient Descent Control. When the vehicle is on a steep decline, brake pressure is maintained momentarily after the driver releases the brake pedal to prevent that sudden scary-ass surge forward that used to happen when the driver released the brake before Hill Descent Control engaged.
2010 Land Rover LR4 pricing starts at $59,990.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: SUV, Land Rover, 2010, LR4, $50,000 - $74,999,

Organizations: Land Rover

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