Land Rover updates LR2 for 2013

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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Most automakers would say out with the old and in the with the new if they brought in a crossover SUV as well received as the compact Evoque and still had the LR2 in their lineup. After all, the LR2 only costs a couple of thousand less than its newer sibling, has a near identical wheelbase and only slightly more length and height, with the only significant gains being more headroom and cargo space, but similarities aside Land Rover must feel its more conventional SUV shape attracts a different type of buyer than the more car-like Evoque, and no doubt this has been proven by continued sales success. Therefore the LR2 not only stays for 2013, it gets a significant update.

Ironically, as part of its 2013 update the smallest Land Rover becomes even more like its Range Rover stable mate, having adopted the Evoque's fuel-efficient direct-injection, turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that's good for 10 more horsepower and 16 additional lb-ft of torque over the outgoing 3.2-litre V6, for a total of 240 horsepower and 250 lb-ft respectively. It's also 40 kilos (88 pounds) lighter. A 6-speed automatic transmission with CommandShift manual-mode continues to put power down to all wheels via Land Rover's effective Terrain Response-enhanced Haldex four-wheel drive system. The Terrain Response system's driver interface has been modified with buttons instead of a rotary dial, while the parking brake gets a similar modernization with an electronic switch. The electronic premium treatment is upped further by pushbutton ignition mated to a proximity sensing keyless remote.

The new LR2 gets an updated interior too, with a revised centre stack that includes a new infotainment interface featuring a 7-inch touchscreen display. The system houses a choice of two Meridian surround sound systems, the most powerful boasting 17 speakers and 825 watts of power. An updated voice-activated navigation system is also available, as is a rear back-up camera with Hitch Assist for helping line up a trailer. An additional 5-inch screen gets tucked between the primary gauges. It allows quick access to driver-specific info, and is controllable via new toggles on the steering wheel.

And what about styling? No one will mistake the new LR2 for anything other than a Land Rover, but the subtle update nevertheless gives the SUV new HID headlamps, updated LED taillights, a revised grille and front fascia, and other minor changes.

The biggest and likely most important change comes at the pump where the new LR2 should achieve fuel economy figures similar to that of the Evoque, which currently has a claimed rating of 10.7 L/100km in the city and 7.1 on the highway. By comparison, the outgoing 2012 LR2 can only manage an estimated 14.1 L/100km city and 9.1 highway.

Expect the 2013 LR2 in Land Rover showrooms this fall.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: SUV, Land Rover, 2013, LR2, $40,000 - $49,999, Compact,

Organizations: Land Rover

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