Land Rover has four cars in its U.S. lineup, the LR3, Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, and the LR2, the smallest of the bunch. Owned by Ford up until last year, Land Rover is now run by India's Tata Motors.
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As Land Rover's smallest model, the LR2 is very competitive with other small SUVs. Its functional size coupled with credible off-road systems make it an impressive outdoor activity vehicle.
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At 3.2-liters, the transversely mounted inline six-cylinder engine isn't particularly big, but it offers enough power to easily move the LR2. Unfortunately, the small displacement doesn't add up to superior fuel economy. The EPA rates the LR2 at 15 mpg city and 22 mpg highway.
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Although presenting a relatively small exterior, the LR2 feels roomy in the cabin. There is room for five passengers and plenty of cargo.
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Unlike the LR3 and Range Rover, the LR2 doesn't have an air suspension, so ground clearance isn't adjustable.
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Even with the rear seats up, there is plenty of cargo room.
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The dual sunroof is a standard feature of the LR2, giving front passengers a sliding window, while the rear pane is fixed.
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The LR2 is aimed at the luxury segment, and incorporates leather and wood in the cabin. It also has some rugged touches in the form of rubberized dials.
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The LR2 has a very good turning radius, useful in off-road situations, but the car is not made for hard cornering.
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The LR2 instrument cluster is spare, using simple designs for tachometer and speedometer. The monochrome display is underused, just showing trip information.
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The six-speed automatic transmission is standard and offers sport and manual modes. It can be a little slow to shift.
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Land Rover's Terrain Response System lets you dial in a handling program designed for specific asphalt, gravel, mud, or sand.
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The DVD-based navigation system covers the basics but doesn't offer any advanced features. The sliding menu buttons seem to be a feature borrowed from sister company Jaguar.
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As this is a Land Rover, we would expect a more robust off-road navigation system. This one merely shows a compass and GPS coordinates.
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The radio display shows audio and phone information. The display is a little small to browse MP3 CD folders.
Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CNET
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