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Photos: 2008 Land Rover LR2

We don't expect to see a Land Rover for under $40,000, especially not one so loaded with cabin tech. But the LR2 is a bargain Land Rover that sacrifices nothing.

CNET Reviews staff

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Land Rover's smallest truck, the LR2, is new for the 2008 model year. It's a recreation of the discontinued Freelander, and from everything we've seen, it should be successful.
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The LR2 incorporates Land Rover design cues, including the front grille and side engine vents, making it look like a small Range Rover.
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Seating in the LR2 is limited to five, with a large cargo area in back.
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Our review LR2 is marked as an SE trim level, but as that is the only trim level available, at least in the U.S., it's a superfluous designation.
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The cargo area is enhanced slightly by a rise in the roof, a classic Land Rover design cue. The back seats can also fold down.
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The LR2 includes as standard a power sunroof over the front seats, and a second fixed sunroof, what Land Rover calls an Alpine roof, over the rear seats.
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We were more impressed with the LR2's dashboard than with past Land Rover models we've seen. The company has reduced the broad expanses of black plastic, that detracted from the luxury feel of the cars.
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We would have liked better integration between the cabin gadgets. The LCD only shows navigation, while the radio display shows audio and cell phone information.
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The navigation interface is very usable in the LR2, and gives you a choice of three routes when you enter a destination.
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We particularly like the design of the menu buttons on the navigation system. These blue buttons slide out from the left side of the screen.
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The points-of-interest database wasn't quite as extensive as we would have liked, but it's not bad. It includes useful travel destinations, but no retail stores, which would be helpful for running errands.
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We knew Land Rover was serious about the stereo system when we spotted speakers mounted in the D pillars.
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In a departure from other Land Rover models we've seen, the stereo, which sounds very good, plays MP3 and WMA CDs. The display also shows track information.
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Land Rover also includes a well-placed auxiliary input jack for MP3 players. It's at the rear of the center console, which keeps cables from dangling into the driver's footwell.
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The rear audio controls are an interesting inclusion. They let the rear seat passengers control CDs in the car's six disc changer.
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The Bluetooth cell phone integration is very good, copying over the phone's contact list, and keeping a received calls list.
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The LR2 wouldn't be a true Land Rover without some off-road credibility. It comes with Land Rover's Terrain Response System, which makes it easy to fine-tine the car for different surfaces.
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The LR2 feels as top-heavy as any SUV when cornering, but it does have an array of stability and anti-roll programming.
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The six speed automatic in the LR2 shifts seamlessly. It includes three modes: drive, sport, and manual gear selection.
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The 3.2-liter inline six cylinder engine seems like a good choice for the LR2, as it offers reasonable power and better economy than a V-8.

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