>> When you really, really want a Land Rover but can't afford one, you get an LR2. Let's take one for a drive and check the tech.
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>> Our Nav unit here, as you can see it's a Touch screen and large buttons because there's not a whole lot to display. Little sluggish. It's DVD based, not hard drive based. It is the first system of its kind that uses flash as the animation technology, so kind of an interesting piece of tech trivia but in the end it ends up doing a lot of sliding and dancing that I don't need. Let's go to the audio system now, pretty basic stuff because we have the basic audio system; 320 watts of power, 9 speakers around the cabin, one of those is a sub. Sources is okay, FM, no HD radio, this thing is digital that means Satellite radio, AM of course. Here's our CD and Aux toggle so the in-dash CD slash MP3 or the Aux jack is fairly located well located back here on the console. Now to get this thing moved around and it's got kind of a high bustle back there. You do have park distance control sensors, the beeper things, but notice when I go into reverse, I've got a screen but I've got no camera. Like with the engine there's one choice on the transmission on this guy--it's this automatic with a shiftable gate over on the left. The more interesting part though is this Terrain Response panel which is a very Land Rover thing. They kind of dumb down off-roading for the suburbanite. You've got a knob here; you turn it to match the conditions you're in. This one is in kind of snowy conditions, here's one with rocks and gravel, here's one with rocks and gravel and uneven surfaces, and then to the left of it you've got a hill descent control. That's like a wall climber. If you're going down one of these little steep things, just do that and the vehicle's going to walk itself down to the bottom. Now up here in the engine bay there is a 3.2 liter, dual overhead cam V6, nice little motor, pretty smooth, well damped and isolated from the body as you can see; 230 horsepower, 234 foot pounds of torque and Land Rover's pretty proud about how flat the torque curve is and that's definitely good for an all-terrain vehicle. But some of the more interesting technology is back here in the drive line. Now back under in here is something that Land Rover brags about. They've got a Haldex limited slip rig so what you've got is the engine in the front of course can power off the front wheels, single drive shaft comes back here to first of all a limited slip coupling right here. This is going to help divide power front to rear inline with the drive shaft and then right behind that where you normally have a traditional pumpkin, you've got an electronic control limited slip differential; that handles left rear split at the back. It's a very compact system and notice there's no jack shaft going back to the front of the car like some other vehicles do to handle all-wheel drive.
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>> Now know that you're automatically something of a poser the minute that you step into an LR2. Sorry that's just the way it is when you do entry level motoring within an iconic brand. As I mentioned, the LR2 has Land Rover's Terrain Response System but not the adjustable height air suspension to really get some ground clearance and flush it out. Now I'm no off-road guy but if you buy one of these, I have a hunch you're not going to be either. So let's just agree that parking lot curbs at the mall make up the bulk of what an LR2 has to negotiate in its lifetime. The 3.2 liter dual overhead cam V6 is fine with 230 horsepower and 234 foot pounds of torque--a good torque number, and that's available over a nice flat range of RPMs, which makes squirting around in real world traffic easy and pleasant. But there's no forgetting what you're driving as the R2 always feels a tad high and floaty. You'll want to ignore that CRV when he challenges you to a canyon race. Okay an LR2 is the cheapest way you can say I drive a Land Rover--just barely. $36,000's your base, $3500 more on top of that to get the Tech package. That brings you the kind of sluggish GPS DVD navigation with a shockwave interface; it will also bring you the 440-watt improved audio system with better surround, Sirius and Bluetooth hands-free, or cheap out for $800 bucks and just get Sirius and Bluetooth. Beyond that this car is no tech tour to force but you can get the basics.