For those who can afford a vehicle that has the capability to go anywhere in luxury and style, Land Rover has an SUV with your name on it.
This week I had the chance to log driving time in the 2013 LR4 HSE, the seven-passenger sport utility is not only one of the most capable off-road vehicles in the world, it is also one of the most luxurious.
In the interest of full disclosure, Iím just a mild-mannered reporter who has raised a family on a journalistís salary. In short, I can only ďimagineĒ what itís like to be able to afford a premium luxury SUV that is also capable of climbing mountains and going places where there are no roads.
So in that regard, I have trouble wrapping my head around why anyone would want to take one of the most luxurious automobiles to places where itís going to get dinged, scratched and beat up.
That said, thereís obviously a market because Land Rover is doing extremely well.
Before I begin my review, I can attest to two things.
First, I have taken the LR4 off-roading and Iíve driven this mechanical masterpiece up mountain faces, over boulders and places I didnít think possible for any vehicle to tread. It includes Land Roverís Terrain Response system, which makes off-roading as simple as moving the knob to the appropriate icon ó grass/gravel/snow; sand; mud and ruts; or rock crawl for low-speed movement over rocky terrain. Thatís it. The LR4 does the rest (you still have to steer and brake), but there are no gears to switch, no hubs to lock, basically no having to guess what youíre supposed to be doing with the four-wheel drive system. It also has a four-wheel independent electronic air suspension system with automatic load-leveling. You can also raise and lower the system with the push of a button for specific types of driving.
Secondly, the LR4 is one of the most luxurious vehicles on the road, loaded with premium amenities and high-tech features ó including an absolutely amazing harman/kardon LOGIC 7 audio system.
As far as luxury goes, let me put it this way, a Jaguar owner would feel equally at home in a Land Rover LR4.
For the 2013 model year, the LR4 is available in two trim levels ó a five-passenger LR4 and the seven-passenger LR4 HSE.
Both are powered by a 5-liter direct injected V-8 engine producing 375 horsepower and 375 lbs.-ft. torque and mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
The LR4 has the capability of towing a trailer up to 7,716 pounds and features a trailer stability assist function that detects trailer oscillations and can automatically initiate engine torque reduction and individual wheel braking interventions to assist in stabilizing the trailer. It also has a really cool camera system that makes trailering a snap.
The down side to the LR4 is that it is not cheap. The base model starts at $50,000. It also requires premium unleaded gasoline, and with an EPA fuel economy rating of 12 mpg city, 17 mpg highway, plan on spending a lot of your disposable income at the pump.
But if you have the money and want a sport utility vehicle that will go anywhere and go in style, the LR4 is a must for the test drive list.
Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 20 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association.
The Nuts and Bolts
2013 Land Rover LR4
5- or 7-seat luxury SUV †
LR4, LR4 HSE
5.0L V8 (375 hp/375 T)
EPA: 12 mpg city, 17 mpg highway
FUEL: Premium unleaded
All-terrain dynamic stability control, active roll mitigation, cornering brake control, hill descent control with gradient release control.
LENGTH: 190.1 inches
WHEELBASE: 113.6 in.
WIDTH: 85.7 inches
HEIGHT: 74.1 inches
WEIGHT: 5659 lbs.
FUEL TANK: 22.8 gallons
TIRES: 19-, or 20-inch
CARGO: 9.9/42.1/90.3 cubic feet (behind 3rd/2nd/1st seating row).