The exterior design of the LR2 is more cosmopolitan than its larger LR3 and Range Rover siblings. It fits as well in the school parking lot as it does at a riverside campsite, and is capable of reaching both destinations.
The LR2 has one trim level, the HSE, which comes with a 3.2L inline 6-cylinder engine that was co-developed with Volvo, mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. It puts out 230 hp and has 234 lb-ft of torque, and can tow a respectable 3,500 lbs. It features permanent intelligent all-wheel drive and a high clearance for off-road adventures.
Unlike the other SUVs in the Rover family, the LR2 does not have low gear for off-road use. But it does feature the Rover family's Terrain Response system. This clever bit of technology allows the driver to select for conditions using a dial -- snow, muddy ruts, sand -- and the central computer will adjust the vehicle's controls to deliver the best possible performance.
The LR2 gets respectable gas mileage, at 15 mpg city, 22 mpg highway. The long-travel suspension system, plus emergency brake assist and roll stability control, make driving this SUV more like driving a sedan with plenty of cargo space. The rear stadium-style seats fold flat to the floor for nearly 60 cubic feet of usable space.
Standard features include headlight washers and wipers, an 8-way power driver seat, push-button start, and a 9-speaker Alpine audio system. Standard wheels are 19", but 18" wheels are available at no cost to better fit snow chains.
Several optional packages are available to fill in the standard feature gaps. The cold climate package adds heated seats, heated front windshield, and heated windshield washer jets. The lighting package adds puddle lamps and adaptive front lighting that swivels in sync with the steering. The technology package adds GPS, Bluetooth, a surround-sound stereo upgrade and rear-seat audio controls.
In 2008, Land Rover replaced the Freelander model with the LR2, and it's keeping the formula for 2009. The LR2 is Land Rover's smallest SUV.