Nestled comfortably between Land Rover’s smaller LR2 and Evoque offerings on one end, and flanked by the Range Rover full-size SUV lineup on the other, the upgraded 2014 Land Rover LR4 falls right in the middle, offering consumers a distinctly styled, well-appointed, overly-capable mid-size sport-utility option. And for 2014, the Land Rover LR4 finds a few noteworthy upgrades including a new, but still thirsty, 3.0L V6.
The 2014 LR4 Tested
Starting at $70,990 CAD MSRP, the 2014 Land Rover LR4 is available in three trims, including the base LR4 with standard 8-speed automatic gearbox to Intelligent Stop/Start and rear parking aid; the LR4 HSE adding a dose of style with leather seats, a walnut veneer interior, Halogen lamps, metallic finish outside; and the LR4 HSE LUX fitted with 19-inch wheels, the extended leather package, and upgraded surround sound audio.
Cabin & Upgrades – Ramping Up the Adventure
The 2014 LR4 offers a range of upgrades and accessories to ramp things up, from the 11-speaker Meridian audio system to the optional armrest cooler box, to name just a couple. My tester LR4 trim found the $2,800 vision assist package, adding a large group of features including the Surround Camera System with its five optional digital cameras providing a near 360-degree view; Xenon adaptive front headlamps, the signature DRLs (daylight running lights), and powerfold exterior mirrors, to name few.
Other options found here include extended Windsor leather package ($100); roof rails ($350); the retractable cargo area cover ($150); and grand black lacquer trim finisher ($490). Totaling this LR4 Discovery at $77,350 with all options listed above (excluding $1,470 destination charge, fees).
Seating seven adults comfortably (even in the third row), each with independently folding full-size seats, my humble suburban adventures (i.e. domestic chores) were made easier with this highly configurable rear cabin space, adjusting for cargo space as required. And the entire cabin volume is vast, providing ample head, leg, and shoulder room, with it’s large, rectangular body dimensions and high roofline.
New 3.0L V6 Replaces 5.0L V8 for 2014
While nearly all mid-size SUVs today tenaciously strive to increase fuel efficiency, the off-road LR4 doesn’t appear to care as much. Perhaps neither do you if you’re ok with a premium fuel-chugging 3.0L V6 S/C powered behemoth rated at fuel economy of 14.5L/100 km in the city and 9.9L/100 km on the highway — enroute to the nearest pump. But in all fairness, the 2014 rendition of the LR4 did make significant strides in this department, replacing the outgoing 5.0L V8 with the new 3.0L V6 offering while retaining nearly all of the output. And frankly, during my week with the 2014 LR4 (recycling bottles and cargoing small furniture, not traversing mountains), I found fuel economy for daily-driving to be reasonable. Plus, I walked away with twenty-five bucks at the depot, if you’re wondering.
The safari-ready LR4 offers capable power with 340-hp and 332 lb-ft of torque, driving on all wheels and matted to a new eight-speed transmission fitted with handy paddle shifters. And as you would expect, providing world-class off-road abilities outside the suburban landscape, including hill descent control, an adjustable air suspension, and a Terrain Response system with four driver selectable modes to conquer various terrain conditions.
The urban jungle can be as equally demanding as, well, the jungle; with smart angles and high ground clearance, coupled with a generous turning radius, the LR4 will explore any terrain with confidence and negotiate tight turns in those small spaces. Despite it’s hefty size, I found the LR4 easy to maneuver with good rear visibility both in parking lots and on the road.
Where the LR2 and Evoque fall short in cargo and/or styling, and the more luxurious Range Rover perhaps out of reach or arguably excessive for some tastes, the LR4 is just right — an iconic, timeless design coupled with a reasonable price-point and undeniable confidence behind the wheel, the British automaker’s mid-size SUV is both a suburban monster and an off-road adventurer. As for residual value, the Land Rover LR4 wins the 2014 Canadian Black Book award for Best Retained Value in the mid-size luxury SUV category.