2014 LAND ROVER LR4 GETS NEW TRANSMISSION, BETTER MILEAGE
By Tom Crosby
Land Rover decreased the engine size for its 2014 LR4 models, replaced the six-speed automatic transmission with an 8-speed and added a stop-go system, all of which adds two miles per gallon for a nearly three-ton vehicle.
Mileage remains in the teens for both city and highway driving but Land Rovers are not bought for fuel economy.
They are large luxury SUV’s at the top of the off-road vehicle foot chain with comfortable seating and in-vehicle ergonomics for up to seven occupants on long trips.
The three LR4 models, base LR4, LR4 HSE and LR4 HSE LUX, (our test-drive) all now use a 3.0 liter V6 supercharged engine, replacing the naturally aspirated 5.0 liter engine, that drops 35 horsepower and 43 ft-lbs of torque but the get-up-and-go to 60 mph drop off is a fraction of a second.
Inside, the LR4 shows upscale chops with stitched soft leather front row captain’s chairs with driver adjustable side bolsters, soft fabric headliner, real walnut wood trim with polished aluminum accents and a center console cooling bin.
Door panels have ample storage space and huge cupholders. A clean sounding Meridian 17-speaker audio system now replaces the previous Harman Kardon set-up and the rear-view camera is now standard.
A $1,350 Heavy Duty Package added a transfer box, spare tire, two-speed transfer case for better off-road control and a rock crawl mode to go along with standard normal, grass/gravel/snow, mud/ruts and sand driver-selectable suspension settings.
Land Rover’s four-wheel-drive Terrain Response system remains unparalleled among SUV’s with numerous electronic driving aids, height descent control and four different suspension settings.
Steering in any setting was responsive and the four-corner adjustable air suspension yielded a smooth ride on macadam and reduced lean in turns. Occupants have an elevated view from the SUV’s box-like design, which isn’t sexy looking but provides adult-satisfying seating in all rows.
Voice-activated navigation, easily reached climate and audio controls and mobile device links are more pluses. A neat touch is a cooling box in the center console and adjustable height armrests in the front row.
Cargo space is ample and rear storage access easy with a split upper/lower automatic tailgate. Safety features remain strong.
When properly equipped, the LR4 can tow a healthy 7,716 pounds. While the majority of purchasers of four-wheel drive SUVs never drive them off-road, that’s Land Rover’s major strength and it’s fun to experience sitting in a luxurious cabin.
LIKES: Versatility, comfort, off-road handling, controls
BOTTOM LINE: Not for commuting but great for long trips, off-road prowess
- Base price plus destination fee $60,795
- Curb weight 5,655 lbs.
- Wheelbase 113.6 inches
- Length 190.1 inches
- Width 85.7 inches w/mirrors
- Engine specs 3.0 liter, V-6, DOHC
- Horsepower 340 hp at 6,500 rpm
- Torque 332 ft.-lbs. at 3,500-5,000 rpm
- Transmission 8-speed ZF automatic w/manual paddles
- EPA Rating 14-mpg city, 19-mpg highway
- Range 22.8 gallons, premium fuel
- Performance 0 to 60 in just under 8 seconds