Review: 2008 Land Rover LR2

I’m going to start right off with the nicest feature I’ve seen in a car this year: When you have 50 miles left on your tank, the LR2 will beep and give you a low fuel warning on your dash. Sure, you say. That’s normal. “Not so fast,” I reply, because then it will automatically turn on the navigation map highlighting all gas stations in your area! This is fantastic! This is technology actually working for us the way we have been promised. This is the future. Your car knows you need gas and is helping you find gas stations without any action on your part, a completely automated system. While this feature may exist in other cars–and truthfully, I don’t tend to test the low-mileage feature on them–this is the first time I’ve seen it. All manufacturers who employ technology in this way should be congratulated, and rewarded. Thank you Land Rover. I heart you.

2008 Land Rover LR2

As for the rest of the car? It didn’t disappoint.

Another small feature? Sure. let’s say you’re driving along, it’s a brisk 42 degrees out. Suddenly, as you head higher in elevation, the temperature drops to 39 degrees. A slight beep exudes from the dashboard while suddenly placing a small snowflake next to the temperature readout to inform you you’re nearing freezing temperatures and that icy conditions are now possible. Again, this isn’t revolutionary to anyone who uses a computer (I get all sorts of warnings and notifications all day), but I’m not used to my car helping me drive by using its systems to better educate me in a PRO-active way. Before, systems have mainly existed in a passive way. This is the future people.

So, what about the bad? Well, that same audible beep that informed me when the weather was dropping? It sounds every time I put the car in reverse. EVERY TIME? Why? I don’t know. I’ve been driving for years and years and have never needed a car to remind me that I just put the car in reverse. I’m hoping there’s a setting to turn that off, but I didn’t see it quickly, and I truly did not like that feature. The only other negative I had was the key fob was the large, rectangular type with no actual key protruding. To turn on the car you place the whole device into the dash. However, it was very hard to reach, and I constantly struggled to get it past the steering wheel and in smoothly in one motion. Not a deal breaker, but disappointing.

For my long drive, I took the LR2 in to the snow; and it handled amazing. Going around a snowy parking lot it was impossible to lose control. Turn? It turned. Gas? It accelerated. Brake? It slowed quickly. Just a very, very comforting experience. As I drove it down a snow covered road in a storm, I had zero problems and my passengers snoozed with ease.

Overall, I love this SUV. Quick but not fast, incredible turning radius, comfortable seats. The interior is great, it’s not a fashion show inside, but is really clear, easy to use and it doesn’t look like it’s a car for your 16-year-old full of plastic or fake wood. It’s a nice balance of usability and style.

Everyone that rode in it fell in love with it, and I can safely say that I would buy this car. In fact, a good friend, someone that happily drives a very old Korean car and takes the bus every day sat in it for 10 minutes and said, completely seriously, “This car is worth $40,000. I’d pay that for it.” I had to ask him later if he was really serious or if he was making fun, and he replied again, “That car is awesome. It’s worth the money. No doubt.”

I can’t say it better myself. 5 stars.

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