While many luxury SUVs sacrifice ruggedness for on-road comfort, the 2014 Land Rover LR4's considerable off-road prowess stands out. Extending Land Rover's long history of terrain-conquering luxury SUVs, the LR4 coddles seven passengers. And thanks to strides made to curb its appetite for premium fuel, the LR4 is tough to beat if you seek premium accommodations and off-road agility.
You'll Like The 2014 Land Rover LR4 If...
When the trail turns right, do you turn left? Do you want to take your family to the ends of the earth? Then the 2014 Land Rover LR4 may just be the ticket, especially since it's still very comfortable around town.
You May Not Like The 2014 Land Rover LR4 If...
If fuel economy, rock-solid reliability, and sleek styling are more important than off-road agility, you might want to take a closer look at diesel-powered vehicles like the Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne, or BMW X5.
The 2014 Land Rover LR4 receives important updates this year. Foremost is a new drivetrain, including a new 3.0-liter V6 engine and 8-speed automatic transmission. The 2014 LR4 also gets a new front bumper and headlights, and Meridian replaces harman/kardon as the audio system of choice.
The 2014 Land Rover LR4's cabin was already upscale and modern, but this year, it adds a Windsor Leather Package as standard equipment on the LR4 HSE LUX trim. Quality materials abound, and the intuitive and clearly labeled buttons and dials have a visual and tactile heft. An optional third row extends seating from five up to seven, but that optional rearmost seat is best left to kids. Otherwise it's roomy: There's good 2nd-row legroom, with more than 40 cubic feet of cargo room behind the second row.
The 2014 Land Rover LR4 looks like the box a sleeker SUV was shipped in. But that's OK, as the upright squared-off shape is indicative of its utilitarian, go-anywhere mission. Land Rover has softened the look this year with new headlights and a new front bumper, along with new wheels and paint colors. The effect is one of upscale utility, which sounds like an oxymoron until you look at an LR4. It's easy to see out of thanks to all the windows, and the 2-piece asymmetrical tailgate is both visually distinctive and useful. The panoramic glass roof? That's just pure luxury.
Unlike most of its competition, the 2014 Land Rover LR4 uses old-school-SUV body-on-frame construction. This helps it tackle the toughest off-road terrain, but not at the expense of on-road comfort. Land Rover has tamed the LR4 underpinnings to also deliver a smooth highway ride. A lot of its off-road prowess translates to city driving too: The tight 37.5-foot turning circle is great for trail maneuverability, or navigating tight parking lots. New this year is a 3.0-liter V6 engine, replacing last year's thirsty V8. Its 340-hp is less than the V8, but it uses a new 8-speed automatic, so there's little loss of acceleration. While there's enough straight-line power, the LR4's top-heavy design leans in corners at speed. Venture away from civilization, and the LR4 can be optimized to conquer a variety of terrain – from snow to sand to rocks – by merely twisting a dial.
The 2014 Land Rover LR4 has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just above $50,000. The mid-tier HSE trim begins around $55,000, while the top-line HSE LUX is just over $60,000 and can reach nearly $70,000 when loaded. At these prices the 2014 LR4 is in line with the Audi Q7, BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz M-Class and Porsche Cayenne. It is several thousand more than the base prices of 7-passenger crossover SUVs such as the Infiniti QX60, Acura MDX and Buick Enclave, and less than the starting price of a Lexus GX. Before buying, be sure to check the KBB Fair Purchase Price below to see what others in your area are paying. Resale value has traditionally been a sore spot for Land Rover vehicles, but the 2014 LR4’s prospects are looking brighter. Its residuals are in the middle of the pack among luxury SUVs, in line with rivals like the BMW X5 and Infiniti QX60, but still below the Audi Q7 and Lexus GX.
The 2014 Land Rover LR4 comes in Base, HSE and HSE LUX trims. Base models come standard with seating for five, and are comprehensively equipped, including the air suspension, start/stop technology for the new V6, the single-speed transfer gear, a Meridian sound system, and front and rear parking sensors. The HSE and HSE LUX trims come standard with seven seats. The HSE also adds front park distance control, xenon headlights, and a navigation system. The full-boat HSE LUX adds surround sound to the Meridian system, the Extended Windsor Leather package, and unique wheels.
A nifty 5-camera system is available that relays a surround view of your LR4, letting you see where your eyes can’t. Other extras include a rear-seat DVD entertainment system. Those who plan to do serious off-roading should consider the Heavy Duty Package that includes a locking rear differential, low-range for the transfer case, and a full-size spare tire. Seven-passenger seating is optional on base models. Interestingly, the LR4 does not offer adaptive cruise control or a pre-collision system, unlike competitors from Acura, Mercedes-Benz, or just about everyone else.
4-CORNER AIR SUSPENSION
One of the things we love about the 2014 LR4 is its adjustable air suspension. Whether you need to raise the body to clear boulders on the trail, or lower it so you won't overtax grandma's hip replacement, the LR4 is happy to oblige at the push of a button.
HILL DESCENT CONTROL
To help even novice drivers tackle demanding trails, Land Rover includes Hill Descent Control in the LR4. Hill Descent Control supplements the Terrain Response system, letting you automatically maintain a slow and steady speed down steep grades, all without ever touching the pedals.
Under the Hood
Land Rover has ditched its old 5.0-liter V8 in favor of a new 3.0-liter supercharged V6. Mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, there's little change in acceleration, but a noteworthy one in fuel economy. The V6 also features start/stop technology that shuts off the engine at an extended stoplight, and the heavy dual-range, off-road-ready transfer case is now optional, rather than standard. It all combines for better fuel economy, but the improvement is from terrible to simply bad. Remarkably, towing capacity for the V6 is unchanged from the V8, staying at 7,716 pounds.
3.0-liter supercharged V6
340 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
332 lb-ft of torque @ 3,500-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/19 mpg
To meet ever-tightening fuel economy standards, the 2014 Land Rover LR4 SUV replaces last year's V8 with a new supercharged 3.0-liter V6 and a new 8-speed automatic. The change improved fuel economy by two mpg in the EPA's city, highway, and combined scale, but unfortunately it's still unimpressive. The good news is that the 2014 LR4 retains all the off-road capability it was born with, including available low-range gearing and 4-corner air suspension. It lets you drive your big SUV places soft-roaders like the Audi Q7, Infiniti QX60, and BMW X5 would fear to tread. On the other hand, if blazing trails isn't your thing, maybe one of those would be a better pick thanks to the LR4's still-bad fuel economy.