Photos & Words: Evan Yates
Exterior: The optional Black Design Package is what simply makes the appearance of this vehicle. The package’s name directly describes its contents featuring blacked-out wheels, grille, lettering and trim. I honestly didn’t think it was possible to make the somewhat pedestrian LR4 look gangster but the black package certainly pulls it off. At $3500, the package transforms the typically mundane mall crawler and is worth the extra dough. The updated Xenon LED headlight tracings make every time you hit the lock or unlock button on your key fob an enjoyment to see them illuminate.
Interior: The LR4’s heated leather seats are comfortable and still not too plush for an off-road vehicle. The heated steering wheel was a much-appreciated standard feature as temperatures were in the 20s during my test drive. Make sure you wear sunglasses because the completely vertical windows create some interesting sun glare that you don’t usually get in most vehicles. The THREE sunroofs also play a part in an enormous amount of light entering the cabin, which can be negative and positive.
A/V: The driver’s information area in the instrument cluster could be politely described as vintage. The readout is circa 1987 and I almost hope this is on purpose. The head unit takes a couple seconds between functions but it otherwise a decent unit. The 825-watt Meridian sound system brings tonal quality to the cabin and sports a pretty mean bass note from time to time.
Performance: Our test vehicle came equipped with the heavy-duty package that included the active locking rear differential and two-speed transfer box, which would help if I ever were to hit a nasty trail. During my test, I did in fact encounter a bit of bad weather to contend with and simply pressing the snow/ice button included in the terrain response system on the center console gave me the confidence that I would be fine to drive normally. The 3.0L supercharged engine mated to the eight-speed automatic transmission has got some respectable giddy-up with acceleration being its finest point. Independent front and rear electronic air suspension helps keep the ride manageable regardless of the road conditions. Speaking of road conditions, the LR4 comes equipped for virtually every obstacle you could encounter thanks to the dynamic stability control, cornering brake control and electronic brake force distribution. The only red mark would be that there’s still quite a bit of body roll in this top-heavy SUV.
Final Verdict: This body style has been around for a while and it doesn’t exactly have the most updated electronics but for under $70k you sure get a lot of utility for your buck.
Power: 340 hp, 332 ft-lb
0-60: 6.7 sec
Gas Cash: 15 MPG (combined)