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2010 Land Rover LR4 HSE Review

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See Also: Land Rover Buyers Guide
See Also: E-Carmony: Is The 2010 Land Rover LR4 HSE Your Perfect Match?


By Bruce Hubbard

Beauty and quality is so obvious in the 2010 Land Rover models. The Brand has come along way since 1948 when the first Land Rover Series was launched at the Amerstand Motor Show. Originally designed by Maurice Wilkes after his first introduction to the American Willis Jeep one summer.

The Land Rover 2010 LR4 HSE with optional Lux package we tested was loaded. It just lacked what you can get in the HSE Lux Plus optional package (top of the line) including the wonderful five-camera surround system and three of the best upgrade packages.

The Land Rover models include the base V8, the HSE, HSE Plus, HSE Lux, and top of the line HSE Lux Plus.

The proven air suspension that Land Rover / Range Rover offer is a plus on and off the road. Over large boulders in Moab or just to lower the Land Rover at the Club for easy departure or entry. Just a button activates air suspension system up or down. Look at the photos of the system Hydraulics. No longer will VW offer their air suspension on the Touareg in the North American market. However, Jeeps new Grand Cherokee will offer their quadra lift air suspension.

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The look of the 2010 LR4 HSE shows many of the subtle images of the original Discovery including the rear tailgate. The Discovery was a wonderful vehicle and Tata and Range Rover have done a wonderful job upgrading the new LR4. Last years LR3 we did not test for few were delivered to the North American market. The Land Rover LR4 shows what Land Rover sees with Tata as the future. Luxury SUV vehicles that are number one in the world.

The 2010 LR4 is able to take you down Worth avenue in style or go deep into a river crossing in Bolivia with ease. The Range Rover’s have always had this ability. So few may ever get from the highway to Moab or traverse streams but the powerful permanent all wheel drive Land Rover HSE LR4 can do it all.

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The front end for 2010 is more aerodynamic. Including not only the wheel wells but the spoiler in front and even the smooth surfaces deliver lower the drag and thus better fuel economy.
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So many journalists have mistaken the front end for that of the larger Range Rover’s. Yes it looks just like one. (See my photo of the Range Rover Sport 2010 model). The entire package has been upgraded and is nearly as luxurious as the big brother.

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The new Land Rover LR4 now shares the same engine that the other Range Rovers have. That is the 5.0 Litter. direct injection, variable valve timed V8 delivering 375 horsepower at 6500 rpm with torque 375 foot-pounds coming in at 3500 rpm that was co developed with Jaguar. The new engine offers low-torque that now gives the Range Rover LR4 the ability to have higher gearing and more frequent torque-converter lockups for better efficiency.

The more powerful engine delivers exceptional torque. Torque is important for off- roading use. In fact the previous 4.4 Liter V8 was a great engine but able to deliver the power and torque the new 2010 LR4 does.

One of the key features of the new LR-V8 is an industry first, centrally mounted, multi-hole, spray-guided fuel injection system, delivering fuel at a pressure of up to 150bar (2,175 psi) directly to the cylinder. The positioning of the injectors ensures fuel is precisely delivered to the center of the combustion chamber, maximizing air-fuel mixing, and improving combustion control. Fuel is delivered by twin, high-pressure fuel pumps driven via an auxiliary shaft in the all-new engine block. Delivery of fuel direct to the cylinder has substantially contributed to improved low speed, dynamic response that is particularly useful off-road while adding to driving pleasure on-road. The charge cooling effects of the direct injection fuel system have allowed the compression ratio of the naturally aspirated engine to be raised to 11.5:1, further improving the engine efficiency.

Our speed test with the low resistant tires was zero to 60 mph at less than 7.6 seconds. A few runs were even faster and we nearly approached 7 seconds.

Mated to the 2010 LR4 is the ZF HP28 six-speed automatic transmission with manual mode. A lot better than the first Buick-Rover inspired engine years past. I love the six-speed ZF system. Superb on its own when in automatic. But, when manual mode on the ZF is used with so many on and off road applications it stands out as the number one off -roading vehicle I the world.

The dramatic enhancement of both power and torque low down the rev range on the new engines have made it possible to actuate the transmission’s lock-up clutch much earlier in each gear, reducing slip through the hydraulic torque converter, so helping with the improvements in both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

The transmission features an intelligent sport mode, which can sense and adapt transmission characteristics to particular driving styles.

The new variable-ratio rack-and-pinion steering utilizes a slow initial ratio for steady and predictable behavior when driving straight down the road. The steering is precise, the road feel is not harsh and the interior noise is minimal.

The Land Rover LR4 is unique in the market today. As it has offered for years the LR4 has standard air suspension giving the Land Rover LR4 abilities to traverse back roads, snow, climb steep hills and even off road areas because it can raise or lower 2.1 inches with the pushing of the controls.

To help stop the hydroformed steel body LR4 with aluminum hood and tail we find larger brakes. The stopping power on and off the road was impressive.

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Inside the cabin of the Land Rover LR4 is superb as would be expected. Completely updates from the previous Land Rover LR3 version. Complaints from customers that is was not up to Jaguar Land Rover quality brought the new LR4 to where Tata Motors and previous owners Ford and BMW would be proud.

The previous model many stated had too much plastic and just too many controls in the center console to operate the Range Rover. Completely redone the interior of the LR4 has soft textures and nice curves. The silver and carbon fiber are great but where is the wood of the days when Jaguar and Land Rover were king with their exceptional interiors.

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Terrain Response system from Range Rover has been improved for 2010. The system can now even help you traverse sand on beaches or desert. That is one area where many off roaders get caught. When you stop on sand and sink often the frame sinks to the sand and you cannot move! But now with the Range Rover Sport use 'sand launch control' has now been introduced, which makes for noticeably easier drive-away. New, speed-dependent wheel-slip targets for the traction control system permit only very limited initial wheel-slip, helping to prevent the wheels digging down into the sand. New, speed-dependent wheel-slip targets for the traction control system permit only very limited initial wheel-slip, helping to prevent the wheels digging down into the sand. The pictures alone tell you where to dial from normal driving to the newest hill descent set up.

The ability to control wheel speeds precisely with the help of long, linear throttle travel and programmable Hill Descent Control that includes for the first time Gradient Release Control. This can prevent uncontrolled acceleration. As I stated before if you purchase the option LUX package or the 5 camera system you can even further control you hill descent with cameras.

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The interior of the Land Rover LR4 looks more like the higher end brother. Superb seating for driver and front passenger. The best leathers offered in the world surround you and your passengers.

Of course heated seats in front. Optional heated seats come with some of the luxury packages. Heated steering wheel. Plus, heated optional front windshield to remove snow and ice in the winter.

The tall Land Rover LR4 puts the driver and passengers above the rest of the traffic. Not like an 18 -wheeler but right up there. I like it.

Standard on the Land Rover LR4 is the three sun roofs. The front one opens to a small 11 inch allowing for little sun but plenty of fresh air. The second and third sunroofs have a screen to keep hot sun from intruding. When the screens are open it givers a wonderful light into the cabin.

Two glove compartments for plenty of storage up front. Center armrest has a cooler when you purchase the LUX package.

Second row passengers have own HVAC controls. The third row does not have that but have plenty of storage. But, the seats are small and made for small kids or for local drives. Long distance would not be my favorite seating spot in the LR4. No chance of an adult over 5 foot 9 inches ever to step foot into these two seats.

The Land Rover LR4’s roll axis has been improved thanks to revised suspension. New shock absorber valving and a larger antiroll bar help with the roll axis improvements.

The 2010 Range Rover has an advanced new Adaptive Dynamics system, which further improves the Range Rover’s peerless ride quality with greater refinement and superior body control.

A refinement to the dynamic stability control system helps automatically slow the vehicle if taking a corner too fast, thus enhancing driver control.

The system operates according to steering inputs from the driver. In extreme cases, automatic braking intervenes to help reduce the vehicle speed, with the braking pressure level applied according to the steering inputs.

This feature is complemented by the new Roll Stability Control system, which is designed to intervene in the unlikely case of an extreme situation in which the possible onset of a rollover is detected. In such situations, the system is designed to take over and perform very rapid, wheel specific braking, to help reduce speed and marginally widen the cornering radius.

In more extreme cases the system is designed to initiate marginal under steer by sharply increasing brake force on the outer wheels, again widening the

On one of Detroit’s well-known potholes I was amazed that the air suspension and improved suspension components turned the rough road into a smooth road.

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Added to the great suspension for the Land Rover LR4 are larger optional 20-inch spoke wheels and low-profile mud-and-snow tires. Standard are 19 inch alloy wheels the larger 20 inch add another $2500.00.

Electronics have been a problem with Land Rover and Jaguar over the years. Suppliers deliver the newest equipment that may have not been tested long enough. Range Rover’s have been called the most undependable and most dependable vehicle. Winning off road events at the Paris-Dakar or Bolivia 1000-mile off-road race they have won.

Land Rover and Jaguar are using state of the art electronics but they have not been proven. When they work as they did for me in the Range Rover Sport they were remarkable just as Jaguar and Land Rover wanted

They have state of the art CAN or Controller Area Network that allows electronics to talk and interrelate with each other better than the conventional electronic networks.

The new electrical architecture ties together over sixty different ECUs on couple medium and high-speed CAN data busses, running new software code.

The software runs the large touch screen used for navigation, off road display, information and so much more. In addition the software runs enhanced roll-stability and trailer-sway control and continuously variable Bilstein Damptronic shocks. The software is used automatically on hill descent control but further deciphers driving conditions and then determines what damping you need. It retunes the suspension to make the journey even better. This all works well when the electronics or software or the unit have not failed.

Still with problems like I encountered with the Land Rover LR4 HSE allowed JD Powers to put Land Rover at the bottom of the list for the first 90-day ownership experience. First electronic or electrical problem I had was when the LR4’s sunroof work quit working. It worked well one day and then quit. The reset is easy so within 20 seconds I got it going.

The next problem (which has been found in many Jaguar and Land Rover/Range Rover vehicles) was when the entire navigation, blue tooth, and radio system died. Worked great yesterday and no way today? No reset with this is required to restart the new Touch Screen monitor and all the controls for navigation, HVAC and more. This has happened with other Land Rovers and even the newest Jaguar XJL . The dealer stated it would take two weeks to get a new system. Range Rover offices feel it is a software problem.

I asked the dealership if they offer loaners in that period. It depends on each dealer under the Land Rover Jaguar brand.

The luxury segment is hindered often by the numerous electronics they possess. Some suppliers have delivered products that are so far advanced but not tested for long periods of time. Therefore if that one item fails then it looks bad for one of the luxury brands.

Towing with the 1999 Discovery I did and that was impressive. The newer model driven in 2002 was equally impressive but now the 2010 Land Rover LR4 has equally impressive towing abilities. When properly equipped, the LR4's maximum towing capacity for a braked trailer is a stout 7,716 pounds. A trailer without brakes Land Rover reduces the capacity to 1,650 pounds.. With any trailer the Land Rover LR4s standard “sway control system” keeps the trailer from swaying when speeds reach 50 miles per hour or above.

If you buy the optional five-camera surround view system it will show you how close you are to the trailer when hooking up. I had the system on Infiniti’s high end vehicles and that was superb. However, for a true off-roading vehicle the Land Rover/ Range Rover/ or Range Rover Sport I was able to just view the camera images on the large navigation screen and back up to hitch up the trailer. In fact the system has a towing assistant that allows programming the length, width, number of axles of the trailer or trailers. Yes, you can store numerous trailer specs into the software. I love the system since I tow over ten different trailers from our operations.

Equally impressive is the five-cameras system off road. It will let you know how close the front tires are to logs, boulders or other obstacles. It has two cameras by the front bumpers and under the rear view mirrors are cameras. The system allows you to view all images at once on the large navigation screen. It even has an enlarge mode. Since I did not have it working on the LR4 all advantages were gone. But, as stated it worked well for my weeks of testing on the Range Rover Sport.

One of the major innovations in the 2010 Range Rover is found in the instrument cluster. Here, traditional physical instruments are replaced by a Thin Film Transistor screen, which presents all essential driver information via cleverly designed ‘virtual’ dials and graphical displays.

“The new display technology used by the 2010 Range Rover is a major advance. It gives us tremendous flexibility in presenting information, so that the driver gets precisely the data they require, in all driving conditions,” explains Nick Rogers, Chief Engineer, New Vehicle Architecture. The system’s message center (the area between rev counter and speedometer) can be customized by the driver to display personal prioritized information, from system warnings, outside temperature and vehicle information to less critical data such as audio and telephone displays.

The message center also relays off-road information, such as steering angle, wheel articulation, suspension settings and Terrain Response settings.

When using the off-road system you can display your driving configuration. It is seen on the center display. On a split screen you can show the level-ground position of the axles on a dotted white line. It also has a green line to let you know how high you are above the ground. The wheels are shown with a red line so you know where they are off-road.

Fingertip control of settings and menus on the TFT screen is provided by an updated steering wheel, which incorporates a five-way controller.

A new hard-drive navigation system provides faster route calculation, larger area map coverage and improved reliability. The navigation system adopts an improved navigation structure, which now also features ‘towards guidance’. This supplements the junction map and icon-based information with details of the actual road signage viewed by the driver along the route.

Another accessory I like are the side step rails. The underbody protection system is also a plus. The underbody protection will keep rocks or large trees from damaging the undercarriage and the engine or transmission.

One more accessory I would have is a winch. Definitely a plus if you are true off roader. The winch and ropes and chains I always carry. Some winches I have used can be moved from the front of the vehicle to the rear. But, on the Land Rovers or Range Rovers I have only used the winches attached to the front of the vehicles.

Another item I need is roof carrier. They offer luggage boxes to aqua sports carriers for kayak, canoe or sailboard. Luggage carrier, ski and snowboard carrier and even a climbing ladder. You need this if you are going to use the third row seats in the LR4. When that is used you lose a lot of cargo space.

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Folded the third row seats delivers 42 cubic feet of cargo space, which is less than some of the competitors including the Mercedes-Benz GL models.

Then if you really have no more room on the roof or the load is too big the rear tow bar offer even more options to carry loads. Cargo carrier can be hooked to the tow bar. Or bike carrier can hold a lot of bikes.

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I also like the load space protector to keep mud, debris and heavy gear from damaging the interior floor.

The asymmetrical split rear tailgate is one more Discovery design throwback. It works well.

If you don’t like the look of the dash the LR4 can be outfitted with a fascia of your choice. Wood trim is burled walnut available to those who insist.

Our Land Rover LR4 tester had the $9500 LUX package that included an array of options. I liked the auto-adaptive bi-Xenon headlamps with high beam assist.

The sound system upgrade with the LUX package on the LR4 delivers the Harmon Karden 480 watt system with 14 speakers. Plus park distance control, back up camera, cooler box, 8 way power seats for driver and front passenger. The base price of the 2010 Land Rover LR4 is $47,250.00. Add $2500 for 20 inch spoke wheels and another $750.00 for the paint. Destination is $650.00 plus the LUX package at $9500.00 brings a total for the LR4 at $60,915.00. If you want more power and determine it is worth the extra dollar then look at the big brother- Supercharged Range Rover Sport at nearly $83,000.00 without tax.

Competition is Cadillac’s Escalade, Audi Q7, Infiniti QX56, LX 570, the new Lexus GX460, Mercedes Benz GL-class, VW’s Touareg and the Porsche Cayenne.

Fuel economy 12 city and 17 highway with premium fuel. At nearly three tons the Land Rover LR4 equipped with the ZF6 speed automatic is as efficient as it gets with this weight.

The Range Rover celebrated its 40th anniversary earlier this year. It is one of the most significant vehicles in the history of motoring, known for luxury and capability. As I have mentioned in other stories the Land Rover Range Rover was selected to be displayed at the Louvre. They considered it one of the finest sculptured sheet metal art pieces in the world.

I have been fortunate to experience one of Land Rover’s driving schools at the Biltmore Estate in Ashville, North Carolina. Every imaginable type of off-road course we traversed in the Land Rover Range Rover models. The school is for not just owners but those who are considering a Land Rover.

Other Land Rover schools are at the Quail Lodge in Carmel California; the Equinox in Southern Vermont’s Green Mountains; and in Canada at the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello located in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec. Each resort can be viewed by going to Vacation at a luxurious resort is a real plus. If the adventure convinces you that the Land Rover is the vehicle you wish then you won again!

The Land Rover Range Rover LR4 performance, ride and handling have been transformed with the introduction of a new engine, transmission and chassis systems. Combine these enhancements with the contemporary style and luxury of the revised interior, and it's clear that the Land Rover Range Rover Brand are superb. Maurice Wilkes first was inspired by the Willys Jeep company after WWII. They have certainly transformed the original Series vehicles into the most luxurious and true off-road vehicle the world has ever seen.

Interesting to me is that the Fiat/Chrysler group has developed a superb new Jeep that incorporates the Quadra air suspension system. Maurice Wilkes looked for inspiration from Willys Jeep in 1946 and now in 2010 the Jeep line has added what they knew was important to off-roading at Land Rover Range Rover. The air-suspension.

I am sold on the Land Rover Range Rover vehicles. With Tata Brand wanting to introduce new vehicles they are having their engineers improve the Brands dependability.

In the meantime I can’t wait to drive the top of the line Range Rover Autobiography only available on the supercharged models. It has the finest leather Jaguar or Land Rover have even offered. The wheels are large 20 inch six spoked Diamond Tuned Wheels.

Safety features on the 2010 Land Rover LR4 include antilock disc brakes, traction control, stability control including rollover mitigation, hill descent control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags.

The basic warranty on the Land Rover LR4 is 4 years or 50,000 miles. Roadside assistance is the same. Warranty on rust is six years with unlimited miles.

When the 1000-mile Bolivia Race was won by Range Rover the judges and even the winner stated if I am quoting correctly “the Range is the most dependable undependable vehicle.” Off road Land Rover and Range Rover are number one!

I am looking forward to even more innovations in their next generation of Range Rovers. Range Rover wishes to brand themselves in the new markets including China.

They have ideas of coming out with the Range Rover premium models that will even surpass the Range Rover Autobiography. Maybe down the road we will see the diesel version brought to the North American market.

In England not long ago they introduced the newest model call the Range Rover Evoque with Vogue. The all-new Range Rover Evoque is the smallest, lightest and most fuel efficient Range Rover to date, with sub 130g/km of CO2 emissions continuing their commitment to environmental sustainability.