Adapting to customer needs and trying to achieve efficiency levels proposed by the governing bodies, manufacturers had to shift whole production systems to accommodate their factories for efficient SUV and crossover production. However, the tough body-on-frame design of traditional SUVs simply did not cut it anymore. SUVs became too heavy, too ungainly, and too expensive to maintain. Then, some automakers started to experiment with unibody construction for their SUV-looking cars. Soon, what was a misfit became the norm and today with crossovers being the only way forward. Even the famous off-road specialists like Jeep and Land Rover had to make changes and some famed names from history sacrificed all that made them famous in the first place.
The Land Rover Discovery has been around since 1989 as the British automaker fought for more sales beyond its Defender and the upmarket Range Rover. Three generations of Discos have past and the fourth is currently in production; and recently could be spotted in my driveway.
The Land Rover Discovery has been around since 1989 as the British automaker fought for more sales beyond its Defender and the upmarket Range Rover. Three generations of Discos have past and the fourth is currently in production; and recently could be spotted in my driveway. This newest member of the Discovery family still carries the same iconic themes as the original, but now shoots for a market that’s decidedly more posh, yet it still undercuts the Range Rover on both price and luxuries.
Speaking on those themes, the LR4 is unmistakably the great grandson of 1989 model. Check out that stepped roof and the tall greenhouse. Take a look at uniquely shaped rear window. The cues are hard to miss. The same goes for the inside as well. Though completely modernized, the LR4 still carries five passengers in the first two rows and offers additional seating for two smaller folks in the twin jump seats located out back.
So what’s the Land Rover like to live with? Keep on reading to find out.
Continue reading for the full review
Having the right tool for going off-road is just like having the right tool for the track; purpose-built vehicles work best for their intended purpose. And just like we at TopSpeed often compare track toys that go fast, we also like to compare the dirtier side of the automotive spectrum.
Below the jump is our pick of the top-five best off-road vehicles currently on the market. They hail from five brands, three continents, and two vehicle types. These trucks and SUVs represent the best in modern innovation tied in with proven technology wrapped in attractive packages.
Just like at the track, it’s all about getting power to the ground when heading off the beaten path. Locking differentials, axle articulation, and proper tires make all the difference. With pricing in the comparison ranging from $31,000 to in excess of $50,000, the group varies wildly from spartan to outright luxurious. But no matter what the interior looks like, the greasy bits underneath are what count the most.
Click past the jump for TopSpeed’s Top Five Off-Roaders
Off-roading can be just as challenging, scary and life-changing as a high-speed track session with a supercar.
With supercars, the chances of a costly mistake are present but manageable. The tracks are typically perfect, the guard rails are there to keep you out of the trees in the case of a spin out, and generally, backing off the throttle is enough to recover control before anything goes *crunch*.
Off-roading, however, brings a real chance that poor driving or the wrong car will result in serious damage to both that driver’s confidence and the car’s rolling ability.
While most racetracks are filled with other cars to help you get home after putting yours into a wall, the situation out on desolate off-road trails is much more grim is something really breaks. Being stranded becomes a real possibility, with bad results almost a sure thing.
After popping three tires and cracking an alloy rim of the 18-inch wheels and 35-section tires of my (poor, abused) Subaru Legacy GT wagon in Oak Ridge, Tennessee a few years ago, I had to limp down the mountain on two hideously-bent donut spare steel wheels. Tires sheared off long before, so it was a clunky and scary ride to a place that a tow truck could find me.
It was this moment I finally realized something: as with everything challenging, to go off-roading the right way, you need the right tools.
Those tools have adjustable suspensions, huge wheel travel, and tires so knobby that a 65 mph cruise on the highway sounds like a Monster Truck.
Great A/C, comfy seats and mechanical reliability are also key parameters for this list.
Click past the jump for the full Top-Ten Best Off-Road SUVs, featuring everything from Bowler Land Rovers to the Nissan Xterra.
At some point or another, everyone has been a third, fifth, or even seventh wheel. You know, those times when you are surrounded by couples and you are the only single one in the group. Amidst the couples’ activities, the bickering, and the "quality time," you wonder why you ever thought it would be a good idea to join in on this nightmarish journey through the land of ball and chains. Well, Landrover has now provided single men and women everywhere a reason to grin and bear it: the Landrover Discovery/LR4.
In this ad campaign, Landrover shows how even the 7th wheel can be made extremely comfortable in the LR4’s vast features. The Discovery/LR4 has a new, more comfortable seat design and a wider range of materials to bump up the luxury. Technologically speaking, the LR4 is well-equipped with touch-screen audio systems, a navigation system (Base and Premium), a single slot DVD drive in the audio head unit, and a rear seat audio system operated by new powerful wireless technology called WhiteFireTM via cordless headphones.
The Discovery/LR4 is offered with either a 3.0 LR-TDV6 engine or a 3.0 LR-SDV6 engine. The 3.0 LR-TDV6 engine delivers a total of 211 HP at 4,000rpm and a peak torque of 383 lbs-ft at 2,000rpm. The engine is mated to a ZF 8HP70 8-speed automatic transmission, while CO2 emissions have been reduced from 244g/km to 224g/km. The 3.0 LR-SDV6 engine produces 256 HP at 4,000rpm and 442 lbs-ft at just 2,000rpm. This engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission with command shift. CO2 emissions have been reduced for this engine option, going down to 230g/km from the previous 244g/km.
No matter how long you stay single, the Landrover LR4 will make sure you are comfortable during those long couples’ trips.
There’s no shortage of auto debuts going on at the 2012 New York Auto Show and Land Rover is joining in on the fun with the premier of two special edition models that are set to be made available later in 2012.
One of these models is based on the Land Rover LR4 and it’s called the LR4 HSE Luxury Limited Edition. As its name will obviously tell you, the LR4 HSE Luxury Limited Edition has been touched up with plenty of high-class accessories.
On the outside, the SUV was finished in an exclusive Santorini Black paint finish to go with silver touches on the front grille surround, the full-length roof rails, the mirror housing, the bonnet script, and the tailgate badge. In addition, Land Rover decided to give the LR4 HSE Luxury Limited Edition’s wheels some spunk, courtesy of a new set of 20" 10-spoke alloy rims.
Moving to the interior, you’ll find a leather explosion, courtesy of an expanded leather treatment dressed in an Arabica color. The SUV’s door tops, door pulls, arm rests, and dashboard fascia all carry the same leather material that’s complemented by a contrast stitched detailing and a Dark Zebrano wood veener. And if all that leather isn’t enough to tickle your fancy, the LR4 HSE Luxury Limited Edition also has plenty of the standard features, including an 825 watt, 17-speaker Harman/Kardon LOGIC7 Premium Audio System, 8" screens, wireless headphones, and last but certainly not least, a Center Console Cooler Box.
The LR4 HSE Luxury Limited Edition will be made available worldwide with the UK understandably getting first dibs at the car. The price tag for the limited edition SUV on the other side of the pond starts at £56,995, which is around $90,500 based on current exchange rates.