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ROVING

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sat, Dec 15, 2007

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

 

ROVING Comfort Meets Versatility in the LR3 By Paul Robinson As I am driving back from a rugby tournament, going up Highway 5 on a Saturday afternoon, stereo pumping and sunroof open. The five of us are excited from a big win and are singing and enjoying the ocean views from the large rear windows of our Land Rover LR3.

The luxurious black leather seats are soft and cool against our bruised and torn skin, and the seats are large enough that none of the guys are complaining of lack of leg or headroom. I'm surprised by the rear trunk space. Even with one of the rear retractable seats occupied, there is more than enough room for five duffle bags and some miscellaneous items. During the course of the drive we experiment with the electronic bells and whistles which include the voice activated navigation and audio. At cruising speeds, there is minimal wind noise, but the 550-watt 14-speaker Harmon/Kardon audio system bombards the cabin with our choice of AM/FM, CD (six-disk in-dash) or Sirius satellite radio. This is a great audio system that provides all the sound you will every need. The LR3 is also equipped with a telephone integration system, which allows hands-free operation of compatible cell phones, and the LR3 shows its English roots by speaking back in a British accent. The dash-mounted GPS navigation with touch screen is easily visible and also includes an off-road 4x4 information center. This application provides driveline information for all four wheels, and can be very helpful in off-road conditions.

  With over 1,100 pounds of Rugby players in the car, I would never accuse the LR3 of being overpowered - but the 4.4-liter 300 horsepower V8 pushes its 5400 pound body around as well as can be expected. This isn't a SUV that will plant you back in your seat or impress your passengers with its freeway passing. The HSE we are tooling around in is by no means a sissy, but this seven-passenger SUV left me wanting when I pushed the pedal to the metal. Even though our off-road adventures in the LR3 are very limited, it's hard not to use the four-corner self-leveling air suspension. This system allows the driver to select the type of terrain being driven in, and the terrain response system will adjust the vehicle ride height to accommodate. At the push of a button, the LR3 can lower its six-foot five-inch tall body down a few inches. It comes in handy when pulling this Rover into an underground parking structure or under the home garage door.

  The LR3 is the largest in the Land Rover fleet, and is designed for a multitude of driving conditions. The weight of the LR3, coupled with the air suspension system, makes for a comfortable ride. However, this full-size SUV lacks in both road feel and handling. I found myself accidentally drifting within my lane and the tall frame experiences quite a bit of body roll while cornering. But on the other hand, I can't pile a small army in the Lotus Elise and drive it through the Sahara. Land Rover has done an excellent job in mixing functionality and comfort in the LR3. It shares many of the design features we have become accustomed to in a Land Rover, but this is a big upgrade from its Discovery ancestry. The interior is also what you would expect from Land Rover. With the leather seats and walnut accents, the interior is more what you expect from a luxury sedan than an SUV. The full power front seats including seat warmers are soft yet supportive and perfect for a long trip to the desert or the mountains, and everywhere in between.

The LR3 is spacious, luxurious and designed tough enough to take you wherever you could dream of driving. The LR3 is perfect for going to the grocery store, and taking advantage of the large storage space, or driving half a Rugby team to a tournament. This is one SUV that will get you there in comfort and style. If it gets a little dirty along the way, well that's half the fun!

SIDEBAR COMMENT I took the Land Rover LR3 through the hills of Rosamond, overlooking Willow Springs Raceway. It's mapped out as a Level 3 course, which few sport utility vehicles can master. For the Land Rover, however, it's business as usual. Climbing over rocky terrain and navigating steeply raked trails makes me forget that I'm driving one of the choice vehicles for Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. After reaching the top, I take the LR3 down on a 45 degree hill with no foot on the brake - the Land Rover's ultra low gear at a slow and safe speed. Most LR3 owners will never take their vehicles off road, but it's an invigorating experience. It has me humming a tune. How does that song go? "I'm looking over my four-wheel Rover..." - Roy Nakano SUMMARY JUDGMENT As fitting on Rodeo Drive as it is on the drive to the Rubicon. For more information about Land Rover products, go to landroverusa.com.

SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2007 Land Rover LR3 HSE Price: Base $54,025 As tested $56,600 Engine type: 4.4L 300 HP V8 EPA mileage estimates City/ Highway: 12/17 Horsepower: 300 @ 5,500 rpm Torque: 315 lb.-ft @ 4,000 rpm Drive configuration: Front engine / Permanent four-wheel drive Transmission type: 6 speed electronically controlled automatic with command shift manual control. Sport, normal and commandshift manual shift modes. Two Speed electronic gearbox with shift on the move capability, infinitely variable locking center and read differential. Suspension: Electronic air suspension with automatic load-leveling and multiple modes. Access, Standard, Off-Road plus automatic extend mode. 4 wheel double wishbone with long travel air springs. Wheels and tires: Front: Standard: 19 x 8 Aluminum alloy, 255/55HR19 ,mud and snow tires Rear: 19 x 8 Aluminum alloy, 255/55HR19 ,mud and snow tires Brakes: Front: Vented discs 13.3 in diameter Rear: Vented discs 13.6 in diameter All terrain dynamic stability control Overall length: 190.9 in Overall width: 75.4 in Overall height: 74.5 in Curb weight (kg.): 5,796 lbs

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