Road Test: Land Rover LR4


Dear Land Rover LR4,

First, let me say that we had a great week together. You were everything I could ask for, and more.

But it’s just not going to work out between us. Let me make this very clear, it’s not you. It’s me. I’m just not sure what to do with someone like you.

2012 Land Rover LR4

You come from a long line of adventurers. Your forefathers have forged their way across nearly every continent, desert and mountain range. I can see their influence in your lines. While others are going for swoopy style, you stand tall with an elegance reserved for those who have earned their place in the world.

And you’re ready to take on that world as well. You have settings and adjustments for nearly every condition. A touch of the button will raise you a full 2.2 inches for extra ground clearance. You have settings for snow, sand, ruts and rocks. You have corner air suspension with Terrain Response, Hill Descent Control and Gradient Release Control. You’re really made to go anywhere.

2012 Land Rover LR4 Terrain Settings

I’m just not sure I’d take you there.

You’re like a super model with striking angular looks who just happens to be a world-class outdoors expert. Do I really want to flog you down that rocky canyon road? Am I going to drag you through the brush, cringing as the chaparral scrapes across your face?

It’s not just your sticker price. OK, maybe that’s part of it. The base is $49,000 and you showed up a fully decked out HSE model topping $61,000. That’s like throwing on Jimmy Choos and an Armani dress before heading out into the desert.

2012 Land Rover LR4 Dashboard

And then there’s that whole reliability thing. J.D. Powers (such a gossip monger) claims you’re below average.  Others call you high maintenance. I’m not sure I’m ready for a relationship that requires that much effort.

You need someone who’s not afraid to take you where you long to go. Someone who won’t flinch at the occasional cosmetic surgery bill and who will stand vigilant over your every need. You’ll take that person places they’ve never been with style and grace.

And I’ll envy you both.

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