First Drive: 2013 Land Rover LR4

2013 Land Rover Discovery 4

There’s something about being behind the wheel of a big SUV that makes you feel like Commander in Chief of the road, and the Land Rover LR4 is no exception. Sliding into the driver’s seat, three words come to mind: Bold, refined, and luxurious. It’s almost like I went into an altered state of consciousness – a bubble of power, if you will.

2013 Land Rover LR4 controls

We often equate the Land Rover with being just a luxury SUV that looks good, but this is an all purpose, all terrain vehicle. Whether it’s snow, mud, sand, or rocks, the Terrain Response System makes it easy to drive. With a touch of a button, the vehicle adjusts to the road or off-road conditions.

During my test drive we cruised down city streets plus the highway, an area where I was able to feel its true power. At 375 hp, 375 lb torque, and V8 engine, it packs a punch and quickly accelerates in seconds. With a SUV this big one would think it would be difficult to maneuver, but it actually feels lightweight. Making turns is fairly smooth considering the steering wheel is a bit stiff.

The Interior

If you could imagine how a caterpillar would feel snuggled up in a cocoon, this is how I felt seated in the driver’s seat of the LR4. The vehicle starts with a push of a button and everything that needs to be adjusted can be easily found.

Land Rover offers a variety of interior color and trim choices. The ebony grained Windsor leather is featured here in our tester.

2013 Land Rover LR4 dashboard

2013 Land Rover LR4 steering wheel

The LR4 is perfect for families and those who require a great deal of cargo room. Space is not an issue as it can easily fit 7 people (including driver) with a back row that can fold up or down. There’s plenty of leg and shoulder room, and getting in and out of the vehicle is easy. There’s even a button that will lower the vehicle to make it even easier to get out.

2013 Land Rover LR4 backseats

The Exterior

Part of the allure of the Land Rover LR4 is its iconic boxy stance. It’s commanding and rugged, yet sleek and stylish. The LED headlights and tail lights offer distinctive design, while the 19 inch ten-spoke alloy wheels are included as part of the HSE package.

Land Rover headlights

Land Rover tail lights


The LR4 is equipped with access to information and entertainment to last a trip to the moon and back thanks to bluetooth connectivity that allows you to synch your smart phone to the system to make phone calls and stream music from your favorite music app. The 7-inch color monitor is touchscreen and displays navigation, music controls, and rear view camera – all of which are part of the HSE package. Sirius Satellite Radio and HD Radio are upgrade options.

Fuel Economy

At 12 city mpg and 17 highway mpg, the LR4 isn’t exactly the most economic luxury SUV, but what this gas guzzler lacks in this department it makes up for in spaciousness and function.

Overall First Impression

The Land Rover LR4 serves a function and it does it well. It’s a spacious SUV that can transport you over just about any terrain imaginable. You may not want to take your $60,000+ luxury vehicle and traipse it through rough territory, but at least you have that option if you ever have to.

Special thanks to Land Rover San Diego for the test drive!