The Land Rover LR4 is the fourth generation of the midsize SUV from Land Rover originally known as the Discovery. It is also known for undergoing another of mechanical and cosmetic changes to distinguish it from the LR3, which was plagued by challenges to its reliability.
The Land Rover LR4 is a direct descendant of the Land Rover Discovery, a vehicle designed by Land Rover to make inroads into the midsize SUV market. Land Rover rebadged its classic off-road vehicle the Land Rover Defender and launched the Land Rover Discovery as its midsize SUV in 1989. For almost ten years, the Land Rover Discovery Series 1 remained almost unchanged, until finally it was succeeded in 1998 by the Discovery Series 2. This version did not last quite as long, and in 2004, a new Discovery emerged, but under Land Rover's new naming system for North American vehicles, the third generation Discovery was named the LR3. When it came time to produce yet another generation of this vehicle in 2008, it received the designation LR4.
Like the LR3, the LR4 has only one trim level, but has several expansive option packages that take the place of prior trim levels from earlier incarnations of the Discovery.
The LR4 comes as an all-wheel drive five seat vehicle with a 5.0-liter V-8 engine linked to a six-speed, shiftable automatic transmission. This engine generates a healthy 375 horsepower and 375 lb-ft of torque. The LR4 can tow up to 7716 lbs. when properly equipped, with a maximum payload of 1325 lbs. It contains 42.1 cu. ft. of cargo space, but when space is maximized, this amount can more than double, with a maximum cargo capacity of 90.3 cu. ft.
Features on the 2013 LR4 include eight-way power front Captain's Chair leather front seats with power lumbar support for the driver, a split folding rear seatback with reclining rear seats, power steering, mirrors, windows and door locks and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio and cruise controls on the wheel. Other interior features include rear parking sensors and dual zone climate control. Entertainment on the LR4 comes in the form of 11 speaker premium stereo with AM/FM, CD and MP3 playback capability, as well as Bluetooth, iPod input, and USB connection. Optional are Sirius Satellite radio, a rear seat entertainment system, and a Logic 7 premium audio upgrade.
Exterior features include 19-inch alloy wheels, a roof rack, a power glass sunroof, a fixed glass rear sunroof, privacy glass, a fixed liftgate window, and a rear split liftgate door.
The various options packages available include the HSE package, the HSE LUX Package, the Climate Comfort Packages, the Vision Assist Package, the 7 Seat Comfort Package, and the Heavy Duty Package.
The LR4 is technically the fourth incarnation of the Land Rover Discovery. The first generation, Land Rover Discovery Series 1, produced in 1989, signaled the beginning of a trend to add the luxury found in many SUVs to Land Rover's reputation for off-roading excellence. The Series 1 Discovery was an all-wheel drive model with a 4.0-liter, V-8 engine offering 182 horsepower and 233 lb-ft of torque, linked to a four-speed automatic transmission or a five-speed manual. It came as either a three-door or a five-door model.
Following the Discover Series 1 was the Series 2, which got a bit of a facelift as well as updated engine options, with a goal of making the Discovery even less utilitarian and more accessible to typical SUV drivers.
In 2004 it was determined that for the time being, future generations of the Discovery would receive an alphanumeric designation, so the model that followed the Discovery Series 2 was the LR3. While the LR3 did not differ much in appearance from the Series 2 on the outside, it was notable for its Integrated Body Frame and full independent suspension. The Integrated Body Frame combined the popular unibody chassis design with a more standard ladder frame, while the full independent suspension allowed the LR3 to adjust depending on whether it was facing on-road or off-road conditions. Other features strengthening the LR3s off road performance included Hill Descent Control, Electronic Tracking Control, and a rear locking differential.
The current version of this vehicle is known as the LR4. It continued the use of the Integrated Body Frame from the LR3 and comes with three engine choices, a 2.7-liter, TurboDiesel V-6, a 3.0-liter, TurboDiesel V-6, and a 5.0-liter Jaguar V-8, linked to a six-speed automatic transmission. Other notable upgrades include stronger brakes, thicker anti-roll bars and a greater range for the Terrain Response system.