First time I saw it parked, it looked like a blinged out Nissan Xterra on steroids. The front exterior styling is the hotness but the side and rear profile leaves me with more to desire. The tailgate definitely accommodates easier loading, but the general style of the rear – I just can’t jive with it. It would probably grow on me if I had it long enough.
The parking release button is new to me. No pull up on handle thingy – just a button that controls the parking brake. You can hear it when it’s activated. Sounds like a spaceship releasing from a docking station. Adjusting the mirrors is pretty standard, all from a little button on the drivers side. The mirrors are pretty big, so it came in handy since I could tell visibility in this thing was kinda sucky.
I loved how much play you have with the steering column. Really high for the amazon people and really low for shorties like me. I don’t know why, but where my arm rests on the steering column is important to me. I hate high mounted steering wheels. Steering wheel mounted controls had volume, stations, blue tooth telephone and a couple other snazzy toys I didn’t get around to checking…
After its fired up, I did a quick review of dash settings. One thing I want is easy view of the clock. This thing has 2 places for the clock, one on the dash and one on the console for everyone else, good. There are 9 radio favorite options. Has Bluetooth option. Didn’t use but if it worked like it does in my car, then it’s great to have. Hooray for Land Rover! They can build a damn cup holder! And not just 2, lets try like 8. AND I can fit Gatorade bottles in there. I’ve found that most car manufacturers can’t build cup holders to save their lives.
Given that I’ve been profiling in a low riding vehicle lately, having the high views and inability to take quick hard turns were a bit daunting. But that went away once I really got a feel for it.
Handling it felt good, I felt like I could probably go through the Grand Canyon with ease. The steering was very responsive and it felt like I could probably cut tight U’ies if I wanted. Under the hood sits a super light aluminum alloy wrapped 32 valve, 4.4 litre engine pushing 300bhp @ 5500 rpm. Smooth acceleration, I felt the power come in rather quickly. That’s good when you need to move fast to dodge dummies on the road.
Off road performance? Besides the little hill I had to climb over for the photo shoot, I never got a chance to really go mud bogging with it. Even though I wanted to. One of the features that I thought was really cool and wanted to check out was the “Terrain Response” feature. 5 settings total (each covering just about any conditions you can think of just short of puking hot lava) will most likely get you where you need to go.
Has big windows but it has poor visibility. It does come equipped with “Park Distance Control”. Meaning that when you start backing up or move forward and get a little too close – an alert goes off. When I was backing it up, I tested and saw that this thing is really sensitive. The beeping began at about 4 feet and then would go into a solid alarm once you got within a foot of something – like grass. Do I think this makes up for poor visibility? No. I would rather see if there’s a car next to me instead of hearing a solid alarm going off telling me I’m about to get hit in traffic…
One feature I really liked is the three-flash lane-change function added to the turn signals. My Audi did that and I loved it for that. I also thought that automatic windshield wipers were damn cool. That’s right, AU-TO-MA-TIC wipers… when I had to take the truck back, it had rained earlier. I hopped in the truck, fired it up and then my wipers came on. Just once. To wipe off the rain that piled up. I dismissed it as a fluke and went about my way. Down the road it began to drizzle and then rain. The wipers came on without being prompted and maintained appropriate speed in correlation to the rain. The heavier the rain, the faster the wipers went. The slower the rain, the slower the wipers went. I’m still in awe of it.
Seating for up to 7 peoples. Cool. Stadium seating was nice, but looked like the backseat would kinda suck after a while. Rear seat comfort wasn’t exactly high on the list of design I see. If you’re not sitting in the VERY back, but the immediate rear seat – you do have the luxury of butt warmers and some other buttons.
Lots of room all over. At least in the front that I could tell. I have no need of sitting in the back. Head room wasn’t an issue, Bigfoot could get in and prolly not have any issues banging his head. The LR3 has lots of storage, 2 front glove boxes, 2 in the back. You can back all the seats down and have about as much room as I do inside my Tahoe.
The “average joe” perspective:
I’d have to say that the LR3 is a nifty ride. It was fun to drive and it was kinda spacious. Would I spend bookoo bucks on it? Maybe. Budget is my issue. But if you have yuppie salary and can afford forking out about 50 grand for a ‘wannabe Range Rover’, then by all means get it. Otherwise I’d prolly save my pennies for a Range Rover Sport…
3 turn signal switch
Auto up windows
Cup holders/door holders
Green dash board
Time function on dash and console
9 FM settings
Sound system ok
Steering column adjustable heights
Climate controls for both passengers
Optional road conditions settings
Seating a little stiff for long rides
Navigation a little plain
Rear cover pulley thingy
No coin dish
Sunroof doesn’t open all the way/but has screen
Rear styling exterior