Land Rover LR2 HSE Review

The words "Land Rover" and "value" aren't often found together, but the LR2 could change that.

As noted in our last test of the baby Rover, the LR2 used to be the Freelander, and it wasn't very good.

The LR2 steps up considerably from those humble beginnings, creating a small SUV that looks and feels like a legitimate little brother to the bigger Rover utes.

The one we had recently stickered at $41,475..and came with only two options, a lighting package (Bi-Xenon headlamps, adaptive front lighting, approach and puddle lights and memory seats and mirrors) and the Technology Package (Nav system, surround sound audio, Sirius Satellite radio , rear seat audio controls and a Bluetooth telephone interface).

Well, let's say that the standard lighting is good enough (it is). $1,050 falls off the window sticker just like that.

Can you live without navigation, surround sound, satellite radio, giving the kids the ability to control same and Bluetooth for your phone (hang up and drive already)?

Sure. Presto. Another $3500 gone. And you've got a very nice base vehicle (hey, the standard stereo is a 320-watt, nine speaker Alpine system with a 6-disc in-dash changer).

If it weren't for delivery charges and Land Rover's highway robbery of throwing $700 on the sticker for a "Dealer Pre-Delivery Inspection", you'd be down to the base price, too...a very reasonable $35,375...in an age of $31,000 RAV4s.

Even with the delivery and PDI, you're under $37,000. But Land Rover dealers are hungry too...I'd see if you can get them to make that PDI charge go away. It better not cost $700 to make sure one of these is ready to sell to a customer.