Used Vehicle Review: Land Rover LR4, 2010-2016

Vehicle Type

LR4 owners typically rave about excellent ride quality on everything, buttery-smooth performance from the nearly undetectable V8 engine, tremendous confidence during off-road driving and in winter conditions, and the abundant style, comfort and pedigree built in.

Luxury SUV

History/Description

Most folks don’t buy a Land Rover LR4 for top-line reliability and low running costs, but many folks do buy one because this big comfy Brit is off-road ready, comfortable, handsome, and luxurious as all heck. Did we mention it looks like a million bucks, too?

Among the key reasons to consider a used LR4 are the machine’s ability to switch effortlessly between on-road and off-road driving, with clearance, capability and (especially) comfort to spare. Thanks to a trick air suspension system with a comfort-first calibration, LR4 cruises the highway with buttery smoothness, and cruises nasty roads and trails with buttery smoothness, too. This top-line SUV offered up V8 power, space for your clients and family to lounge and socialize, and maintains a creamy and quiet ride at all times.

The best leathers on the planet, as well as a full range of luxury feature content, are also included. On the road or off, the LR4 is a compelling choice for travelling in absolute comfort with a floating-on-a-cloud ride. You’ll find no shortage of few-year-old units available for reasonable money, too.

If you’re going for a fully loaded unit, look for an LR4 in HSE or HSE Luxury trim. All goodies were available – including automatic everything, heated and chilled seats, Meridian premium audio, xenon lights, navigation, adaptive cruise control, a panoramic sunroof, Bluetooth, heated steering wheel, surround-view camera, and plenty more. The Extended Windsor Leather Package, if equipped, adds additional premium leather trim to the dash, doors, grab-handles and instrument cluster hood.

Engines/Trim

Look for a 5.0L V8 engine with 375 hp, or the 3.0L supercharged V6, with 340, which replaced the V8 from 2014 and on. With the supercharged V6, the original six-speed automatic transmission was also replaced with a new eight-speed unit, improving performance and fuel efficiency. The LR4 offered up two 4x4 systems, including a single-speed transfer case that operated like an AWD system, or a two-speed transfer case with low-range gearing. Locking center and rear differentials were also available for heavy-duty off-road traction. Debating which engine might be best for you? Give this discussion a read.

What Owners Like

LR4 owners typically rave about excellent ride quality on everything, buttery-smooth performance from the nearly undetectable V8 engine, tremendous confidence during off-road driving and in winter conditions, and the abundant style, comfort and pedigree built in. Feature content favourites include the Meridian stereo system, and potent xenon headlights.

What Owners Dislike

The only owner-stated gripe that pops up with enough frequency to warrant mention is the LR4’s heavy fuel consumption, especially with the V8 engine. Some owners wish for more precise and capable handling, too.

The Test Drive

Source a gently used LR4 from a Land Rover dealer’s Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program with remaining warranty, and add any extended warranty coverage available, for maximum peace of mind. Many owners have had few if any issues with their used LR4’s, though some report more serious issues, accompanied by equally serious repair bills. Buying a used LR4 without extended warranty, or at least a full pre-purchase inspection (PPI) at a qualified dealer, isn’t advised. Here’s a neat discussion where owners debate whether they’d own another LR4 or not. Most would.

Be on the lookout for tire and brake wear. As the LR4 is a big, heavy vehicle that is likely to have been used in an off-road setting, tires, brakes and even suspension components may wear more quickly than in a luxury sedan. Assume the used LR4 needs tires, brakes, and some suspension work, until a Land Rover technician confirms otherwise. Further, a full check of the suspension for signs of worn bushings, ball-joints, control-arm components, and tie-rod ends is highly advised. While in the air on a technician’s hoist, the vehicle can be inspected for signs of other potential off-road damage, too.

Here’s some more reading on brake component life. Note that many owners advise sourcing parts and service of the brake system outside of the dealer setting, possibly at a private shop, to save money. Further, note that, apparently, the wear sensors on the LR4’s braking system tend to trip early – possibly alerting owners that the brakes need replacing many miles before they actually do. If in doubt, ask a technician to assess the vehicle’s brake system.

Have the air suspension checked out by a Land Rover mechanic after you toggle it through its various settings to confirm it operates as outlined in the owner’s manual, without any warning lights or messages illuminating. This is an expensive-to-repair system that can eventually wear out and fail. Be sure it’s working properly to avoid frustrating repairs. Some owners say problems with the “valve block” may cause the system to act up. This is enough of an issue that, in another Land Rover model, owners assembled an entire discussion thread related to air suspension issue diagnosis. Details here.

If the model you’re considering has the V8 engine, be aware that in this, and other applications, numerous owners have reported failed water pumps and associated coolant leaks. Apparently, the water pumps used on earlier copies of this engine aren’t long-lasting, and a technician should inspect for signs of wear or leaking, unless the unit has recently been replaced, possibly under warranty. To save money, some mechanicallyinclined owners have been able to replace the water pump themselves.

Note that the LR4’s entire cooling system, including the radiator and hoses, should be checked for signs of leaks, for maximum peace of mind. A Check Engine Light, or poor performance from the vehicle’s heater system, may indirectly be caused by a problem with a coolant leak or bad water-pump, too – though this issue shouldn’t prove too difficult to diagnose.

Some owners have also reported issues with timing chains and timing chain guides on the V8 engine, which can be pricey to fix out of warranty. Check service records to see if the engine in the unit you’re considering has ever had these issues addressed under warranty, and remember that potential timing chain issues make this vehicle, once again, a great candidate for extended warranty coverage.

Other checks should include all windows, all door locks and all door handles. Though reported infrequently, some owners have complained of broken door handle mechanisms and bad window switches or regulators, at fairly low mileage.

Check all remote keyfobs, too, ensuring that each operates as intended, and is able to start the engine via the push-button start system. If that’s not the case, the keyfobs may need to be reprogrammed by a dealer in order for them to work properly. If you need a new key, or keyfob, it will cost you dearly.

Like many new cars, the LR4 is full of electronics that can experience issues – so approach a used model looking for signs of trouble. Be sure all electrically operated accessories function as expected, and check for any warning lights or messages in the instrument cluster or driver computer. Pair your phone via Bluetooth. Be sure the automatic lights and climate control work properly. Does the model you’re considering have the rear-seat DVD player system? Check that out too. In many cases, niggling electronics issues can be caused by low voltage from a worn or tired battery, so consider plugging your LR4 into a trickle charger when you won’t be using it for more than a few days.

Finally, be sure to toggle the 4x4 system between its various modes too, checking for signs of trouble along the way. Check the owner’s manual for proper shifting procedures, noting any unusual sounds or failure to shift into the selected mode. Don’t buy a used LR4 without confirming that it shifts, as expected, between its various 4x4 modes.

The Verdict

Protect yourself from potentially pricey repairs by budgeting for as new a model as possible, and adding any extended warranty coverage available, for maximum peace of mind. From this basis, a healthy used LR4 should provide access to world-class comfort, luxury, styling, and all-condition capability.

Here’s a list of recalls.

Crash Test Ratings

N/A

Ideal for extended warranty. 7/13/2017 6:28:00 AM