Overview & Reviews
For decades, Land Rover SUVs were known primarily for their utility and off-road prowess. During the 1980s, they became more luxurious, but their ability in the dirt has never been in question.
A prime example of this change was the Land Rover LR3, which replaced the aging Discovery. The old "Disco" was long on utility but a little shy on amenities. The LR3 offered a lot more style. Unfortunately, it still suffered from an underwhelming engine, quirky ergonomics and a poor reputation for reliability.
If all-terrain adventures are a frequent family activity and the thought of owning a pedigreed SUV appeals to you, it's hard to think of a better-suited vehicle for the task than a used Land Rover LR3. But if you'll be sticking primarily to pavement, other luxury SUVs like the Acura MDX or Lexus RX 350 will be better choices.
Most Recent Land Rover LR3 Models
The Land Rover LR3 was produced from 2005-'09. Originally, there were SE and HSE trim levels. The SE came standard with a 216-horsepower 4.0-liter V6 (we would avoid this), while the HSE got a 300-hp 4.4-liter V8. The V8 became standard on all LR3s for 2008. The HSE trim essentially became an option package in the final production year. Aside from the third-row seat becoming standard on the HSE for '06 and in the SE for '08, other changes were limited to additional standard features.
Though smaller than the Range Rover, Land Rover's midsize LR3 was still capable. V8 versions could tow up to 7,700 pounds and the LR3 was hard to beat off-road. All variants came standard with fully independent adjustable air suspension and a host of electronic off-road aids. Combined with a locking center differential, an optional electronic rear locker and the LR3's new Terrain Response system, this truck had the ability to climb boulders in a single bound.
At the same time, the LR3 also provided a useful interior as well. There was seating for seven adult passengers and both the second- and third-row seats folded flat to make cargo-hauling easier. The cabin design was a tad utilitarian and lacked the luxurious ambience of its competitors or its successor, the LR4. Another downside was the chaotic mess of little buttons spread upon the dash that could be confusing to use at a glance.
Other than being underpowered given its hefty curb weight, there were few complaints about the way the LR3 drove. It delivered the kind of tight, refined ride we expected from a luxury SUV and the steering provided excellent road feel and more feedback than many of its competitors. A tight turning circle and an effective power assist kept it nimble in parking lots.
In reviews, we were endlessly impressed with the Land Rover LR3's capabilities off-road and continuously surprised at how well it performed on road. However, besides the above concerns, there's also the matter of its thirst for fuel and poor record for reliability. As such, buying an out-of-warranty LR3 without being close friends with a Land Rover mechanic is not the wisest idea.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 312.00
1st World Problems - 2006 Land Rover LR3
By Heath Sellers - November 28 - 11:15 pm
We have this LR3 and an E350 (W212) Benz and fight over who gets to drive the Rover (hint - my wife always wins this one). It is as smooth as silk, has power to spare, lots of room with a useable 3rd row that still leaves cargo space when it is up and a lot of cargo space when the rear seats are down. Maintenance has been minimum with the exception of a replacement transfer case. It gets awful gas mileage and it eats tires but I would expect nothing less from a 6000 pound car. We always feel safe in this and have a firefighter neighbor who said he bought solely for the safety factor. Plus, it looks amazing (it is a love it or hate it style) but there is no way that it can be confused with anything else on the road.
Bmw cant touch this - 2005 Land Rover LR3
By KEN - December 31 - 9:36 am
5000 Mi its been great,fun to drive,plenty of power ,tons of room ,my 63" son can sit in the third row seat in comfort,can play my ipod,nav super,my wife keeps telling me to stop driving it like my jag, why? You can!Great handling,great suv!!!
Excellent SUV - 2006 Land Rover LR3
By Jamie - December 28 - 1:10 am
I just purchased the LR3 HSE and it is the best SUV I have ever had. We just had a blizzard in the Northeast and this car did not even flinch. It feels extremely safe and it so much fun to drive. It has so many great features that other SUVs dont have. I would recommend it to anyone.
LR3 - good, but.... - 2005 Land Rover LR3
By mpn1 - November 17 - 7:00 am
Had several stops to dealership after 2 stalls, rear sensor fail, and 2 engine faults ( one caused by gas cap!) I like the ride, and am trying to really feel comfortable about the purchase, but the reliability issues keep me from getting too attached...
My LR3 - 2005 Land Rover LR3
By Vivina - November 14 - 7:30 pm
This our first Land Rover, and we founded to be excellent suv, It takes curves beautifully. We are very pleased with it, we drove to Florida over the spring holiday and its very comfortable and roomy.
Its not just the cupholders - 2005 Land Rover LR3
By Arch North - October 30 - 12:36 pm
We love our LR3 just because its a great car to drive. Its unbelievably smooth on the highway due to the air suspension, and a push of a button raises it for off road driving. The engine barely makes a sound when its idling, and is matched with the transmisson so nicely that you barely feel feel it shift. The sound of the engine under accelleration is symphonic! Weve owned the car for about a year and a half now, and still feel like were going on vacation every time we get into it.
Love my Landrover - 2005 Land Rover LR3
By LandRover LR3 - October 26 - 1:16 pm
Overall we couldnt be more pleased with this vehicle. It demands attention. The dvd player they installed is probably my only complaint. We have already brought it in for service..but that has nothing to do with the actual car. We have three little children and they learned how to put the seats up and down quicker than I did. The trunk space is a bit small when the the third row is up...but is still manageable. It is roomy, elegant, and worth every penny. The air conditioning vents are supplied throughout the car...and lots of cup holders. Great for the kids and great for my husband and I when we have a night out together. We will forever be Landrover owners.
LR3 - 2005 Land Rover LR3
By Forke - October 14 - 6:46 pm
I have had my LR3 since December and absolutely love it. It is quick, quiet and sophisticated. Any friend I let drive, wants one.
very poor quality & reliability - 2005 Land Rover LR3
By Frustrated LR3 Owner - September 30 - 8:40 am
I really want to like my LR3. It just wont let me. Ive had the transmission replaced (after it shut down my ABS, stability control, dropped the suspension to where it looked like a low rider), the alternator & battery (after it shut down my vehicle while it was still driving), and had a water leak fixed early on. Now I have water coming in from just about everywhere possible.....great quality
Land rover quality - 2007 Land Rover LR3
By carz - September 18 - 4:40 am
I love my vehicle. It runs smooth and no problems what so ever. I dont like the fact I get 15 miles per gallon. One stumbling block I have had is I bought a boat recently and now need a hitch. The dealer quoted me almost $800 for a hitch. If you dont need a hitch and dont care about gas mileage this is the greatest SUV.