QOTD: Best Standard SUV Design of the 2010s?
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We return to the 2010s today to conduct more design evaluations. Previously in this series we covered the best and worst standard car designs, then did the same for upscalecars. Today we consider the 10-year span when the SUV and other SUV-like things strengthened their grasp on consumer sales, then choked out nearly everything that wasn’t a pickup truck.
Our rules are similar to prior entries in this series. We’re considering only production cars which people actually bought, not design exercises and one-offs. To keep things in the attainable “standard purchase” space, the entry-level ask must have been under $48,000. While that may seem a bit low, it’s 15 grand more than the average car transaction price in 2015.
Anything that’s an SUV or CUV qualifies today, so we can avoid body-on-frame discussions like in some sad Jeep forum. And of course, your selection had to have been offered between model year 2010 and 2019. On to my selection:
A full decade after its introduction into North America, and the Land Rover LR4 still looks great. It asked a hair under $47,000 in 2010, its debut year. In Discovery tradition, the 4 was a modification of the 3 that went on sale in 2004. Though the 4 bears a strong resemblance to the 3, it manages to look much more upscale; it’s aged better over the years. Something about the LR3 was a bit too plain to my eyes, like the details weren’t fully finished before production. Unlike the Discovery II, the LR3 wore its limited detailing in an unnatural way.
With the new generation came Range Rover Sport-adjacent styling, LED lighting, “better reliability,” better suspension, a nicer interior, and generally more modern technology. Standard for North America was the 5.0-liter Jaguar AJV8 with new-fangled direct injection and variable intake timing. The LR4 lasted through 2016, at which point it was replaced by a new SUV simply called Discovery. The handsome British filing cabinet looks went away, replaced with a design matching the Discovery Sport CUV.
The current model looks awkward and pinched, and though wider than LR4, is over three inches shorter. And there’s no more V8. Indeed, the Discovery’s been ruined. But at least we’ll always have LR4.
What are your picks for best SUV/CUV styling in the 2010s?
[Images: Honda, Land Rover]
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