Should You Take the Land Rover LR3 Off Road?

The Land Rover LR3 lives up to its name, serving as a pretty well-equipped SUV for relatively tame off-roading adventures.
Written by Jacqulyn Graber
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
The LR3 is a classically clean, boxy yet sleek midsize SUV that was offered by
Land Rover
from 2005 to 2009. While suitable for driving in the city, you can take the Land Rover LR3 off road.
LR3 was the United States’ and Middle East’s name for the third-generation Land Rover Discovery, a series of medium to large SUVs designed to be used as both utility vehicles and family cars. Don’t let the LR3’s luxury status fool you—while it certainly can’t handle the roughest of trails, it’s absolutely equipped for casual off-roading.
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, has compiled this handy guide to the Land Rover LR3’s off-road rating. We’ll go through ground clearance, torque, tire type, and angles and even offer some midsize off-road SUV alternatives.

Can the Land Rover LR3 go off road?

Yes—the LR3 lives up to Land Rover’s name with its impressive off-road chops. In fact, this midsize SUV was specifically designed to go straight from the city to the road less traveled. 
With an original MSRP of $45,975, a used 2009 LR3 will cost buyers an estimated $4,010 to $10,139. If you opt for the oldest model from 2005, you could spend as little as $1,407 to $5,957
But before you run off to your nearest used car lot, let’s take a look at the LR3’s off-roading specs.

Ground clearance

One of the most important specs to consider before taking your vehicle off road is its ground clearance, or the amount of space between the lowest point on your vehicle’s chassis and the ground. 
The LR3 has a ground clearance of 7.3 inches, which isn’t as low as a sedan but is fairly low for an SUV. 
Experts recommend a minimum of 8.5 inches of ground clearance for off-road driving and between 8.8 and 10.8 inches for more serious adventures.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t take your LR3 off road—you’ll just need to proceed with a bit more caution, especially if serious rocks, dips, and inclines are involved. 


Speed doesn’t matter all that much off road—you won’t be racing through the mud at a highway pace—but power does. The best off-road vehicles have low-end torque, meaning high amounts of power at a relatively low rpm. 
The LR3 offers 315 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm, which is nothing to sneeze at. While it’s not as powerful as some engines, it’s enough for easy to moderate trails. 


The LR3 is equipped with 255/55HR19 all-season tires. All-season tires are great for highways and built to last—but they’re not ideal for off-roading. To up your Land Rover’s off-roading chops, we suggest investing in a set of
all-terrain tires
Sometimes called A/T tires, all-terrain tires are specifically designed for drivers who want to mix off-roading with everyday driving on paved highways and roads. They offer better traction thanks to a more open and aggressive tread pattern compared to all-season tires.
It’s important to note that upgrading to all-terrain tires will increase your vehicle’s overall cost of ownership, as they simply don’t last as long as all-seasons.
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When it comes to off-roading, all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive is an absolute must. This is where the LR3 shines! It comes standard with four-wheel drive, as well as Land Rover's Terrain Response off-road system and Hill Descent Control.


The final specs you’ll want to consider before heading off the beaten path are your vehicle’s angles. Here are the angles that matter:
  • Approach angle, or the maximum angle at which a vehicle can climb without interference
  • Departure angle, or the maximum angle at which a vehicle can descend without interference.
The LR3’s angles are 32.2 degrees and 24.9 degrees, respectively, which isn’t half bad! These angles will allow you to climb and descend some considerable dips—although you’ll want to keep your ground clearance in mind when doing so.

Off-road rating: Rough and Ready

We’ve determined the Land Rover LR3’s off-road rating using
super-technical DIRT rating system, broken down in the table below:
Don’t Try It
Vehicles better suited to highway conditions
In a Pinch
Vehicles that can handle off-road conditions in certain circumstances
Rough and Ready
Vehicles designed for casual off-roading
Trail Boss
True off-road vehicles capable of tackling a range of terrain
The Land Rover LR3’s off-road rating is R—Rough and Ready. Its decent torque, impressive drivetrain, and adequate angles make it perfectly suited for casual off-roading. 
Keep in mind that you may want to upgrade to all-terrain tires if off-roading is a priority. In addition, you won’t be able to tackle largely uneven, difficult trails because of the vehicle’s lower ground clearance. 
MORE: Everything you need to know about Land Rover electric cars

The best off-road alternatives to the Land Rover LR3

If you’re in the market for a used SUV that can perform nicely on and off road, the LR3 isn’t your only option.
Let’s take a look at how some similar options stack up:
Original Price
2004 Acura MDX
You’ll pay less than $2,000 for a used ‘04 MDX, making it a bit more affordable than the LR3. It has pretty low ground clearance, however, so you’ll have to be extremely careful if you try to venture off road.
2011 Porsche Boxster
If you’re less concerned about affordability and more concerned about sporty luxury, we suggest the Boxster. You’ll pay $15,156–$34,019 for a used model. This little sports car is built for speed rather than rough terrain, but it’s certainly fun!
2009 Honda Element
The Honda Element does much better off road than most people give it credit for, and with an estimated purchase price of $10,157 for a used 2009 model, it’s certainly worth the test drive.
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