Rover Freelander 2 SD4 HSE Lux
the name Land Rover and
the very next thing most people think
of is Range Rover. In fact you now
almost cant say one without the
other. Great news for Land Rovers
brand identity, but it makes it easy
to overlook the rest of the Landie
line-up such as the go-anywhere
IF YOU'RE IN THE MARKET for a persuasively competent off-road 4x4 that's
stylish enough to look as though it 'belongs' in any social scenario without
being just another accessory for the fashionistas, then look no further than
the latest-generation Freelander, designated the '2'.
A star long before the Evoque arrived on the scene and stole the limelight (and
there's no denying that a very desirable set of wheels it is too), the Freelander
now has 'the look'.
recent makeover has given Land Rover's Cinderella the clothes she needs to go
to the ball, along with a pert upmarket nose that clearly shares some Range
Rover DNA. Before the Evoque, the Freelander was often tagged by the media as
a 'baby' Land Rover which in a way
at least for those who hadn't driven one
understated its abilities because it's probably the most capable SUV in its
class; amazingly competent off-road and very much at home on tarmac.
new Range Rover prices start at £71K, you won't have to hock the family
silver to buy a Freelander. A bargain £23K will get you a range-starter Freelander
eD4 S with 2WD.
TD4 or SD4?
The SD4s forty extra
horses come in very
which is where many
Freelanders will live out
If you're sticking with 4WD, just £24K is how much you'll need to park a TD4
S on your driveway. In all there are 23 Freelander versions to choose from,
topping out with the £39K SD4 HSE Lux, which comes with the more powerful 187bhp
2.2-litre engine (TD4 Freelanders are powered by the same turbodiesel but outputting
a less potent 147bhp).
Decision time: TD4 or SD4? If you've got the cash then the SD4 is the one we'd
go for. Both generate the same high torque
a muscular 310lb ft at 1,750rpm. Pulling power is crucially important off-road,
but as in this case they're the same then the deciding factor has to be the
and the SD4's forty extra horses come in very handy on-road, which is where
many Freelanders will will live out their days.
Pull away with some wellie in the SD4 and you can feel the shove of torque working
for you from low revs
the benchmark 0-62mph is dealt with in a fuss-free manner (a brisk 9.5 seconds)
accompanied by a satisfying bassy power-hum from under the bonnet.
The standard-fit six-speed autobox is a nice one; it shifts smoothly and seems
to know exactly the right moment to change up or down and never too early or
too late. There's a Sport mode for when you need to press on, and also a CommandShift
mode which permits manual changes for both maximising acceleration or, equally
useful, strong engine braking either on steep hills or if you're towing.
The Freelander will happily pull a braked 2,000kg and, via the rear-view camera
(you also get four front and four rear audible parking sensors), the Hitch Assist
shows the position of the tow ball on the infotainment screen along with dynamic
guide lines so you can hitch up all by your lonesome. Now that's clever.
the Freelander has no trouble getting the power down as it comes with permanent
four-wheel drive. Even better, it comes with Land Rover's Terrain Response system
simply press the button on the gearlever surround to select the kind of terrain
you're driving over and the Terrain Response's electronic wizardry will adapt
to it in the blink of an eye.
from: General (for typical road surfaces) | Grass-Gravel-Snow | Mud & Ruts
| Sand. Between them they guarantee the Freelander will respond the right way
to whatever terrain conditions it encounters, which is why few would argue that
the Freelander is still best in class when it comes to off-road performance.
camera, Hitch Assist
shows the position
of the tow ball on the
dynamic guide lines
so you can
hitch up all by
Now thats clever...
Of course, backing that up is the Freelander's chassis and suspension. Designed
to cope with the worst of the worst, it soaks up the roughest off-road terrain
in a manner that keeps those on-board amazingly unshaken.
On tarmac this translates to a comfortable and composed ride that despatches
potholes and crumbling blacktop so fluently that even the princess in the Hans
Christian Andersen fairy tale The Princess and the Pea, who could detect
a pea in a bed covered by twenty mattresses and twenty featherbeds, wouldn't
complain. Even riding on the 19-inch diamond-turned alloys gracing our HSE Lux,
the ride barely suffered.
The handling dynamics are good; the Freelander steers with surprising accuracy
(notably so for a sports utility vehicle), it's easy to place accurately on
the road courtesy of the commanding driving position that elevates all aboard
to eyeball-to-eyeball height with White Van Man (and also lets you see the top
corners of both front wings), is always manageable and reassuringly planted
at speed, and holds its line reassuringly through the esses. It also has enough
poke to take all roads in its loping stride, in particular making light work
of long, steep hills.
Should you need to stop hard in a hurry, the brakes are decisive
as we were very pleased to find when a driver using his mobile pulled out from
a side turning into our path. As they say; no harm, no foul!
you're ridin' around would, if you're a passenger, be a good time to take in
what the Freelander 2 brings to the party. Big, well-padded, armchair-like seats
and plenty of space to lounge in for five real-world adults. The heated front
seats are set high off the floor which guarantees good lower leg comfort as
well as providing fine views out through the deep glasshouse.
also feature Captain's-style adjustable drop-down inner armrests, and there
are big outer armrests on the doors. The upholstery is fine Windsor leather
and under your feet you'll find tailored deep-pile mats. The dash architecture
has a symmetry that's elegant, and it's all enhanced by a standard of fit and
finish that quite clearly says 'Range Rover'.
behind the wheel there's lots to like: the vertical horn bars on the four-spoke
multifunction leather-wrapped wheel; the heated wheel rim is brilliant
certainly not a gimmick, it's great in the winter and in fact even on long trips
at other times when it keeps your fingers and hands flexible during long periods
on the wheel (if you've not tried one before, note that it doesn't get hot like
a heated seat, just comfortably warm; more like wearing a cosy glove.
The dash architecture
has a symmetry thats
elegant, and its all
enhanced by a standard
of fit and finish that
quite clearly says
Plus you can take for granted a power-adjustable seat with power lumbar adjustment
and a three-setting seat memory. The four large air vents in the fascia are
well-damped and ensure the hot or cold air you've dialled up on the climate
control goes exactly where you want it.
Also welcome is the digital speed readout on the colour 5-inch driver's information
screen between the speedometer and rev-counter, which displays the coolant temperature
and fuel levels, gear positions and the active Terrain Response mode.
And the on-demand powerfold mirrors are great for letting another vehicle squeeze
past down narrow country lanes
they also fold automatically on locking 'n' leaving. The 7-inch colour infotainment
touchscreen works fine, as does the SatNav
it's easy to use and you don't need to read the manual before you can operate
travelling in the light and airy rear passenger compartment get shapely, comfy
seats that are about five inches higher than the fronts, with generous headroom
(no matter how ramrod straight your back, you'll still get a fist of air between
your head and the roof) and decent legroom, plus loads of lounging space helped
by a well-padded centre armrest and well-placed outer armrests, and a relaxed
the Freelander's middle rear spot is also soft and comfy (in most cars this
is, literally, a hard place). But wherever you find yourself sitting, the cabin
is a fairly hushed place to be
unless, that is, you're listening to your personal playlist on the impressive
Meridian 825W, 17-speaker surround sound system.
boot is practical, and large even for a four-and-a-half-metre long car
755 litres. Fold down the 60:40 rear seats and this expands to a voluminous
1,670 litres complete with a large and level loadbay floor, making the Freelander
very versatile when it comes to juggling people-carrying duties with load-carrying
demands. Another nice feature; thanks to the distinctive LED taillights being
mounted on the bodywork and not the tailgate, it's safe to load items at night.
essentials, often skipped on other brands, include the matching full-size spare
wheel (absolutely essential off-road) stowed beneath the boot floor; and a proper
stay to keep the lift-up access panel raised.
Wherever you find
yourself sitting, the cabin
is a fairly hushed place
to be unless
youre listening to
your personal playlist
on the impressive
In addition to the Terrain Response system, the Freelander has all the off-road
attributes you're ever likely to need: a wading depth of 500mm; obstacle clearance
of up to 210mm; plus off-road approach and departure angles of 31 and 34 degrees
It also comes with a comprehensive set of safety kit: seven airbags including
one for the driver's knee, Hill Descent Control, Anti-lock Braking System, Electronic
Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Cornering Brake Control,
Emergency Brake Assist, Dynamic Stability Control, Roll Stability Control, and
Engine Drag Control. All endorsed by a five-star EuroNCAP rating.
And to demonstrate the thoroughness of Land Rover's engineering, the 'intelligent'
electric parking brake adjusts brake force according to the slope you've parked
on. The system even takes into account whether the brakes are hot or cold. If
hot, the system 'wakes up' periodically to ensure clamping force is not lost
as the brakes cool down.
not many people know this
despite being operated by a single switch, the electric parking brake can still
be used as an emergency brake, automatically selecting the most stable braking
method by employing skid prevention techniques.
Officially the SD4 drinks diesel fuel in the combined cycle at the rate of 40.4mpg;
after 500 hard-driven MotorBar test miles
many of them with our Freelander fully laden
the onboard computer was showing an average of 33.1.
Satisfying to drive and satisfying to own, the Freelander 2 is much like the
SAS; give it a mission, and it's 'mission accomplished'.
Land Rover Freelander 2 SD4 HSE Lux
Top speed: 118mph | 0-62mph: 9.5 seconds | Average Test MPG: 33.1mpg
Power: 187bhp | Torque: 301lb ft | CO2 185g/km