Review of Land Rover Freelander 2 SE
Forget everything you’ve ever heard about Land Rover’s youngest child, Freelander. The spoiled, mean boy who came to Australia in 1998 – and spent the next decade to rage, sulk, and strip his clothes and toys in a trace behind him – disappeared. lost. Not even sent somewhere to learn the manners and the sense of dress, which was locked in the room forever, was never seen in polite company again.
The compact off-road vehicle has been a success abroad – it has sold around 500,000 globally over its lifetime – but logically, we have never actually brought it down here, and in the end it has evaporated from our showroom floor.
In his place, Land Rover gave birth to a much better heir, with DNA from the Volvo and Ford corporations, and some rituals and lessons of truth from its older brother, Discovery. 3 and Range Rover Sport.
Starting with a completely blank sheet, Freelander 2 offers the first thing ever – a equally well balanced package at home and on the road, with premium fit and the latest technology.
It comes with just a five-door body, but with the choice of two engines, both are mated to a standard six-speed automatic with manual simulation mode. The $ 49,990 petrol version is a new in-line six-cylinder, 3.2-liter capacity, developing 171kW and 317Nm, with claimed performance of 0 – 100km / h in 8.9 seconds and 11 consumption, 2L / 100km.
The $ 51,990 oil burner, borrowed from Volvo’s XC90, is an excellent 2.2-liter direct-injection turbine engine, pumping out 118kW and 400Nm chunky, using 7.5L / 100km and reaching 100km / h for 11.7 seconds and has a manual transmission.
But in either, everything from the inside out now looks quality and like it really belongs to the Landy line.
Although there are still faint suggestions about Freeland’s first step roof and ‘seashell’ bonnet, its strong lines and bold appearance echo closer to the famous Dance Floor, with similar grille and much more coherent overall design.
Even at the base SE level, the interior still feels premium, with embossing and a great feel to the surface plastic, created by delicate metal accents on the steering wheel, holes. vent and center console and a few smart accents like a special CD slot in the glove box.
Standard equipment includes a multifunction steering wheel, 17 “alloys (with full-size spare parts), six-stack sound system, dual-zone air conditioning, rain wipers, park controls The rear and seven airbags helped it reach five-star breakdown rating to protect occupants.
And for more than $ 7,000 with the powertrain, the HSE is a handsome thing, with a well-fitted leather wardrobe, 18 “alloys, bi-xenon headlamps, upgraded audio with complementary speakers. Additional memory settings for the seats and mirrors and the all-round luxury ambience.Also available is the $ 6890 Technology Package, which adds a touch-screen DVD satnav,
The only grumble we had was a small screech appearing after about an hour’s drive. But when we watched this with a bit of friction where the sound system was placed in the dashboard, a strong knock silenced it for the rest of the drive – a lot of which was related to strain. straight off the road.
The seats are provided with excellent lumbar support and with tilt adjustment and steering reach, the driver has no trouble finding a comfortable position. Freelander 2 is also bigger, with a noticeably wider track and more shoulder room. Although the extra length still makes the rear passengers taller with the knees touching the front. But at the very least, the kneecap will be lightly brushed, rather than smashed, with Freeland’s newly found composure by focusing on technology to provide the best possible drive in any situation.
The bottom line here is that a rock-hard body sits on a compliant suspension that allows for a fair ride but is hard enough to prevent too much immersion on bitumen. On this basis, Landy has added an excellent terrain response system, with four settings – joint driving; grass / gravel / snow; mud and rails; and sand – that’s where your skill set may be lacking.
The intelligent full-time four-wheel drive system uses Haldex center coupling technology to continuously adjust torque between front and rear, from a minimum amount in normal driving to almost all. put in the back when everything is down there.
Traction control and stability, including anti-roll system based on gyroscope and slope release control and slope for difficult ‘walking’ downhill, working on heavy anchors (316mm above petrol version and 300mm on diesel engine) to keep you as composed as possible. All that means on the road – and off – is that no matter what you throw at Freelander, it is quite a challenge.
Scanning around bitumen hills and pebbles at an enthusiastic pace, the car offers a smooth ride, like a car in general mode, and has impressive poise, despite the quick-response steering wheel, but have a feeling from afar. And after a few hundred kilometers, we still posted 9.6L / 100km in the diesel.
But the real joy came in a few laps on an off-road course, where Freelander never faltered. Up and down the highest slope, and across sections of slime or rails deep enough to lose sight of a herd of cattle, the car makes even the least capable – and that would be me, like a professional dirt seller.
Equally impressive is an experiment in which, stopping on giant bumps with a high wheel in the air – a pose that is guaranteed to reveal any signs of flexing or dropping the body – You can open and close the door without any problems. We went through the course multiple times with both powertrains, and it must be said that while petrol is easy to handle, diesel engines have done that easily.
Land Rover says it has rated Freelander 2 against the BMW X3, which has monopolized the premium compact SUV segment so far. There is a lot of competition on the road from Mercedes, Audi and Land Rover’s own partners, Volvo. But for now, Freelander himself will keep BMW steady, especially with the best X3 off-road capability and a price that makes it nearly $ 20,000.