Lifestyle Boating & Motoring Freelander 2 ups SUV ante
Freelander 2 ups SUV ante
Thursday, 01 November 2007

freelander2.jpgA lot of expectation comes with Land Rover's new Freelander 2. Land Rover's marquee vehicles - the Range Rover and Discovery - continue to cater to baby boomers and well-to-do professionals in big numbers, and the Freelander had its last major facelift ten years ago. Thankfully, the new model appears to have the grit and performance lacking in its predecessor.

The base model (SE) has plenty of class: 17" alloys, leather seats, cruise control, dual zone climate control, 6-disc CD player, rear parking sensors, power mirrors, auto headlights and wipers, and more. It seats five with ample legroom. "Stadium seating" ensures better vision for rear passengers by raising them 50mm higher than front passengers. Load space is ample and has been made as versatile as possible with a 60/40 split rear seat.

The Freelander 2 has a petrol and diesel option, with the 2.2-litre diesel (developed by Peugeot) generating an impressive 400Nm of torque. The smooth 6-speed Aisin gearbox features sport and manual shift modes. Although I did not have the opportunity to stretch the Freelanders 2 legs on the road, by all reports the vehicle handles well, with a steering response akin to a sedan, belying the often cumbersome nature of an SUV.

Upgrading to the HSE models brings everything you could ever need in a car, including 18" alloy wheels, Bi-xenon headlights, front parking sensors, auto-everything (lights, seats, mirrors), and MP3 compatibility and rear headphone module. A $6,890 optional technology pack (for the HSE) adds touch screen DVD navigation, headlights with auto-levelling that "see around corners" and Bluetooth phone integration.

With styling nods to Land Rover's trademark toughness, a lavish interior, and very competitive pricing, the Freelander 2 is tremendous value for a quality package

Freelander 2 SE (base model)

 Price: $49,990 (petrol)

Engine: 6-cylinder 3.2L

Power: 171kW

Torque: 317Nm

Seats: 5

Weight: 1770kg