Land Rover Freelander 2 Review
Car Tested: 2013 Land Rover Freelander 2 TD4 SE
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 53,31,886/-
The Freelander 2 continues to offer the Land Rover experience with enhanced appeal.
Jaguar Land Rover’s entry level model in India is the Freelander 2, which was the first product from the British company to be locally assembled in our country. The Freelander 2 is slightly bigger than similarly priced alternatives from Germany. However what the Germans can’t offer at this price point is real off-roading capability, an area where the Freelander flaunts its Land Rover genes and excels. For Model Year 2013, Land Rover has updated the Freelander 2, giving it quite a few changes which boost the appeal of this SUV. We take a quick spin to find out what’s new.
On the exterior front, there are not many changes to the Land Rover Freelander 2 and the vehicle has the same dimensions as before. However the headlights and tail lights get the LED treatment which look very appealing. The new day time running lights are very eye catchy and the fog lamps now get chrome surrounds. The front grille gets minor revisions too with the addition of a chrome line around it. Overall the changes are not drastic and the vehicle continues to have huge presence on the road with its generous dimensions and muscular body.
Step inside and you will find the same dashboard as the pre-facelift model because the interiors are quite similar too. However Land Rover had given the 2013 Freelander 2 an entirely new centre console with an analog clock positioned in the centre. The AC vents are the same as before but the audio system is an all new unit which isn’t cluttery like the old model. There is navigation function with a reverse camera on offer as well. The controls are well placed and the new console uplifts the Freelander 2’s dash to a more modern level. The manual handbrake has been replaced by an electronic unit which saves on space. The Terrarin Response System’s controls have been shifted from ahead of the gear lever to behind it (the power socket moves to the old location).
The area below the right most AC vent no longer has headlight control switches and the place now has a coin holder (the headlight leveller switch stays in the same place though). The steering wheel gets revisions too (we love the metallic horn buttons) and the new unit has a symmetrical layout for the buttons which makes it easier to use. The instrument cluster is an all new unit and much easier to read on the go with the multi-information display being controlled using the right stalk. The new console displays date, time, current gear, odometer, distance to empty and one tripmeter with average and instant fuel efficiency figures. The tachometer and speedometer switch sides while the temperature meter and fuel meter go digital. There is a digital speedometer as well and the new cluster is lifted from bigger Land Rovers. Overall these minor changes to the Freelander’s interiors make the vehicle more ergonomically sound.
The rest of the interiors remains the same, which means you get a well insulated cabin which has fantastic NVH levels. The seats are very comfortable and offer good all round support but under thigh support could be better for tall people. Long journeys are a breeze in the vehicle as you seldom get tired. Built quality is top notch, as seen on all Land Rover offerings. The boot is generous and can swallow quite a bit of luggage. This SUV comes with a standard sized spare wheel (the battery is placed in the boot), no space saver here, a good move by the company.
Our last outing in the Freelander 2 (HERE) was in the SD4 variant which produces 190 PS of power. The facelifted model we tested here is the TD4 variant which produces 150 PS of power. Both variants use the same 2.2-litre 4-cylinder diesel engine and produce 420 Nm of torque at 1750 RPM, mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox. When we drove the 190 PS SD4 variant last year, we were pleased by its performance with good punch throughout and quick acceleration. The 150 PS variant is not far behind when it comes to performance. Although it does lack a bit in terms of high end output, the motor is very drivable and delivers power in a linear manner, pulling to triple digit speeds in quick time. You have the option to manually take control of things using the tiptronic function (no paddle shifts offered). This engine is quite frugal and will return 9 km/l in city conditions.
The Land Rover Freelander 2 has some serious off-road prowess and the generous ground clearance along with the Terrain Response system ensures you will almost never get stuck. The suspension is softly sprung and ride quality is fantastic but a bit of bounciness tends to filter in at high speeds and bad roads. Low speed ride is excellent and the Freelander is quite composed through corners although body roll is evident when driven enthusiastically. The steering offers decent feedback but lacks the response at high speeds and the large wheel makes it difficult to push this SUV through the bends. However if you buy a Land Rover, comfort would be your top priority and the Freelander delivers well on that front. Braking performance is excellent and the pedal offers good feel.
The Freelander 2 has been the highest selling SUV for Land Rover in India and with these updates, it becomes even more appealing. While mechanically the Freelander 2 remains untouched, the minor changes to the exteriors and interiors boost the appeal to quite some extent. With no other vehicle offering the same levels of off-road performance at this price point, the Freelander 2 continues to offer a true SUV experience.
* Performance and mileage
* Off-road ability
Whats Not So Cool
* No 8-speed gearbox