A worthy upgrade that will keep the Freelander at the sharp end of shortlists

What is it?

Land Rover seems to be on to a good thing with this, its latest version of the Freelander 2.

It's not enough to deliver better fuel economy and lower emissions these days. Buyers want more poke as well. The revised 2.2-litre turbodiesel in this model offers more power and torque than the old spec, at the same time meeting Euro 5 emissions standards and improving its CO2 and economy figures.

See the test pics of the Land Rover Freelander SD4 190

The new motor is available in two states of tune: TD4, which has 148bhp and comes with a manual gearbox (an auto is a £1515 option), or the SD4, tested here, which has 187bhp and is available with the six-speed automatic transmission only.

In this range-topping HSE trim, it will set you back an eye-watering £35,510. At that price, Land Rover will need to have improved the Freelander’s interior feel, fit and finish. For the most part that’s been achieved.

What's it like?

It’s a lot more Range Rover-like in there, in terms of dashboard architecture, and most of the materials used are of a higher quality than before (HSE brings swish leather, which adds to the luxury).

Some of the bits you actually touch – switchgear for the heater controls and the stereo – remain oddly chunky and plasticky, mind you, so this still feels like a cabin built for hard use more than plush cruising.

On the road, the new motor pulls strongly from low revs, while the six-speed auto shifts smoothly and avoids clumsy moments.

The powertrain isn’t exactly quiet, though; BMW’s X3 xDrive20d, the SD4’s rival on price and performance, would be a bit more refined through the rev range. Once you’re up to speed, though, the Freelander’s engine fades into the background; it’s a decent motorway cruiser.

The chassis set-up feels little changed – which is to say that it’s comfortable and composed, albeit with steering that’s quite aggressive around the straight ahead. And the Freelander’s trump card – its class-leading off-road ability – is still at the core of the package.

Should I buy one?

This is a worthy upgrade, then. It does feel like a refresh more than an entire new model generation, but even that should be enough to keep the Freelander at the sharp end of plenty of shortlists.

John McIllroy

Land Rover Freelander SD4 190

Price: £35,510; Top speed: 118mph; 0-62mph: 8.7sec; Economy: 40.4mpg; CO2: 185g/km; Kerb weight: na; Engine, type, cc: 4 cyls, 2179cc, turbodiesel; Power: 187bhp; Torque: 310lb ft; Gearbox: 6-spd auto

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Ski Kid 20 September 2010

Re: Land Rover Freelander SD4

yes it is expensive but if it were 150mm to 200mm longer it would have that bit extra boot space and rear legroom.Do not forget that the Freelander is 5 star on the crash tests and many reports of insiders saying they are the best although i do not take that view.Looked at an Audi Q5 and thought it looked a sad car and the interior was crap where does the hype of Audi interoirs come from.i think people writ eabout it because they have read it and do not look objectively.One good point if you buy a well loaded car is the depreciation is less .Remember a few years ago the German makes on paper looked to have super depreciation levels untill you figured in the 10k of required extras to make it decent.

Old Toad 17 September 2010

Re: Land Rover Freelander SD4

Having just read the reveiw on the 520d SE touring I cant beleive that LR want another £5k for this . You can even get a better car from the same group for less . ie an XF

I really dont think people generally buy this for its offroading ability and a big classy Estate offers so much more for your money . Heres me thinking the BMW was steeply priced this is just plain ridiculous .

You could have a Skoda Superb Elegance Estate for £10k less !

I know they are different classes of car but remain to be convinced you have to stick to the same class when looking for your next purchase .

Apart from offroading what can this do better than a large Estate and think of all the things a large Estate can do better . Better to drive more comfy for a family more practical just as much or more class cheaper to run yada yada . Nonsensical car !

FELIX_NCL 16 September 2010

Re: Land Rover Freelander SD4

I have to say I too thought £35k was insane except I started to think about it. It actually starts at just over £21k, which in reality is pretty decent value. The other day I configured a Golf GTI online in the spec I would realistically want if I bought one new and without Sat Nav or Leather it cost £29k, same for the Scirocco TSI. Cars have got considerably more expensive in very little time. In 2006 I bought a brand new Fiesta for £6995, I don't think you can even get the Hyundai i10 for under £8k now. Crazy.