1 Jul 2007
DESPITE a short three-year development process, Land Rover's second attempt at producing a compact SUV resulted in a far more convincing small off-roader than the low-quality original it replaced.
Bigger, stiffer, loaded with equipment and the usual Land Rover off-road ability, the Freelander 2 took a decisive step upmarket to tackle the likes of BMW's X3, the only contemporary "premium" compact SUV rival.
At launch the rance comprised a 171kW/317Nm Volvo-sourced 3.2-litre straight six petrol-powered "Si6 SE" and a 118kW/400Nm 2.0-litre "TD4 SE" turbo-diesel.
More highly specified HSE variants added $6000 to the price of both engines, which are mated exclusively to automatic transmissions.
In August 2009, Land Rover introduced the TD4_e entry-level variant, which it claimed to be the world's first SUV with idle-stop. The technology, exclusive to manual transmission, helped reduce fuel consumption to 6.7l/100km and CO2 emissions to 179g/km.
February 2011 saw the Freelander range receive a mid-life facelift. A new front bumper, grille, headlights, tail-lights, door mirrors, full-width chrome tailgate trim and paint finishes distinguished it from earlier models and gave it a look more akin to the larger Land Rovers. A new EU5-compliant 2.2 diesel engine replaced the old 2.0-litre unit to further reduce fuel consumption and idle-stop remained manual transmission-only.
The new turbo-diesel came in two tunes – a 110kW TD4 or 140kW SD4 – both of which produced 420Nm of torque, while the power and torque of the 3.2-litre petrol inline six remained unchanged at 171kW and 317Nm.
Official average fuel consumption of the Freelander TD4 manual with stop/start was 6.6L/100km, while the auto TD4 and the SD4 auto were both quoted at 7.0L/100km on the combined cycle. Official CO2 emissions of the 2.2-litre TD4 Freelander manual were 174g/km and 185g/km for both the TD4 and SD4 automatics.