Land Rover Freelander 2 2013 Review
Land Rover has recently unveiled the Freelander 2 2013, the car maker's latest take on their famous crossover. The 2013 model promises to bring notable changes in technology and design, more comfort and a brand new engine variant.
Under its hood the new model is offered with one of two diesel engines, a 2.2 liter unit that delivers either 147 hp in the TD4 or 187 hp in the 4WD SD4. In addition, an economical 2.2 liter 147 hp engine is available in the eD4 2WD variant. When equipped with Start/Stop technology and the 6-speed manual gearbox, the latter model delivers a fuel efficiency of 6.0 liters / 100 km while producing 158 grams of CO2 / km.
Last but not least, the Si6 3.2 liter V6 petrol engine found on the ongoing model will be replaced by a Si4 2.0 liter 4-cylinder turbo unit that delivers 237 horsepower. This particular unit is the same that can be found on the Ford Mondeo Ecoboost, the SMax Ecoboost or the Land Rover Evoque.
In terms of exterior design the Freelander 2 has undergone a generous number of notable changes and updates. The front and rear lamps have been enhanced by the latestXenon LED technology and both the front grille and the fog lamp bezels have received a new finish. The 2013 model sits on a new 17-inch set of wheels and in addition, three more colors have been added to the existing lineup, Havana, Mauritius Blue and Aintree Green.
On the interior the changes brought to the Freelander 2 are more striking than on the exterior. The crossover now features a brand new, more modern center console that includes a 7-inch color touch-screen featuring enhanced audio from Meridian, satellite navigation as an option and reverse camera. The new instrument cluster has also been enriched by a five-inch screen that displays vehicle-related information and in terms of upholstery three new colors have been added: Ebony, Pimento and Ivory.
Safety features include the new "intelligent" electric parking brake that is able to apply brake force according to how steep the road is beneath the vehicle. This electric parking brake is able to take the weather and road conditions into account and it also comes with an automatic "wake up" feature that periodically activates the system in order to ensure that the clamping force is set accordingly after the brakes have cooled down.
The Land Rover Freelander 2 2013 is available at the starting price of £22,700 in the UK. In case this particular crossover is not your cup of tea you might want to check out the Audi Q5 or the BMW X3.
- New lightweight, 240PS Si4 2.0-litre GTDi petrol engine (not available in the UK)
14% reduction in CO2 to 224 g/km
7% increase in torque to 340Nm
- New exterior design features give a sportier & purposeful look
- Range Rover Evoque equipment now available in Freelander 2
- Fresh interior equipment and colourways includes new centre console
- New 7-inch colour touch-screen
- 825W Meridian surround sound system with 17-speakers for concert-like experience
- Say What You See prompted voice commands
- 7-Day Timed Climate system
- Rear View Camera with 'Hitch Assist'
Land Rover has given the Freelander 2 a premium overhaul, delivering even better comfort, convenience and driving enjoyment. New colours, new exterior design features, upgraded equipment levels and the new lightweight and efficient petrol engine all contribute to make this SUV even better.
Interior equipment levels soar to new heights in the Freelander 2 with a host of fresh and exciting features including three new colour ways as part of a 'Dynamic' theme, brand new centre console, 7-inch colour touch-screen with enhanced audio systems from Meridian, 7-day timed climate system and optional satellite navigation.
Passive start replaces key dock and there's a new 'intelligent' electric parking brake which adjusts brake force according to the slope the vehicle is parked on. 'Say What You See' - a voice activation system with visual prompts, and rear view camera capability are also both new to the Freelander 2.
Exterior design details have been revamped for an integrated and co-ordinated appearance, including more contemporary lights front and rear using the latest LED technology and a new signature graphic in the front running lights. All-new 17-inch alloy wheels become available at entry-level and a body styling pack option on SE models.
The exciting news on the engine front is that the six-cylinder Si6 petrol is replaced by the turbocharged Si4, four-cylinder engine. Essentially the same engine used in the Range Rover Evoque, this lightweight Si4 GTDi produces more power than the Si6 yet is more economical and sees a 14 percent reduction in CO2 to 224g/km.
"The Freelander 2's equipment levels bring a more premium look and feel to the overall driving experience. In addition, our customers continue to benefit from our refined and economical range of diesel engines and can now opt for the powerful and highly efficient new Si4 GTDi petrol," says John Edwards, Land Rover Global Brand Director.
He adds: "It's another step forward for the Freelander 2 where outstanding equipment levels, superb design, safety and all-terrain capability continue to set the standards in this class."
All these great new features are underpinned by the fact that the Freelander scores 5 stars in the coveted Euro NCAP for occupant safety. As the most capable SUV in its class, the Freelander 2 offers the durability and sure-footed all-terrain breadth of capability both on and off road that only a Land Rover can provide.
An interior packed with exciting features
New features and more convenient equipment options bring a host of improved benefits to customers looking for a modern, all-terrain, multi-purpose vehicle.
The first thing you notice when entering the Freelander 2's contemporary looking cabin is a brand new centre console. The original Terrain Response® dial has been replaced by switches and a shutter reveals additional storage space.
An optional 'Dynamic' theme is based on the SE models and this comes in three new colours, Ebony, Ivory or Pimento, each with matching stitching and co-ordinated door casings to complete the look.
A crisp new instrument cluster with a 5-inch screen displaying primary vehicle-related information, such as temperature and fuel levels, gear positions and Terrain Response® mode, now sits between the dials across the Freelander model range, complemented with steering wheel toggle switches to operate the clearest of drop down menus and vehicle set-up details.
Cabin space and safety are improved with the introduction of an intelligent electric parking brake which adjusts brake force according to the slope the vehicle is parked on. The system is so intelligent it even takes into account whether the brakes are hot or cold. If hot, the system 'wakes up' periodically to ensure clamping force is not lost as the brakes cool down. Despite being operated by a single switch, the electric parking brake may still be used as an emergency brake, automatically selecting the most stable braking method by employing skid prevention techniques. An additional safety feature ensures the brake cannot be released unless the driving seat is occupied.
More convenience comes in the form of Passive Start which replaces the key docking system, meaning that as long as the key is somewhere inside the car, the engine starts at the touch of a button.
Another new feature for Freelander 2 is the screen operated, 7-Day Timed Climate allowing you to warm up the engine before you step inside your vehicle.
Rear view camera capability is also introduced in 2012. The view from the back of the vehicle is displayed on the Infotainment screen with dynamic lines representing the boundaries of the vehicle and your predicted path as you reverse. The system also incorporates 'Hitch Assist', a graphic superimposed on the camera showing the position of the tow ball.
The new 'Say What You See' voice activation system will prompt the driver visually with the commands he or she needs to speak in order to control functions in the audio, optional satellite navigation, climate and phone systems. The prompts are displayed in an easy-to-follow 'step by step' format on the screen.
The navigation system is enhanced with a faster hard drive-based system which comes with all the features the customer would expect such as ECO Route planning, Dynamic Zoom, Visual Lane guidance, POI (Point of Interest) management and repeat TMC guidance. You can also manage waypoints and store locations as well as POIs by name.
Infotainment moves up a level
For the first time on Freelander 2, the premium Meridian audio system is available with a choice of 380W or 825W. The outstanding Meridian sound system is delivered with a new 7-inch colour touch-screen and either the 380W, 11-speaker system for exceptional stereo sound quality or the impressive 825W surround sound 17-speaker system with Trifield technology to provide a natural, enveloping concert-like experience for all occupants. Both are equipped with subwoofers for a deep, bass sound and Audyssey MultEQ audio tuning system. A new and upgraded 80W 8-speaker unit with 5-inch colour display screen is also available at entry-level.
Equipped with AM/FM and DAB radio tuners, the music players support CD, DVD, Virtual CD, iPod and USB. There's also a 3.5mm aux jack input for music players and Bluetooth audio streaming to any supporting devices including headphones. The virtual CD comprises a hard drive which can store the equivalent of up to 10 Audio CDs identifiable using Gracenote.
Sharp detailing to the exterior
Three stunning new colours are added to the Freelander range, Aintree Green, Havana and Mauritius Blue, whilst an additional all new 17-inch alloy wheel design becomes available as an option at entry-level. Exteriors gain a number of new integrated design features resulting in a co-ordinated and premium appearance. Boasting the latest in Xenon LED technology, the front and rear lamps have been revamped giving the Freelander 2 a sportier yet purposeful new look, set off with a new signature graphic in the front running lights. The grille and fog lamp bezels now sport a bright finish and there are paint detailing changes to the front grille surround, insert bars and fender vent to harmonise the different elements.
How the models line up
With this generation of Freelander 2, models are simply differentiated by trim level and not by powertrain specification. Entry level to the range is the Freelander S with cloth seats as standard. The SE has been enhanced with distinguishing detail features such as a gloss black grille surround and comes with full leather* and the Meridian sound system. The Dynamic version based on the SE, has gloss black fender vents and grille bars with black grille surround, complemented on the interior with three colourway choices of sport-themed electric leather seats. Top of the range is the HSE with a grained leather and wood interior as standard. There's the option of 19-inch Diamond Turned wheels and Grand Black Lacquer finisher and also Windsor leather seats with premium carpet mats for that extra special touch.
Petrol power from the lightweight Si4 2.0 GTDi
The new 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine joins the Freelander 2 line-up, reducing CO2 emissions by 14 percent compared to the outgoing Si6 engine. Powering the Freelander 2 GTDi, the new direct injection, turbocharged Si4 engine now delivers 240PS and an increase of seven percent on torque to 340Nm, providing a broader spread of torque for relaxed cruising and strong low-speed response. The all-aluminium engine is a full 40kg lighter than the previous six-cylinder and returns a competitive 224g/km CO2 while meeting the stringent EU5 emissions regulations. Service intervals have been increased from 15,000 miles to 16,000 miles (26,000km)*.
The Si4 GTDi first appeared in the Range Rover Evoque and is packed with advanced technical features including high pressure direct injection and variable valve timing on both inlet and exhaust. A high efficiency turbocharger delivers instant lag-free response and a fabricated steel exhaust manifold promotes quicker catalytic converter light-off to reduce emissions. Piston rings and tappets are treated with a low-friction coating to reduce friction and therefore, fuel consumption which is now 29.4mpg from 26.4mpg. Twin balancer shafts ensure a silky, smooth response easily on a par with that of a six-cylinder engine.
Mechanically, the Si4 GTDi is virtually identical to the Evoque version. To suit the Freelander 2, only minor changes were needed to the engine mounting points in the vehicle and the exhaust system was redesigned to achieve the appropriate noise characteristics within the Freelander bodyshell. The engine management system was adjusted slightly to suit the size and aerodynamic package of the Freelander but the torque and power characteristics remain unchanged from the Evoque.
The GTDi is paired with the quick-shifting, refined and highly efficient Aisin AWF21 six-speed automatic transmission with full-time four-wheel drive and a Haldex rear axle differential. The transmission was redesigned for 2011 with an advanced neutral logic control to reduce drag when the vehicle is stationary. Revised clutches and the introduction of low viscosity oil also improved efficiency while adaptive shifting is available in both normal and sport modes. Land Rover's peerless CommandShift® provides slick manual shifting while Terrain Response® gives sure-footed traction and handling in all conditions.
"Downsizing from a six cylinder to a highly efficient yet powerful four-cylinder engine combines high performance and refinement with the economy our petrol engine customers expect. It also delivers a significant weight reduction that further enhances the driving dynamics," says David Mitchell, Chief Programme Engineer for Freelander.
Refined and economical diesels
Freelander buyers can continue to choose from two outstanding and highly refined diesel engines, the 2.2-litre 150PS TD4 and 190PS SD4 with four-wheel drive. For extra economy, the 2.2-litre 150PS engine is also available in eD4 two-wheel drive form. Equipped with six-speed manual transmission and Stop/Start, the eD4 achieves an impressive 47.1mpg (6.0 L/100km) and CO2 emissions of 158g/km.
The diesels were updated for 2011, a new turbocharger improving response and increasing maximum torque by five percent to 420Nm. They were also equipped with a standard DPF, reducing particulates by 80 percent. At the same time NOx emissions were reduced by 28 percent and the response time of the Stop/Start system was improved by 22 percent. Other improvements aimed at improving efficiency included a revised shifting strategy on the automatics, low drag engine oils and revised bearing designs whilst noise levels were reduced by 2dB.
Saving every last drop of fuel with smart charging
All Freelanders are equipped with Land Rover's Intelligent Power System Management (IPSM) which includes Smart Regenerative Charging. This feature ensures that, where possible, the alternator only charges the battery as the vehicle is decelerating, recovering kinetic energy rather than consuming fuel. IPSM was designed as part of Land Rover's e_TERRAIN TECHNOLOGIES programme which aims to continually improve engineering efficiency in every Land Rover.
Traditional Land Rover safety, durability and capability
Four wheel drive models (TD4, SD4 and Si4) are all equipped with the same, class leading, intelligent four-wheel drive system. The system responds to changes in grip in 150 milliseconds to adjust torque between front and rear axles. Terrain Response® optimises the electronic systems for conditions and there are four settings, General Driving, Grass-Gravel-Snow, Mud & Ruts and Sand. Gradient Release control ensures smooth hill starts both ascending and descending for absolute safety and driver confidence on any surface.
When it comes to on-road handling dynamics, the Freelander 2 is top tier, thanks partly to the outstanding body stiffness. A structural undertray on the front subframe contributes to this, increasing steering precision, while the Freelander 2's four-point engine mounting aids engine stability and increases driving refinement. A full range of stability systems provide a further safety net for the occupants including, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Traction Control (ETC), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Roll Stability Control (RSC) and Engine Drag Control.
Naturally, the Freelander 2 earns a 5 star Euro NCAP award for outstanding adult occupant protection, with seven airbags in total, including two curtain, two front, two thorax and a driver's knee bag.
"This model line-up is the most flexible we've ever offered on the Freelander 2. The wide range of combinations to choose from allowing customers to choose any engine package with any trim level makes the Freelander 2 a more compelling choice than ever before," says John Edwards, Land Rover Global Brand Director.