In fact, almost a new model completely on its own, taking into consideration the amount of changes that have taken place. You could consider it an overhaul of mammoth proportions such are the changes and improvements; New ‘derivative’ models, new colours, new (and improved) exterior design features, upgraded equipment and continued choice of redefined and economical diesel engines.
So, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, please give a warm hand to the SUV that all SUVs will soon be looking up to: the Land Rover Freelander 2.
To kick things off there’s a new derivative available called the ‘Dynamic’, which has three new colours (Ebony, Ivory or Pimento) available with everything matching.
Then there’s a brand new centre console with switches and additional storage space as well as a 5” display screen for vehicle info such as temperature and fuel levels, gear and Terrain Response® mode. On the steering wheel there are toggle switches that operate the information screen at a touch.
The key dock that starts the car is replaced by Passive start technology – meaning that as long as the key is somewhere inside the car you can start it at the touch of a button, so no searching those pockets and handbags in a blind panic - and there is also an intelligent electric parking brake operated by a single switch which calculates the ratio of the slope you are on, and applies brake force accordingly. As an additional safety feature, this cannot be switched off unless the driving seat is occupied.
And that’s not all that’s new to the Freelander 2. For the first time ever, it now comes with a voice activation tool with visual prompts that’s called, in a Catchphrase style, “Say What You see.” This shows you what you have to say to verbally control functions in the audio, optional satellite navigation (that is more up-to-date than up-to-date Dave of up-to-dateshire) , climate and phone systems. The prompts are displayed in an easy-to-follow ‘step by step’ format on the screen – otherwise known as an idiot guide..
And more newbies are available with a rear view camera that displays the back view on the Infotainment screen (more about that later) with lines representing the boundaries of the vehicle and your predicted path as you reverse. So the worst parker can park safely and with some semblance of consideration for those around them. There’s also ‘Hitch Assist’ which, despite the name suggesting that it stops to give people a lift somewhere, is actually a graphic on the camera showing where the tow ball is that, on occasion, finds itself embedded in someone else’s bumper.
Now, with all this technology, you would be forgiven for thinking that the Freelander 2 has scrimped on the Infotainment system. You’d be wrong to think that. For the first time on Freelander 2, the premium Meridian audio system is available with a choice of 380W or 825W, a new 7” 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 for the concert of a lifetime every time you get in the car. Add in the classy subwoofers and 8-speaker unit and it’s like having Coldplay, Rhianna, The Beautiful South, Adele or The Tweenies in the car with you – depending on who else is in the car.
The radio has both AM/FM and DAB tuners, the music players support CD, DVD, Virtual CD, iPod and USB and there are jacks for external input and Bluetooth. There’s also a 3.5mm aux jack input for music players and Bluetooth.
Exteriorally (is that a real word? If not, it should be) there are more lights than before, front and rear, making use of the latest LED technology to give it a sporty look with attitude.
And the XS doesn’t miss out with its 17” alloy wheels as standard and an enhanced bodystyling pack.
Available in 3 stunning new colours - Aintree Green, Havana and Mauritius Blue –there’s also new grill, insert bars and fender vent colourings to tie in with them.
“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,” says John Edwards, Land Rover Global Brand Director, adding: “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.”
As you would expect there are various levels of Freelander 2, rising with extras and in price, but here’s that list in full, with a bit of detail.
The 2.2-litre 150PS TD4 and 190PS SD4 diesel engines with four-wheel drive offer a superb choice (with the 2.2-litre 150PS engine also available in eD4 two-wheel drive form) and both are equipped with six-speed manual transmission and Stop/Start. These were updated for 2011 with a new turbocharger improving response and increasing maximum torque by 5% as well as improving efficiency whilst decreasing noise levels by 2dB.
And as you would expect from any Freelander, there are no worries about safety, exemplified by Euro NCAP’s 5 star award to the Freelander 2 for outstanding adult occupant protection, with seven airbags in total, including two curtain, two front, two thorax and a driver’s knee bag. Needless to say, it also has a full set of acronyms: 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 (EDC).
Jeremy Hicks, Land Rover UK Managing Director said: “In bringing the Freelander 2 right up-to-date, customers are now afforded more choice than ever before combined with new levels of luxury and technology.
Fresh styling, generous amounts of standard equipment combined with Land Rover’s leading off-road capabilities make the Freelander a seriously compelling customer proposition.”
The revised Freelander 2 made its global debut at the currently ongoing Moscow International Motor Show.