A new diesel engine sets the 2011 Land Rover Freelander free to explore the wilds of the bush.

Story By Matt Raudonikis

Land Rover's Freelander is a premium compact SUV with real four-wheel-drive pedigree, even if it doesn’t have the off-road ability of its bigger stablemates such as the Discovery, Defender or Range Rover. The little Land Rover is a more competent all-roader than many of the compact soft-roaders out there, but then, you’d expect that from a company like Land Rover.
In 2011, the Freelander 2 gets a midlife makeover with a new diesel engine, and styling and trim upgrades. The new engine is a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel that is cleaner, more efficient and more powerful than the 2.0L engine it supersedes. While the 2.0L made 108kW and 400Nm, the new engine is available in a choice of two tunes – the 110kW TD4 and the 140kW SD4. Both new engines make 420Nm of torque and fuel consumption is rated at 7.0L/100 kilometres when used with the six-speed automatic transmission.
Fuel economy is better still in the $44,990 Freelander TD4 that achieves 6.6L/100km on the combined cycle. This entry-level model is the only vehicle in the seven-model Freelander range with a six-speed manual gearbox, which allows the use of stop/start technology that switches the engine off when the vehicle is stationary to further improve fuel use and reduce emissions. The engine seamlessly restarts when you are ready to move. The stop/start feature is not available on Freelanders with automatic transmission yet, but could be in coming years.
The range-topping SD4 HSE comes in at $65,854. It is loaded with luxury trimmings and features including power-adjustable leather seats, automatic climate control and satellite navigation. The Freelander avoids the luxury-car tax so Land Rover has been able to keep the standard equipment list packed with goodies without jacking up the price.
If the HSE-specification Freelander isn’t enough for you, there’s a new Premium Luxury Pack option that adds Windsor leather trim, privacy glass, special 19-inch alloy wheels, 8/6-way electric seat, Logic 7 audio system, premium carpet mats and covered centre stowage. This Freelander with the works costs $72,744.

This story excerpt is from Issue #76

Outback Magazine: Apr/May 2011