2.5 V6 petrol - 130kW at 6 250 r/min /
240 Nm at 4 000 r/min (Auto)
Gearboxes comprise a five-speed
electronically controlled automatic and a five-speed manual .
Four-wheel drive and a host of
high-tech electronic systems, such as Hill Descent Control and
Electronic Traction Control, allow the Freelander to wade through
water, or climb and descend slippery slopes.
The Freelander's 4x4 drive operates
full-time, meaning all-wheel drive security is constantly there
Electronic Traction Control (ETC)
works in conjunction with the four-wheel drive. If a wheel should
spin, the power is instantly diverted to the wheel that still has
grip, helping the driver to move away.
The brakes are moderated by
Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), a computer-controlled
system which ensures that braking is automatically applied to
The automatic transmission also
senses the road conditions, modifying its gear change patterns on
steep hills or going down precipitous drops.
One of the nicest things about
driving a car like the Freelander is the nice all-round view you
have of the road. The high seating position gives you a good view of
what is going on around you.
It is also not an intimidating
vehicle to drive thanks to its compact dimensions.
In normal road conditions and in town
the Freelander feels smooth but there is a lot of road noise.
Around town Freelander drivers must
be aware that its turning circle is quite wide. The car's steering
also feels a bit on the heavy side, which can be problematic when
There is also a bit of body roll when
cornering, so it is a better bet to tackle tight corners at lower
speeds. But overall handling is good and the car is definitely a
On more challenging roads such as
gravel the Freelander also shows its strength. It has good grip and
handling on this kind of road.
You are also able to tackle moderate
off-road conditions with the Freelander. This SUV handles steep
climbs with relative ease and when you go downhill the Hill Descent
Control does a good job.
We drove the diesel TD4 and 2.5-litre
V6 petrol model. The punchy TD4 engine, which is BMW sourced, is the
more impressive unit. It is smooth and offers loads of useful
Although the V6 engine does a good
job, it doesn't feel as powerful as it should be. It lacks the
overall refinement of the diesel, and it is also a gas guzzler.
The revisions to the Freelander range
give the car a more upmarket feel than before. Its nose job is also
for the better, and gives the Freelander a more aggressive and
The quality of the plastics used for
the interior seems better than before, but there are still some
cheap shiny bits. The layout of the fascia is practical and all
controls are easy to operate.
Both the three and five-door models
offers good cabin space ,and while the boot isn't cavernous the rear
seats can fold down to create a nice big loading area.
The Freelander is definitely better
than before, but only time will tell if this vehicle will be able to
hold its head up high given the reported problems of quality and
service at Land Rover.