Efficiency, it seems, is the name of the game these days and Land Rover is no exception to playing the green card. With a new range of diesel engines and some sleeker style, the 2011 Freelander 2 is said to be more powerful and efficient than the outgoing model.
Land Rover Freelander goes front-wheel drive
First there was the FWD Evoque. Now the Freelander is following suit. This new 2011 model uses the latest 2.2-litre EU5 friendly diesel engine that's both quieter and smoother than the one it replaces, says Land Rover.
Manual models add a more efficient and versatile stop/start system, creating a Freelander that can achieve a claimed minimum of 40mpg on the combined cycle.
The range-topping 187bhp SD4 will hit a very respectable 40.4mpg combined, whilst the more frugal variants in the range will see up to 45.4mpg. If you fancy all the bulk of an off-roader without the complexity of a 4wd system, the 148bhp eD4 2wd version will return you 47mpg on the combined cycle. Not bad for a car tipping the scales at over 1700kg.
This brings the Freelander's CO2 emissions tumbling to as low as 158g/km on the eco-tweaked eD4. That's enough to make it the most efficient Land Rover ever produced.
Despite the reductions in both economy and emissions, the 2011 Freelander 2 has not had its performance neutered, with torque levels rising by around 15lb ft across the range making for more efficient towing and performance.
What else is there to tempt me to guilt-free off-roader ownership?
Outside, the obligatory facelift has brought with it new bumper mouldings and slight changes to details. The lights receive new surrounds and finishes, as do the door and boot handles. The new, sleeker nose is especially handsome.
Inside, new seat and dashboard finishes are added, alongside a new dial layout to bring the interior up to date, whilst the new ‘premium pack’ brings electric seats to the party. The Freelander 2 retains the outgoing car's safety features, boasting seven airbags and the all-important five-star Euro NCAP rating.
So what is the price of this improved, gluten-free Freelander 2?
When the Freelander 2 goes on sale in late September 2010, prices are set to start at £21,695 for the entry level TD4 S, rising to £35,510 for the range topping SD4 HSE model, making it more than comparable with BMW’s X3.