Land Rover sells itself on the basis of its four-wheel drive off-roading heritage and modern day prowess. But it also knows the vast majority of SUV buyers never take their vehicles off-road.
Hence the recently announced Range Rover Evoque three-door crossover will be offered with a two-wheel drive option straight from launch, and now the Freelander 2 will be available with two-wheel drive from January next year.
This is a significant development for the brand, and helps reduce the Freelander 2’s CO2 emissions to less than 160g/km.
Revised 2.2-litre turbodiesel
The 2011 Freelander goes on sale in the usual four-wheel-drive guise this September, and considerable revisions to the 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine mean that this too is more efficient.
Previously available with 157bhp only, the new version now comes as 148bhp TD4 or 187bhp SD4, depending on specification. The latter can accelerate from 0-60mph in just 8.7 seconds, and both versions offer a substantial 310lb ft of torque (pulling power), so should feel equally brisk once on the move.
CO2 emissions are 165g/km and 185g/km respectively, with 45.6mpg and 40.4mpg combined (according to EU testing figures). The latter’s efficiency only drops due to the standard inclusion of an automatic gearbox – optional on the lower-powered engine for £1,515. Manual gearbox Freelander 2s come with a fuel-saving stop-start engine system as standard. This is not available with the automatic transmission.
Freelander 2 eD4 is most efficient Land Rover ever
The two-wheel drive variant will only be offered with the 148bhp engine and manual gearbox, and is labelled the eD4.
Like its four-wheel drive equivalent, it takes 10.9 seconds to reach 60mph, but returns 47.2mpg and emits 158g/km CO2. This puts it into the same tax bracket as the two-wheel drive versions of rival vehicles such as the Volvo XC60 and the Ford Kuga.
It also makes the Freelander 2 eD4 the most efficient Land Rover ever produced.
Freelander has new looks, too
The 2011 Freelander 2 also receives a mild facelift, with new bumpers, lights, grille finish, tailgate appliqué and alloy wheel designs. On the inside there are new dials, seats styles, and a Premium Pack option with electric seat adjustment, Windsor Leather, premium carpet mats and covered centre stowage.
Four-wheel drive models are available in 148bhp S, GS, XS and HSE specifications, while the 187bhp models come only in GS, XS and HSE spec.
Prices start at £21,695 for the 148bhp S manual, rising to £35,510 for the 187bhp HSE automatic. Pricing for the two-wheel drive eD4 will be announced later this year.