Four and plenty
The revised Landy soars with the Falcon’s turbo engine
IT can’t shine in the spotlights like the Evoque, glide expensive boulevards like the Range Rover or pound the deserts quite like the Discovery.
Amid a wave of luxury SUV rivals, the Land Rover Freelander does an exceptional job of being good at everything from toughing it out in the dirt to scrubbing up for a night out.
It’s a pity that in sharing its underpinnings with the newer Evoque, the Freelander gave up its place in the compact luxury SUV sector.
Now, this week in Canada, Freelander takes bits back from Evoque and again proves a strong contender.
The changes aren’t huge— the replacement of a petrol engine with a new motor and some trim changes, with new paint and better finishes. But with these the junior Landy at least should hold its own.
Pricing changes with the deletion of the 3.2-litre in-line petrol six. It’s replaced by this, the Si4, with the Ford 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine.
But they don’t get cheaper. The old car was $52,510. The Si4 is $55,600. Yes, the feature list is improved and the SUV gets some small exterior trim features to lift it a bit.
More interesting is the interior upgrade, in which the switchgear from Evoque is to be found.
It gets a far superior audio— standard is a 380W 11-speaker Meridian audio but a 825W 17-speaker option adds $1815— while satnav returns in-house with a $2500 tag.
Standard are rear camera, leather trim and 18-inch alloy wheels. Build quality is up and, in warranty terms, Freelander remains the most trouble-free Land Rover.
Spec is similar to rivals but remember this is a wagon that actually can go off the road.
The hardest soft-roader: The ability is a given; switchgear is shared with the Evoque