Four and plenty

The re­vised Landy soars with the Fal­con’s turbo en­gine

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige - NEIL DOWL­ING neil.dowl­ing@cars­guide.com.au

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.

VALUE

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

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