It’s a dirty little luxury
PART of the dream of owning an SUV is its commanding driving position that gives you unparalleled vision over lesser traffic.
The other part is taking the kids to see the real Australia, via Birdsville.
I was contemplating the virtues of the high driving position while sitting in Land Rover’s delightful Freelander 2, waiting to turn left at a T-junction.
Alongside me, turning right, was another SUV. Which blocked my view so I had to wait for him to go. Commanding view? Dream on. But that aside, this miniLandie is a gem. VALUE
It falls into the luxury SUV category and that tells you it’s not a cheapie. At about $55,000, it’s a big ask until you compare it with its natural rivals. The Freelander 2 starts at $44,990 for the turbo-diesel TD4 version, runs through two petrol models (priced from $49,990) and tops out at $65,584 for the deluxe diesel. DESIGN
It’s a very functional design that maximises cabin space while making it compact on the outside and nimble enough for city duties. The cabin is clean, simple and stylish. TECHNOLOGY
This is a constant
all- wheel drive wagon driven by an enjoyable 2.2-litre turbo-diesel. The clever bits include the terrain response system controlled by a switch set on the console.
The diesel comes as a 110kW or 140kW (marked as TD4 or SD4). Torque re- mains at a strong 420Nm for both and is the key for the SUV’s brisk manners. SAFETY
Like its predecessor the mini-Landie gets a 5-star crash rating, six airbags and all the aids including electronic stability control. DRIVING
It’s quick, responsive, quiet and comfortable and feels more like a small car.
The cabin is quite compact — though it seats four adults with plenty of room — which perfectly suits small families or couples. VERDICT
This is one of the best SUVs in all classes on the market. It does everything right. But despite its luxury category, shoppers can go outside this framework and pick up similarly equipped SUVs for a lot less money.
The Land Rover Freelander 2 takes practicality to a luxurious level