The Freelander2 may not be the old and rugged Defender you’ve seen in the 1966 classic movie Born Free, but it’s unmistakeably Land Rover as far as its DNA is...
Land Rover Freelander 2 [2013-2016]
Land Rover Freelander 2 [2013-2016] Review
The Freelander2 may not be the old and rugged Defender you’ve seen in the 1966 classic movie Born Free, but it’s unmistakeably Land Rover as far as its DNA is concerned
Game warden George and his team of trackers tread carefully, rifles raised. Suddenly, from nowhere a lioness comes charging. One of the trackers shoots at it but misses. With little time to spare, George raises his rifle and shoots her. Later, man-eating lion hunting over, George drives back with the lion couple’s three orphaned cubs to his wife Joy who waits for him at the camp. If you remember this scene from the 1966 classic Born Free, you will also remember the vehicle in the movie – a Land Rover. Much waters have flowed under Land Rover’s bridges since the movie and while the company itself is now on the path for a brand new replacement for the Defender, which was the successor to the Land Rover we saw in the movie, we, in India, got to drive another new Land Rover – the Freelander2.
While the front, the rear bumpers and the tail lamps are redesigned on the 2012 Freelander2, the rest of the vehicle (as far as its body is concerned) remains untouched. As does the high build quality of the vehicle. On the inside too, fit and finish continue to be top notch as is expected from a Land Rover. Meanwhile newly added features include a MapMyIndia satellite navigation system and USB connectivity for the multi media system.
The Freelander2 gets a 2.2-litre common rail diesel engine that produces a peak output of 190bhp at 3500rpm and 420Nm of maximum torque at a fairly low 1750rpm. Although the oil burning unit has that typical diesel clatter on the outside, none of this noise intrudes into the cabin. The engine is highly responsive and there is no sign of turbo lag either. As a result the Freelander2 always feels like a willing companion to any quick driving that you might want to indulge in. The downside to this otherwise great powertrain package is the 6-speed automatic transmission the engine comes coupled to, shifts seem to be lethargic. Especially, given the engine’s willingness to propel the vehicle forward.
The suspension set-up on the Freelander2 is on the softer side and the ride quality is well-composed over broken surfaces, just like any luxury saloon. It irons out most of the bumps and absorbs potholes with a high degree of competence. On the flipside, the Freelander2 is only a decent handler, showing a propensity for body roll around corners. Also, the Freelander2 gets a light steering wheel, which makes manoeuvring in the city and parking convenient, but doesn’t weigh up adequately as speeds increase. Besides, feedback from the steering feels very artificial, which doesn’t really inspire a lot of confidence.
What does set the Freelander apart from a lot of its competitors is the amount of off-roading it can really handle. More so in the Freelander2, since Land Rover has put in quite a bit of money in upgrading mechanicals that will further aid the vehicle’s ability to take on rough roads or no roads at all. So, in essence, the Freelander2 remains true to its Land Rover roots of producing tough go-anywhere vehicles, like the one seen in the movie.
At Rs 45.43 lakh, OTR in Mumbai, the Land Rover Freelander2 HSE is not a very expensive proposition. Especially, if you consider the competition. It may not be the best handler or the best performer but nonetheless, it does have a powerful engine, great build, equally high fit and finish levels. And if you want an SUV that can take punishment, on as well as off the road, then this is where you should stop reading and head to the showroom. And while you’re at it, you also get a slice of heritage and earn the respect that comes with the Land Rover badge.
Land Rover Freelander 2 [2013-2016] Colours
Freelander 2 [2013-2016] is available/sold in the following colours in India.
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