Review: Land Rover Freelander 2 (2006 – 2015)
Bigger than original Freelander. 2.2-litre belt cam diesel. Incredibly good off-road. Robust interior. More fuel efficient 2WD model from 2011 with no rear diff to fail.
Not as sharp on the road as other 4x4s. High number of automatic transmission, steering rack failures and camshaft failures on 2.2 diesel. Epidemic of rear diff failures.
Land Rover Freelander 2 (2006 – 2015): At A Glance
The 2006 Freelander 2 is a big improvement on the original Freelander the comparison between the two is like chalk and cheese. Land Rover addressed the criticisms of the original model to produced a great compact 4x4 that's composed on road but still as capable off-road as you'd expect of a Land Rover. That's down to an advanced intelligent 4x4 system that optimises traction and fuel economy, along with Land Rover's unique Terrain Response dial up system.
It's in the cabin where the improvements are most noticeable. It's now far better built, more refined and has a hardwearing feel. True other 4x4s this size may have a more modern interior, but there's a robustness about the Freelander 2 that reflects its rugged nature - after all this is no 'soft-roader'.
Like the larger Discovery model, the Freelander 2 is genuinely capable off-road and deals with amazingly difficult terrain with ease, even on standard road tyres - that's not something you can say of a BMW X3 or an Audi Q5.
This does have its downside, as the Freelander 2 isn't as sharp on the road as other 4x4s. It's certainly not wallowy or soft, but it lacks the responsiveness of some rivals, but then none of them can match the Land Rover's all-terrain ability.
The engine line-up includes a 3.2-litre petrol but as you'd expect this is a rare sight. Nearly all buyers go for the strong 2.2 TD4 diesel. In 2009 a stop/start version of this was introduced which saw CO2 emissions reduced to 179g/km and economy improve to a claimed 41.3mpg.
In September 2010 the Freelander 2 was facelifted with a new grille, lights and bumpers, but the big changes came under the skin. The 2.2-litre TD4 engine was replaced by a new unit (the same size) which is available in two outputs of either 150bhp or 190bhp and all manual models come with an engine stop/start system as standard.
A 2WD model was also launched, available in the UK from January 2011, which is badged the Freelander 2 eD4. It's the most efficient Land Rover ever produced, with claimed fuel consumption of 47.2mpg and CO2 emissions of just 158g/km.
What does a Land Rover Freelander 2 (2006 – 2015) cost?
Land Rover Freelander 2 (2006 – 2015): What's It Like Inside?
The interior of the Freelander 2 may not be as stylish or as modern as other 4x4s, but the big buttons and tough looking plastics go with the rugged off-road image of Land Rovers. The controls are all easy to use and the sat nav system (which comes as standard higher specification models) is a touchscreen unit that's straightforward to operate. However it's not the best navigation system around while the stereo seems a little dated too.
Quality is good though and it feels like a premium product inside with a solid and well constructed feel, illustrated by the satisfying thud when you close the doors and the nicely weighted gear change. The instrument dials are easy to read and the raised driving position gives a good view out too.
Land Rover calls this the 'Command Driving Position' and it's helped by the fact the A-pillars aren't too obstructive, so you've got a decent view out at junctions. The seats are comfortable too with plenty of support which is most noticeable on long journeys.
Revised models from September 2010 have pretty much the same cabin with a few minor tweaks. There are four new seat styles, covered with new Tofino or Resolve cloth fabrics, Napoli leather, a combination of Napoli leather and Alcantara, or Windsor leather for the Premium Pack. Four new interior trims come in either Element Silver, Element Black, Dark Chestnut and Piano Black lacquered finish. This lacquered Piano Black theme is also carried over onto the steering wheel switchpack.
At the high end of the option range, there's a new Premium Pack option with Windsor Leather upholstery in Ebony, Almond, Ivory or Tan colourways. The Pack includes 8/6 way electric seat plus premium carpet mats and covered centre stowage.
It's very safe too - there are seven airbags: two curtain, two front, two thorax and a driver's knee bag as standard. The transverse engine mounting not only frees up interior space but offers impressive crash performance, helping the Freelander 2 achieve a 5 star Euro NCAP rating for adult occupant protection.
Standard equipment from launch (2006):
TD4 S is the entry level model with the 2.2-litre TD4 diesel engine and gets 16-inch alloy wheels, Land Rover tyre repair system, locking wheel nuts, six-speed manual transmission, halogen headlamps, heated exterior mirrors, air conditioning, manual six-way adjustable driver's seat and a CD player with six speakers.
TD4 GS adds 17-inch six-spoke alloy wheels, Terrain Response, automatic lights, driver information centre, rear park distance control, automatic windscreen wipers, power-fold mirrors, cruise control, luggage cover, steering wheel audio controls, climate control, headlamp power wash and front fog lamps.
TD4 XS gets 17-inch ten-spoke alloy wheels, front footwell lamps, front door puddle lamps, front and rear park distance control, personal telephone integration system, Alpine stereo system, nine speakers and electric front seats.
TD4 SE has an electric sun-roof, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, navigation system, full colour touch screen with traffic message channel, six-disc in-dash CD changer and heated front seats.
TD4 HSE is the top trim and adds 18-inch 12-spoke alloy wheels, exterior mirror memory function, climate control with automatic recirculation and humidity sensing, front and rear carpet mats, Dolby pro-logic 2 7.1 surround sound, 14 speakers, leather seat facings, leather steering wheel and driver's seat memory function.
i6 GS is based on the TD4 GS plus a 3.2-litre i6 petrol engine, twin tail pipes, command shift six-speed automatic transmission.
i6 XS has 17-inch ten-spoke alloy wheels, front footwell lamps, front door puddle lamps, front and rear park distance control, personal telephone integration system, Alpine stereo system, nine speakers and electric front seats.
i6 SE gets an electric sun-roof, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, navigation system, full colour touch screen with traffic message channel, six-disc in-dash CD changer and heated front seats.
i6 HSE includes twin tail pipes with bright finish, 18-inch 12-spoke alloy wheels, exterior mirror memory function, climate control with automatic recirculation and humidity sensing, front and rear carpet mats, Dolby pro-logic 2 7.1 surround sound, 14 speakers, leather seat facings, leather steering wheel and driver's seat memory function.
Child seats that fit a Land Rover Freelander 2 (2006 – 2015)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Land Rover Freelander 2 (2006 – 2015) like to drive?
On rural roads, the Freelander's high ground clearance and long travel suspension conspire to make progress somewhat choppy, but on motorways its mostly serene and relaxed.
Something like the Volvo XC60 may feel more like a pumped up regular car than the Freelander, which remains a 4x4. On fast A-roads and dual carriageways the engine really quietens down, there's a surprising lack of wind and road noise, and the combination of unexpected refinement and commanding view make the car a pleasant place to be.
Once you've tuned into it, the car can be punted round corners with surprising ease and will steer and go where you want it to with greater accuracy than you might expect, although the steering itself is light and inert and the thing rolls a good deal.
At non-motorway speeds the 160bhp 2.2 litre diesel is a bit raucous and feels somewhat gutless in the lower gears unless you let it rev, when it displays unexpected reserves of torque - rapidly gaining momentum in the lower gears of the precise-but-clunky six speed gearbox.
The 2.2-litre diesel is pretty economical with a claimed average of 37.7mpg and there's also a petrol engine in the shape of a 3.2-litre straight-six with 233bhp, but unsurprisingly it's a rare site, probably something to do with its terrible 25.2mpg fuel economy figure. In early 2009 a new stop/start version of the 2.2 diesel was launched - badged the TD4_e CO2 which brings down CO2 emissions from 194g/km to 179g/km while claimed fuel efficiency improves from 37.7 mpg to 41.3 mpg. It's still good to drive and performs just as strongly as the standard 2.2 TD4 model with good low down grunt.
The big changes to the Freelander 2 came in late 2010 when it was given a midlife facelift. From the outside the changes are fairly subtle - there's a new grille, bumpers and tweaked lights along with some new paint colours but it's under the bonnet where things have really moved on. The 3.2-litre petrol was dropped while a new 2.2-litre diesel was introduced, replacing the old 160bhp model.
The new 2.2-litre diesel comes in two different outputs - a 150bhp version which is the TD4 model and a 190bhp version which is badged the SD4 model. Both produce 20Nm more torque than the outgoing model, increasing to a substantial 420Nm for punchy performance.
This new engine is Euro V compliant and cleaner than the previous 2.2-litre diesel too. CO2 emissions of the 150bhp automatic model are now 165g/km while the 190bhp automatic is 185g/km. Fuel consumption for the 150bhp manual has also improved and us now an impressive 45.6mpg.
Land Rover has worked to make the new diesel quieter, which is noticeable on start-up and when gently cruising, but it can still be fairly noisy under hard acceleration, more so in the automatic versions. But it feels sprightly, helped by the extra torque which makes for easy in-gear acceleration. The automatic only SD4 (that's the 190bhp version if you weren't paying attention) is impressively quick and will sprint from 0-60mph in just 8.7 seconds.
But perhaps the most important model in the 'new' Freelander 2 range is the eD4. This is a two-wheel drive version - the first time Land Rover has produced a non-4x4 model - and as a result it's also the most efficient Land Rover ever built. With 2WD versions of compact SUVs now making up a quarter of all sales, it's no surprise Land Rover has decided to introduce the eD4. The headline figures are CO2 emissions of just 158g/km (below the critical 160g/km level for business users) and impressive fuel economy of 47.2mpg.
Land Rover says opting for the front-wheel drive eD4 is 'no compromise' over the standard 4x4 model. That's true to a certain extent as it has the same braked towing weight of 2000kg and feels very similar on the road in everyday driving. It comes with the 150bhp version of the 2.2-litre engine and feels strong too, helped by the fact it's only driving two wheels rather than four.
Off road it's surprisingly good for a 2WD. Because of the mechanical changes, Land Rover has had to modify software. The Slip Control System (SCS) has been optimised to suit the front wheel-drive system and the Roll Stability Control (SCS) software has also been re-tuned to account for the weight reduction.
On even fairly hardcore terrain it copes well, although it soft sand or thick mud it struggles compared to the 4x4 version. But if you rarely venture seriously off-road, you'll rarely know the difference. The stop/start system that comes as standard on diesel manual models has also been improved to re-start quicker and smoother than before.
|2.2 eD4 2WD||47 mpg||11.7 s||158 g/km|
|2.2 SD4||40 mpg||9.5 s||185 g/km|
|2.2 SD4 Automatic||40 mpg||8.7 s||185 g/km|
|2.2 TD4||36–47 mpg||10.9–11.7 s||158–214 g/km|
|2.2 TD4 Automatic||40 mpg||10.5–11.2 s||174–185 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Land Rover Freelander 2 (2006 – 2015)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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