What is it?
Some may consider it a removal of the car’s fundamental purpose, but Land Rover sees the new two-wheel-drive Freelander as a necessary fact of life, and on British roads it seems they’re right.
The only motor available in the front-drive Freelander (dubbed eD4) is the less powerful version of the new, upgraded 2.2-litre turbodiesel, whose main strengths are its mid-range torque and eco credentials. A fuel economy figure of 47.2mpg and 158g/km of CO2 are impressive, given its output of 148bhp and 310lb ft.
What’s it like?
If the engine’s improvements are evident, so is a lack of the refinement you’d expect in a premium SUV. It comes with stop-start as standard, but wind flutter and turbo whine are often noticeable in the background. A slightly soggy initial throttle response is also disappointing.
Elsewhere, the Freelander eD4 is reassuringly Land Rover-like. It has the characteristic soft springs that soak up intrusions easily without too much body roll. Even at speed, when you do get some slight bouncing and wallowing over undulating surfaces, it is still a comfortable way to travel.
If you choose to drive with a bit more vigour, the chassis responds well, and grip levels are decent. Overall, the Freelander eD4 offers all the stability and comfort you’d expect of a Land Rover. It’s a pleasant and accomplished premium soft-roader.