NEW LAND ROVER FREELANDER 2 IN MALAYSIA – A COMFORTABLE & POWERFUL OFF ROAD MACHINE
AT first glance, the Land Rover Freelander 2 – launched last year but making its first appearance here in Malaysia – looks like the original Freelander (launched in 1997) with a face-lift.
This is because of the DNA carried over from the earlier model, but if you were to put the two side by side, you will know that the Freelander 2 is new from the ground up.
It is actually based on the Volvo S80 platform, and is bigger in all dimensions, including a much higher ground clearance height.
A new heart comes in the form of a 2.2-litre diesel, producing 160bhp at 4,000rpm and a maximum torque of 400Nm at 2,000rpm.
Mated to this is a six-speed automatic transmission with CommandShift (manual gearshift option).
The all-wheel drive keeps the Freelander 2 firmly planted on the road in all conditions, assisted by ETC (electronic traction control), CBC (cornering brake control), and DSC (dynamic stability control).
In the event that you overcook it, then systems like ABS and EBA (emergency brake assist) come into play, failing which you will have the opportunity to test the numerous airbags.
As with all Land Rovers, the Freelander 2 is built with the intention to make it as good off the road as on; the good qualities such as Hill Descent Control is retained, but other goodies from the Disco 3 and Range Rover have been added to make it possibly the best small-sized SUV that your money can buy, provided of course that you are willing to shell out RM271k for one.
Acceleration from zero to 100km/h is claimed at 11.2 seconds. On a trip back from Cameron Highlands, we saw a top speed of 195kph on the speedometer, which is a huge improvement over the 161kph top speed of the previous model.
A 68-litre diesel fuel capacity and a claimed 8.5l per 100km gives the Freelander 2 a range of 578km, or 23 sen a kilometre. (RM2/litre fuel price)
Interior space is much improved and the fittings are of excellent quality; leather seats with a six-way adjustment for the driver, leather steering wheel, cruise control, automatic climate control, and an electric sunroof.
Other good stuff include Bi-xenon headlights for excellent night visibility, a rain sensor, park distance control sensor for the front and rear, and a headlamp washer.
On the road, the Freelander 2 is as refined as a car; sitting much higher, the driver gets a commanding view of the surroundings, and the powerful engine/gearbox combination makes driving a pleasure.
Off-road, the Freelander is as at home as any full-fledged 4WD machine, and even an idiot can take it safely through the most arduous of conditions, thanks to the incorporation of the Terrain Response system which allows one to switch from on-road mode to off-road mode simply by turning a dial in the centre console behind the gearshift stick.
Ride is on the comfortable side of firm, which means that you can enjoy the Freelander 2 when going off road without suffering while it is on the tarmac.
Source : Y.S. Khong from the sun