It’s the smallest sibling in the Land Rover fleet, but boasts a full house of innovative driver aids and security systems. The new Freelander SD4 also has more power and torque than its predecessor. We put it to the tow test.
The first vehicle I ever drove, at about the age of 12, was a Land Rover. Before that, when I was a really little guy, I think I even steered my dad’s old Series 2 while sitting on his lap. Don’t report me to the cops; this was all on the dusty tracks of the Wild Coast during our annual family holiday. What I’m getting at is that Land Rovers have been a part of my upbringing. Once you’ve mastered an old Defender’s clutch action, any other car is a cinch by comparison!
And although the Freelander 2 isn’t the first Land Rover that springs to mind when you hear the name, it’s definitely still Landy to its core. It’s even got its own, albeit slightly muted, Terrain Response system. I’ll elaborate on that later.
So what is a Freelander 2, actually? Well, it’s what our mates on SA4x4 magazine call a soft-roader. And what’s that? Primarily it’s a 4×4 that doesn’t have a low-range transmission. It can cope with the rigours of lots of gravel-road driving, and the occasional foray onto slightly worse terrain, but it’s not an out-and-out bush-bound, all-terrain-capable four-wheel-drive. Get the picture?
This vehicle may not have low range, but what it does have is a comfortable ride. From the seating position, up front at least, right through to the handling on smooth highways or bumpy gravel roads, this relatively compact SUV offers a silky smooth ride. These qualities are carried over to its towing capabilities, which is good news for those of us who tow caravans.
But let’s first take a look inside…