Client: Business to Business
By coincidence I had recently been musing on the Land Rover Brand prior to collecting the Freelander 2 TD4 from Marshalls in Bedford. Armed with a selection of car magazines to keep me amused on a recent holiday flight, I found an article complete with a double page spread picture of Sir Winston Churchill receiving his 80th birthday present in 1954 from Land Rover. A Series1 Landie as they are affectionately known.
Rugged and dependable the brand epitomises adventure. 50 years on Land Rover remains the vehicle of choice for the serious “off roader”. They haven’t sat on their laurels: evolving the Brand, meeting the demanding needs of their customers 5 decades on. Drawing from the same gene pool as the Series 1, Range Rover and Discovery have established themselves as benchmark vehicles in the marriage between “off road” capability and luxury motoring.
So how does the latest version of the Freelander stack up against all of this history and heritage? A rugged hewn appearance, sporty stance and 19 inch alloy wheels gives an aggressive purposeful look. Although not the towering height of its peers, I still get the impression I am climbing up and aboard as I enter. The HSE interior welcomes with black leather and some nice aluminium detailing.
The audio controls look a little busy, the climate controls finished in a nice tactile soft touch material, offering dual control and more than enough adjustment to keep all its occupants comfortable. Although not the most spacious in its class, the cabin offers adequate room for four adults, with a selection of storage areas including a large glove box (if sitting slightly forward, mind your knees when opening).
A small round neatly finished dial positioned ahead of the gear selector hints at the possibility this vehicle will be capable of taking me home whatever route I should choose: either along the A421 or across the fields. Land Rovers unique Terrain Response System maximises traction across a range of different surfaces from tarmac to sand – it will even help you ascend and descend hills safely. If the climate continues to get wetter you may need to take advantage of the 500mm wading capability – just one of the technical specifications confirming the intentions of Land Rovers design engineers.
The 5 cylinder 2.2 Ltr. turbo charged diesel engine is nicely isolated from the cabin as I make my way towards Cambridge along the dual carriageway at 70MPH. A positive, progressive spread of power and torque, the throttle response is sharp giving a feeling the power plant is willing and capable. I do enjoy the higher driving position and the visibility it affords. The 6 speed automatic transmission changes smoothly and without fuss. The Freelander has a feel good factor.
Throughout my journey, the chassis felt poised and controlled. Directional changes & aged road surfaces consumed without fuss, with only the roughest of surfaces inducing a fine vibration through the tyres and into the drivers finger tips. The steering wheel is just the right diameter, precise in its feed back and operation. I have settled into my environment and despite the heavy rain I am enjoying myself and the car.
How would I sum up my experience? True to the Brand it felt like an adventure. The Land Rover badge conjures up an expectation before you even turn the key. The all terrain capability adds an air of go anywhere do any thing to the journey. And for the sporty, you can be safe in the knowledge, if your pursuits take you off the beaten track, you always have something in reserve to get you home.