The Land Rover Freelander has received a package of updates for 2013, which its maker hopes will maintain the popularity of its core model range in the post-Evoque era. The facelift majors on the interior, which promises to be more upmarket with ‘premium’ feel. But with styling changes limited to a few minor ones that only aficionados will readily spot, it’s a definite case of evolution.
In short, to identify the ’13 Freelander, you’ll need to look out for the new colour selection, revised alloy wheels, Xenon/LED lights front and rear, and a new grille design. It’s the interior where the effort has gone – and it’s clear to see that Land Rover would like to give the Freelander a more ‘premium’ feel – so there’s a new centre console, which loses the Terrain Response dial, dropping it in favour for a smattering of control buttons.
The engine and transmission line-up remains as before – which in the UK means only the 2.2-litre turbodiesel which gets 47.1mpg and 158g/km in the lower-powered six-speed manual, front-wheel drive form.
A new sporting trim level – Dynamic – is probably the biggest news. It introduces a palette of three new upholstery colours, as well as a 7in central display screen, similar to the Range Rover’s. It’s here that the upgraded sat-nav system, with voice-control and reversing camera are driven from. As befitting its top-model status, the Dynamic receives a bodykit, gloss black exterior detailing, and sports seats. And 19in alloys. Evoque owners will probably wonder what all the fuss is about…
There’s also a new dashboard-mounted 5in screen between the dials, and the new Freelander loses its docking station key in favour of a new keyless go system.
Aside from the sporting Dynamic model, there’s the S, GS and XS – the latter coming with a 380w Meridian hi-fi system, which we know sounds very effective in the Evoque. For those who dare not to venture off-road, the HSE is their car – with a wood ‘n’ leather interior experience, a panoramic sunroof, and 825w Meridian audio system. And it the top of the tree, there’s also the new HSE Lux – a Landie with Rangie ambitions.
Increasingly, it would seem that Land Rover is opening the door for its forthcoming entry-level model, Project Icon, due in less than three years. The new car, which will look very similar to the DC100 (and will also finally replace the Defender on European price lists) will more more lifestyle oriented, and priced to compete with the crossover imports. Where have we heard that before?
The facelift Freelanders are expected to cost around £1000 more than their older counterparts.