The TD4 diesel engine in the Freelander is as quiet at idle as any in the class, low-rev response is quick and the drivetrain is impeccably smooth. The six-speed gearbox is tight and notch-free, the pedal action progressive. The urban ride is reasonable. The light steering is very direct (just over 2.5 turns lock to lock), which makes the Land Rover a doddle to thread around town.

Up the pace and the engine and drivetrain continue to impress. The low-power version of the 2.2-litre diesel builds smoothly to a maximum of 148bhp at 4000rpm. Maximum torque is 310lb ft and, because of the good low-rev response, the TD4 has a wide powerband for a dieselThe eco-tuned eD4 doesn't lose performance, recording the same power and torque figures as the TD4.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Road test editor
On paper, the Freelander eD4 loses nothing in terms of performance, to the four-wheel-drive model

The high-power version offers up 187bhp, with identical torque to the other 2.2. It's pacier, but the powertrain isn’t exactly quiet, though; BMW’s equivalent X3, the SD4’s rival on price and performance, would be a bit more refined through the rev range. Once you’re up to speed, though, the Freelander’s engine fades into the background; it’s a decent motorway cruiser.

Manual variants are fitted with start-stop and revisions in 2011 resulted in the the start-up time improving by 30 percent to 700ms. The system will now work in temperatures as low as freezing. 

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