This is the Land Rover Freelander 2, the one they will introduce in India in March 2013. Because this is a mid-life update, Land Rover has, predictably, chosen to give it subtle updates that make the car look and feel fresher, rather than go in for expensive sheet metal changes.
To that extent, there's new equipment, a restrained rework of the interiors and the mildest of facelifts.
To get into the details, the exterior changes are limited to headlamps that get LED daytime running lamps, tail lamps that get Land Rover's twin-circular theme, there are new alloy wheels and three new colours.
On the inside, Land Rover has uncluttered the dashboard with fewer switches, a tidied up dashboard and an electric emergency brake. Oh, and the rotary dial for the terrain response system has been replaced by an Evoque style switch. There's also a new feature on the reverse camera that makes it easier to hitch a trailer onto the tow hook, and there's keyless go as well.
There are no mechanical changes apart from a new structural undertray that strengthens the chassis. North America gets a new 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine, but this won’t be offered in India. We get the same engines as before -- a 2.2-litre common-rail turbo diesel that makes 148bhp or 187bhp depending on which version you order. As before, both versions will come with a six-speed automatic transmission.
So, in the end, what you get with the Freelander is a car that, atleast in 187bhp trim has adequate grunt and one that is reasonably refined as well. It may not be the class leader when it comes to handling, but the Freelander has other strengths -- namely it's ride and it's off-road prowess. It is the best in class on the latter. In typical Land Rover fashion, it's easy to drive thanks to its high seats and low window line.
The Freelander is the best -selling Land Rover in India, but it isn't the class leader. This facelift and nip-and-tuck definitely go some way towards that. Expect the facelifted Freelander to cost marginally more than the current price when it gets to Indian showrooms.