LAND ROVER will slash the price of most Freelander variants when the facelifted model hits Australian showrooms in December, with the deepest $2690 cut applied to the entry-level TD4 manual variant that will go on sale at $42,300 plus on-road costs.
The British brand announced the price cuts as it prepared to give the updated Freelander its Australian debut at the Sydney motor show alongside the 2013 model year Discovery and hotly anticipated all-new Range Rover.
Although the freshened Freelander’s exterior appearance has been subject to a minor facelift, most noticeably featuring Evoque-style LED daytime-running light graphics in the headlights (on SE trim and above) and bolder tail-lights, the main changes are in the plusher new cabin and under the bonnet.
The straight-six petrol engine has been dropped, along with the low-mid XS specification level, and the Evoque’s more efficient 2.0-litre turbo engine now powers the sole petrol variant, while a $68,400 flagship HSE Luxury model has been added.
Available in SE trim only, the $55,600 Si4’s petrol engine produces 177kW and 340Nm – 6kW and 23Nm more – and consumes 11 per cent less fuel than the outgoing six-cylinder, at 9.6 litres per 100 kilometres.
Its list price is $1000 less than the equivalent diesel SE but $3090 more than the outgoing Si6 SE, and servicing intervals are extended from 24,000 kilometres to 26,000km over the six-pot.
Around a third of Australian Evoque buyers opt for the petrol engine, so Land Rover is confident it will also be well-received in the Freelander, while some of the largest price cuts have been applied to the range’s TD4 volume seller.
The new $56,600 price point for the SD4 SE represents a comparatively small $210 saving over the outgoing model, while the less-powerful TD4 SE costs $1210 less than before at $54,100 and the SD4 HSE variant, which used to be the flagship, is $1354 less expensive at $64,500.
Over and above the already well-specified HSE, the new HSE Luxury variant gains a new-to-Freelander premium 825-Watt Meridian surround-sound system with 17 speakers, premium Windsor leather upholstery, power-folding exterior mirrors with position memory and automatic dipping, a self-dimming interior mirror and premium carpet mats.
Consequently, the only cost options available on the flagship are piano black interior trim ($400) and the $1250 ‘cold climate’ pack comprising heated front seats, steering wheel, windscreen and washer jets.
The Freelander’s showroom appeal is boosted by its Evoque-style interior that replaces the outgoing car’s utilitarian-looking dashboard layout, with a simpler design that locates the audio and navigation controls higher up, centred around a five-inch screen.
All but the base TD4 variant get a new reversing camera that provides tow hitching guidance and parking distance graphics.
The central screen is boosted to a seven-inch item for Freelanders equipped with the newly upgraded satellite-navigation system ($2500 on SE variants).
Behind the redesigned multi-function steering wheel is a new instrument pack with Evoque-like colour multi-function display between the dials, and the centre console uses the Evoque’s Terrain Response selector button instead of the previous large metal knob.
An electric parking brake further simplifies the centre console, creating room for a new storage area.