Land Rover Freelander TD4_e Stop/Start
Land Rover has an off-road brand image to be proud of, but the company certainly has a lot
of work to do in terms of greening its product range; so is the TD4_e
Stop/Start really a green machine?
The only main thing that sets this model apart in terms of eco credentials is the
Stop/Start function. Yes, you guessed it, this means the engine cuts out when
at a halt, which results in the combined fuel consumption improving from
37.7mpg to 42.2mpg – which is 12% better. Land Rover claims the system can
improve economy by up to 20 per cent in stop-start city traffic.
Does this make it a class-leader in terms of fuel economy? No, a number of 4x4s perform
better. It may be a crossover rather than a compact 4×4, but the Subaru Outback
diesel still takes some beating with its 48.7mpg.
However the real point of the TD4_e Stop/Start is that it’s the first time that Land Rover
has made an effort to be green. And yes, the company is very late in going down
So why would you buy this model? Well there’s no choice. All Freelander TD4 manuals
now come with the Stop/Start function, and for no extra cost. It also comes
with lower rolling resistance tyres, something that must have been a difficult
decision for a brand that stakes its reputation on ultimate off-road ability.
Will it offer you any benefits? If you drive in a city, then yes. When you come to
traffic lights, put it in neutral and take your foot off the clutch, the engine
will cut out. Put your foot back on the clutch and it will re-start. And it
does this very smoothly, despite being a diesel off-roader. The whole process
is helped by the starter motor, which has been re-engineered to cope with the
But of course Land Rovers are designed to be used in the countryside, so does it offer
economy benefits in its natural environment? Well only if you regularly stop to
let cows cross the road.
And what about when you’re off-roading and on the edge of a precipice, will the engine
cut-out when you really need it? No. The Stop/Start system is designed so that
it won’t work when in off-road mode. There’s also a button to manually
disengage it under normal driving conditions.
So apart from the Stop/Start system, what about the rest of the Freelander? Well it’s not a
pretend 4×4, it’s a genuinely capable off-road vehicle. Apart from the base
model it comes with Land Rover’s Terrain Response system, which lets you select
the type of off-road conditions, and the car adjusts how it behaves
And it’s also very refined, with good road manners, particularly an excellent ride and
steering. However as it’s a reasonably large SUV, don’t expect it to be particularly agile and
The cabin is also a luxurious place to be, with good levels of equipment. However the
price reflects this; although base models can be had for £21,295, the higher
spec HSE model, with features such as better alloy wheels and leather interior,
comes in at almost £34,000.
Perhaps surprisingly for a tough, go-anywhere brand, Land Rover doesn’t have a great
track record with reliability.
So the TD4_e Stop/Start will cost you less in road tax – the 179g/km of CO2 is 8% less
than the previous 194g/km – but unless you regularly use it in built-up areas
(so running the risk of being hijacked by the anti-4×4 lobby) you’re not likely
to see much benefit at the diesel pump.
The whole point of the TD4_e Stop/Start is that it’s showing that Land Rover is doing
something – as the start of the brand’s ‘e_Terrain’ journey to lower emissions.
Watch out for more technological developments including a diesel hybrid due in
extra urban: 49.6 mpg
urban: 33.2 mpg
VED band I – £175
Weight: 1770 Kg
tax liability (2009/10): 26%
£32,345 (From £21,295 to £33,967)
Power: 158 bhp