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Interior Design And Features - (Australia)

June 29th, 2007





"The Freelander 2's cabin feels like that of a premium saloon car - it's comfortable, attractive, well equipped and spacious." Geoff Upex, design director.

The interior of Freelander 2 is designed to be more elegant and simply structured than that of the outgoing Freelander, a decision made early on by Geoff Upex and lead interior designer Martin Buffery, who describe it as "strong but not intimidating". Yet the facia still incorporates clear elements of the iconic architectural vertical and horizontal lines that characterise the Range Rover Vogue, Range Rover Sport and Discovery 3.

"The whole interior has moved significantly upmarket," comments Geoff Upex. "Quality and craftsmanship are improved, with higher specification materials used throughout the cabin."

The upper part of the facia has a soft-touch finish to give a premium appearance and pleasant feel. Switch gear is purposeful and moves with precision. Regularly used controls, such as facia vents and major switchgear, are within easy reach and have a tactile finish. Upholstery and tufted carpets are high quality, while metallic and wood-effect finishes add further premium touches.

The instrumentation is clear and well displayed. The circular analogue gauges are framed with metallic bezels and are neatly grouped directly in front of the driver.

Spacious Interior
The elevated driving position in Freelander 2 - called 'command view' by Land Rover - improves visibility and helps the driver feel in control. It gives a much better vantage point than conventional saloon cars and even many other compact 4x4s.

'Stadium seating' places the rear seat passengers slightly higher than their front seat counterparts, so they too can enjoy the view. Visibility for all occupants is helped by the narrow front A-pillars, deep front and rear screens, and large side windows.

Although only 50 mm longer than the outgoing model, the all-new Freelander 2 effectively moves up a class in interior packaging compared with its predecessor.

"There is a real sense of space in Freelander 2," says Geoff Upex. "You can stretch out, relax, and it makes the whole ambience so much more enjoyable."

The vehicle's height and tall doors improve entry and egress compared with normal cars. The 'clean sill' system also helps keep mud and general road grime off occupants' clothes.

Comfortable Seats
Freelander 2's seats offer good under-thigh and back support, plus strong side bolsters to give excellent lateral support. The front seat frames are similar to those of Range Rover Sport - big car seats for a cabin that looks as though it belongs in a big car. The upright seating provides a comfortable driving position and increases usable legroom.

A variety of interior colours are available, with leather standard across the range.

Six-way adjustment is standard on all driver seats, including height adjustment to take advantage of the generous roofspace. The front passenger seat has four-way adjust. Armrests are standard on all models, and three-position memory on the driver's seat is standard on HSE models

The rear seat is wide enough to accommodate three standard adults, and includes a central armrest. An asymmetrically split design, it folds forward to offer a completely flat floor area.

Lots of Luggage and Stowage Space
The capacious boot provides plenty of space for luggage or sports equipment, from bicycles to golf clubs. A neat touch is the reversible load floor cover with carpet on one side and a water-resistant surface on the other.

Total luggage volume is 1670 litres with the rear seats folded forward and 755 litres when raised (27 and 38 per cent respectively better than the outgoing Freelander). The space was designed from the outset to be as versatile as possible. For example, Land Rover even checked that Roly (one of the team's fully grown Labradors, digitised for just this purpose) could travel in comfort. The high load-space floor avoids the need to bend down to lower items into the boot.

Within the cabin, the centre console includes cup-holders that can secure a wide variety of drink cans and cups. There is stowage space galore, including a large hopper-style glove-box and generous front and rear door bins with 1-litre bottle-holders. On selected models, the front seats have handy 'kangaroo pockets' on the front in addition to map pockets on the back.

Sound Systems
The sound systems offered for Freelander 2 are headed by a top-level version that features an 8x40 W power output and eight speakers plus sub-woofer. Volume control is automatic, and changes with the car's speed.

Rear seat headphone sockets are standard in the HSE models, allowing rear seat passengers to listen to a different audio source from that of the front seat occupants.

An auxiliary audio input socket for the connection of an MP3 player, iPod, or other source is fitted as standard in the centre console.


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