With all spotlights shining on glamour model Range Rover Evoque, many have forgotten that the Land Rover Freelander 2 exists. Well not only is this handsome SUV still on sale, Land Rover has given the model – facelifted two years ago – what it calls a “premium overhaul” for model year 2013. It’s quite an update.

The interior gets a brand new centre console that looks much more modern than before. The original Terrain Response dial has been replaced by switches and a shutter reveals additional storage space. A new ‘Dynamic’ derivative comes in three new interior colours (Ebony, Ivory or Pimento), each with matching stitching and co-ordinated door casings.

Display wise, there’s a new instrument cluster with a five-inch screen (primary vehicle-related information) and a seven-inch colour touch-screen with enhanced audio from Meridian (380W 11-speaker or 825W 17-speaker with Trifield tech), reverse camera and optional sat nav. The steering wheel toggle switches that control the system are also new. True keyless start replaces the old key dock.

The SUV now comes with an “intelligent” electric parking brake. The clever bit adjusts brake force according to the slope the vehicle is parked on, even taking into account whether the brakes are hot or cold. If hot, the system “wakes up” periodically to ensure clamping force is not lost as the brakes cool down. An additional safety feature ensures the brake cannot be released unless the driver’s seat is occupied.

The new “Say What You See” voice activation system will prompt the driver visually with the commands he/she needs to speak in order to control functions in the audio, sat nav, climate and phone systems.

The exterior gains a number of new features, too. The front and rear lamps have the latest xenon LED tech, and there’s a new signature graphic in the front running lights. The grille and fog lamp bezels now sport a bright finish and there are paint detailing changes to the front grille surround, insert bars and fender vent. Minor, but the original was far from broke!

Three new colours have been added – Aintree Green, Havana and Mauritius Blue – along with a new 17-inch wheel design. There are five trim levels: S, GS, XS, Dynamic, HSE and HSE LUX.

Freelander buyers can continue to choose from two diesel engines, the 2.2-litre 150 PS TD4 and 190 PS SD4 with 4WD. For extra economy, the 2.2-litre 150 PS engine is also available in eD4 2WD form. Equipped with a six-speed manual transmission and Stop/Start, the eD4 achieves 6.0L per 100 km and CO2 emissions of 158 g/km.

The diesels were updated for 2011, with a new turbocharger improving response and increasing maximum torque by 5% to 420 Nm. They were also equipped with a standard DPF, reducing particulates by 80% and NOx emissions by 28%. The response time of Stop/Start was improved by 22%.

For those that are looking at a petrol Freelander (not sold here in Malaysia), the 3.2 litre normally aspirated V6 will be replaced by the 2.0 litre turbo four cylinder engine, the same one found in the Evoque and in Fords like the Mondeo Ecoboost and S-MAX Ecoboost.

Other improvements aimed at improving efficiency included a revised shifting strategy on the automatics, low drag engine oils and revised bearing designs whilst noise levels were reduced by 2dB.