The reading on the instrument console is displaying -13 degrees centigrade but inside I am as warm as a stuffed toy in a child’s arms. The Land Rover Freelander 2’s climate control is keeping the Canadian winter away and the heated steering wheel has ensured my fingers have not gone numb. Outside, the snowflakes are dropping at an alarming pace, there’s snow pressing down on the branches of the pine trees and other than the twin dark tracks created by the Land Rovers on the forest trail, the ground is covered with several inches of white snow. Though I am about 100 kilometres away from the city of Montreal in Canada, I half expect to see Rudolf and his friends waiting for the elves to load up the sled. Perhaps Santa should consider retiring his faithful reindeers and get himself one of these instead.
And why not? After driving the revised Freelander 2 for over two days across the severe Canadian snowscape and subjecting it to some rigorous tests, I can safely recommend it to the old man. The baby Land Rover comes across as a dependable, go-anywhere vehicle without being too unwieldy because of its compact dimensions. It has two good diesel engine options, a 6-speed auto, full-time four-wheel drive with a rear differential and all other regular comfort features. Space is good for three decently-sized elves at the rear and there is more than enough room at the back for the gifts.
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