Land Rover has said that sales of its Freelander 2 model are delivering significant growth.

The Ford-owned 4×4 producer said that since its UK launch in December 2006, sales of the compact 4×4 are up 20% compared with the same time last year.

The Freelander 2 has sold 7,532 units in the UK so far this year – 95% of which are diesels and nearly 30% are range-topping HSE models.

The brand now claims to lead the compact 4×4 (SUV) segment outselling rivals such as the new Honda CR-V and the BMW X3.

John Edwards, managing director, Land Rover UK said: “The all-new Freelander 2 is now firmly established as the premium compact 4×4 of choice in the UK. This is a testament to its great design, high levels of quality and improved fuel economy.”

He added: “The Freelander 2 is the foundation of our business in the UK and will help us to deliver our best ever sales result in the UK this year.”

Land Rover UK has sold over 24,000 units this year. Sales of the Range Rover are also up 13% so far this year , driven mainly by the new TDV8 engine. The Discovery 3 and the Range Rover Sport are currently selling twice as many units as their nearest competitors, and the 2007 Defender has seen its best UK May sales result ever, the automaker said.

“The Land Rover business is in great shape – not just in the UK but across the globe. It is now solidly in the black, with two successive record sales years and it is on target for yet another this year,” said Phil Popham, managing director, Land Rover. “We sell to 147 markets around the globe, and more than 40,000 cars into emerging markets like China and Russia that we weren’t selling five years ago.”