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Land Rover Freelander 2021 review

The Freelander is a practical and capable 4x4 sold by Land Rover between 1997 and 2014

£7,462
Average price
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1
Out of 5

Pros

  • Impressive off-road ability
  • Comfortable
  • Good to drive

Cons

  • Not the most reliable
  • Narrow boot
  • Showing its age now
  • MPG

    0 - 0

  • CO2

    0 - 0 g/km

Model review

Today, Land Rover’s line-up is purely made up of the Range Rover and Discovery model lines, as well as the iconic Defender, but not so long ago this British firm had another model – the Freelander

Introduced back in 1997 as a new 4x4 and available in three- or five-door body styles, it came to fruition by being able to use then-owner’s Rover’s range of parts to develop. It was a model that was really quite ahead of its time - and proved to be quite the success as a result - with more than 500,000 being produced in its nine-year production run. It was even the best-selling model in its class for some time. 

In 2006, though, the second-generation launched as a far more modern and higher-quality model than its predecessor. Becoming known as the Freelander 2, it used a Ford platform and also ushered in more in the way of safety and off-road technology – utilising the Terrain Response system from the Discovery, for example. 

Latest model

The Freelander would continue with constant model year updates, with key additions to the range including stop and start engine technology to improve efficiency, while a controversial front-wheel-drive model was introduced in 2011 which brought welcome reductions in fuel consumption. 

The only real overhaul in the second generation, though, came in 2012, when the model was given a more stylish look and additional technology. Notable was the introduction of a seven-inch touchscreen, while a redesigned centre console helped to provide a more modern look.

And though the Freelander continued to prove to be a success, Land Rover axed the model in 2014, and replaced it with the much more premium-feeling and looking Discovery Sport

Value for money

Given the Freelander hasn’t been in production since 2014, these are models that will have primarily done the most of their depreciating.

If you’re looking at the original Freelander, prices start from under £1,000, while even the tidiest examples will cost a maximum of £5,000. If you’re looking at the second-generation model, which is our main focus in this review, high-mileage examples start from as little as £3,000, while expect a lower mileage model to start from around £5,500. 

The more appealing facelifted model is holding its value better, though, with the cheapest available from around £5,000, while the finest examples for more than £20,0000. 

Looks and image

Despite first arriving back in 2006, we reckon the second-generation Freelander isn’t showing its age at all – particularly on the exterior, which still adopts a sleek and more modern look. The most appealing are still the later facelifted example, while higher-spec versions with body-coloured details and larger alloy wheels undoubtedly look the classiest and most stylish. 

While the cabin doesn’t exactly look modern, the build quality and upmarket finish is something that’s seriously impressive. With all but the entry-level version featuring leather upholstery and heated seats, it offers a premium feel that even modern rivals still struggle to compete with. 

The Freelander intends to be more of a comfortable option than sportier rivals like the BMW X3, and if comfort and refinement are priorities, this Land Rover is a great choice, with its supple suspension making it very comfortable on longer trips. Should you want to head off the beaten track or live somewhere a bit isolated, it’s useful to know you also have Land Rover’s impressive Terrain Response four-wheel-drive system, which makes this one of the best cars in its class for heading off-road. 

Space and practicality

The Freelander also puts a big tick in the practicality box, too, with the model having a very roomy 755-litre boot, which increases to 1,670 litres with the rear seats folded. It’s a bit of an awkward shape, though, with the rear wheel arches impacting the room on offer. 

Rear seat space is excellent as well, though the Freelander doesn’t get the possibility of a seven-seat option – something its Discovery Sport replacement came with. If you’re looking for a third row of seats, it’s worth considering this other Land Rover, or the bigger Discovery. 

Engines

If you’re considering a Freelander, just about all options you’ll see for sale will be diesel, and it’s a 2.2-litre turbocharged option that they’ll come with. 

Available with outputs of either 148bhp (TD4) or 187bhp (SD4)– the former comes with a choice of manual or automatic gearbox, while the latter is just available with a six-speed auto. Land Rover also offered an ‘eD4’ option, which comes with front-wheel-drive and lower running costs, with all other models being four-wheel-drive. 

If you want a petrol Freelander, you’ll have to look hard to find the 231bhp 3.2-litre six-cylinder option, which comes with an automatic gearbox. With a 0-60mph time of 8.4 seconds, it is the quickest model in the range. 

Running costs

First things first, don’t choose the petrol if you’re wanting to keep an eye on running costs, with Land Rover claiming it will return just 25.2mpg, with sky-high CO2 emissions of 265g/km. 

The diesels therefore are a much better option, with even the thirstiest said to return 40mpg. It’s the eD4 front-wheel-drive option that’s the cleanest, though, and is said to be able to return 47.8mpg, with CO2 emissions of 158g/km. These front-wheel-drive models are rare, though. 

Things to look out for

Land Rovers don’t have the best of reliability reputations, and sadly the same applies to the Freelander

Look out for models that have been used for extreme off-roading by checking the underside for any damage. You should also listen out for a rumbling sound at the rear of the car, which could show the rear differential needs replacing, which will equate to a hefty bill, as will the power steering pump. The electrics don’t have the best history, either. 

If you’re considering a used Freelander, ensure that all maintenance has been carried out, and it’s worth paying for an independent inspection to be carried out before buying. 

Rivals

If you’re considering a Freelander, you should look out for other premium SUVs of the same age, including the Volvo XC60, BMW X3 and Audi Q5. If you’re not as fussed about the badge, the Hyundai Santa Fe, Toyota RAV4 and Kia Sorento are also worth considering. 

Depreciation

Most Freelanders will have done the majority of their depreciation, and it means they’re quite appealing used options in this respect. Just be aware that late, low mileage cars are still clinging firmly onto their value and will command a hefty premium. 

Trims Explained

While Land Rover chopped and changed the Freelander’s trim levels throughout its lifetime, here we’re focusing on the five more popular trim levels. Equipment highlights and pricing are as follows.

S

Standard equipment on the Freelander isn’t the most generous, though the entry-level S model still benefits from air conditioning, 17-inch alloy wheels and Land Rover’s ‘Terrain Response’ system.

From £3,000 (used)

GS

The GS is a good option if you want some more luxuries, as it adds grained leather seats, a leather steering wheel, cruise control and an upgraded audio system. It also features electric folding mirrors, rear parking sensors and heated front seats.

From £3,500

XS

XS brings more stylish features, such as more attractive 17-inch alloy wheels, along with body-coloured door handles and mirror caps. You also get front fog lights, automatic lights and wipers, along with a seven-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation and an 11-speaker Meridian sound system.

From £3,500

Dynamic

If you want something that looks sportier, the Dynamic is the option to go for. That’s because it features a sports bodykit, gloss black styling and large 19-inch alloy wheels.

From £9,500 (used)

HSE

If you want something more luxurious, the HSE builds on the XS with its electric front seats with memory function, wooden interior trim and additional interior lighting. You also get front parking sensors, 18-inch alloy wheels, LED running lights, a heated windscreen and electric sunroof.

From £3,500 (used)

HSE Luxury

Right at the top of the range, the HSE Luxury gets Xenon headlights, diamond-cut 19-inch alloy wheels and a reversing camera. You also get upgraded leather seats and an enhanced 17-speaker Meridian sound system.

From £10,500

Summary

  1. Introduced in 1997, second-generation launched in 2006
  2. Replaced by the Discovery Sport in 2014
  3. High-quality cabin
  4. Impressive off-roading ability
  5. Comfortable and refined
  6. Good value on the used market
  7. Not the most reliable option
  8. Front-wheel-drive model has the lowest running costs
  9. Largely spacious
  10. An appealing used SUV, just be aware to look out for common faults

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