Independent review by Peter Hayward from Driving Force
- Great off-road
- Good to drive
- May feel outdated compared to newer models
- Premium prices
- Interior could be more plush
What's the Land Rover Freelander like?
The chunky Land Rover Freelander went out of production in 2014, but there are still plenty of good ones out there if you hanker after a solid, dependable on or off-roader.
Although it retains all the off-road strengths of the marque, and in four-wheel drive (4WD) form will go just about anywhere you care to point it, the on-road experience is much better than you might imagine.
This is a 4x4 with a premium feel that drives more like a car than many others and stands the test of time, even up against some much later machinery.
The last series built up to 2014 was available in one 5-door bodystyle and with one refined 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine in either 150 or 190bhp power outputs.
For the first time, this Freelander was available with two-wheel drive (2WD) and these models are designated eD4.
All-wheel drive models with the same 150bhp engine are badged TD4, and the higher powered 190bhp versions are SD4.
The 2WD models come with a 6-speed manual gearbox, and this is also standard fitting on the TD4.
It’s also available with a 6-speed automatic, and all SD4 models come with this as standard.
Performance is fair in them all, but the automatic models are the pick of the crop, and the SD4 accelerates from 0 to 60mph in around 9.5 seconds.
They have Land Rover’s excellent stop start system, which saves fuel but never interferes with progress, and economy is reasonable, with the eD4 the pick of the bunch and capable of 47mpg.
The TD4 has an official average of around 42mpg, while in the SD4, this drops to 40mpg.
As I mentioned above, the Freelander is great to drive on the road, with good grip and balance through the corners and body roll held safely in check.
The steering is well weighted and, while not the most informative, it’s still better than some systems on the market in new 4x4s today.
The ride is supple and compliant, taking everything on rougher roads in its stride and also handling faster motorway journeys in comfort.
Models fitted with 4WD have a simple traction control system that can be adjusted to grass, snow, or muddy ruts at the turn of a dial or the press of a switch.
It uses the car’s electronic safety systems to make the best of all driving conditions, and can tackle the worst of terrain without any difficulty whatsoever.
Interior and Equipment
The Freelander is well-built and strong, and this model has a good reputation for reliability.
The spacious interior has plenty of room for four, or five for shorter journeys and the boot, with a side opening tailgate, is vast.
Over the years, it outsold most other smaller SUVs, and that means there are plenty to choose from.
There have been a myriad of special editions with added kit, but the mid-range GS comes with traction control, alloy wheels, parking sensors, cruise control, 60/40 split-fold rear seat, alarm system, audio remote control, heated electric mirrors, and excellent seat and column adjustment.
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The Land Rover Freelander is a mid-sized SUV that offers a spacious, rugged interior and a decent driving experience. Comfortable both on and off the road, the Freelander is ready to take you and your family on the wildest of adventures.
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