Land Rover certainly showed their rivals how a small 4x4 must be designed and constructed with the Freelander. Although many have produced similar vehicles that look just as tough in reality they never quite cut it like the Freelander does. With a quality construction much influenced by BMW, you can't go far wrong with a second hand model either.
Launched back in October 1997, the Land Rover Freelander received immediate and widespread acclaim.
A choice of three or five door versions was offered and if you preferred the three-door then you also had the additional choice between either a hardback or a softback. While the former also had removable panels, the latter had a real fold back roof.
For most, the used Land Rover Freelander was exactly what the Discovery was supposed to be but wasn't. In other words it was a completely original design compared with the Discovery which was largely based on the old style Range Rover. The reason for the originality was that the Land Rover design team now not only had some £450 million behind the project but also a brand new factory in which to build it.
Bang for your Buck
However, despite what the manufacturers may have you believe the Land Rover Freelander for sale was certainly no Mondeo. That said the Freelander could go places that the average family car such as the Mondeo could never go. Whether it be boggy fields, potholed roads or even shallow rivers the approved used Land Rover Freelander driver could drive without fear.
Furthermore, while the perhaps better known makes of family car such as the Ford, Vauxhall or Nissan were certainly sensible and competent vehicles, they were all pretty much the same. With the Freelander on the other hand you felt you were behind the wheel of something just that little bit different.
Not least perhaps because of all those tiny details that set the car apart from its competitors; details such as the button operated rear door that drops with a simple touch allowing the owners to load up their shopping without the need to open the back. The drink holding elastic bars in the doors were also a great touch.
What You'll Pay
For one of the original second hand Land Rover Freelanders for sale (either diesel or petrol) you should expect to pay up to £2,500 while a newer model such as an S-plater will probably be around £500 more. If you are determined to go for the three-door hardback you can add £200 on top of that and a further £300 if you want the more luxurious XEi trim version.
The Five-door versions are a touch more expensive, starting at about £3,300 for a basic diesel or petrol model and going up to at least £7,000 for a fully equipped V6 2003 model. Diesel versions can fetch from around £3,300 for an original 2.0-litre di while a fully equipped 53-plate TD4 could go for as much as £10,000.
What to Check
Pretty much as with every Land Rover, it is always advisable to avoid anything that doesn't have a full service history. In addition, if the model you are checking out has as a tow bar fitted then you may be advised to avoid this too as it is likely to have been used to pull heavy attachments such as horse boxes from a muddy bog.
While all transmission gearing and the engines are generally pretty robust and reliable, should they go wrong then they are very expensive to repair. Therefore, listen carefully for any strange noises when on a test drive and pay special attention to the electrics. Finally, thieves love the Land Rover Freelander so make sure you get one with a decent immobiliser and a good alarm system.
Parts are not cheap with a clutch costing around £170. Radiators are around £145 and an exchange starter motor will set you back at least £130. Front and rear brakes pads are around £50 and £36 respectively while a simple headlamp will cost approximately £80.
How it Drives
With the Hill Descent Control system the used Freelander certainly makes light work of any off road driving. A special trigger located on the gear lever will trigger the HDC system allowing the driver to descend a slippery, steep slope at a fixed speed of 5.6mph. The system makes use of both first gear and the anti-lock brakes for this function and if the conditions worsen the speed will automatically reduce to 4.4 mph.