Freelander buyer’s guide
FROM £4,000 Capable, flexible compact SUV looks a great second-hand buy
How to get Land Rover favourite for only £4,000
YOU’VE seen our countdown of the 102 best new SUVS from Page 44. But you don’t need a big budget to upgrade your car to something more rugged in readiness for winter; there’s a wealth of great-value choices on the second-hand market.
Land Rover has all-wheel drive running through its veins, and one of the most accessible and usable models in its range is the Freelander 2, which first hit showrooms over a decade ago. The question is, does it still make a good buy?
THE Freelander 2 arrived in September 2006, in five-door 4WD form only. There were 3.2-litre i6 petrol auto or 158bhp 2.2-litre TD4 diesel manual options only at launch, although by April 2007 a TD4 auto had joined the line-up.
The top-spec HST went on sale in February 2008, then in April 2009 the i6 was discontinued and the TD4.E with stop/start was introduced to cut emissions from 194g/km to 179g/km. A revised Freelander 2 in September 2010 brought an overhauled interior, design tweaks and a two-wheel-drive ed4 model, plus the auto-only 188bhp SD4. Manual gearbox TD4S also featured stop/start.
Another facelift in September 2012 introduced further styling revisions, new trims (Dynamic and HSE Lux), voice control and a seven-inch infotainment system.
IT’S hard to find a petrol Freelander 2, which is just as well, because fuel and road tax costs will be high. If having four-wheel drive is more important than ultimate economy, don’t buy a front-wheel-drive model (ed4) by mistake. Automatics are significantly thirstier (and more costly to tax) than manual cars, but the auto suits the Freelander’s easy-driving nature, so don’t dismiss it.
The trim hierarchy runs S, GS, XS, Dynamic/se, HSE, HSE LUX/HST. All models feature alloy wheels, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, ESP, climate control plus powered windows front and rear. GS adds reversing sensors, XS electrically adjustable front seats and cruise control, SE features navigation while HSE brings leather.
THE BMW X3 and Audi Q5 are the Freelander’s biggest rivals, with premium badges, posh interiors and excellent engines. You’ll pay plenty for these, but there is a cheaper option – the Volvo XC60. Recently replaced with a new model, the XC60 is stylish and safe, and you’ll get more for your money than if you buy German.
Alternatively you could buy Japanese, with the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V and Nissan Qashqai all offering frugal engines, generous equipment levels and reliability. As with the Land Rover, all these cars are five-seaters, but if you’d prefer seven seats take a look at the Nissan X-trail or Mitsubishi Outlander, which don’t have the same premium feel but do offer great value.
LAND Rover’s Freelander 2 scooped Best Compact SUV three times in a row at our New Car Awards from 2008 to 2010; in 2011 and 2012 it was runner up, which gives some idea of just how talented it is.
At this point we sometimes add that as a used buy, Land Rovers can be a gamble due to patchy reliability, but a strong showing for dependability in this year’s Driver Power used car satisfaction survey shows that most Freelander 2s have been trouble-free.
When you throw in a smart design, an excellent cabin, a good driving experience and strong refinement, it’s easy to see why the Freelander 2 is so sought after.
“Launched over a decade ago, the Freelander 2 is one of the most accessible and usable Land Rovers”
THE Freelander 2 ranked 19th in our Driver Power 2017 used car survey, and was in the top 10 for safety, comfort, practicality and handling. But while 22nd for reliability is also great, 83rd for running costs isn’t.
ROBIN Sutherland, from Ludlow, Shrops, said of his 2011 TD4: “It’s used for crossing fields and towing. It copes and is comfortable. It’s needed a few repairs, but it’s no worse than my old Mitsubishi Shogun.”
NEED TO KNOW NEED TO KNOW
Factory-fit sat-nav isn’t very userfriendly or effective, so don’t pay over the odds for a car that’s fitted with it. Know what you’re buying. The ed4 is front-drive, manual only; SD4 is 4WD, auto only; TD4 is 4WD, manual or auto.