Val­ues of Land Rover’s orig­i­nal small SUV are tum­bling – and it’s time to bag your­self a bar­gain, says Dave Phillips

Land Rover Monthly - - Contents -

FREE­LANDER 2 prices are start­ing to fall at last, with qual­ity sec­ond­hand ex­am­ples typ­i­cally fetch­ing half what they were a year ago.

This time last year you would have ex­pected to pay £10,000 for a good one, with even poor high-mileage ex­am­ples mak­ing £7000. It seemed noth­ing could dent the pop­u­lar­ity of what had been Europe’s top-selling 4x4.

It was easy to see why. De­spite the fact that pro­duc­tion had ended a few months ear­lier, a year ago the Free­lander 2 still looked as fresh as the day it was launched, a decade ear­lier. Bet­ter still, it had a rep­u­ta­tion for ex­cel­lent re­li­a­bil­ity, no rust is­sues and a bul­let­proof and eco­nom­i­cal Td4 diesel en­gine that made it the cheap­est Land Rover to run. It was the per­fect fam­ily car and top of its class for tow­ing, too.

It was also ground­break­ing, be­ing the first Land Rover to be built out­side Soli­hull, at the Hale­wood plant, on Mersey­side. And it sold in huge num­bers, which meant there was a ter­rific choice avail­able on the sec­ond­hand mar­ket.

So why are prices fall­ing now? Mainly be­cause the world in gen­eral – and Land Rover in par­tic­u­lar – have moved on a great deal. It is now 11 years since Free­lander 2 was launched and two years since pro­duc­tion ended.

An as­ton­ish­ing seven new Land Rover mod­els have been launched since Free­lander 2 made its de­but, in­clud­ing two sim­i­lar small SUVS, the Range Rover Evoque of 2011 and the Dis­cov­ery Sport that re­placed the Free­lander in 2015. Sud­denly, Free­lander 2 doesn’t look quite so fresh any more.

But it doesn’t look dated, ei­ther, and un­like some mod­ern-era Land Rover mod­els there are no skele­tons in the closet where the car’s com­pli­cated elec­tronic bits are kept. Make no mis­take: Free­lander 2 is a Land Rover wor­thy of the green oval medal for un­stinted, un­com­plain­ing ser­vice.

So, al­though the Free­lander 2 has gone slightly out of fash­ion, the at­tributes that have al­ways made it so pop­u­lar are still there. Go out to­day and you can buy one much the same as you would have bought this time last year, only for about half the price.

A quick check of ebay re­veals some real crack­ers, in­clud­ing the one fea­tured on this page. It’s a 2007 (57-plate) 2.2 Td4 GS model with two own­ers, full ser­vice history and 126,000 miles on the clock (be­low av­er­age for a ten-year-old car). It has al­loy wheels, air con­di­tion­ing, cli­mate con­trol, cruise con­trol, elec­tric seats, park­ing sen­sors and pre­mium sound sys­tem.

It is on the fore­court of a dealer in Bolton, Greater Manch­ester, with an ask­ing price of £4290, with an RAC war­ranty avail­able at ex­tra cost. And if that isn’t a great en­try into Land Rover own­er­ship, I don’t know what is.

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