Why don’t we feature 1.8 Freelanders?
Having been an avid subscriber and reader of LRO for many years, I had to write to express my disappointment regarding the Freelander 1 buying article in the September issue. I’ve been (and still am) a diehard Defender fan for over 20 years and have owned (and still own) many, particular the early 110s.
However, I recently rescued an early Freelander 1 (now called Ken) from the breaker’s yard. With a bit of DIY spannering he was soon back on the road and through the MOT, and has served us well (admittedly with a few repairs along the way) for the past 18 months.
Based on this experience, I was looking forward to the Freelander 1 article but found reference only to the Td4 variant. Ken and his more powerful V6 sibling were completely ignored.
Now, I appreciate the 1.8 engine has a bad press and is never going to be popular but with an upgraded head gasket and proper services, we’ve found it to be a perfectly good runabout, dog carrier and general workhorse. Given the government’s downer on diesel, should we not be looking again at these much-maligned members of the Land Rover family? For a few hundred quid, you get into the Land Rover scene with a quiet, comfortable, roomy five-seater with a heater that works, and in which you can have a chat at 70mph on the motorway all day.
I’m old enough to remember when Series Is and Range Rover Classics were worth more as scrap metal than cars, a position the petrol Freelander finds itself in today. I doubt it’ll ever reach the lofty heights of these early icons, but have we really learnt so little? Come on, LRO – show the poor Hippos some love! PETER HILLER
Most Freelander 1s still in active service and available to buy are Td4-engined, so that’s what we focused on. Despite a few gremlins and a fondness for fuel, I enjoy driving my own 1.8 petrol three-door and we do have a similarly-engined 5-door that editor Neil road rallies. I agree; one day early Freelanders will become classics too.
The 1.8 K-series can be reliable, says Peter