As anyone who knows a little bit about Land Rover’s will tell you, the first Freelander was abhorrent. The styling was woeful, the interior ghastly and its customer satisfaction ratings appalling. You would have thought Land Rover would have kept on with making the classics and binned the Freelander off after this little blip of downright rubbish, but instead, they designed a new one.
I have no doubt that the designer of the Freelander 1 was given the sack on the day of its release, but somebody has made a nice job of redesigning the Freelander 2. It’s clear that improvements have been made all around the car as it looks much more sophisticated than before. More of a baby Range Rover than a silly little box. The front end has been entirely redesigned and the whole car has been raised for the purpose of better ground clearance, and also to allow it and its passengers to loom over insignificant cars that stray into its path.
Another bonus, Land Rover have also stopped selling a 3 door version of the Freelander, an idea that I always looked on as being stupid, as though they were trying to cater for a completely different market. And, the good stuff doesn’t stop on the outside. The interior is just as luxurious as any other Land Rover product, providing you purchase the right model, and it proves to be a very nice place to sit. Visibility is excellent, it’s very comfortable and rear legroom isn’t too bad either.
The model shown in the picture displays the car with a full leather interior, wooden trim pieces, satellite navigation etc. What Land Rover forget to tell you is that for all this luxury goodness, you’re going to have to fork out more than £35,000. Of course, for that price you get all the trimmings as well as the automatic gearbox, but, how can a car be so expensive when it’s been based upon a Ford Mondeo? Even if you stoop to the bottom of the range ‘S’ model, you’ll still have to pay nearly £25,000 and you’ll have a huge gaping hole where the Sat-Nav should be. Honestly, if you’re going to spend £35,000 on a Land Rover, just buy an entry level Discovery 4.
Rant over, let’s see the specifications for the HSE Model (top of the range):
Price: £35,260 OTR (inc. Automatic Gearbox)
Engine Size: 2.2l Diesel
Power/Torque: 150ps/308lb ft
Top Speed: 112mph
Acceleration: 0-62mph in 11.2sec
CO2 Emissions: 185g/km
Fuel Economy: 40.4mpg
VED Band: I (£315)
Unimpressive figures, to be honest. If you feel that you have to spend this much money on such a small off-roader, then go ahead. However, if you are sensible, you will go elsewhere. This isn’t Land Rover territory.
Nice car. Very much overpriced. 5 out of 10.
Alternatives: VW Tiguan, New BMW X3, any ideas DM?