A massive improvement on Freelander 1. The towing capacilty is just 2000 kg compared to the 3500 kg of bigger Land Rovers, but it's a worthy alternative to a Discovery.
Freelander 2 was launched with a choice of the familiar TD4 diesel engine and a Volvo-derived 6-cylinder petrol engine, all with a choice of manual or automatic transmission. The eD4 manual model came with stop/start and fuel consumption has improved steadily as new technology has been introduced on successive versions. It has held its value well, and rightly so. It’s visually credible and is a superb cruise-mobile returning 37 to 50mpg in diesel form with excellent ride comfort and low noise levels. Handling is safe and predictable and it was probably the most reliable Land Rover ever produced at the time. The drive-line uses a torque-sensitive rear diff which engages rear wheel drive the instant it is needed, such as when a front wheel loses grip. The Freelander is also in full four-wheel drive as it starts off from a standstill for maximum traction. Due to having no low ratio transfer gears, the auto is best off road because its torque convertor controls output instead of having to slip the clutch on a manual. Conversely, manual is better on road if you want to enjoy the driving experience on twisty roads. Lots of torque from the diesel.
WHAT TO CHECK
To try to list faults to check for on Freelander 2 would be pedantic and give the wrong impression of this excellent vehicle. There were early diff pinion bearing issues, and tailgate locks and early rear lamps suffered from damp ingress, but it’s all been sorted.
REASONS TO BUY
An easy to drive, safe and comfortable family 4x4 with reasonable running costs that won’t let you down. A delight to drive off road, giving a great feel of the terrain under the wheels, plus surprising ride comfort. Add a set of AT tyres and it’s an ideal family greenlaning machine. Buy a Freelander 2 if you want to do your own servicing – it’s unlikely to need any repairs.
As with its predecessor Freelander 1, the current version is compromised by low ground clearance off road, though to a lesser degree. Noticeable torque steering if driven spiritedly on road.
2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel, 150 bhp, 295 lb-ft torque. Six-speed manual gearbox with optional stop/start (eD4) or six-speed automatic. Permanent four-wheel drive.
Poor: £6000 – £7000
Average: £7000 – £9000
Good: £9000 – £14,000
Excellent: £14,000 – £25,000