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Thread: What's the deal with the Freelander?

  1. #1
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    Default What's the deal with the Freelander?

    I don't see much mention of it on here ever. I've always thought it would make a nice daily driver with reasonable fuel economy, good handling, and some light ability to take it off the beaten path. I hear so many horror stories about them though. I was looking for videos on youtube last night and stumbled over a video some woman made, trying to gather people together for a class action lawsuit against Land Rover due to her dissatisfaction with her Freelander. What's the deal? Are these complaints unfounded or is the Freelander really that terrible? It just caught my interest lately and was curious to hear what others think for some perspective.
    Kristian Saile
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  2. #2
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    I have driven one a few time (loaner while my DII was being repaired). Not a bad vehicle, but pretty expensive when new, which put it out of the market segment. They do handle great and are pretty good off-road too.
    Scott Brady
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  3. #3
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    Default I came close to buying one

    The biggest thing that stopped me is that I had a hard time fitting through the door. Once I was in it was roomy and had good visibility and was fun to drive. I was looking at an SE3 with the convertible back - I used to have an Isuzu Amigo and loved it, this is the same form factor.

    I didn't like the way the muffler hangs down in the back, apparently there's a fix for that.

    But the service record, by people like consumer reports, is abysmal. Worst car ever, with the exception of the VW Touareg (which I was also considering!). There's a lot of "ghost in the machine" - error lights come on, and there's nothing to do to clear them, even though they're indicating actual problems with ABS/traction control/whatever. All sorts of faulty seals - Rover seems to love to do this, which is why the extended warranty always seems to pay for itself.

    By the way, they are (or were) the most popular Land Rover product in Europe - probably due to the price of petrol. I think they even made a tdi version. (I still haven't figured out why we can't get tdi engines here in the US.)
    Last edited by justfred; 03-02-2007 at 06:39 PM.

  4. #4
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    Freelanders were used in the 1998 Camel Trophy. They don't have a low transfer case, but are pretty capable off-road, from what I'm told - but I've never driven one. I see an orange one running around my town, the same orange the G4 Discos are painted, but sans graphics. It also has a full size expedition rack, which is rare on Freelanders. One of these days I hope to meet the driver. I assume they sell in very small numbers so not much chatter about them, and most of that market is happy with a Subaru or Tourag, which are far more common in the US.
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  5. #5
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    Yeah, from reviews I had read when they were introduced in the US, they were pretty capable for their class. I was watching the '98 Camel Trophy footage last night and it was pretty cool, though that was probably the least technical 4wding that they had done in the history of the event. Every Team had a Freelander AND a Defender for it. Too bad it sounds like the reliability issues seem not to be isolated ones. I had always heard negative things about Land Rovers in terms of reliability even the Discovery. After talking with owners and hearing accounts on this forum, it seems like alot of it was overblown. That's why I was wondering if this was a similar case with the Freelander too. Sounds like it really does/did have some problems though.

    The Freelander II looks pretty sharp. Its like a mini Range Rover now with notably better clearance too.

    Here's a 5th Gear review of it, quite funny too...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bi7qSaL4u8s
    Kristian Saile
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  6. #6
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    They are not very good offroad. The first time someone showed up at MAR with one he busted a CV. He had lifted the Freebie and the CV had too much strain on it.

    One of the guys in our group just blew the engine on his.

  7. #7
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    I had one , in fact was the last year production ,returned it under lemon law after 12 months.
    it was a real nice looking vehicle but that was all.

  8. #8
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    I'm dredging into the neurons waaaaayyyy in the back of my brain here. I'm pretty sure it was a friend of mine who is a Master Land Rover tech who told me the thing that is horrible about Freelanders is that the motors are bad and the factory that makes them no longer exists... blown motor=scrap heap.

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by craig
    I'm dredging into the neurons waaaaayyyy in the back of my brain here. I'm pretty sure it was a friend of mine who is a Master Land Rover tech who told me the thing that is horrible about Freelanders is that the motors are bad and the factory that makes them no longer exists... blown motor=scrap heap.

    Craig
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  10. #10
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    So now they have this LR2, which I guess is supposed to be one less than the LR3. It resembles the Freelander quite a bit. Has much changed internally or is it just a facelift?

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