The second Freelander I have owned and the TD4 version is much improved over the earlier model.
This is also the face-lifted version and there is much more of a quality feel.
Although can't complain about the overall performance, I do tow a caravan and it would be nice to have a little more power and torque. I find it very surprising that Land Rover has not "chipped" the engine to achieve this.
Rover has provided a chipped version of the same engine and it seems that most of the competition (eg Nissan X-Trail) now have better performance figures than the TD4. I can of course chip the engine myself but understand that Land Rover could be tricky over this in a warranty situation.
I have owned a 2002 three-door hard back TD4 GS diesel now for almost 3 years.
The reliability has been what reliability should be - unnoticible. Nothing has gone wrong apart from a sticking rear-seat retaining bolt - probably caused by sticky kids sweeties and easily fixed.
Main dealer servicing costs can be huge - seek a good independent specialist.
It's good fun in the summer - lots of options from just dropping the tail gate and side windows to taking the back and targa completely off.
The removal of the hard top is a fiddle - and you really do need to buy a shower curtain or soft top.
It has the secure road holding in the winter and unbelievable off road capability.
Choose the diesel engine.
The doors don't hold open on any kind of sideways slope and the heater could be better.
I find the build quality poor, with more rattles than a baby's cot.
The fuel economy is poor.
Servicing is the usual for Landrover.
The Freelander is much better than you might think. The ride is very good for a 4x4 and with accurate (but a tad heavy) steering it is an easy car to drive and satisfying with it.
The new interior is a big improvement, notably the seats are very good front and back and it makes a brilliant family car, better than a lot of super saloons with good space in the back and plenty of luggage room.
The TD4 is a slow lump (it can be chipped) but you get reasonable economy and once up to speed it is fine.
I bought this car for my wife and it is now used as our primary family transport and every time I drive it I am suprised at how civilised and competent it is. Sure, I have some niggles early on, but with a three year warranty this does not bother me unduly. I will probably buy the new one in 2006.
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