The Freelander has a smooth ride and a great driving position, and it's great off-road. Land Rover’s desirable image keeps resale values strong.
Prices are a little steep, high-speed refinement isn’t great and many rivals provide more rear legroom and boot space.
On the road
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Every Freelander uses a 2.2-litre diesel engine, but you can choose between outputs of 148 and 188bhp. Both develop strong low-end pull, but holding onto the revs soon reveals the 148bhp version’s shortage of power. A six-speed automatic gearbox is standard on the 188bhp model, and an option on the 148bhp unit, which comes with a six-speed manual as standard.
Ride & Handling
The Freelander is brilliant at ironing out bumps – it's more like a luxury car on the motorway. However, the body leans as you turn in to a corner, and the car bounces around over crests and dips. The steering is accurate, but it’s not exactly quick and could do with a bit more weight and feel at higher speeds. All versions come with Land Rover's Terrain Response System, which lets you optimise the car's set-up for different surface conditions via a simple rotary knob.
The Freelander is pretty refined up to about 50mph – the engine has a slightly agricultural note when you pile on the revs, but the car is very good at shutting out suspension clatter. Unfortunately, the boxy body generates so much wind noise at motorway speeds that it’s impossible to estimate how much noise the tyres, suspension and engine are generating.