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Land Rover Freelander (1997-2006) Buying Guide

Land Rover Freelander (1997-2006)
Land Rover Freelander (1997-2006)Land Rover Freelander (1997-2006)Land Rover Freelander (1997-2006)Land Rover Freelander (1997-2006)Land Rover Freelander (1997-2006)Land Rover Freelander (1997-2006)Land Rover Freelander (1997-2006)Land Rover Freelander (1997-2006)Pictures shown may not represent exact model specified

by Richard Dredge

The Freelander has served Land Rover very well, despite early examples proving especially troublesome. While reliability can often be a major headache for owners, it hasn't stopped the car from being eternally popular. Of all the engines available, it's the TD4 that's the pick; the 2.5 is thirsty, the 1.8 is gutless and the 2.0Di is coarse. There's no shortage of practicality though - especially in five-door form.

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We LikeWe Don't Like
Land Rover image
TD4 engine
Good off road
Poor reliability
1.8 is underpowered
V6 is thirsty
Key Dates 
10/97Freelander 1.8 and 2.0Di on sale in 3 and 5-door forms.
8/002.0 TD4 engine launched.
9/002.5 V6 engine joins range.
9/03Facelifted Freelander appears with new nose, revised rear lights, better equipment levels.
Special editions:
7/02ES Premium
  • Cars with a tow bar may have led a hard life; check clutch operation.
  • Head gasket fails on 1.8-litre cars; check underside of oil filler cap for white emulsion.
  • Transmission wears so listen for whining and clonks.
  • Steptronic gearbox is often unreliable on V6 cars.
  • K-Series engines now hard to find after MG-Rover's demise.
  • Poor EuroNCAP crash test ratings.
  • Gearbox and differentials can leak.
  • Electronics can be unreliable, especially the Hill Descent Control - although few drivers ever use this.
  • Water leaks into the cabin are common, so check footwells.

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