Advantages Car like, comfortable motorway driving good compromise for 4x4
Disadvantages not a serious off roader and still has reliability weaknesses
I bought a second hand commercial model of the Freelander that had previously been leased by an Orange telecom engineer. It had about 46,000 miles on the clock and was in good condition. The commercial version is a lowest specified standard 3 door freelander that has had the seats and windows removed and a proper loadbed installed. This is all done by Landrover Specialist Vehicles so is done very well. The commercail version has the advantage of being classed as a van so the VAT is reclaimable by VAT registered organisations. My one also came with a rear window grill and bulkhead between the drivers cabin and the load bay which means that it looks quite secure.I do a lot of motorway miles and find this a breeze to drive even on the 500 mile trips up to Scotland that I make, even after 8 hours I do not feel wrecked. If you cruised at around 80-85 MPH you would get about 32 to the gallon by my calculation. which is not quite as good as I expected but if you cruise at say 70 Landrover say that 42 MPG is expected. I usually carry quite a heavy load so I guess I will have to get used to the 32MPG figure. Driving round town is good as the slightly higher driving position gives good visibility and the turning circle is not bad for a 4x4. Its fairly short body makes finding a parking spce quite easy compared to my previous vehicle, a double cab pickup.
On the first day I had the vehicle the fuel pump and sender packed up on me which was a bit of a problem but I eventually got it started but then a few days later it died again and I had to get recovered to a landrover dealer who replaced the pump for about £460 plus VAT which luckily the garage I bought it from paid as it was under their warranty.Overall it is very nice and accelerates well and I struggle to find any serious problems with it. My work involves a certain amount of off roading and this is just about capable enough for what I need although if I put some off road tyres on it I am sure it could go anywhere. The lack of ground clearance may restrict where you can take it off road as well. Despite it's lack of low range gear box the freelander can handle the steep descents with it's hill descent system which uses its ABS to maintain a controlled speed, and it works!
From what I have heard from friends and read in reviews the later models of the freelander have over come most of the reliability and build issues that hit the pre-2001 models.This is a great vehicle and a superb compromise of offroader and car like driving.
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