When I retired 2 years ago I wanted to buy a car that made me feel good to drive, was easy to get into, good fuel consumption and just enjoyable with a little bit of luxury. In short, I wanted more than just a people mover to get me from A to B. I am quite tall with a bad back so SUV’s quickly became the preferred cars because of the ease of getting into and out of even though I will do very little if any off road driving.
I tried every SUV in the $50000 plus price range (needed fully adjustable electric seats for bad back reasons). Most were beasts to drive feeling more like small trucks and quite noisy or they were very tacky inside and difficult for my wife to see out of if driving (she is short). In my price range the only two contenders were Jeep and Land Rover. The Jeep was just a bit to hard core 4WD for me, didn’t like the floor “hand brake” and lacked the luxury and finesse of the Land Rover.
In 2 years I have only put 30000Km on the clock and so it is very reliable. I have found Land Rover dealer servicing costs to be ridiculously high and have opted for a 4WD specialists. For the first 60000Km the extent of servicing is oil changes, oil filters, fuel and air filters-not too difficult. The freelander 2 drives beautifully. My previous several cars were holden commodores SV 6 and I much prefer the drive in the Freelander. The cabin is spacious, the instrument layout is comprehensive but classy and is just a delight. Seats are very comfortable (leather electric on the SE) never get a backache whereas in the SV6 I could never get comfortable and just horrible seating position. The 2.2 diesel is fantastic. Never thought I would like diesel motors, always hear bad things about them but the freelander 2.2 is very quite inside the cabin and at 100kph it sits on 1700revs and will take any hill without changing gears. Amazing and unstoppable.
I like every thing about the freelander and really can’t think of anything that I hate with the exception of the cost of spare parts and the cost of fitting a tow bar. In this regard I don’t think that other similar cars are much cheaper. The main thing that I dislike is the “secrecy” that seems to surround Land Rovers. I have been trying to find out certain technical information but no one will tell you. I have emailed England and they didn’t have the courtesy to reply. In this regard I liken them to apple computers who have an amazing product but shrouded in secrecy and a monopoly in customer service. Not the best way to treat your customers without whom the product would fail.