I bought this car new in 2010 and at the time it was the only vehicle that ticked all my criteria. I was after a small to medium-sized SUV, diesel auto with some decent off-road and towing ability. Plenty more choices today if I were to go through the same exercise.
On the bright, side the Freelander has been a fairly reliable and comfortable ride. It still has the original battery and windscreen wipers! And I love the armchair like seats – have been on several 10-hour drives without any soreness or stiffness.
For a car with reasonable 4WD ability, the ride and smoothness on all surfaces is excellent and still ranks highly compared to some of its more modern competitors that I have test-driven recently. I have taken it on some pretty rough off-road tracks and it has amazed me, and many more serious off-roaders, on just how far it can go – the Land Rover terrain response system really works.
It's also been an effortless towing vehicle with plenty of torque from the 2.2-litre diesel and seamless operation of the auto transmission.
Now, for the down side....
Depreciation is horrific. This $60,000 newbie is now worth between 10k and 15k. Hardly worth trading in or selling, I will probably give it away to one of my kids one day.
And $1800 for a genuine tow bar? Absolute rip-off.
Between $700 and $900 for a major service every two years. And it's not much cheaper going to an independent service centre because of the high cost of parts.
A bearing in the rear differential recently failed. Land Rover Australia strongly recommended replacement of whole diff due to ongoing problems with partial repairs. $3800 later, I am back on the road!
While the standard stereo and speakers are of reasonable quality, there is no sat nav or Bluetooth connectivity.
At the time of buying the car, it only came with 19-inch wheels which was a bit at odds with its off-road capabilities. I would have preferred 17-inch wheels but was told these would have been an additional expense! Still, I have never had any trouble with the larger wheels or punctures when off-road, instead I just drove a bit slower over the really rough bits.
Amazingly enough, the car still looks new, the paintwork is still very good and leather seats are perfect. It's worth lot more to me than the trade-in price so I guess it will be a family keeper for a while yet.