Land Rover Freelander Review (2005)
The 2.0 litre 4 cylinder turbo diesel (TD4) engine is sourced from BMW and it is absolutely fantastic.10 February 2005
How It Drove - Performance
The 2.0 litre 4 cylinder turbo diesel (TD4) engine is sourced from BMW and it is absolutely fantastic. The diesel engine makes far more sense than the 1.8 and 2.5 V6 petrol engines. In fact the TD4 (260Nm @ 1750 rpm) engine produces more torque than the V6 2.5 (240Nm @ 4000 rpm) and of course there is the fuel saving of circa 15 mpg to take into consideration. The TD4 reaches 0-60 mph in 13.2 seconds and continues onto a theoretical top speed of 102 mph.
The TD4 has good mid-range punch and the turbo charger cuts in at around 2000 rpm. One concern that true off road users may have with the TD4 engine is the turbo lag, especially when you are looking for fine throttle control off road. We doubt that this will be a problem for the majority of owners whose Freelander's will not venture very far off road.
The Freelander coped well on the motorway and once up to speed proved itself to be a surprisingly good motorway cruiser at 60 to 70 mph.
Land Rover quotes a combined fuel consumption of 37.2 mpg for the manual TD4, our own records conclude that we achieved circa 34 mpg on our 2292 mile journey. So Land Rover's figures aren’t too far out allowing for driving style and the fact that we were fully laden.
After driving the Freelander for 2292 miles over 7 days we found that whilst the 5-speed manual gearbox was fine whilst touring, around town in heavy traffic it did become a little tiring changing gear. If you do a lot of town driving we would recommend the 5-speed automatic gearbox with CommandShift and intermediate reduction drive. CommandShift is a sophisticated manual shift system which offers you greater driver involvement when you want it.
How It Drove - Ride and Handling
Although the handling is remarkably good for vehicle with a high centre of gravity - if you are expecting sports car handling, you are going to be disappointed. We were impressed by the levels of grip and limited body roll. The Freelander´s monocoque body design provides high torsional rigidity which, in combination with the fully independent suspension system, minimises body distortion during off-road use, whilst providing a refined and comfortable ride on-road.
In fact the Freelander is quite agile in 4x4 terms. There isn’t a great deal of feedback from the wheel but the steering is well weighted, perhaps a little on the heavy side around town.
We did not spend too much time off-road with the Freelander, although we did venture down some mountain forest tracks and over a beach (with the land owners permission). The Freelander benefits from full time four-wheel drive and has a host of high-tech electronic systems, such as Hill Descent Control and Electronic Traction Control, which enables the Freelander to wade through water, climb and descend slippery slopes.
Electronic Traction Control (ETC) senses when wheel-slip is occurring and uses the braking system to help that wheel regain its grip. This also has the effect of increasing torque to the opposite wheel, so maintaining and optimising traction. ETC helps you keep maximum control even on snow, icy roads and wet or loose surfaces.
Land Rover Freelander Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Land Rover Freelander SE|
|Colour||Maya Gold - Clear Over Base Metallic|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||13.2 Seconds|
|Top Speed||102 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||42.2 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||3|
|Warranty||3-year/unlimited mileage warranty|
|Price (when tested on the 10/02/05)||£22,630.00 OTR|