Hill Descent Control (HDC) maintains an optimum controllable speed on steep descents.
Hill Descent Control (HDC) maintains an optimum controllable speed on steep descents. It not only helps make off-road driving simpler and safer for novice drivers, but can also be used to negotiate slippery ramps, for example when reversing down to hitch up a boat trailer. At the touch of a button HDC will bring you down at a steady 5.6 mph in either first or reverse gear - there is no need to brake just steer.
During our off-road excursions with the Freelander we did not get
stuck and although the Freelander is competent off-road, it doesn't’
have the off-road ability of its bigger brothers the
Land Rover Defender and Land
Rover Discovery - this is mainly due to the lack of low ratio
gearbox and ground clearance. What it will do is venture where its
soft roader competitors dare not tread. The Freelander also benefits
from a viscous coupling unit which automatically locks the front
and rear prop shafts to prevent wheel spin on either axle, which
helps on adverse surfaces or when off-road.
The Freelander is equipped with Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), front discs and rear drums (which do not seem as effective as newer SUV's such as the Nissan X-TRAIL).
Ease of Use
The Land Rover Freelander is an easy vehicle to use; firstly you have the elevated driving position which gives you a commanding view of the road ahead. Your passengers are also happier as they have a better view of the world around them (especially children).
We liked the fact that you can access the boot via the rear tailgate window, which you can drop down electrically from the remote control. You can throw things into the boot without letting the dog out or the rain in. We had no need to use the split fold rear seats (60:40 split) as our luggage was accommodated in the boot, which is protected by a pull over load cover. We would like the option of a more secure boot with a removable hard load cover. With the rear seats up the 5-door Freelander can accommodate 546 litres of luggage in the boot, with the seats down 1319 litres. We found the rear door to be quite heavy, as the spare alloy wheel and tyre are housed on the door.
Parking the Freelander is fairly easy, but you can lose objects because of the height, but fortunately SE models and above are fitted with parking distance control. A system which emits a series of bleeps, which increase in frequency the nearer you get to an obstacle whilst reversing - protecting the rear of the vehicle.
The Freelander has benefited from a series of revisions which include a new fascia, new instruments and new switchgear. The switchgear is easy to operate and logically positioned but still a little dated.
A single dash button will lock all the doors once inside and improved alarm handsets enable phased locking a feature which offers added security for lone drivers. We would like to see Automatic Drive-Away Locking which locks all the doors as the vehicle exceeds 4 mph. When you unlock the Freelander the interior cabin lights come on for added reassurance.
On a practical level the Freelander SE is equipped with a 60/40 split folding three person rear seat, rear grab handles, front cupholder - dash mounted for 2 beverages, roll back load space cover, luggage retention anchorage points, front door pocket bottle holders, front and rear mudflaps, front door bins, seat back pockets, centre storage box and armrest, 2 mesh storage pockets in front passenger area, 2 mesh pockets in rear load area, and roof rails (5 door).
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|