"The Freelander offers the traditional benefits of a premium 4x4, but with the nimbleness and practicality of a premium car.
"Most important, it comes from Land Rover. We only make 4x4s. This engineering pedigree, we believe, gives the Freelander a big advantage over rivals from conventional car makers, whose 4x4s are usually full of compromises."
The Range Rover’s twin-pocket style headlamps appear on the Freelander for the first time. They not only look more modern, but also offer a substantially higher light intensity – improved by 70 per cent. The light is also ‘whiter’ and better spread.
There is a new mesh grille and the restyled front bumpers are now body coloured – they were previously black – and incorporate integral fog lamps on certain models. The redesigned front bumper does not affect the Freelander’s class-leading approach angles when off-roading.
As before, key mechanicals are tucked safely out of the way. For example, the Freelander’s steering rack is mounted high on the bulkhead, unlike that on most rivals, keeping it well away from off-road dangers. The front wings are made from dent-resistant thermoplastic, which can shrug off low speed bumps, a good example of Land Rover’s innate understanding of the special needs of the 4x4 market.
The Land Rover badging on the leading edge of the bonnet is also new, reflecting the same style used on the Discovery and new Range Rover.
The rear bumpers of the new 2004 Freelander are redesigned. They are now body coloured, rather than the black of the outgoing model. The tail lamps are new too and now positioned higher on the rear bumper, improving visibility for following traffic. Their greater height also means they’re less likely to pick up on-road grime or off-road dust or mud.
The badging on the rear door is also updated. As before, the 2004 Freelander has a ‘drop window’ function on the key fob, particularly useful for loading items into the boot without having to open the rear door.