The 2004 Freelander

The most obvious enhancements are to the styling. The front bumper, headlamps and front grille are brand new, and adopt the distinctive family face pioneered by the new Range Rover. The new, twin-pocket clear lens headlamps are similar to those of the Freelander’s big brother, the Range Rover, and provide a higher light intensity – improved by 70 per cent. The front bumpers are restyled and are now body coloured.

The rear bumper is also now body coloured, and the tail lamps have been repositioned higher on the bumper, improving their visibility and reducing the likelihood of them being obscured by road grime or off-roading dust.

The cabin of the 2004 Freelander has been comprehensively restyled, to improve comfort and the feeling of luxury. "We’ve paid particular attention to the interior," said Matthew Taylor. "It’s where our customers spend most of their time with the car and the area where we knew there was room for improvement. Premium carbuyers expect premium cabins, and we are confident they will be impressed with the new Freelander’s interior."

There is a new facia, new instruments, new switchgear, new door trims and new seats on most models, that offer better body and under-thigh comfort, plus new upholstery fabrics. The cabin doesn’t just look better. The feel of the materials has also been greatly improved.

There continues to be two body styles on offer: a three-door version, featuring a detachable hardback or fold-up softback, and a five-door.

As before, there is a choice of three engines. The two engines first unveiled in the 2001 Freelander are carried over: the 2.5-litre petrol V6 and the award-winning 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel. The original 1.8-litre lightweight four-cylinder petrol engine also continues as the entry-level option.

For Europe, there is also a new Freelander model, the Sport. It rides on new 18-inch alloy wheels and uses lowered and firmer suspension to reduce roll and improve driver feedback. The result is more responsive driving behaviour on tarmac, and on smooth dirt or gravel roads.

The 2004 Freelander remains the king of off-roading among compact 4x4s. Its full-time four-wheel drive and a host of high-tech electronic systems, such as Hill Descent Control and Electronic Traction Control, allow the Freelander to wade through water, climb and descend slippery slopes, and give superb driver control when the going gets tough.

continues... | Part Three

Published : 17/09/03 Author : Melanie Carter

Land Rover Freelander News

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