Land Rover Freelander 2
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When the first car with the name Freelander appeared in the Land Rover lineup, the automotive community unanimously expressed bewilderment: why did a company that produces kings of SUVs and SUVs of kings need to spoil their karma and produce an unknown animal with independent suspension, but without a frame and the brand permanent full drive? But when the second generation of the model was born, no one asked such questions.

Freelander 2 Review

When did they stop making Freelander 2? πŸš™

The decision to discontinue production of Freelander seemed quite painful. This model had many fans who managed to ride both of her generations. But at the same time there were many questions to the crossover, he clearly lagged behind his classmates in comfort. And in 2014, Land Rover replaced it with a new vehicle in the Discovery family – Sport.

What is the difference between a Freelander 1 and 2?πŸš™

Unlike previous models, the Freelander 2 is built in Halwood, near Liverpool. The second generation Freelander has increased ground clearance and improved off-road performance. In addition, the model has an improved interior with an emphasis on greater passenger and driver safety. The Freelander 2 also features a modified Terrain Response system (like the Discovery 3 and Range Rover).

The popularity of crossovers was bursting up, like an interceptor raised on alarm, and cooperation with the Ford concern bore fruit: the use of the proven EUCD platform (aka C1 plus) and the experience of Ford managers made it possible to solve the long-standing problem of the reliability of the brand’s cars. Indeed, in addition to the Freelander 2, many bestsellers have been built on this platform from both Ford brands (for example, Mondeo, Escape, Kuga, Galaxy and S-Max) and Volvo (S80, XC70, XC60 and V70).

Land Rover

It is also worth noting that the British designers managed to create a surprisingly balanced car, which fully corresponds to the definition of a “premium compact crossover”, while not sacrificing the off-road brand image. And the price was not at all exorbitant (although, of course, it could not be attributed to budget models either).

All this allowed the company to proudly declare that it has a truly mass-produced model.

Indeed, in just 4 years the volume of production exceeded a quarter of a million, and by the end of 2014 more than 300 thousand Freelander 2 were running on the roads of the planet. The crossover has gained considerable popularity in Russia as well. But if you dig around the web and see what the owners have to say about the model, it may seem like you are reading a collection of contradictions. For example, the reliability and quality of this car are among the most frequently mentioned advantages and among the main disadvantages! So what is the Land Rover Freelander 2 love and criticism for?

HATE # 5: SMALL TRUNK

Any crossover is bought as a universal car, and for a universal car it is important to be able to carry a solid amount of cargo. It would seem that such a solid and massive car (body length – 4.5 meters, width – 2.2 meters, wheelbase – 2 660 mm) and the trunk should be hoo. But the first thing the new owner discovers is that the luggage compartment isn’t really that big. Let’s be honest: the Freelander 2 has a small trunk.

Sly Englishmen write on the tablets that its volume is 755 liters and, in general, they are not lying. But this is the entire volume, to the ceiling. And if you measure it the way we are used to, that is, up to the glazing line, then exactly 322 1-liter cubes fit into the luggage compartment. Plus, the floor of the trunk is at a height “you will be waist-deep”, so stuffing heavy things (such as a boat motor) into the trunk is still a pleasure.

Freelander 2

The next chagrin befalls the owner of Freelander 2 when he first tries to get in the car for the night. Well, yes, the rear sofa folds, only it folds in this way: first, the rear sofa cushion leans forward, then the backrest “drops” (more precisely, the cushions and backrests, because the seats fold in a 60:40 ratio). It turns out a platform with a flat floor, and that’s good. The bad news is that the pillow thrown forward β€œeats up” at least 30-40 centimeters, and the length of the formed area turns out to be less than one and a half meters. In general, the married couple of Boy-with-Thumb and Thumbelina will settle down to sleep comfortably, and I, with a height of 182 cm, do not even fit there diagonally.

Freelander 2

Love # 5: appearance

At least in half of the reviews, external attractiveness was named as significant advantages of the model. Indeed, the exterior of Freelander 2 can be attributed to the undoubted success of the design team led by Paul Hanstock: from any angle, the car is unambiguously recognizable as a representative of the glorious Land Rover tribe, while, despite the simplicity of the lines, it does not look like a gloomy “suitcase”. It seems to be a typical middle peasant: not small and not large, not tall or short, moderately brutal, moderately aggressive, but not devoid of aristocratic elegance.

At the same time – a typical “unisex”. An unshaven adventurer in camouflage, a manager in a business suit, a representative of the creative class in a youth outfit, and a fashionista in a dress from an expensive boutique look equally organic behind the wheel of the Freelander 2. And some similarities in the general outlines and pattern of the radiator lining with Range Rover and Range Rover Sport are enough for many modest car drivers, barely seeing Freelander 2 in their rearview mirrors, and hurrying to give way.

Hate # 4: steering wheel and signal

The quality of the steering wheel upholstery also raises a lot of criticism, both leather on the top version of the HSE and plastic on simpler trim levels.

Freelander 2

But in assessing the steering wheel itself, the opinions of the owners diverge diametrically. Someone thinks that the steering wheel is too big, and the cross-section is even, without the β€œergonomic slosures” so dear to the heart of the riders, but someone (including me), all this is just to their liking.

Freelander 2

Love # 4: interior and ergonomics

But all the rest of the interior arrangement of Freelander 2, as a rule, causes only positive emotions. The materials are of very high quality – leather, fabric, and soft plastic. Perhaps, by today’s standards, the instrument panel looks rustic, but the digitization of both the speedometer and the tachometer is perfectly readable both day and night. Everything is convenient, everything is at hand. The seats with adjustable lumbar support and electric drives are especially good.

The engine starts from the button. Now you will not surprise anyone with this, but in 2006 this decision was typical for much more expensive and representative cars. You need to get used to the fact that to start the engine you need to insert the key fob into a special slot to the left of the steering wheel, but this solution has a quite clear plus: when the engine is running, the key fob battery is charged, and you should not be afraid that in some the moment you will not be able to open the car due to the fact that your battery has run out. Well, in case you left the car in the parking lot with the headlights on, dropped the main battery, and the locks were locked in the β€œclosed” position, the sting of a mechanical key is hidden in the body of the key fob. This will allow you to open the doors, pull the hood latch and β€œlight” some compassionate Samaritan from the battery.

The review is also very good. First of all, because of the proprietary “commander” (more precisely, “semi-commander”, after all, this is not a Defender) landing. Many people consider the salon mirror too small, but this drawback is fully compensated for by large mirrors, like in a real SUV, and ultrasonic sensors and a rear-view camera (which, however, only in top-end trim levels) help with parking maneuvers. And everyone loves the exceptional sound quality of the Meridian speaker system.

Freelander 2

Hate # 3: Poor Noise Isolation

But here is an ambush: after all, the Freelander is noisy. And it is not the rumbling of a 2.2-liter diesel engine that irritates at all – although it does not work silently, it does not rumble like a tractor.

No wonder the overwhelming majority of sales fell on diesel versions. But aerodynamic noises and road noise from the wheel arches, both rear and front, are very annoying. You can, of course, take care of additional noise insulation, but this means serious investments, and the problem will most likely not be radically solved. So most owners simply prefer to turn up the sound of that very wonderful Meridian media system on a bad road.

Freelander

Love # 3: good handling and flotation

As befits a good crossover, the Freelander is absolutely omnivorous in terms of road surface perception. Its suspension readily deals with a gentle wave, and with small irregularities, and with serious bumps and pits, without requiring steering. In fact, the car’s handling deserves to be discussed in more detail.

On the one hand, there are crossovers that steer much better, especially on good asphalt – for example, BMW or Audi. But you also get tired in them much more, especially on long routes in the Russian outback, where good asphalt is rather a rarity than a rule. On the other hand, the fact that there are cars with sharper and sharper handling does not mean that in the case of Freelander things are very sad. Yes, the car rolls in corners more than commensurate sedans and hatchbacks, but these rolls are within acceptable limits.

The situation with acceleration and braking dynamics also looks pretty good. The six-speed automatic provides extremely correct traction control, so you rarely want to switch to manual mode. Freelander accelerates very confidently, and you can get away from the traffic light even when there are much more powerful cars nearby. Then they will, of course, catch up with you, but that will be later … In general, the accelerating Freelander resembles not so much a cannon-fired cannonball, as an electric train set off from the platform. It seems like nothing happened, and you were not pressed into the back of the chair, and there are already a hundred on the speedometer.

This, by the way, has a certain ambush. In terms of subjective perception of speed, the Freelander has two positions: “standing still” and “food”. Both 20 and 120 km / h are perceived almost the same, and the difference between 75 and 85 km / h (determining whether you will receive a “letter of happiness” or not) is not felt at all. All in all, for a long time, the Freelander’s only competitor for ride comfort within the premium compact crossover segment was the Mercedes GLK.

Love # 2: Winter

If you treat the car with attention and love, then he will reciprocate you. This is especially true for operation in winter, the most difficult period for all motorists.

Surprisingly, but a car designed on the British Isles washed by the warm Gulf Stream, and even equipped with a diesel engine, can be safely called one of the most “winter-resistant” models in our market. Firstly, all Freelander were equipped with standard Webasto pre-heaters with remote start. They have their own ailments: until 2013, rather fragile Webasto Thermo Top V were installed on the car, but after that new (and almost eternal) boilers with an evaporative burner Webasto Thermo Top VEVO went. One way or another, with a working heater and relatively fresh pre-glow plugs, the diesel Freelander 2 starts confidently even when the thermometer drops below 30.

But even starting the engine, the owner of the Freelander will continue to enjoy life: he will not have to, cursing everything in the world, violently rub the windshield frozen to full opacity. It is enough to press the Prog button located on the center console, and the car will go into quick warm-up mode. The electric heating of the windshield and rear windows, washer nozzles and side mirrors will turn on, the engine will increase the speed, and the air conditioner will start operating at maximum power. Naturally, for the comfort of the lower back (and what is below), you can turn on the heated seats. A couple of minutes – and the “wipers” will brush the melted ice from the windshield, melted windows will appear on the side windows, and the temperature in the cabin will rise to acceptable values. You can get under way … And this despite the fact that the warming up of many diesel SUVs, even the premium level, requires at least 10-15 minutes.

Love # 1: like real!

The main advantage (for those who understand) is the best-in-class cross-country ability at the level of “real SUVs” with a transfer case and a downshift.

Land Rover

It is worth mentioning here the serious ground clearance (220 mm – these are not bugs for you), and the excellent protection of all units under the bottom of the car, and strong bumpers, and a diesel engine that provides serious traction at low revs.

The Freelander 2’s main off-road weapon is undoubtedly the proprietary Terrain Response system with the Snow, Mud / Rut and Sand modes, which until 2012 were turned on by the characteristic, and after that – by buttons located in a row, as well as downhill assistance system. I will not go into the intricacies of controlling the system and how it works, I will only note that it (in the case of a correctly selected mode) ensures that the ESP does not “choke” the engine when you need to move with a slip, does not allow the wheels to turn when it is really harmful and will help to cope with diagonal hanging.

Naturally, the Freelander has its limits. For example, he really does not like a deep rut, and if you put the car on the inter-track hillock so that it hangs all four legs, then you will have nothing to do but run after the tractor. In general, when off-road, it is recommended to include not only the Terrain Response, but also the head.

β€œUrban cross-country ability” can not even be discussed: neither the curbs, nor the courtyards covered with uncleaned snow and parking areas for this car are not an obstacle.

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By Vinceslav

Journalist, writer. I write articles and reviews on equipment such as cars, computers, games. Worked for 6 years in the auto and auto parts business. And all my life I have been engaged in computer technology.

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