2007-2015 Freelander 2

Though it’s generally used only as a suburban wagon, Land Rover’s Freelander is capable
of tackling mild to moderate bush, beach and desert conditions that would strand just
about everything else in its class. Which is hardly surprising as it comes from the company
that gives us everything from the down-and-dirty Land Rover Defender to the highly
competent (and very expensive) Range Rover.

Freelander first went on sale here early in 1998 making it arguably the first upmarket
compact SUV, several years ahead of the big-name Germans.

These originals were imported in a fascinating number of body types: a five-door Hardback
wagon, three-door wagon and three-door Softback, the latter being a Hardback with a rear
end that opens.

Poor build quality in early models certainly didn’t do Freelanders any favours, nor did a
relatively high price. These earliest models getting on in years so will skip them and move
onto the all-new model, the Land Rover Freelander 2, which reached us Downunder in
June 2007.

The range was trimmed to five-door wagons only and the body was larger and stiffer
thanks to new design techniques. Handling and ride were slanted more towards the
suburban drivers than to the full-on off-road enthusiasts.

A facelift of the ‘2 rebased in February 2011 was deliberately aimed at giving it the look of
its big brothers in the Land Rover and Range Rover ranges.

2007-2015 Freelander 2

The petrol engine is a big unit with 3.2 litres, with six cylinders in line. The turbo-diesel
four-cylinder had a displacement of 2.0 litres. This was increased to 2.2 litres as part of the
2011 makeover, at the same time numerous improvements made it more powerful,
smoother and cleaner. The 2011 diesel was offered in two stages of tune with the more
upmarket models getting the added grunt.

Initially, the only transmission imported to Australia with the Freelander 2 was a six-speed
auto as manuals were pretty well out of favour for those looking for an urban SUV.
However, a lower cost Freelander 2 was introduced in July 2009, and it was offered with a
six-speed manual. Having said that, the manual is likely to be hard to resell or trade in
down the track.

Land Rover is well established in Australia – the first vehicle arrived here way back in 1948
– and there are now many dealers in metro and country areas.

Freelander 2 isn’t as common in the bush areas as Land Rover Discoverys, or even big
brother Range Rover, but mechanics trained in the marque can certainly handle them.

Spare parts and servicing charges are higher than average for the semi-affordable
compact SUV class, but that’s understandable given the upmarket nature of the vehicle.

Insurance premiums are costlier than normal for vehicles of this size and type. We haven’t
seen huge difference from company to company but it’s worth shopping around. As
always, make sure you do accurate comparisons.

Freelander was quietly taken off the new car sales list during 2015 as it had never been a
big seller and the ultra-cool Rangie Evoque had stolen its thunder.

As with all genuine 4WDs it’s important to find one that has been serviced by the book –
even more so if it’s been used in harsh conditions.

Look for damage caused by off-road use. Scratches or mild dents on bumper corners
and/or door sills are easy to spot.

Check underneath for damage to the sumps, suspension and bodywork in general.

Look at the condition of the carpets and seats, sand and mud are other clues to off-road
driving. The boot is another area that can get knocked around by adventures into the
Australian outback.

Your test drive should include rough roads, corrugations are best, to really give the
Freelander a proper shaking up because build quality should have been better and some
bits may rattle and even fall off.

All electrical equipment should be checked for correct operation, however Freelander 2
was much better than the older models.

Engines should start easily, with the diesel being a little slower than the petrol. If you
suspect it’s down on power have a mechanic check it out.

Automatic transmissions are generally fine, but make sure changes are fast and clean and
that the auto doesn’t change when it really doesn’t need to do so.

Expect to pay from $3000 to $7000 for a 2007 Land Rover Freelander SE; $6000 to $9000
for a 2008 Freelander 2 HSE; $8000 to $13,000 for a 2010 SE; $10,000 to $16,000 for a
2011 HSE; $14,000 to $21,000 for a 2011 HSE Limited Edition; $15,000 to $23,000 for a
2012 SE; $18,000 to $25,000 for a 2013 HSE Luxury; and $21,000 to $29,000 for a 2015

In their later years, cars with a reputation for being long lived and trouble free sometimes
attract buyers who have no intention of ever servicing them. The next owner may suffer.

RECALLS: To browse recalls on all vehicles go to the ACCC at:


About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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