Land Rover Freelander 2
(2007 - 2014)

  • Class leading off-roading ability.
  • Still a refined and enjoyable driving experience.
  • Land Rover brand panache and image.
  • Offering great value for money on the used market.
  • Requires a faultless service history to avoid potential unreliability.
  • A long list of common and frustrating issues and faults.
  • Typical Land Rover depreciation.
Overview

Liked by Europeans if largely ignored by Australians, the original Land Rover Freelander (1998-2007) was a compact, vaguely capable crossover SUV, a mould-breaker for its maker as its first vehicle of monocoque construction. Built in five- or funky three-door Hardback and Softback guises, it was a forerunner of the small, upmarket SUV set, well before Euro rivals had a similar crack, and would eventually, spiritually, be reborn as the Range Rover Evoque.

But its successor, the Freelander 2, was a hard-left departure you almost wonder how the namesake carried over. All-new, five-door only and largely aping the styling – and some of the vibe – of its pricier and more lavish Defender and (Range Rover) Discovery stablemates, the ‘2’ was less a hard, youthful departure and pitched more as a ‘real’ and mature Land Rover wagon, scaled down a bit on size and price.

Under its skin, the Freelander 2 sits on a modified version of Ford’s EUCD mid-sized platform shared with everything from Mondeo to a slew of Volvo models, a transverse-engine design capable of front- or all-wheel drive. Built in China, India and Jordan, the Freelander 2s sold Down Under were sourced from Jaguar Land Rover’s Halewood, UK, assembly plant.

Launched in June 2007, the Freelander two offered a choice of two engines: a Volvo-sourced 3.2-litre naturally aspirated six good for 171kW and 317Nm or a 2.2-litre turbodiesel four, outputting 118kW and 400Nm, from PSA (Peugeot Citroen). Initially, all Aussie variants we fitted with a six-speed torque-convertor automatics.

While the original Freelander was panned for being an off-road pretender, the ‘2’ fitted four-wheel drive technically related to that used in Discovery 3. Its four-mode Terrain Response system, developed with Haldex, was augmented with hill descent control, gradient release and roll stabilisation trickery. No low-range, but the Freelander 2 has proven itself to be pretty handy nevertheless off the beaten path.

In terms of variant choice, the range initially kicked off at just under $50k for the petrol (called Si6) SE trim with the oiler engine (called Td4) wanting for a $2500 premium. The step up to the full-fruit HSE was six grand extra for either powertrain choice. In late 2009, the strangely named, stripped back Td4_e arrived, on an MY10 plate, to add an oiler-only six-speed-manual choice for the off-roading lovers for a thrifty $46k.

A new wide-grille facelift arrived in late 2010 for MY21 and with it the range got quite a few updates. A third variant, called XS, arrived right around here as a new cut-priced entry version (albeit the same price as original SE).

It also brought an expanded choice of two diesel engines, a revised Td4 tune good for 110kW and 420Nm as well as a more-powerful SD4 trim offering an extra 30kW (140kW total) if with the same peak torque.

The SD4 oiler heartbeat would be used as a premium sweetened for variants such as the flagship (circa-$69k) HSE Luxury and the XS Sport Edition ($60k). The Sport Edition, with its more Tarmac-centric sport body kit and 19-inch wheels, could also be had in 3.2 petrol form, albeit without the output and performance hike enjoyed by the diesel version.

In late 2012 (for MY13), the ‘Si4’ engine arrived, a Rover-sourced 2.0-litre turbocharged direct-injected petrol four outputting 177kW and 340Nm, sent the 3.2-litre Volvo engine packing from the range.
Despite some critical acclaim and plenty of devotee owners, the FreeLander 2 became increasingly overshadowed in its lifecycle by a groundswell of premium German mid-sized SUVs that buyers, who weren’t interested in multi-terrain capabilities, were flocking more towards.

Closer to home, the Range Rover Evoque was, from 2011, wooing the trendsetters. And, with Freelander 2 departed in 2015, a new Land Rover Discovery Sport slotted in neatly as the logical, luxury five-door wagon replacement.

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What goes wrong
  • Mechanically, many are of the opinion that the Freelander 2 is the most reliable of all the modern Land Rovers. This may due to the fact the Freelander 2 is built on a Ford platform and features a copious array of Ford, Volvo and Peugeot components.
  • Engine wise, the 6-cylinder petrol (which should be noted, is a Volvo engine), is quite a reliable unit. Oil leaks & oil consumption are the most common complaints which, in most cases, can be attributed to the ridiculous 24,000km or 12-month service intervals. The 12 months element is ok but we strongly advise not to let service intervals lapse for more than 10k if you want it to last.
  • In terms of the petrol engine options, it can be the usual problems you’d see on any modern car such as ignition coils, water pumps & other random coolant leaks which are usually no more expensive to repair than other cars.
  • As for the diesel engines, they have a lot of problems with DPF’s & EGR valves, which again has a lot to do with the 24,000km service intervals. To help avoid those issues, fitting a catch can and being sure to service it every 10,000km is highly recommended.
  • Another issue with the diesel engined Freelander 2’s is that the timing belt isn’t due until (an incredibly optimistic) 240,000kms. This is twice the distance most other manufacturers recommend.
  • The problem is is that the water pump (which is driven by the timing belt) rarely lasts this distance and if the water pump fails (which is known to happen), can result in catastrophic engine failure. Changing the timing belt at a more realistic 125,000km will reduce the likelihood of a catastrophic failure.
  • One thing the petrol & diesel have in common is, they both have transmission & driveline problems which can be incredibly expensive to repair. Again, more frequent servicing can help but won’t guarantee you won’t have problems.
  • Also, all Freelander 2’s are plagued with a range of various electrical problems. There is not any one major particular problem that affects them all, it’s more a case of nearly all have multiple random issues, which aren’t always expensive to fix but can be extremely annoying.
  • In terms of the exterior there are a few reports that the door latches and locks are beginning to fail, in essence the central locking might look like it’s doing its job, but not all the doors are physically locking. You may not be able to lock the car at all or it’ll lock every door but one depending on the severity.
  • In 2008 there were recalls involving the sunroof which would detach when the rails failed, but like many sunroofs, if not cleaned correctly, in terms of the drainage channels, water can become clogged and this can lead to all sorts of interior and electrical problems.
  • Inside there are a few reports that the Ignition key dock not ejecting the key when it’s supposed to, this is generally due to the ECU glitching and assuming it’s a security breach and therefore preventing you from starting the car or removing the key.
  • Also there are reports of short circuits in the electric booster for the heater which boosts the heat so extremely, it has the potential to cause a fire along with it.
  • Also faulty fuel gauges are becoming almost common. This issue involves the gauges reading incorrectly and it’s also apparently known to affect multiple Land Rover models, not just the Freelander 2. This is most commonly caused by either ECU problems or faulty wiring looms to the fuel sender unit.

 

Model range, pricing & features

TD4

  • Price when new: $44,990 - $47,290
  • Price used: $11,000 - $23,000

Introduced in December 2010, the TD4 became the new base model over the SE model and was available with the 2.2 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel engine in either a 6 speed manual or automatic transmission.

The TD4 carried over most features except for dual-zone climate control, electric folding mirrors, electric front seat adjustment and a leather steering wheel.

In December 2012, the model received an update which added an electromechanical parking brake, bluetooth connectivity and a 5-inch infotainment system. HOWEVER – auto headlights and rain sensing wipers became an option.

Features:

17-inch alloy wheels
Full-size alloy spare wheel
Body coloured front and rear bumpers
Two bar grille in Titan finish
Full-time four-wheel drive
Terrain response
5-star ANCAP safety rating (tested 2007)
7 airbags: driver and front passenger, driver’s knee, front side and full-length curtain airbags
Front seatbelt pre-tensioners with load limiters
Rear centre head restraint
Rear seat child anchor/tether points
Four-wheel disc brakes
Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
Electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD)
Brake assist
Dynamic stability control (DSC)
Traction control
Corner brake control (CBC)
Roll stability control
Hill descent control (HDC)
Halogen headlights
Automatic headlights
Front fog lamps
Headlight washers
Intermittent windscreen wipers
Rain sensing wipers
Rear parking sensors
Cruise control
Central locking
Alarm system
Push button start/stop
Multifunctional steering wheel with audio controls
Steering wheel – tilt and reach adjustment
Trip computer
Air conditioning
Electric mirrors – heated
Electric windows – confirm with auto up/down for all windows
Cloth upholstery
Manually adjustable driver and front passenger seats
6-speaker sound system
CD player
AUX input
Rear map pockets on front seats
Centre glove box
Vanity mirrors
Front and rear cup holders
Front and rear footwell lamps
60:40 foldable rear seat split
Cargo stowage roller blind

December 2012 (MY13) updates:
Electromechanical parking brake
Auto headlights – becomes an option
Rain sensing wipers – becomes an option
5-inch infotainment system
Land Rover Audio System
Bluetooth connectivity
Single USB/iPod connectivity

Td4_e

  • Price when new: $45,590
  • Price used: $11,500 - $19,500

The Td4_e model offered the same standard equipment as the SE, minus electrically adjustable front seats, leather upholstery and a six-stacker CD player.

The Td4_e model offered the same 2.2 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel engine but also added stop/start technology for when the vehicle was idling.

Features:

Stop/start technology
Dual-zone climate control
Multifunctional leather steering wheel with audio controls
Electric mirrors – heated and electrically folding

XS

  • Price when new: $49,990 - $60,080
  • Price used: $11,000 - $21,000

The XS model was introduced in December 2010 as part of the MY11 update and bridged the gap between the TD4 and SE model as a value added model, offering dual-zone climate control, leather upholstery, electric driver’s seat, 9-speaker Alpine audio system and bluetooth connectivity over the TD4 model.

The model also had the option of being fitted with the 3.2-litre inline 6 engine.

With the MY13 update introduced in December 2012, the model was discontinued.

Features:

Dual-zone climate control
Leather upholstery
Four-way driver’s electric seat adjustment (forward/back, up/down)
Rear centre head restraint
9-speaker Alpine audio system
Bluetooth connectivity

SE

  • Price when new: $49,990 - $56,810
  • Price used: $7,500 - $31,000

The SE model was originally the base model, fitted with the standard equipment seen in the TD4 plus the equipment noted below.

In December 2010, it gained rear seat centre head restraint, front map reading lights and mirror puddle lamps; and in December 2012 it also gained 18-inch alloy wheels, rear view camera, electrochromatic rear view mirror, 5-inch infotainment system with an 11-speaker Meridian sound system and hard disk navigation.

As part of the MY13 updates, the SE did drop auto headlights, rain sensing wipers and electric seat adjustment for front seats (all became an option).

Features:

Six-way driver’s electric seat adjustment (forward/back, up/down and lumbar)
Four-way passenger’s electric seat adjustment (forward/back, up/down)

December 2010 (MY11) updates:
Rear centre head restraint
Front map reading lights
Mirror puddle lamps

December 2012 (MY13) updates:
Electromechanical parking brake
Auto headlights – becomes an option
Rain sensing wipers – becomes an option
LED signature
18-inch alloy wheels
Body coloured door handles
Rear view camera
Electrochromatic rear view mirror
Six-way driver’s manual seat adjustment (forward/back, up/down and lumbar)
Four-way passenger’s manual seat adjustment (forward/back, up/down)
5-inch infotainment system
11-speaker Meridian sound system
Hard disk navigation system

HSE

  • Price when new: $55,990 - $71,750
  • Price used: $9,500 - $33,500

The HSE for most of the generation of this model was the top-of-the range, offering larger alloy wheels, technology upgrades like front and rear parking sensors, 9-speaker Alpine Hi-ICE sound system, rear seat headphone inputs and a wood grain effect interior trim.

MY11 updates included front door puddle lamps, front and rear carpets as well as a DVD navigation system.

MY13 updates included heated steering wheel, electric seats and voice command.

The HSE was superseded by the HSE Luxury as the top-of-the range model.

Features:

18-inch alloy wheels
Bi-xenon headlights
Front and rear parking sensors
Electrochromatic rear view mirror
Wood effect interior trim
Memory settings for electric mirrors and driver’s seat
9-speaker Alpine Hi-ICE sound system
Rear seat headphone inputs

December 2010 (MY11) updates:
Tailgate mounted spoiler
DVD navigation system
Front and rear carpet mats
Front door puddle lamps

December 2012 (MY13) updates:
Electromechanical parking brake
LED signature
18-inch alloy wheels
Body coloured door handles
Rear view camera
Electrochromatic rear view mirror
Heated steering wheel
Six-way driver’s electric seat adjustment (forward/back, up/down and lumbar)
Four-way passenger’s electric seat adjustment (forward/back, up/down)
5-inch infotainment system
11-speaker Meridian sound system
Hard disk navigation system
Voice command

HSE Luxury

  • Price when new: $68,400
  • Price used: $15,500 - $35,000

The HSE Luxury was introduced as part of the MY13 revisions released in December 2012, offering additional luxury equipment such as 8 and 6 way electrically adjustable seats for the driver and front passenger respectively; and a 17-speaker Meridian sound system totalling 825 watts.

Features:

Auto dipping side mirrors
Eight-way driver’s electric seat adjustment (forward/back, up/down, tilt up/down and lumbar)
Six-way passenger’s electric seat adjustment (forward/back, up/down, lumbar)
17-speaker Meridian sound system totalling 825 watts

Should you buy it?

Well, it depends but, probably not.

Yes the Freelander is one of the better Land Rover products to buy, (thanks to many of the critical components not being from Land Rover at all), and if you do genuinely require an SUV this size, for this budget that has genuine off-roading ability, it is one of the more talented vehicles out there.

Plus it is widely regarded as being very attractive, it is quite nice to drive on-road and yes it comes with that “Land Rover” brand panache.

However, if you’re rarely if ever driving off-road and you’re buying a Freelander 2 purely because, “it’s a Land Rover”, please don’t be fooled by the marketing hype, you’re smarter than that.

There are other SUVs at this budget that will drive just as nicely, if not even better on-road, that come with the same or better levels of tech and creature comforts, that are just as practical yet have a far better reputation for reliability and if in the rare case something were to go wrong, should cost far less to repair.

Sure the likes of Mazda CX5, Toyota RAV4, Hyundai Tucson and equivalent others won’t quite match a Freelander 2 off-road, and they’ll lose in the battle of brand snobbery but the alternatives from most of the Japanese and South Korean manufacturers are a far more intelligent choice.

In saying that, yes there are the incredibly rare unicorn examples of these out there that have never ever had an issue thanks to having a full and thorough service history, buying one of those Freelander 2’s is still a risk but a far more calculated one, taking that risk is up to you but a perfect one of these is still a brilliant thing.

But the reality is, nobody’s perfect.

Warranty & servicing

Warranty:

3 year/100,000km

Servicing:

12 months/24,000kms

Tech specs

Body Style:

5-door SUV

Engines:

2.2 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel – Td4 (XS, SE, HSE) – Until 2010
2.2 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel – Td4 (TD4, XS, SE) – From 2010
2.2 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel – Td4_e (Td4_e) – From 2009-10
2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol – Si4 (SE) – From 2012
2.2 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel – SD4 (SE, HSE, HSE Luxury) – From 2010
3.2 litre 6-cylinder petrol – Si6 (XS, SE, HSE) – Until 2010
3.2 litre 6-cylinder petrol – Si6 (XE, SE) – From 2010 – 2012

Power:

118kW – 2.2 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel – Td4
118kW – 2.2 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel – Td4_e (Td4_e)
110kW – 2.2 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel – Td4 – From 2010
177kW – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol – Si4
140kW – 2.2 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel – SD4
171kW – 3.2 litre 6-cylinder petrol – Si6 (SE, HSE)

Torque:

400Nm – 2.2 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel – Td4
400Nm – 2.2 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel – Td4_e
420Nm – 2.2 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel – Td4 – From 2010
340Nm – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol – Si4
420Nm – 2.2 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel – SD4
317Nm – 3.2 litre 6-cylinder petrol – Si6 (SE, HSE)

Transmission & drivetrains:

6-speed manual transmission, four wheel drive (4WD) – Td4, Td4_e
6-speed automatic transmission, four wheel drive (4WD) – XS, SE, HSE, HSE Luxury

Fuel Consumption:

6.6 – 11.2L/100km

Length:

4500mm

Width:

2005mm

Height:

1740-1820mm (depending on whether roof rails or sunroof is fitted)

Kerb Weight:

1770-1780kg (depending on engine and variant)

Towing braked/unbraked:

2000kg/750kg

Disclaimer

Information correct as of March 25, 2022.

The advice provided on this website is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

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