What is it?

The 2013 Freelander, a model sporting the mildest of mild facelifts. We’re talking cosmetics, really, so new front and rear lights, a smartened and tidied up cabin, that sort of thing.

More practically than all of that, though, is the electric parking brake and the fact that you now don’t need to slot the key into a, er, slot to start the engine. Instead you just press the button with the key in the car.

It’s definitely moving upmarket, the Freelander. It now comes with a reversing camera which will show you the position of the tow hitch so you don’t go and stove in someone’s numberplate, and you can get a pre-heat system that will warm the engine before you start. Our HSE-spec test car came with piano black interior trim and coupled with black leather and the all-black dash it lends the whole thing a rather serious, grown-up look.

What is it like?

Mild as it is, the makeover is effective enough. The new cabin feels less functional and less cluttered than the current car’s, with its Range Rover influences in the switchgear and a central analogue clock. The mass of switches that dominated the centre console has gone and so has the chunky Terrain Response dial, replaced by a switch to scroll through the off-road settings. The instruments have a distinctly Range Rover look about them.

There’s a new 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine for North America but we won’t get it in the UK. We get a choice of two diesels: the 148bhp TD4 and the 187bhp SD4. It’s still a bit noisy from cold – not clattery, so much, but more bassy and rumbling – but the SD4 has plenty of shove and grunt to propel the Freelander’s 1805kg with ease, and it never sounds strained.

It rides well, too, even on the optional 19-inch wheels, over scratchy, rough urban roads, and absorbs all sorts of horrors into the suspension. Less appealing is the way the nose tends to pitch up and down under acceleration and deceleration, and it does feel a little unwieldy in tight traffic, a characteristic enhanced by the slightly too remote steering.

Should I buy one?

Well, the Freelander is one of the best in its class. It’s still competent, still comfortable and still good looking. Just don’t get too carried away with spec. Prices start at £23,700, which is £1000 more than the current car, but for the top-spec HSE Lux trim tested here it’s hugely expensive at £39,805. You can get the most expensive five-door Evoque for that and have £1500 change left over.

Dan Stevens

Land Rover Freelander SD4 HSE Lux

Price: £39,805 0-60mph: 8.7sec Top speed: 118mph Economy: 40.4mpg CO2: 185g/km Kerb weight: 1805kg Engine: 4 cyls, 2179cc, turbodiesel Power: 187bhp at 3500rpm Torque: 310lb ft at 1750rpm Gearbox: 6-spd automatic

Join the debate




1 year 51 weeks ago

I just can't imagine anyone would be stupid enough to spend £40,000 of their own money on such a second-rate product.  But then again....

I've always liked the

1 year 51 weeks ago

I've always liked the Freelander 2, it's easily the best of the soft roaders, but that price. It's the reason I've never bought one, they're just too expensive for what they are.

It's not a £40k car !

1 year 51 weeks ago

Compared to Hyundai iX35 and Kia Sportage it's slightly better - but not enough to command a £15k price premium.

It obviously sells on the name - which is perverse given LR's reputation for reliabilty and dealer attitudes.

so what...

1 year 51 weeks ago

..is the CO2 of the 148bhp 4 wheel drive model? if its anywhere near the 185 of the more powerful one its wayyy off the mark.

Ruperts Trooper

1 year 51 weeks ago

Ruperts Trooper wrote:

Compared to Hyundai iX35 and Kia Sportage it's slightly better...

I'm not so sure!?   Both of these are likely to start in the morning and run without bits falling off Land Rover Stylee.     Agree - no way this is a £40k car - the price is a joke - nearer £20k would be appropriate.


Great the write up is here

1 year 51 weeks ago

Great the write up is here this time, and just as I predicted, it's like all other LR products, over weight and over priced.

It wasn't too long ago you could buy RR sport for this price, I think LR are getting a bit carried away with themselves, JLR might be the flavour of the month at the moment but it dosen't take too long for motoring tastes to change and with the economy still on rough ground I hope they have something in reserve other than the Chinese and Russian billionaires.

Guys, this is 2012. Land

1 year 51 weeks ago

Guys, this is 2012. Land Rover now produce vehicles that are as good or in my experience better than the German models when it comes to reliability!   I am now on my second Freelander 2,  the first one was kept for 3 years and 42,000 miles with perfect reliability, outstanding comfort and loads of standard equipment.   The Freelander was cheaper than equivalent vehicles to operate due to the strong resale value after 3 years.   The updated SD4 engine has brought improved fuel economy and the latest updates bring a welcome update to the interior.  I would not hesitate to have the latest model.  Price compared to an Audi or BMW the Freelander is not expensive.  Japanese & Korean equivalents feel like toys in comparison.     

The Freelander is a home built product we can and should be proud of!


Yours for £20K

1 year 51 weeks ago

Challenger440 wrote:

Agree - no way this is a £40k car - the price is a joke - nearer £20k would be appropriate.

The Freelander is £20K (ish) if you're prepared to haggle.

It's not a car that fills me with desire any more than your average lamp post does, but £40K here is for the most expensive variant.

What Autocar said was, "higher-spec cars are too expensive". True.

But the fact you can also spend north of £30K on, say, a higher-spec Honda CR-V doesn't make the whole CR-V range worth dismissing out of hand, now does it.


1 year 51 weeks ago

Harry P wrote:

...Land Rover now produce vehicles that are as good or in my experience better than the German models when it comes to reliability! ... 

Are you sure about that?

No matter how good JLR

1 year 51 weeks ago

No matter how good JLR improve cars/reliability there will still be section of people who will want to bring them down. 

If you want cheap and nasty then go for the korean/malaysian cars, you pay more for JLR because they are better cars by far. One problem is people who have had new Land Rovers have never taken them off road and have no idea of the full potential of the car they have.

Today I took my Range Rover Sport to a friends farm as his son got his old discovery stuck at the bottom of a field, tow rope on and pulled it out no problem!

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