Currently reading: Buy them before we do: second-hand picks for 7 August
It certainly isn't trouble-free, but the Land Rover Freelander 2 has lots to offer, including impressive off-road ability
Autocar
News
4 mins read
7 August 2020

Six years since it went out of production, the Land Rover Freelander has become a popular used buy, with prices for the second-gen version starting from just £2500.

Admittedly, you’ll be getting a very well used example for that, potentially with a patchy service history and a few knocks and scrapes.

We would suggest stretching your budget to look at a post-2010 facelift car (there was another nip and tuck in 2012 to the interior and tail-lights), because that introduced the more powerful (187bhp) SD4 diesel engine.

We found one for £10,000, and that sort of money also allows you to pick up a handsomely equipped XS, with leather seats that are electrically adjustable and heated in the front, an Alpine hi-fi and parking sensors.

The SD4 comes exclusively with a smooth six-speed automatic gearbox that suits the Freelander to a T. This isn’t a car that enjoys being hustled, rather revelling at a measured canter.

It’s also a competent cross-county tool; every version aside from the eD4 has four-wheel drive. A simplified version of Land Rover’s Terrain Response system cleverly controls the brakes, traction control and throttle to get you out of the mud. It may not have quite the off-road chops of the Range Rover, but it is far from your regular soft-roader.

The Freelander certainly isn’t trouble-free and can suffer badly if scheduled fluid changes are missed. It’s understandable that some are, especially the 10-year service that costs more than £1000 at the dealer.

But find a Freelander that’s been cherished and you’ll enjoy a cosseting and capable SUV with lasting kerbside appeal.

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Porsche Cayenne, £25,995: The Cayenne is an enormously capable SUV both on and off road. Particularly this 71,000-mile V8 diesel example with air suspension and central and rear differential locks. It is described as being in superb condition and has a full dealer service history.

BMW Z4, £9440: The previous Z4 was no out-and-out sports car, even with its bigger engines. We therefore suggest you go for a pre-2011 sDrive23i, similar to the 68,000-miler found here. That way, you get a sonorous straight six without the massive running costs.

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Skoda Yeti Outdoor, £12,890: The Yeti remains a subject of interest among used buyers despite being slain in 2017. We prefer the pre-facelift look, but the 148bhp 1.4 turbo petrol engine is so great that we’ll take this later, 48,000-mile Outdoor model (in posh Laurin & Klement trim).

Mercedes-AMG C63 Performance Pack, £17,490: For around half the price of a new regular C-Class, you can have this AMG 6.2-litre V8 from 2009. The 63,000-miler has the Performance Pack, so subtle mechanical upgrades and a limited-slip diff to better deal with 487bhp of tyre-melting grunt.

Auction watch

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Land Rover Series 2 109: As if there weren’t enough Land Rover content in this section, we spied a refurbished 1959 Series 2 109in that sold at auction for £19,440. Said to be one of the earliest examples of a barrel-sided Series 2, it has had a full bare-metal respray in its original colour, while most of the (admittedly few) interior trimmings are apparently original. Vehicles like this were bought to perform a duty, so coming across one that hasn’t been literally driven into the ground is to be celebrated. Period goodies such as a sunshade for the windscreen and the safari roof (designed to keep the interior cool during hot weather) are all present and correct, too.

Future classic

Land Rover Discovery 3, £7995: The third-generation Discovery has all the makings of a classic. Geoff Upex and his Land Rover design team knocked it out of the park, and people bought the car in their droves. They loved the square-jawed styling, shown off best as here in Zermatt Silver with privacy glass and pre-facelift black plastic body trim. If you don’t cover many miles, the rare 4.4-litre petrol V8 is the best engine.

Clash of classifieds

Brief: Find me a £15k Golf Cabrio alternative.

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Maserati Spyder, £14,500

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet, £14,990

Mark Pearson: James is looking for a sound alternative to the now-defunct Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet, and I think I’ve found the perfect car. The Maserati Spyder has a wonderful, Ferrari-built 4.2-litre V8 and can hit 176mph. It looks a million dollars but costs rather a lot less. I think that in terms of wind-in-your-hair fun and bang for your buck, this is probably the best all-round car in the world. What have you got, Max?

Max Adams: Will this be the wind in your hair while waiting for the tow truck, Mark? I doubt anyone considering a sensible Golf would contemplate the idiosyncrasies of your Italian exotic. No, they would much rather have my uber-classy 2015 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet, enjoying not only the warm glow of that three-pointed star but also the gentle heating of their necks from its clever Airscarf system.

MP: All sounds a little pretentious to me. No, I think James will appreciate this gorgeous 2003 Maserati. My cousin Kevin has one, and you can’t argue with him. Also he lives in East Anglia, like James. Those trading up from a Golf will be well pleased.

MA: No they won’t. People buying a Golf want everyday usability, and my car is the only one that can actually seat four people. Plus it has a more modern infotainment system that doesn’t look like something you would send off for out of a mail-order catalogue.

MP: Spoilsport.

Verdict: I'll take that great big German soft-top, please.

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