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Land Rover Freelander



  • I've been a Rover Fanatic for years. I have owned Many Disco's and a quite a few Range Rovers over the past couple decades.. In 02 I decided to downgrade to the smaller Freelander. WHAT A MISTAKE!! I purchased an HSE fully loaded. What a hunk of junk!! I'm not clear on how this can be the most popular SUV in Europe. I had problems with the car from the git go. Brakes(Pads and Rotors worn out at 15k), Transmission(Hard, Hard Shifting), and Electrical problems with warning lights. Needless to say I got rid of this Vehicle and took quite a $$ loss. Landrover treated me as if I was some sort of moron or second class citizen when I spoke to them about these problems. Landrover Customer Support did not care at all. I still own a Range Rover. I saw the 04 Freelander and thought I'd give it a spin at my local dealer. Let me tell you--this vehicle is worse than the 02 I owned. It had hard shifting from the moment I punched the gas pedal at the dealership, in addition the brake system is identical to the 02 I owned. I test drove it anyway.. The car is cramped for space and under powered and still guzzles petrol. You'd think Landrover would learn from it prior Freelander issues but they haven't. I think I'm off to buy a Mazda Tribute a much better value for my $$ and probably a lot more dependable. At least Mazda provides a loaner if your car has problems.. BEWARE Landrover DOES NOT. It is up to the dealer....It obvious from other postings that Freelanders have some significant issues. I owned one and can attest to this--Buyers beware this vehicle has problems....
  • I get the picture on the Freelander. Now thet the BMW X3 is available with a manual transmission and a fuel efficient engine (not to mention a better options list), it looks like the Freelander is going to compete more on price within the premium compact SUV segment...and price is a dubious advantage in a "premium" segment.

    I still like the way the Freelander looks and drives (ex the drivetrain), though, so I bet the redesign will be worth checking out.
  • I agree the new look is neat but if you peel back the layers of this onion it still makes you cry..It's so sad they gave the car plastic surgery and a neat new look, yet they left everything else, underneath the body, that doesn't work. Landrover should spend more time fixing the electrical, transmission and braking problems. Any first year design student can make a pretty car, which in the Freelander case, they have done. Though it appears Landrover is using
    non qualified people to design transmissions, brake systems and electrical stuff which in turn creates cars that have numerous problems. I agree the new BMW X3 is a nice vehicle--overpriced though, it drives wonderfully.. The other neat SUV out there is the Tourag by VW(Porsche)also overpriced...Test drove the V8 Tourag and Loved it--just couldn't stomach the price...
  • sacstate1sacstate1 Posts: 189
    "The other neat SUV out there is the Tourag by VW(Porsche)also overpriced...Test drove the V8 Tourag and Loved it--just couldn't stomach the price... "

    You are a glutton for punishment! See the VW Toenail board for its problems.
  • I've had many of the same problems described here including the hill descent light and traction lights coming on intermitantly. I've had the lights replaced twice, but am now worried about brake problems based upon some of these posts....
    Specifically, is LR not covering this under warranty? I know brakes usually aren't covered, but obviously something is wrong when brakes fail between 10-20k miles.
  • At the end of the day, Land Rover does not stand behind its cars. This, above all, is a MAJOR reason not to choose a Land Rover---especially a Freelander.

    The following describes the car I drove off the lot after buying it new:

    * THE ENGINE SMOKED at stop signs and red lights. It turned out that the engine thermostat was defective.
    * After about two weeks, the wheel made rotating noises every time we went over small bumps. It turned out the break pad was defective.
    * The car is a Freelander SE, and we paid for heated seats. The window sticker said the car had heated seats. The car did not match the sticker however, and we had to bring it back back to the dealer to get the feature installed.

    Duing the ensuing year, the following problems have surfaced:
    * The sunroof stopped working because of a defective motor.
    * The side window stopped working because of a defective electrical part.
    * Engine dashboard warning lights came on because of electrical problems, a defective air intake valve, and other issues that involved words I did not understand. This happened within days after the car was in for its regular maintenance!

    We complained to Land Rover that so many issues --brakes, electrical, engine problems--were not normal for a car only a year-and-a-half old. After contacting Paul Miller in Parsippany, New Jersey, Land Rover's response was that the break-downs were part of the normal wear and tear that is covered under the warranty. In other words, WITHIN WHAT LAND ROVER CONSIDERS ACCEPTABLE FOR ITS CARS.

    Less than two weeks after Land Rover's response, the car broke down entirely and had to be towed into the shop. That is where we are now with this Land Rover. We HIGHLY suggest----DONT LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU.
  • We bought the car for about couple of months and it has logged only about 2700km on it. So, it is pretty new. I only drive at about 110km on a HWY, so it is not too fast at all. However, during my recent business trip to US, it broke down right before the border. The display was flashing F4 and there was a burnt smell. Fortunately, there wasn't too many car and I was in a complete stop. It appears that there is a major oil leak and oil was all over the engine and on the road under the car. After a while, I was able to start the car and move it to the side of the road. I waited for almost 2 hours in a freezing cold (about -20C) for the tow truck. It was a really bad experience. It is a new car and it is not suppose to be like this. I also own a Suzuki sidekick, Acura and a Toyota Sienna. None of them had given me any problems. The Sidekick is 10 years old and has 300000+km on it. It still runs fine even after an over-night low of -25C. I could start the engine the next morning even though I did not plug in the block heater.

    Right now, I am still waiting for the dealer to have it fixed and it has been 3 days.

    In a couple of years, I will probably buy another car (SUV) and it will DEFINITELY not a Land Rover vehicle because I have lost my trust or confidence on its quality or lack of it.

    So, my lesson to you is if you are thinking about buying a Freelander, think twice. For me, no more and I won't even put my family in the car because I cannot trust it not to break down in the middle of the road again.
  • first of all, thanks LR freelander owners of your honest impressions. i still like the freelander, especially the SE3. i've seen in los angeles that the 03's are being advertised at $7,000.00 off MSRP right now for all in-stock LR freelenders.

    anyone believe that this time next year would be a good time to deal for an '04 SE3? right now my local LR dealer will take $500 off sticker...only cos it has the wrong wheels (16" as opposed to 17").
  • retlefretlef Posts: 17
    Landover finally bought my vehicle back after 60 plus cumulative days in the shop. I had electrical problems, brake problems, transmission replacement, full wiring harness replacement, ECM replacement, wiring harness in the dashboard replacement, rear seat belt replacement, window motor replacement, and a water leak in the rear hatch that you could raise gold fish in. I had to file a claim with the BBB to finally make Landrover hear me. I of course had only written, emailed and spoken to Landrover twenty or thirty times prior to contacting the BBB. I even had a unique Landrover case number, which did me no good. When I returned the vehicle the 4 & F continued to blink on the odometer, the engine warning light continued to come on along with the hill decent failure light. The transmission still shifted hard on a vehicle that had very low miles on it. Through out the entire ordeal I carried a digital video camera to prove that the vehicle had problems. Landrover has repatriated the vehicle and it sits on one of their Landrover lots ready to be sold again, to some poor consumer. I saw this with my own eyes!!! All consumers should be aware of this when looking at used Landrovers at dealerships!! Last but not least Landrover treated me as if I was a second class citizen idiot. A word to the wise,when dealing with Freelander problems with Landrover.

    1.Always carry a digital camera

    2.Always take you vehicle in when a warning light comes on or the 4 & F blink

    3.Always report the hard shifting between 2nd and 3rd

    4.Always check the rear hatch where your jack is for water(lots of it) or rust around the lock mechanism

    5.Always report the brake wear and rotor replacement on the front disk brakes

    6.Always save all service paperwork

    7.Always report all problems to Landrover North America in writing and via email(keep all correspondence)

    8.Always be tenacious when dealing with Landrover and demand your rights

    9.Always contact
  • Geez, I wonder if I am reading the Yugo board. Is the LR that bad of a vehicle? Seems so.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    Is the LR that bad of a vehicle?

    No, but if you're plagued with problems by any given vehicle then it's hard to conclude otherwise. Usually a little sympathy allays frustration.

    tidester, host
  • 'Usually a little sympathy allays frustration.'

    I don't visit Edmunds to patronize.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    I don't visit Edmunds to patronize.

    Nor does anyone else. Certainly, you're not here to deride folks who have had difficulties with their vehicles.

    Let's move on.

    tidester, host
  • Congratulations on your buyback. I have watched your posts over the last few months and can honestly say I felt your pain. I too had owned one of those Freelanders. Thanks you for the honest insightful how to. Good luck with whatever your next vehicle is..
  • Since I had the day off, I went to the local LR dealer to see about a test drive on an SE3. The dealer (who also sells other European brands) told me that I should make an appointment for a test drive and not just come in; since they are in an off-site location.

    I felt a bit like I was inconveniencing them by coming in. I have written-off that dealer and will look for another in my area. Heck, I just may go off the board and purchase a Honda Element.
  • I've compared everything to the '04 Freelander and still come back to it because of the soild feel and comfort. However, in reading all the comments I'm concerned about the engine build. Are these issues for real? The LR dealer advise they do not use parts from Lucas "anymore". Still have issues with the transmisson and brakes. Thoughts?
  • retlefretlef Posts: 17
    Thoughts--about the 04. Well if read my previous posts I had an 02 which Landrover just bought back. They offered me an 04. I couldn't do it. I wanted my $$ back so that I could buy a dependable vehicle. The 02 is identical to the 04 other than a face lift. Pop the hood and take a gander at the engine compartment. You will see Lucas stamps stickers all over the engine compartment(hint look a the back of the speedometer). The Freelander is a hodge of parts from Lucas,BMW and now probably Ford. The vehicles are plagued by problems world wide, electrical, transmission, brakes etc(just browse the web)... Need I say more--just read my previous posts. When my Freelander was running it was a great car to drive, though it spent most of it's time at the shop! I feel it is important to warn any consumer about the purchase of this vehicle.
  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    Lucas has not been in the automotive component business for years, the salesman is right. Freelander also has next to no Ford componentry other than some relays. Engines are by Rover Car company (not part of Land Rover since 2000), Transmissions are by JATCO (which is a Japanese company), Engine management system is by Seimens (which includes all engine and transmission control software and is a German company that supplies many other manufacturers), and chassis, interior, and body parts are unique to the Freelander. I certainly can understand your hostility towards the vehicle since you seemed to have gotten one with a lot of problems, but it doesn't help to misrepresent the facts. Also, just because the basic chassis and running gear has the same specs, it does not mean that there have not been many improvements made to the vehicle that are not readily apparent by looking at the vehicles.
  • riri23riri23 Posts: 15
    I know many owners that have had no problems at all with their vehicles. I have read here and at other sites of people with small and major issues but most of the issues are with '02 models. '02 was the first year of the Freelander in the U.S. and although the Freelander has been out for many years in Europe the specs are not the same. My thoughts is that the '02 had most of the bugs of the new model.
    Just my two cents.
  • I have an '03, ~18k miles on it and the ohly problem I had was a faulty rear diff (high pitched whine). It was replaced and now the car is "perfect". I am not denying (nor could I) any other experiences, but wanted to give another perspective.

    This car is a pleasure to drive!
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