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Land Rover Freelander



  • Lucas is still a big part of Landrover. Retlef is correct just open the hood and take a look. The transmission you mentioned I believe is what they put on the Discoveries not the Freelander. I heard Freelanders use a BMW 3 or 5 series transmission. I also owned one of these beasts and can attest that they are maintinence nightmares. Though I agree I like they way they drive...
  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    You obviously are as ill informed as retlef. I work for Land Rover North America and am very familiar with the source of the vehicle components. I have also spent time under the hood of our vehicles, including yesterday prior to posting my response. Lucas was bought by TRW in 1998 and effectively no longer supplies automotive components. Discovery uses a ZF Auto transmission, not a JATCO unit. The Jatco unit used was intitally for the front drive Rover 75 with a seperate differential added to enable rear drive for the AWD on the Freelander. The Freelander V6 drivetrain was developed when BMW owned both Rover cars and Land Rover and BMW used the Rover 75 drivetrain. BMW's have longitudinal straight six engines and are primarily RWD. The Freelander has a transverse V6 and has a transaxle for the front wheels with the added IRD unit to provide rear drive. Once again, it helps to have your facts straight.
  • retlefretlef Posts: 17
    Hey it's great you are a mechanic you have a lot of job security with the Freelander series. Just a little clarity. The Freelander V6 comes with a five-speed automatic gearbox, featuring Steptronic ‘manual’ change developed by Land Rover. The five-speed automatic Steptronic gearbox is equipped with multiple drive modes for maximum control. This gearbox is viewed by the company as a major improvement. The bottom line is mine was replaced with less than 12k on it. The "replacement transmission" had similar problems!! Of course mine was one out of hundreds that was plagued by problems, multiple problems from wiring to brakes to transmission to electrical!!! Fortunately Landrover was forced to buy it back. It's great you review posts here, maybe you can help the other folks with problematic Freelanders. There seem to many of those folks posting comments...
  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    I am not a mechanic, I just know a lot about the vehicles. The "Steptronic" is not the type of gearbox, it is the manual shift mode that is one of the features of the software in the transmission control module. Land Rover did not design this feature alone, it was a feature developed by Jatco and BMW along with Land Rover. Actually Land Rover had to change the name from "Steptronic" to "Command Shift" when Ford aquired Land Rover from BMW in 2000 as "Steptronic" is a registered trademark of BMW and is used in several of their vehicles with automatic transmissions. As I said before, BMW used the engine and transmission from the Rover 75 sedan and modified it to allow for the AWD feature in the Freelander. Jatco supplies the same 5 speed automatic transmission to several companies, not just Land Rover.
     Sorry to hear about your negative experience with the vehicle, but there are many owners who are having a positive experience with the vehicle.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 39,041
    "OK, so this thing is, like, cuter than the original Suzuki Samurai, the VW New Beetle and Honda Element all rolled into one. That's not meant as a slight, but an honest statement of our adoration."

    Follow-Up Test: 2004 Land Rover Freelander

    Steve, Host
  • Thanks for the link, Steve_! Those pics are great, and the review is mostly positive.

    I really don't view the Freelander as "cute" nor would I compare it to an Element; but I was glad they did the price comparison between the SE3 and Toyota's RAV4.

    This must be a sign...since 2 days ago I put a deposit down on a 2004 Java Black Freelander SE3 with the 18" wheels. I tried a new dealer, and the difference is night and day! Now I'm wondering if I should lease or buy.

  • normbxnormbx Posts: 4
    I searched here when deciding to get a FL back in late September last year.
    Despite all the negative reports we drove and liked the freelander so much we got it.
    After six months (the FL had 6K miles on it when purchased)
    So far, after a long New England Winter it has been great!

    In the snow, this SUV beats the CR-v hands down. Incredible. I owned a Jeep Wrangler and a CR-v and this beat them both in the snow totally.

    Vehicle is solid as can be and a pleasure to drive and ride in.

    Frankly I like it now, more than the discovery, which we used for a while, when getting the oil change. The freelander is just more fun.

    So, while I can't dismiss the problems that others are having with this SUV, I can say that we are loving ours. If you wanted a toyota, then you shoulda got a toyota.
  • sacstate1sacstate1 Posts: 189
    'If you wanted a toyota, then you shoulda got a toyota.'

    I did.
  • rex4johnrex4john Posts: 17
    Hopefully by the end of the week, I'll be taking ownership of a Java Black 2004 Freelander SE3. I'm really looking forward to it. I think I'm going to get the accessory soft-top and see if I can get bodyside moldings put on it, also.

    I may be in the shop a bit more than my Lexus, MAYBE...but I think it will be fun to have a truck with a bit more "soul" to it than the appliance I drive now.
  • waroverwarover Posts: 1
    I feel obligated to comment to save other consumers the grief I've experienced with my vehicle. Brake rotors warped at 12k - LR coporate reviewed but can't explain - LR will not share frequency/cause of failure. Dealership told me Freelander rotors were in short supply nationwide last summer. Why short supply on a 18 month old vehicle? Perhaps b/c this brake rotor warping problem is widespread. My dealer used non-standard parts resulting in catastrophic brake failure injuring 3 people. No more Rovers for me.
  • retlefretlef Posts: 17
    I felt compelled to repost.. My 2002 Freelander
    was bought back by Landrover North America in Dec 2003 after a year of problems incuding pads/rotors!!

    I had to replace the front disk brakes and rotors at 23k($650 at dealer) with no warning other than the dealer telling me the pads needed replacement.. The dealer said usually the brakes and rotors fail somewhere around 12k and that I was "a good braker" what does that mean? The pads don't even have warning sensors on them.. The rotors were shredded and could not be resurfaced. Apparently Landrover rotors on the Freelanders are made from a very thin material and cannot be resurfaced and must be replaced. I'm not real keen on brake jobs every few thousand miles. Though I agree the vehicle does stop well--but it eats rotors and pads. The new Kevlar pads none OEM part seem to be working very well with about 2k on them.

    I found some after market pads which I ordered from The pads are made from Kevlar and are called Kevlar EBC's and apparently last longer than the OEM PADS. I did the brake job myself and noticed the rotors were also bad. I brought this up with Landrover and they could care less. I also recommend looking at this site information on how to change your own pads(it was pretty easy).

    Landrover has known about this problem for several years they just don't do anything about it. It is sad!!!
  • traceroldtracerold Posts: 1
    I am looking into purchasing a 2004 Freelander HSE but after reading these messages I am concerned. Did Land Rover work out the 2002 problems and all is well or should I bag the Freelander and concentrate on a BMW X3?
  • ph0enixph0enix Posts: 1
    I have bought a new Freelander S back in June of 2003 and so far haven't had any major problems with it other than the brakes. The rotors and the pads were replaced at 8,000 miles at no charge (LR said they weren't even that bad but I complained about brake noise) so I figured that Land Rover acknowledged that there is a design flaw in the system and that they're going to replace them at no charge every time - no dice! The car has 22,000 miles now and they told me that my rotors needed to be replaced again for "only" $508. When I flipped while on the phone with them and asked them how is it that the rotors on my 97 Pathfinder last 65,000-70,000 miles and on the Freelander, they only last 10,000-12,000, they told me that it was perfectly normal for that vehicle and gave me some BS about Freelander being a full time 4x4 and said that you're constantly either pushing or pulling on the brakes while driving which makes no sense whatsoever. If you don't step on the brakes there are no forces acting on the pads or the rotors. I told them to go to hell and bought my own, high performance parts on the net (let's hope that they last longer than the cheapos LR installs by default). The Greenstuff EBC 6000 pads and the EBC Sport Brake Rotors (drilled blind) cost me $270 with tax and shipping charges. I had them put in by a local garage for another $65. The next time I might even install them myself. Other than that, the HDC warning and the TC warning lights came on a few times. I told LR about it the last time I took the truck for maintenance and I haven't seen either of the lights since. Anyone who compares the Freelander to a Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4 or Honda CR-V is thoroughly mistaken. The FL's handling off road and in the snow is truly AMAZING! It's a very fun car to drive - any car enthusiast should be able to recognize that right away. The steptronic transmission really rocks!!! I'm hearing that the BMW X3 doesn't come even close handling-wise.
    I give the FL design team 9 out of 10 (-1 for those brakes) and the FL service team about 5 out of 10.

    I would highly recommend the Freelander to any sport truck and off-road enthusiast who doesn't mind replacing the brakes every 12,000 miles and who doesn't mind being treated like an idiot by the LR service staff.

    I don't work for Land Rover. I just really love the FL. I'm considering a Discovery next. Perhaps then the LR staff will treat me like I'm at least half human ;)
  • retlefretlef Posts: 17
    Speaking as a prior owner of a Freelander SE DO NOT waste your hard earned money. This vehicle has far too many problems from brakes to electrical. When my Freelander was not in the shop it drove really well. The problem was it spent most of the year I owned it at the dealership being worked on!! I got to drive Kia's,Hyundai's and low end Chevy's and Ford's instead. I would not recommend this LR to my worst enemy!!!
  • I'm thinking of purchasing a used 2003 Freelander S with fairly low mileage. I went through most of the posts and I would say that there were many posts which were negative and "buyer beware." Is this a "safe" car to drive? Does the lack of side air bags bother anyone? Or the poor marks it received from safety crash tests?
  • I looking into buying a small SUV. I really like to looks of a Freelander, but have not driven one. I've driven the Escape and it seems to handle very well, and seems solid. Two questions:
    1) The quality issues posted have me very concerned with the Freelander. It seems as though most folks refer to problems with their 2002 models. Are these issues still present with the 2004's?
    2) The Freelander engine size seems kind of small compared to the Escape. I'm going to try and drive one in the next week, or two. Hopefully that'll answer that question, but feedback would be appreciated as well.
  • amp9000amp9000 Posts: 1
    I was hoping to get some further information on the problems with your 02 Freelander. Mine is now again at the dealership getting a new transmission.

    It first broke down on my way home from vacation, when several dash lights lit up and the F 4 was flashing on the odo. It was towed to a local dealership and they claimed it was the battery and shipped it back to me. Not a week later, I was driving home from work and the drive stopped working, F 4 flashing, and I had to drive home in 4th gear. I then took it to my local dealer and it has been there about one week.

    I have had no problems with brakes until 45,000 miles and the dealership seemed VERY surprised that they lasted so long. After reading all of these posts, I can see why.

    I was curious as to the timing of your service calls, and if you did get a new transmission.

  • sadsad Posts: 1
    just a warning to anyone looking to buy a used 2002 freelander se.
    had 1st one less than 1 month, 600 miles. computer malfunctioned, had to flatbed it to dealer.they tried their best, getting maryland facility involved. no luck. couldn't fix it. had it approx. 30 days. after many "discussions" with landrover in maryland and procrastinations on their part, along with "legal action" threat from my lawyer, they approved a new vehicle for me. picked it up. absolutely no problems, other than front abs brake replacement at 15,000 miles until 1 week ago with another 500 miles on it. used it, came home, got back in it 1/2 hour later, started it up, put it in gear. and it would not accelerate to more than 5 mph and service light went on. called dealer, had it flatbedded to dealer. diagnosis- computer malfunction. dealer was told computers on back-order, but thru their own efforts located one. sent an employee to pick it up, put it in. picked up car yesterday, went right to another car dealership and traded it in..loved it prior to this, but no longer have any confidence in landrover. have sent complaint to them via email, if it does any good!
    worse part? was going to trade it in for a 2004 hse, as they've dressed it up nicely. i'm done with landrover..which makes me both sad and angry
  • I'm in a dilemma, I have been looking at purchasing a small SUV that I plan to keep for a while, (at least 7-10 years) and I'm looking at the 2004 freelander HSE (4 year warranty), the 2004 liberty (4 year warranty), and the 2005 escape (7 year warranty). With all of the horror stories about the freelander, I don't want to end up with a lemon, yet I want something with some power able to go in the snow and won't cost me and arm and a leg. How does the freelander drive with the 2.5 engine vs the liberty 3.7, and the escape 3.0. I love the looks of the freelander, but the cargo room is somewhat tiny. Any advice?
  • jimm718jimm718 Posts: 6
    A couple of local LR dealers are selling Land Rover Re-Acquired Vehicles at a significant discount. According to the salesman, these were repurchased by LR under "lemon laws", sent to the east coast, totally repaired, and then bought by the dealers. They come with a balance of 62,000 mile/5 year warranty.

    As an example, I saw a 2002 SE with 28,000 miles for $17,000.

    Any thoughts? Am I just buying someone elses problems or do you think LR has really fixed them?
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