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Land Rover Freelander

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Comments

  • bobcatbobbobcatbob Posts: 187
    Thanks for your help folks!

    Interesting way to gurantee a good price, to say the least!

    Now, the only thing that concerns me is (a) Purchasig at the X-Price "when vehicle are plentiful." and (b) a factory or special order being needed.

    A LR dealer could say the Freelander isn't plentiful, so order one from a factory and get it in 7 months.

    Are X-Plans, as a rule, generally honored or are they up to the individual dealer?
  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    The X-plan is a voluntary program, and on high demand vehicles the Retailers can refuse to sell it at A or X-Plan prices. This can vary from one retailer to another though. The price should be the same if a vehicle is in stock or ordered. The retailer cannot up the price of the vehicle with fee's, but they can add dealer installed accessories.
  • bobcatbobbobcatbob Posts: 187
    So, any new Freelander info from the world of LRNA?
  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    But I did have the opportunity to ride in one on our Off-road demonstration course. I was very impressed, it handled all of the obstacles with no trouble at all. We even cross-axled the vehicle and opened all the doors it to check the body structure. Most Unibody SUV's and even some body on frame SUV's will have enough twist to prevent the doors from closing. The Freelander's doors closed with ease. There were no creaking noises as we traversed the obstacles either.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Ooh, do share what the other SUVs were that couldn't close their doors. I know that Explorers are notorious for this (and I think also the Lexus RX300) since MB has used them in similar frame twister demos before.


    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • bobcatbobbobcatbob Posts: 187
    Cross-axled the vehicles?

    Help my poor brain out on a definition of this term.
  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    Having the vehicle situated that the left front wheel is at full compression while the right front is at full extension. Meanwhile the right rear is at full compression while the left rear is at full extension. This puts a large twisting force into the chassis of the vehicle and will actually cause bending of the frame and twisting of the body on vehicles that do not have a lot of structural rigidity.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    image


    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • nanuqnanuq Posts: 765
    If you don't have adequate suspension travel you can get caught with a wheel in the air, two opposite corner wheels in the air means you're generally stuck:

    image

    whereas LOTS of wheel travel means you keep your tires in contact with the ground and you drive out under control:

    image
  • bobcatbobbobcatbob Posts: 187
    Well, ok, I don't know that I'd be doing anything like those photos show......But, it's good to know that I could!
  • agh15agh15 Posts: 90
    DOES ANYONE KNOW IF THE FREELANDER WILL GET WINGCAST WHEN IT COMES OUT.
  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    There are no plans to include it in the 2002, do not know of any plans for Land Rover to include it in any of our products. I would imagine it might be available in the new Range Rover before any other product from Land Rover.
  • agh15agh15 Posts: 90
    ON THE EDMUNDS REVIEW OF THE FREELANDER THEY SAID THAT IT WOULD HAVE NAVIGATION SYSTEM BUT CANT SEEM FIND ANY INFO ON IT. HAS ANY HEARD ANYTHING ABOUT THAT
  • agh15agh15 Posts: 90
    I REALLY LIKED THE WAY THAT FREELANDER HAS A COLOR KEYED EXTERIOR ON THE KENSINGTON CONCEPT DOES ANYONE KNOW IF IT WILL HAVE A COLOR KEYED EXTERIOR WHEN IT HITS PRODUCTION MODEL.
  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    The Nav system is made by a company named Becker and is in the dash. It incorporates the Radio head also. It has a small display that displays directional arrows, but is to small to display a map.
  • bobcatbobbobcatbob Posts: 187
    Correct me if I am wrong, but I think the Kalahari and Kensington were merely concept models. I thin LR does have a special vehicles shop, but I thought those two were couched as "what could be done with the Freelander."
  • agh15agh15 Posts: 90
    IS THERE ANY NEWS ON THE FREELANDER
  • stockcar33stockcar33 Posts: 1
    The two models were essentially concepts, but LRNA has a department in MD that creates special edition vehicles - most are created at at HQ and installed in port.
  • gpvsgpvs Posts: 214
    Is there a reason why you type in upper case? That's the same as shouting or screaming. Or are you really screaming? :)
  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    Is a separate dept. at Solihull, and they do the actual construction of special vehicles now. In the past LRNA has developed some special trim for US only models, 98 Discovery LSE and the Trek vehicles are examples. But the Kalahari and Kensington vehicles were built in Solihull, as were the Holland and Holland and Rhino Range Rovers. LRSV does have a representative in Lanham who coordinates with the marketing dept in developing special editions.
  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    I spent the day yesterday getting certified to drive visitor's around LRNA's Lanham creek demonstration course. This included driving the Freelander along with the Discovery and Range Rover. I was very impressed with how the Freelander performed on a course that was designed to show the performance of the Defender, Discovery, and Range Rover. You do have to be more attentive to ground clearance (Discovery and Range Rover have 2 more inches, and the course has several areas where the rocks are 1" higher than the Freelander's clearance) and the lack of low range changes how you use the engine and brakes. The Freelander handled the standard obstacles on the course with no problem. I heard from the instructors that it has handled the expert sections also, but as there are only a few vehicles here they didn't want to risk damaging them with drivers unfamiliar with the techniques required to safely navigate them.
    The Electronic Traction Control and Hill Descent Control work very well to maintain traction and control in rocky or slippery ascents and descents. Chassis stiffness is excellent and the long travel suspension works well. Two areas of concern for owners considering off-roading this vehicle are the mud flaps are made of a rigid plastic which could break upon impact with rocks and sill panels that are painted metal instead of black grained plastic like the Range Rover and Discovery are equipped with.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Thanks for your great post, Chuck. Any ideas if Land Rover is going to change the mudflaps to a softer, less rigid material? If so, why not? Is there an advantage to the stiffer plastic material?I know that the MB M-class owners have had the same problems, and the mudflaps may catch on a rut or rock and flex until it eventually rips off.


    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    I have heard of no plans to change the material, and since most of the vehicles will be used on road only it probably isn't seen to be a big issue. If feedback from owners and retailers shows it to be a problem I suspect it will change. The curious thing is the Discovery and Range Rover flaps are made of a soft compound so I cannot understand why they did not spec the same material.
  • bobcatbobbobcatbob Posts: 187
    If I were to purchase a 30K Land Rover, or any off=road intended car for that matter, and the mud flaps broke after 1-2 off-road adventures, I'd sure as heck get the dealer on the phone and demand replacements. Hard material or not, the vehicle is made to perform under arduous off-road conditions. For LR to equip the Freelander with materials that don't cut the mustard is poor manufacturing. IMHO, of course.

    The wwww.freelander.com website has been updated and the nitro is a bit longer now. Love the look of the black Freelander in the driveway.
  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    And our instructors have not broken any yet, they just were cautioning us about a possibility. The Freelander has been on sale in Europe and other markets since 1997. The conditions on our demonstration course are on the extreme side of what the average person would try, especially with an AWD vehicle. There were 2500 tons of rocks imported from several states to build it. These rocks were used on 2000 feet of trail, so it is an arduous test of a vehicles abilities. There are several side tilts that range from 20-40 degrees and the verticle ascent and descent are 28-35 degrees. There is also a 70 foot water crossing with a 30 degree climb up a waterfall to exit the course. This course was designed to show off the abilities of the Discovery and Range Rover, and the fact that the Freelander can navigate it successfully is a tribute to the vehicle's ability. I certainly wouldn't try it in my wife's Forester or any other small SUV.
  • bobcatbobbobcatbob Posts: 187
    Ok, I understand. Needless to say I am both psyched and wary of the Freelander.

    First of all it looks great and seemingly performs amazingly.

    Second, according to www.blueovalnews.com, the Freelander will be re designed in 2003. So, that said, it would arrive here a year later and thus in 2004, a new Freelander with a bunch of new goodies will appear on our shores.

    Third, well, I am trying to convince myself that the Freelander really is better than a full size Explorer, Jeep Liberty, Ford Escape, RAV4, Highlander, and others that cost less than 30K... This is the tough question given the DISCO's recent troubles with reliability (according to Consumer Reports)

    Fourth, I will be battling some serious soccer mom for a Freelander if I want one by next May. Any sort of X-Plan discount or incentive from a dealer simply isn't going to happen.

    Any comments?
  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    First, I wouldn't take everything I read on BlueOvalnews as gospel. There has been a great deal of money spent updating the Freelander for the U.S. Market and the new Range Rover and new Discovery are probably the next new products coming out. The Range Rover is due out next May and the Discovery will probably be out in 2004-5. Given the amount of work to bring out a new model and the product in the pipeline, I think a major refresh of the Freelander wouldn't be due until 2005. There is also a lot of pressure to bring a redesigned Defender to the U.S.
    The question of reliability is certainly a valid concern, but Ford is investing heavily to bring the Solihull Factory up to a modern facility and is also working on upgrading the morale and training of the assembly workers. There has been a noticable increase in quality of the vehicles arriving at the U.S. ports in the last few months, and I'm sure it will get better in the future.
    The question of which vehicle is better for you is one you have to answer for yourself, there are good things to be said for all of them.
    Deals will be a concern, as our vehicles are not going to be mass marketed, and most of our retailers do not have the volume to be able to afford to deeply discount the product. If you live in the Balt.-Wash area you do have the advantage of having several dealers in the area that are not owned by the same person, something many areas of the country do not have.
  • bobcatbobbobcatbob Posts: 187
    First of all, what is your first name, I hate using the name "TinCup" is all of these posts...

    Second, I was reading a Motor Trend SUV magazine special last night and it quoted the Freelander price from a base of 26 to 30K for a full loaded one. Any comments on this?

    Also, what are initial allocations for LR usually like? In other words, do they produce enough so that all dealers have some in the beginning or is it based totally on sales?

    Finally, how many LR dealers are there in this great land of ours?

    Thanks,

    Bob
  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    My name is Chuck. Pricing has not been set to my knowledge. I would imagine Freelanders to start showing up at the ports in Oct.-Nov., but that is just a guess on my part. I would think we would want all our retailers to have stock on Dec 1. At pesent we have 140 retailers, 90 are Land Rover Centre's, the rest shared facilities with more scheduled to open.
  • bobcatbobbobcatbob Posts: 187
    Chuck, Pleasure to "meet" you. My name is Bob, and the Bobcats are the mascot of Ohio University, my alma mater.

    Ok, so arriving in December, this is a good thing as that comes into my purchasing horizon. Of course, getting all of the soccer moms off of the Freelanders might be a problem that soon. I may need to call around soon to see about deposits or ordering. Any idea how long it takes to get an order directly from LR?
  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    I would imagine retailers will start taking deposits around Oct.-Nov. Ordering time will depend on port stocks, I doubt if we will be doing build to order on these.
  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    Tuesday we get to see the first 5 true NAS spec Freelanders, up till now we have had German spec to look at and drive. There will be 2 S (cloth) models, 2 SE (leather) and 1 HSE (leather w/ Nav). These are being used for photo shoots so we won't get to drive them, but I will let you all know what they are like.
  • elfieelfie Posts: 47
    Hi,

    I know this will sound strange, but when you do get a chance to look at the Freelanders, can you let me know where the cup holders are? Just a pet peeve, but its been bugging me since I cant see them in any of the current pictures available.

    Oh and will keyless entry be available?

    Thanks!

    Jackie
  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    I will check the cupholder situation for you. I know that there are cupholders in each door panel at the front lower edge. These will hold a large cup or bottle, but seem like they would be a little awkward to use while driving. Unfortunately the English find the idea of driving while eating and drinking to border on the ridiculous. I know we are pressing for additional ones for this market. Keyless entry is standard equipt on the Discovery and the Range Rover, so I would be surprised if it isn't on the Freelander.
  • curreycurrey Posts: 144
    Do you think you might get to post any of those interior pictures (especially the SE and HSE) of the NA Freelander they will be taking in the upcoming weeks?
  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    I doubt if I will, that would put me at odds with Corporate Communications.
  • curreycurrey Posts: 144
    We don't want that, or anything that might jeopardize all this terrific inside scoop you are providing on the Freelander. Maybe you could just tell us when and where they eventually get published and we could go hunt them down ourselves. Thanks again for the info.
  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    I will certainly keep you all posted with all the info I can.
  • hatton3hatton3 Posts: 13
    I sound like a stuck record here but ... in the UK we have had Freelanders for over 3 years now so they are well tried tested and debugged. The vehicles are very popular with rock solid residuals and high driver appeal. The v6 is a stonking good engine but a tad thirsty when you have to pay £5 or circa $8 a gallon !!! That is one reason why the diesel option is so popular here. They run 35 mpg, give better torque, are very robust and amazingly smooth and quiet. The engines are all built by BMW in Austria and are called a TD4. I doubt you will be getting that engine option in the US as I understand you all feel diesels are only fit for 8 wheels or more. You are missing out however and I encourage you to ask your dealers to source some good European diesels to test .
  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    I agree that diesels are good technology, but there are several factors that keep them from being sold here. Whenever any automaker has tried, the numbers sold were a very small percentage of total vehicle sales. U.S. diesel fuel has a much higher percentage of Sulpher than what you get in Europe, so there is a problem with meeting particulate emission limits here. Also petrol is a whopping $1.70-$2.20 a gallon right now, with diesel fuel about the same price, so we don't have the same economic motivation. Freelander production with diesel engines is maxxed out now, there have been slowdowns at the Freelander production line due to the fact that BMW cannot (or will not ) supply any more engines than was agreed to. So every diesel Freelander is already allocated to the existing markets.
    From LRNA's standpoint, we have a big enough task launching this vehicle with engine technology our technicians understand. There will be an enormous training effort to get our retailers familiar with servicing a vehicle that is a totally foreign concept compared to Discovery and Range Rover. Add to that we are already requiring the retailers to invest in new tools and equipt. to support the V6 variant, it would be impractical to require the tools for a diesel engine variant that would sell in very small numbers.
  • agh15agh15 Posts: 90
    will the freelander have automatic air/heat and will it have rear air/heat.

    thanks
  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    I'm pretty sure it has manual air/heat, especially in the S and SE. I doubt rear heat/AC will be available, since there is only seating for 5
  • bobcatbobbobcatbob Posts: 187
    Chuck:

    Any word on the availability of side impact air bags for the Freelander? How about any other state-of-the-art safety features?
  • agh15agh15 Posts: 90
    I KNOW THAT THE DISCOVERY IN EUROPE HAS MANUAL AIR/HEAT, BUT HERE IT HAS AUTOMATIC SO I THOUGHT MAYBE IT WAS THE SAME FOR THE FREELANDER. DO YOU KNOW IF IT WILL HAVE POWER SEATS WHEN IT GETS HERE. IN THE EDMUNDS REVIEW OF THE FREELANDER THEY SAID THAT DIDNT HAVE SIDE AIRBAGS OR POWER SEATS.
  • odie6lodie6l Hershey, PaPosts: 1,173
    Being that the Freelander looks alot like the Escape/Tribute or vice versa...then why didn't Ford place the tire on the back of the Escape twins instead of a donut in the floor. Also, since Ford does own LR why didn't the Freelander get the 200hp V6 that is in the Escape twins. I have had a few friends here at my work look at the Escape since I have 1 on order and they are also looking at new cars. The question is, "Is the Freelander the same as the Escape/Tribute". Tincup.... you work for LR so you would have the best answer. I mean they do look alot alike.

    Odie
  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    The Freelander will not have power seats, I'll check on the side airbags.
  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    The Escape/Tribute have no parts commonality with the Freelander. The Freelander was released for sale in Europe in 1997, where it has become the top selling SUV. Development for the Freelander started in the early 90's, well before the Escape was even considered. The V-6 Freelander has been in development for over two years, long before Ford was in the picture. Any similarity would be coincidental.
  • odie6lodie6l Hershey, PaPosts: 1,173
    could the Escape/Tribute be quite possibly be modeled after the Freelander. Since it has been a great seller in Europe and Ford now owns LR, maybe ford decided to make the escape/tribute thinking it will sell as good as the freelander. I don't know Maybe?
  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    Ford looked at the success of the Honda CRV and Toyota RAV4 and saw the need for a smaller version of the Explorer. I do believe that you could make a case that it resembles the CRV more than the Freelander. As I said any decisions on the Escape-Tribute were made long before Ford had any idea that BMW would sell Land Rover independently of Rover Cars, which Ford nor any other manufacturer had any interest in purchasing.
  • agh15agh15 Posts: 90
    THAT DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE THIS A LUXURY COMPACT SUV WITH PRICING TO GO WITH IT AND IT DOESNT HAVE FEATURES LIKE POWER SEATS AND AUTO AIR/HEAT THAT COME IN A HYUNDAI
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