Use car buying guide: Land Rover Freelander 2

Land Rover Freelander 2 used buying guide - hero front There are many reasons for wanting the Freelander 2: its comfort, off-road prowess, compactness, reliability and value. Here's how to grab a good one

Set against today's nicely styled SUVs, the 2-2006 Land Rover Freelander 15 looks tough and ready for a dose of hard work, whether it's towing a horse wagon, crossing a river or rounding up sheep.

In fact, thanks to its on-demand, four-wheel-drive system and other traction tricks and lust for diesel engines, it can do all these things and more. One specialist sees this model as a sort of mini-Range Rover: it's comfortable and capable.

It arrived with a choice of two engines: a drinkable but sweetly powerful 230bhp 3.2 auto petrol badged i6 and destined to be a bad seller; and a 158bhp 2.0 liter manual diesel called the TD4, which was the backbone of the series. Soon came the automatic version after.

Under normal conditions, most of the power goes to the front wheels, but at the moment the four-wheel-drive system is sniffing trouble, a Haldex center clutch sends it to the rear. Also, since 2009, all but the base version have a Land Rovers terrain response system. This torque adjustment, drive and traction control, and is determined by the range of driving modes.

If you think four-wheel drive is unnecessary, there are always two four-wheel drive ed4s a few, released in 2010 to coincide with the Freelander 2's first facelift. Very few have been sold, but it's wise to check you're not buying one mistake. For the record, a well maintained, 2013/62-Reg 2.2 ed4 few with 80000 miles costs around £7490. But back to the "correct" version.

In 2009 the i6 petrol (we found a 2007/07-Reg 3.2 i6 in a car with 90km and a full service history for £000) was noticeably downgraded and the TD7495e with Stop/Start, promising lower emissions, was introduced. A year later, the facelift knocked on the door (new grille, headlights and bumpers). The 4bhp TD158 4 lost 2.0bhp but gained more torque and the less powerful 10 ed2.0 somewhat gained. Also a new more powerful 4-liter diesel engine under the brand name SD2,0. It produced 4bhp but the same torque as the other two engines and the auto only. It was a solid seller but outperformed two to one on the TD187.

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Around this time, the Freelander began to feel the heat from more modern premium competitors so Land Rover sprang another facelift (revised design, new center console, more features, more compact electronic parking brake and passive start) to an unsuspecting public in 2012. The unloved ed4 went down a bit, leaving TD4 and SD4 to keep fighting.

Since launch, Steam Freelander 2 has ranged from base C through the popular GS and xs to rig. However, that 2012 facelift was marked by some of the beating stims it brought, including Dynamic, and, beckoned at the end, Metropolis.

As the finish line approached, the car summed up the Freelander 2 as a class off-road ability so far judging it would be no less competitive in most other areas. How to use the ones you ever get cheaper, you can add good value to rainbow reports.

Expert opinion

Sue Maddock, co-director, freelanderspecialist.com: “on the Freelander 2 it is very different from the original model - much more reliable and better. The diesels are very good, but the rare 3.2 petrol is a dream to drive. If its economy bothers you, there's a HBO conversion installed. We rarely see the ed4 somewhat because its drivetrain is so much simpler, and that's a real problem with the 2C's four-wheel drive: drivetrain. It is very sensitive to tire condition, quality and pressure. No problem here and the system thinks it has detected wheel slip and engages the four-wheel drive. Maybe you're doing 60 miles an hour and all of a sudden it dies, when it can cause all sorts of damage.”

Buyer beware

■ Engine: watch for leaks in the intercooler area, and when you turn off the engine, the gas emits a high-pitched noise, then a click. If it does not expect problems with the launch. Make sure the oil change intervals are correct and that only high grade oil is used. Diesels need a new roller every 150k miles.

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■ Gearbox: cars are generally fine, but manuals can suffer from problems with dual disc flywheels. Make sure the Haldex coupling has been treated with fresh oil and filter every 20000 miles.

■ Transmission: listen to the whining diff and crunchy power transmission unit and feel for the front wheels shaking in the corners.

■ Steering, suspension and brakes: the steering rack can give problems, so check the wheel turns smoothly from lock to lock. Make sure the electronic handbrake is working and the discs are not clogged. Look at broken springs and worn bushes.

■ Body: rust is rare except for vehicles used close to the coast. Check the bottom for off-road damage and the sides of the hull for scratches. Make sure the central locking works.

■ Interior: for a test drive, make sure the fuel gauge is moving. On the top specs, we check the climate control and the sunroof and seats work as they should.

■ Also worth knowing: All in all, the Freelander 2 is a reliable SUV with an easy six-figure mileage. However, it is sensitive to changes in the oil on the button.

How much to spend

£2000-£4499: launch in 2009 - mileage (many up to 170 thousand) 2.2 TD4s.

£4500-£5999: the same range of cars, but the mileage is closer to 100k.

£6000-£7999: lower mileage (about 80k) 2008-09 TD4s plus some restyled 2010-11 cars, including SD4 cars at reasonable mileage.

£8000-£9999: lots of 2012-13 TD4s and SD4s with less than 100k miles and good stories.

£10,000-£13,999: low-mileage (50k) 2012-14 TD4s and SD4s with good specs and waterproof service history.

£14,000-£19,000: better late-plate dynamic and HSE luxury cars.

We found

Freelander 2.2 TD4 GS, 2011/61, 74K miles, £7795: “A complete and impeccable service to history,” claims the ad for this updated example. The car comes with a rear load cover (they are also often missing) and parking sensors on all sides. Being white suggests that there is little, if any, off-road…

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