2003 Land Rover Freelander Serengeti 1.8 petrol


Good fun! If you're strong and not lazy


Central locking... Electricity is a strange and mystical power yet to be fully mastered by Land Rover.

Other than the highly capricious electricity, nothing has gone wrong at all.

General Comments:

Grizzles first. The car's a Booze Hound. 27 MPG is about as good as you'll get... You might get more by cruising at 56mph, all day long on a motorway.

Busy. The engine, even though it claims 115 horse power, makes lots of fuss without actually moving you along very quickly. Cruising over 70 makes conversation a bit shouty.

Likes a fight. The gear shift... You need some determination to change into first and reverse in particular. We took 'Florence' (My wife insists that's the car's name) to a mechanic and he assured us 'They're all a bit stiff'... A bit stiff!! Right.

The good bits. The seats are very comfortable although there are only four in the serengeti... Rear seat access is easy, even though the car only has two doors.

The boots space is very good, but I'm not a great fan of the rear door... It open out like a Discovery's... It's heavy and cumbersome.

I love the removable roof... Great fun, but when it's off, it's off for a while... You really have to struggle with it as it is very heavy... Definitely a two man job... or person job if we're being PC.

The little Free Lander is surprisingly GOOD off road... I'd go as far as to say, very capable... Much better than most other so called off roaders. Proper 4x4 stuff with hill decent mode. The Freelander won't match a 110 or a Suzuki Jimny, but you'd be amazed at what it can do!

I like the car, I really do, but you do have to 'DRIVE' it... Good fun, I approve.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th June, 2016

13th Jun 2016, 07:02

A very good, well written, entertaining review, and it told you everything you wanted to know.

23rd Oct 2016, 15:16

Not quite everything - it didn't say how many times the head gasket had been replaced (an intrinsic fault on these terrible vehicles).

3rd Dec 2016, 00:29

Absolutely true! Head gaskets were an issue... But we were assured that because they were such a nuisance, ours would have been 'sorted' and looking through the doomsday book of horrors, it had been.

2003 Land Rover Freelander Serengeti SE 1.8


Solid, well built, but thirsty 4 x 4


Clutch Replaced under warranty. Know fault with clutch judder and the dealer fitted a modified updated clutch without hesitation.

Brake pads needed at 16000.

General Comments:

Solid reliable 4x4. Engine is quite nippy around town, but the 1.8 can be quite noisy if you cruise over 80mph. Comfortable over long journeys, quiet and refined.

Drinks petrol and I drive it conservatively. On a recent motorway run cruising at 70mph it did around 27mpg!

Ultra reliable and solidly built. Hasn't put a foot wrong. This year has the update head gasket not much less risk of engine failure.

Dealer has been superb, polite and prompt. Offered a courtesy car without asking and valeted my car even though they replaced a non chargeable warranty item.

Good in the snow, you can cruise past all the mugs stuck in their front wheel drive cars!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th March, 2006

2003 Land Rover Freelander TDi Sports Premium 2.0 TDi


Robust and stylish workhorse


No faults so far in 6 months' ownership.

General Comments:

It feel solidly made and robust.

Its acceleration and straight-line speed performance do not set the world on fire, but excellent torque. Cruises happily at 70+mph.

Diesel consumption higher than I anticipated and worse than manufacturer's figures. c. 7 miles per litre and 400 miles from a tank of fuel.

Good driving position once you get used to the lack of seat-height adjustment. Good quality nu-buck leather seats. Excellent rear seat fold mechanism - the best I've encountered.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th January, 2006

2003 Land Rover Freelander ES Premium 2.0 turbo diesel


Good car that could be a LOT better


Air conditioning did not work when the car was new. This was fix by the dealer at the first service. The Stereo does not always see the CD changer and has to be turned off. The Key fob stopped working and had to be replaced and now the spare one does not work.

Apart from that Nothing has gone wrong.

General Comments:

I had a Y Reg Year 2000 Freelander and loved the car. It was very unreliable and in the end I refused to take it back from the dealer. Due to this Landrover and the dealer did me a deal on a new one. As I said I did love the car, they gave me a very good deal and I had heard that the QA was better on them since ford took Land Rover over.

The new car has proved to be reliable for the first 20K mile I have used it. On the whole I am happy with the car although it could be better. My car is the premium model which is top of the range, I think that I also have most of the options that are worth while. All of this said, there is no heated windscreen, The fan is crap and takes days to clear the screen if it is steamed up in the winter. If the window on the back door freezes you cannot open the boot.

There are lots of rattles around the car and there seems to be more each week. This is not what you expect from a car that is less than a year old.

I do like the car, but kinda think that next time I need a new one it will be something other than a Land Rover.. Maybe a Subaru Legacy or something.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 21st January, 2004