1998 Land Rover Freelander XEi 1.8i from UK and Ireland


A swimming pool on wheels


1. head gasket failed.

2. problems with the radio and central locking.

3. sun roof rails failed, replaced by dealer, now it leaks.

4. water ingress problem, rear security box fills with 1 inch of water, the problem is still ongoing, dealer unable to fix

5. tyres wear very quickly

6. Rear brake shoes stick

7. Air-conditioning unit leaks gas.

General Comments:

The car is damp.

The ride is like being in an armchair on a big spring.

Air-conditioning/ventillation not efficient.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th January, 2004

28th Oct 2004, 18:40

I too have been totally disgusted with my Land-rover Free-lander 1999 1.8xei station wagon, which I have owned since new. It has been serviced faithfully by the main dealer. I have no gripe with my dealer. It is the most costly car I have ever owned. I have recently had to have the head gasket replaced at my own cost even though Land-rover are aware of the issues with this fault. I contacted Land-rover, but as yet they have not seen fit to respond. There is now a leak which fills up the front passenger footwell. I thought this was due to a fault sunroof seal, but this was replaced and has been eliminated as the source of the fault. A waste of £55. I suspect the leak is either via the roof rail fixings or may be via a faulty roof seam. I have also had problems with seized rear brakes and HDC operation. I now consider (all) landrovers far too expensive to buy, maintain, but most of all the depreciation is horrendous. This is due mainly to the fact that the marque has been dragged through the muck in more ways than one. I will be lucky to get £5K for this car now. The car cost £22.5K when new. I have now purchased a more affordable BMW-X5 at £42K. I still have the Free-lander because I cannot find anyone willing to pay the £5K asking price. Who can blame them. Shame on you Land-rover & Ford.

Alister Kent.

1998 Land Rover Freelander XEi 1.8 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


An under-engineered, underpowered mistake


A loud rattle from the gearbox that only disappears when the clutch is depressed (? idler gears).

Various parts of the interior plastic come off in your hands.

The left hand side door mirror cover fell off (luckily in a friend's driveway and not out on the road somewhere).

The display for the radio/clock faded from about 70% effectiveness to 5% effectiveness, at random.

The new remote supplied by the dealer was 5 years old and came complete with flat battery.

The interior was full of rattles from doors (loose on their hinges), speakers, dashboard, front seats, seat belt mountings, etc.

Engine noise was excessive, with vibrations when stationery at traffic lights being able to be felt (and seen, via a wobbling bonnet).

General Comments:

As I suspect many others have, I bought this car based on looks and on legendary off-road performance.

To be fair, the vehicle was excellent off road and handled an upriver wade of 20cm and shingle admirably. Part of this success was probably due to the annoyingly low gearing, which whilst good off-road, contributed to poor acceleration and noise levels on road.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th March, 2003

1998 Land Rover Freelander TD 2.0 turbo diesel from Australia and New Zealand


Don't buy one


We have only had this car for 10000km, and we have had four things go wrong.

With in two weeks of owning the car the hill decent light on the dash came on. I found the problem to be the first gear selector switch on the gear box had come out. I could not turn the light of so I had to take it back to the dealer to get fixed. When they plugged the car into the computer it showed 12 faults in the system. I counted a maximum of eight sensors that control the hill decent, so I can't quit figure how they got 12 faults.

The heater has a leak and we are using coolant.

Next the oil seals on the rear diff started to leak. Both of them. The dealer was asking A$110 a seal. I got a replacement seal from a bearing company for A$5 and did the job myself.

The last fault and the final straw is the transfer case. One bearing failed and in turn stuffed every bearing in the box and one of the internal shafts. The only downside is that Land Rover does not sell any of the internal parts and so say that a replacement box is required. At A$7,360 it is not cheap, and that does not include any labor to do the job.

General Comments:

The car feels quite good to drive on sealed and unsealed roads.

Not a very confident off-road as it lacks a duel range gearbox. It just does not feel at home of the beaten track.

Once bogged even the torque of the diesel cannot pull it out.

Turbo lag is noticeable when the car is under heavy load.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd October, 2002