A Freelander in the desert? without low ratio gears? you must be joking (or bending the truth)
Strange that most Aussies drive Yota's in the outback and don't bother with a Landy.
Be careful driving on anything else than a lawn in a freelander or you bump the giant exhaust, bend the exposed drive shafts or get stuck with those narrow road tires with no low ratio gears, no flex and no lockers.
The biggest issue by far with the Freelander is that the dealers don't treat Freelander owners like "real" Land Rover owners - kind of like a Geo Metro owner in at a Cadillac dealership. I was dropping my Freelander off at the service counter and was waiting behind a soccer mom dropping off her LR3 to check an unspecified rattle. I saw her take off in a new LR3 "loaner" and then the service manager told me that he couldn't spare me a loaner, but could get me a ride in 30-40 minutes if I needed to go somewhere. They needed to keep the car all day to replace (for the second time) the completely failed sunroof mechanism. The service manager told me that the "new" mechanisms had been redesigned so the failure shouldn't happen anymore. When I picked the car up 12 hours later, the sunroof wasn't fixed because the part was DOA (or maybe soccer mom's car took precedence). I was told that they'd call me when the new part came in, but of course they didn't and 2 weeks later I had to call to reschedule the appointment. As we live 50 miles from the dealer, this is a major pain.
As the previous comment noted, when you have a mechanical background, their explanations are laughable (just like when a flight attendant says that "Everything's fine, just a little turbulence" after an engine falls off). When my engine quit the other day, I plugged in my ODBII computer and read the codes, which included 6 electrical faults including the camshaft position sensor and MAF-VAF sensor. I gave the dealer the list of codes. When I called him the next day (notice he didn't call me as promised) he umm'd and uhh'd about whether they had looked at it, then told me that they had looked at it and were checking the fuel pump. When I reminded him about the codes I'd pulled, he said that THEIR tester was different and interpreted the results differently. Interesting as OBDII is a standard, and all of the codes are in the "general" range of codes, not the manufacturer specific codes.
Even though we like to car's driveability and uniqueness, we decided to get rid of it after the warranty expired, but thought we'd stay in the LR family and get a LR3. Now we're just going to get rid of it and probably will chose either an FJ or a 4 Runner.
2002 Freelander S. Just short & not so sweet. Multiple issues until 45000 miles when Transmission failed. Everthing going well until 55000 when camshaft failed trashing engine. LR said it was my fault because I changed my own oil & did not have the 48000 mile service done at the dealer. The best driving & most capable of any small SUV's. The most unreliable auto I have ever owned, topping even a 1960 Corvair & a 1966 Triumph TR4A.
We have a 2002 Freelander S and have had many problems with it - including replacing the transmission at 47,000 miles. It's now in for it's 72,000 mile maintaince - at only $2,000 for the regular services and an additional $450 for the other things they're "finding".
I'll say the dealership has been great - no issues there - but the SUV itself is scary to bring in the shop.
It's just not worth it when there's other better made, better waranteed, and lower-gas - and lower maintaince - priced SUVs out there!
I can't wait to TRADE this thing!
I have the misfortune of buying a 2002 Freeloader. I bought it new. It now has 60k. It's by far the worst car I have ever owned.
The brake pads need replacing every 15k. It goes through oil very quickly. The mpg would make an oil baron happy. The sunroof has broken 3 times. The rear windows have stopped working twice. The rear door handles have both broken twice. The rubber rots around the exterior fittings. The AC is appalling (I am in So cal. It's failed twice). The dash is warped (although it's clearly warped the dealership doesn't seem to see it).
I don't believe I've actually had any time with this car when something has not been wrong with it. I put up with it while under warranty. It was barely worth it when the work was free. Now it's definitely not.
The service is abysmal... Never in for less than a week. Usually in for two. There's nearly always something they missed. Treated like 2nd class. Not open on weekend. No one seems to care. You will not believe how many times I've heard "It's not my fault". Service and parts are horribly expensive. Was asked for $880 to buy and install a new radio (the old one failed). $200 for replacement battery.
For my fun I was advised that well, Land Rover is a luxury car, for which you have to pay... I don't know about you, but I just love to pay lots of money for terrible service.
The 2002-2005 Land Rover Freelanders are an embarrasing piece of technology. These cars were built around a solid body, but the rest is cheap and prone to fast wear. The caveat with these cars is that the first recommended change of the LRN-402 transmission fluid is 10,000 miles past the warranty. Huuummm... maybe they knew something about the Jatco transmissions we did not. One thing is obvious, these cars fall apart very fast and break down often. Freelanders and LR in general... stay clear.
Two years ago I purchased a '02 Freelander with 60K miles. Since then I have added an additional 28K miles; it would have been more if I could keep it out of the shop. When it runs, it is a very good vehicle that consistently gets 19-21 mpg. (and the AWD is great on icy roads).
The problem is, it seems to be in the shop on a regular basis. The bill for any repair has never been less than $600, and it usually takes one to two weeks to get an appointment to take it in to the local Land Rover dealer.
Currently it is sitting behind my barn with a blown head gasket or worse. I hope to get an appointment to take it in as soon as the holidays are over with.
I would not recommend this vehicle to anyone unless they have deep pockets, or an extended dealer warranty and other transportation available.
January 5, 2008
2002 Land rover FreeLander.
We are having the same coolant leak problem and have had for a year. The dealership supposedly addressed it when they changed out the timing belts and it still leaked. We had a clear conversation with them and no one at the dealership documented it on their paperwork. What was in the background was that they would take care of this. How is it since head gaskets are a weak spot in Freelander that they did not let us know that this might be a possibility, before the warranty went out? Do they think if they are real quiet, no one will notice.
Last week they added dye to the cooling system to see if they could find the leak. No luck. Now they want to change out the head gasket. $2200.00.
In the meantime we went out of warranty. Our own fault, got conned by all the advertising hype that comes along with this vehicle, what a crock, and a POS.
Really disappointed am a loyal customer when find a vehicle that works for us.
Going to fix, sell and buy a Toyota.