Always an underrated performer, the Freelander 1 is actually very good off road.
You’ll need to take into account its lack of ground clearance, but then these days you have to do that with any vehicle with tyres smaller than the 235/85/16 standard on Defenders.
Driving a Freelander is easy, although without low range you have to adopt a different driving technique cross country. You just can’t select low-first and let the engines torque pull you through, you need to use a bit more momentum and the traction control if you come to a stop.
That said, the Freelanders are better thatn other “bigger” Land Rovers on some surfaces, like wet grass and soft, but not muddy ground.
Their lighter weight means they will cross places with the minimum of fuss where some vehicles just sink and spin!
Land Rover Freelander 1 summary
- Pros: “Field” ability, on road manners
- Cons: Ground clearance
- Off roading rating: 6/10
- Price guide: £1200 – £17,000
- Advice: 1.8 litre has poor reliablity record, as does the transmission. Go for the TD4 as most problems had been rectified by then.