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Thursday, December 18, 2008

FULL REVIEW: Land Rover Freelander V6 2.5 SE


FULL REVIEW: LAND ROVER Freelander V6 2.5 SE



In this blog entry, I'm writing about Land Rover Freelander V6 2.5 SE. This car surprisingly, quite a good seller in Malaysia with 900 units sold in 2004 alone (the year where Freelander 2.0TD and 2.5SE were assembled in Malaysia. It's on sale in Malaysia from 2002 to 2006. As usual, I don't have a car to test and brag about, hence I dished out 2 Reviews. 1 from Australia (GOAUTO) and the other from UK (Parker's). Due to copyrights and space constraints, I can only create a "LINK" to Parker's webpage (REVIEW 2):

http://www.parkers.co.uk/cars/reviews/land-rover/freelander-station-wagon-1998.aspx?page=1

How's the resale value like in Malaysia and how much it costs when new? It's priced at RM295,000 when new in 2001 in CBU Form (Fully imported from England). In 2004, Land Rover Malaysia went ahead to "Locally Assembled" the Freelander 2.5 V6 and pricing reduced to RM198,000 OTR. Today, a 2004 model's yours for RM80,000 only. See chart:

Year 2001^ 2002^ 2003 2004 2005* 2006
Price: RM60k RM66k RM73k RM81k RM98k RM130k

^ => CBU from England
* => Facelift in 2005. Special editions.


Limited to 100 units. They are: Kalahari (Orange themed) - pic above, Serengeti (green themed) and Serengeti (Grey themed). Priced from RM215,000 to RM226,000 for the Special Editions (1).




The data above shows that the Freelander has ONE OF THE WORST resale value car in Malaysia. This is bad news for 1st owner but GOOD NEWS to you, as the 1st owner already absorbed the depreciation. But note that besides BAD DEPRECIATION, this car's a LEMON especially in UK (Home country) as reported by owner/s themselves in "Carsurvey" website (4).

Examples are, defective cooling system (ie. overheat problem), engine misfired, sunroof leak, power windows problem (PROTON, you are NOT ALONE), Gearbox Problem, ECU Problems and some electronics problem (Eg. Hill Descent Control failed)... I guess these were the reasons why Land Rover Malaysia decided to Local Assembled the car as the UK assembled ones have very obvious quality issues.

REVIEW 1 from GOAUTO Australia: (2)

SUPERTEST: LAND ROVER FREELANDER 2.5V6 SE 5 door

Overview


FINALLY, Land Rover has delivered the Freelander many had longed for: a soft-roader with a petrol engine that can shift its considerable bulk without straining under the weight of it all. Improvements to transmission, chassis and interior ergonomics, among other things, are also welcome. But alas, quality is a continued cause for concern and Freelander, despite its excellent packaging, remains an expensive proposition in a market segment that's now stronger and more competitive than ever.

The Car


THE mid-life mechanical upgrade has brought a reshaped and 65mm longer front-end to V6-powered Freelanders, however the "Little Landie" retains its distinctive, modern appearance and defining features such as the "fast" windscreen angle and the large, protective bumpers and wheelarch mouldings. New paint colours and alloy wheel designs adorn the body, along with revised badging. The front indicator lenses are now clear, blending with the headlamps to give a wider look to the vehicle.

The Car - Seat Plan

ALL seating positions in the five-door Freelander have a three-point seatbelt and head restraint. A new centre console increases the already high number of storage spaces in the front, while rear passengers have at their disposal overhead map pockets, front seatback pockets, an armrest (if centre rear position vacant) and a power outlet located behind the new centre console box. The new ES specification includes twin illuminated vanity mirrors to the top specification.

The Car - Seats


FREELANDER seats are claimed to use carefully selected materials, such as high-density cold-cure polyurethane foam, dual-hardness foams and high-durability fabrics, combined with seat suspensions that are tuned to harmonise with the vehicle's suspension characteristics. All models have driver's seat lumbar adjustment, however, none are adjustable for height. The ES features leather seats, with the front pews able to be heated. The front seatbelts have load limiters and pretensioners, and are adjustable for height.

The Car - Dash

SWITCHGEAR repositioning has significantly improved the user-friendliness of the Freelander's dash layout. The fully electronic instrument cluster - remaining deep to prevent night-time reflections - has also come in for attention, retaining the small and sometimes difficult-to-read gauges but introducing a new dark green colour to the dial faces and a revised layout. A low-fuel warning light has been added. Useful, removable rubber trays remain a feature of the dash presentation.

The Car - Controls

ALL five-door wagon Freelanders now have rear electric windows, and all driver's windows now feature an auto-down facility. The electric window switches are mounted on a new high-positioned centre console unit between the front seats. Cruise control, standard on automatic transmission models, has steering wheel mounted buttons. The steering wheel is tilt adjustable, the wipers have a variable intermittent function (five settings ranging from three to 20 seconds) and the external windows are electrically operated.

The Car - Wheels/tyres

THE Freelander ES and Td4 five-door models now have 16-inch alloy wheels as standard, the ES using a chunky three-twin spoke design known as "Triple Sport". Both models use 215-section tyres, while the SE petrol versions use 195 tyres with a 15-inch six-spoke "Adventure" alloy wheel design. All wheels have extra clearance for the new larger brakes.

Did you know?
All Freelander wheel and tyre combinations have nominally the same rolling radius to enable them to be interchanged without affecting factors such as overall gearing or speedometer accuracy

The Car - Luggage

FREELANDER'S luggage capacity with the rear bench seat upright is 546 litres, increasing to 1319 litres when the 60/40 split-fold rear seat is employed. The folding operation can be executed from the cargo area or the rear seat; either way it is a simple task - no headrest removal is required and the seat base also folds forward to create a flat floor and a huge barrier between the cargo compartment and the front cockpit. The spare wheel is located on the barn door-type tailgate, while the rear glass window can be lowered. Luggage tie-downs and a lockable storage box are also provided.


The Car - What's changed

THE most obvious change in the 2001-model Freelander facelift is the switch from four-cylinder petrol engine power to V6, and the introduction of a new turbo-diesel engine. But there are many others improvements. The engine has forced improvements in the transmission (now auto only with the V6), front-end structural design, and steering, braking and suspension systems. Other improvements centre on the air-conditioning system, standard dual front airbag deployment, switchgear placement and the number of standard luxury items on the ES spec. More specifically, the new V6 engine brings with it a new five-speed Steptronic semi-automatic transmission, the braking system has been substantially upgraded, the front-end has been redesigned and restyled to accommodate the new V6 engine, and the standard driver's airbag capacity was increased from 45 to 60 litres with the front passenger airbag increasing from 120 to 150 litres.

The Car - Stand out features


THE mismatch between vehicle and engine has now been addressed with the replacement of the 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a 2.5-litre V6. It makes a good pairing with the standard five-speed automatic transmission, which has Steptronic sequential manual shift operation to allow the driver to take control of shift points whenever he or she desires. Safety and security features remain high, along with creature comforts rarely seen in this class.

The Car - Climate control

THE Freelander V6 has an uprated ventilation and (standard) air-conditioning system, with an increased intake area for the plenum and a pollen filter fitted standard. A larger fan is employed, and the airflow available through the system has increased by at least 15 per cent in all settings. The floor level ducting to the rear compartment has also been improved. "Privacy" glass for the rear side and tailgate windows also serve to reduce solar heating of the cabin.

The Car - Sound system

FREELANDER now features an upgraded AM/FM radio-cassette system with six speakers (including two tweeters) and a compact disc player standard on all models across the range. The luxury ES specification has a six-disc CD autochanger mounted under the front passenger seat and operated from the radio head unit.


The Car - Security


ADDITIONAL security was provided with the latest upgrade in the form of a more sophisticated engine immobiliser, which is now separate from the locking and (standard) alarm setting system. A remote keypad or the key itself can be used to operate the various options of locking, deadlocking and alarm setting. The immobiliser inhibits both the starter and fuel injection and is controlled by a combination of password and rolling-code communications between a transponder in the key and an antenna ring around the ignition key slot.

We like: Engine performance, general refinement, ergonomics, ABS brakes
We don't like: Price, cargo space, quality glitches


Our Opinion

By TERRY MARTIN 14/02/2001

WITH Freelander sales steadily declining in recent years, Land Rover has revamped and repositioned its small four-wheel drive to stand - in price at least - head and shoulders above the intensifying scrimmage underneath.


But the Brits have brought us the Freelander many have longed for: a soft-roader with a petrol engine that can now shift its considerable bulk without straining under the weight of it all. The previous MGF 1.8-litre engine has been dumped in favour of a Rover 75 2.5-litre V6 mated to a new five-speed automatic with Steptronic sequential manual shift.

There's a flood of additional equipment to justify the price hike and a sizeable mechanical upgrade that, if nothing else, helps remove some of our lingering doubts about the quality of manufacture - at least it did, until a rubber seal peeled off at the base of the front windscreen and a rattle developed in the front passenger's door.

All petrol Freelanders now offer as standard the V6 and auto, plus power steering, cruise control, driver's seat lumbar adjustment, remote locking, CD stereo, electric windows (including the rear), traction control, twin airbags, ABS brakes and the noisiest air-conditioning system you're ever likely to encounter.

The ultra-expensive, top-spec ES brings an uprated stereo with a six-CD changer mounted under the front passenger seat, leather upholstery, heated front pews, illuminated vanity mirrors and 16-inch alloy wheels.

While the leather front seats are comfortable, the high seating position does not adjust for height and taller drivers will find their vision curtailed by the headlining. The small amount of fore/aft travel on the front seats doesn't help here, either.

Not unlike the Discovery, a narrow door opening is provided for rear passenger entry/egress, although once inside adults will find the graduated roof provides excellent headroom and the front seats allow lots of room for big PEOPLE.

Like most offerings in this segment, fitting three across the rear is asking for trouble but the seats themselves are comfortable and equipped with a headrest and three-point seatbelt at each position.



Split 60/40, the rear bench can also fold and tumble neatly to liberate cargo space and provide a huge barrier behind the front seats. Freelander needs such versatility because its luggage area is tiny; distance from tailgate to seatback (when upright) is just 685mm.

Developing 130kW at 6500rpm and 247Nm at 4000rpm, the V6 is smooth and refined and does a resolute job shifting the 1597kg unladen mass.

Yet for all the engine's willingness, and the transmission's adeptness, Freelander is still not particularly quick and asks to be worked hard if the benefits are to be fully realised. Fuel economy suffers in the process, and the asking for premium unleaded is a constant source of pain at every fuel stop.

More important for some will be the knowledge that tackling steep inclines need not now require going at the grade with a banzai approach - or going home. There's plenty of low-down grunt to take things easy.

Freelander is still not as capable off-road as, say, the Suzuki Grand Vitara - the latter's dual-range transfer case (far superior to hill descent control), ladder frame chassis, suspension design, better ground clearance and the like make sure of that - but it remains more competent off the beaten track than others of its ilk. And far better on the road than the likes of Vitara.


(Above: Electronics of Freelander...)
Revisions to the all-independent suspension now helps provide a supple, comfortable and controlled ride, while the ES clings to dirt and tar alike extremely well thanks in part to the 16-inch wheel/tyre combination and full-time four-wheel drive.

Steering kickback is the primary source of annoyance while driving on the bitumen and a precursor to a fair amount of rattle through the steering rack over dirt-road corrugations.

Dust sealing is excellent, though, as is the general level of refinement and performance of the ABS brakes on all surfaces.

No question, the Freelander V6 is a big improvement. But at this price, it should be outstanding.


Mechanical - Plan views

FREELANDER employs a transversely mounted V6 driving all four wheels.

Mechanical - Engine


FREELANDER'S 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine has been replaced by a 2.5-litre V6 mated exclusively to a five-speed automatic transmission. The V6 is an all-alloy 24-valve quad-cam unit developing 130kW at 6500rpm and 240Nm at 4000rpm. It uses premium unleaded, has a fuel tank capacity of 59 litres and is claimed to reach 100km/h from standstill in 11.1 seconds. Official fuel consumption figures point to 11.0L/100km (city), 6.8L/100km (highway).
Did you know?
The former 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine used in Freelander was derived from the MG-F. The current 2.5-litre V6 originated from the Rover 75

Mechanical - Suspension

THE Freelander uses an all-independent suspension system, with a MacPherson strut at each wheel. At the front, each lower control arm is in the form of a virtual wishbone, while at the rear each side has two lower links forming a trapezoidal wishbone, backed up by a long trailing link. An anti-roll bar is also provided at the front to keep the vehicle as flat as possible when cornering. The suspension struts were increased in diameter and given recalibrated damping curves with the latest upgrade, while the suspension geometry and bushing were further refined.

Mechanical - Transmission


THE sole transmission available on petrol Freelanders is a five-speed automatic transmission with Steptronic sequential semi-manual shift operation. The transmission features a torque converter and gear ratios designed to suit the Freelander's requirements both on and off the road. It also has adaptive programming that enables it to alter shift patterns according to the driver's accelerator use and the prevailing terrain.

Did you know?

The "Steptronic" automatic transmission is a name you might recognise in relation to BMW. That's because the German manufacturer previously owned Land Rover and provided much engineering input into the current Discovery and Freelander models in particular, before passing ownership on to Ford

Mechanical - Brakes

LAND ROVER engineers upgraded the entire braking system for Freelander V6, with the ventilated front discs now larger at 277mm (diameter) x 21mm (thick) and larger front disc callipers fitted. The 254mm rear drum brakes have wider friction faces - up from 38mm to 44mm. A new dual-mode operating mechanism within the drums is designed to give the handbrake greater holding power. Anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) are also fitted standard.

Did you know?

Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) was first fitted to the new Land Rover Discovery in 1999. Using the ABS wheel sensors to monitor the front to rear balance of braking effort, it allows the braking system to provide maximum retardation - with stability - at both ends

Mechanical - Steering


FREELANDER uses a power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering system, which was upgraded to coincide with the introduction of the V6 petrol engine. A higher-pressure pump and new valve settings for the steering rack headline the changes. Land Rover claims the result is improved stability, tautness and steering accuracy. A total of 3.2 turns are required from lock to lock and the turning circle is 11.6 metres.

Safety

WHILE chassis and braking improvements highlight the active safety improvements on the Freelander V6, a major passive safety program was also undertaken. The larger, heavier engine meant the front-end structure needed extensive revision to perform better in a crash. Great use of high-strength steel was used, while the standard driver and front passenger airbags have increased in capacity. Traction control and anti-lock brakes with EBD are standard. All seats have a head restraint and lap-sash belt.

Data/SPECIFICATIONS:


ENGINE:
• 2.497-litre DOHC 24-valve front-mounted transverse V6
• Power: 130kW @ 6500rpm
• Torque: 240Nm @ 4000rpm
• Compression ratio: 10.5:1
• Bore x stroke: 80.0 x 82.8mm

TRANSMISSION: • Five-speed Steptronic semi-automatic

SUSPENSION: • Front: independent by MacPherson struts, lower wishbone, coil springs, anti-roll bar
• Rear: independent by Chapman struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar

STEERING: • Power-assisted rack-and-pinion
• Turning circle: 11.6 metres
• Turns lock to lock: 3.2

BRAKES:
"LAND ROVER engineers upgraded the entire braking system for Freelander V6, with the ventilated front discs now larger at 277mm (diameter) x 21mm (thick) and larger front disc callipers fitted. The 254mm rear drum brakes have wider friction faces - up from 38mm to 44mm. A new dual-mode operating mechanism within the drums is designed to give the handbrake greater holding power. Anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) are also fitted standard."

DIMENSIONS: • Length: 4447mm
• Width: 1809mm
• Height: 1828mm
• Wheelbase: 2557mm
• Front track: 1534mm
• Rear track: 1545mm
• Kerb weight: 1597kg

PERFORMANCE (Auto):
Top speed: 200km/h
0-100km/h: 10.1 secs

FUEL CONSUMPTION:
Poor fuel economy. 2500cc needs 18 liters/100 km in town. On the freeway it needs 12 liters/100 km.

STANDARD EQUIPMENT:

• Full-time four-wheel drive
• Hill descent control
• Air-conditioning
• Power steering
• Cruise control
• Driver's seat lumbar adjustment
• Remote central locking
• Six-CD sound system
• Electric windows
• Traction control
• Twin airbags
• ABS brakes with EBD
• Leather upholstery
• Heated front seats
• Illuminated vanity mirrors
• 16-inch alloy wheels

END OF REVIEW 1. REVIEW 2: (3)
http://www.parkers.co.uk/cars/reviews/land-rover/
freelander-station-wagon-1998.aspx?page=1

AVERAGED Rating: 3/5 out of 5 stars.


Here's some of the "Selected" Owner's review (4) in Carsurvey.org website.

DELETED.  Due to Copyright protected by carsurvey.org.

REFERENCES:
(1) http://www.motortrader.com.my/NUS/articles/0/article_166/page_m.asp

(2) http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mellor.nsf/story2/
F84A581B19D1950ACA256A86001FE130

(3) http://www.parkers.co.uk/cars/reviews/land-rover/
freelander-station-wagon-1998.aspx?page=1

(4) www.carsurvey.org

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