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Land Rover Freelander
Land Rover Freelander 2 Dynamic SD4
ManufacturerLand Rover
ProductionOctober 1997 – January 2015
AssemblyHalewood Body & Assembly, Halewood, United Kingdom
Pune, India
Changshu, Jiangsu, China
Aqaba Assembly Plant, Jordan
Body and chassis
ClassCompact SUV (1997–2006)
Compact crossover SUV (2006–2015)
LayoutTransverse front-engine, all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive
SuccessorLand Rover Discovery Sport (5-door version)
Range Rover Evoque (3-door version)

The Land Rover Freelander is a series of four-wheel-drive vehicles that was manufactured and marketed by Land Rover[1] from 1997 to 2015. Initially a compact SUV built on a body-on-frame chassis, the second generation model, sold from 2007 to 2015 in North America and the Middle East as the LR2 and in Europe as the Freelander 2, transitioned to a car-based platform which placed it into the compact crossover SUV class, and was developed alongside the Volvo XC60, the Volvo S80 and the third generation Ford Mondeo. The name 'Freelander' is derived from the combination of 'Freedom' and 'Lander'.

After having built exclusively body-on-frame 4WD vehicles for half a century, the first generation Freelander was the brand's first model to use monocoque (unibody) structures,[2] and was offered in three- and five-door body options, including a semi soft-top. The second generation (2007–2015) dropped all two-door options, leaving only a five-door estate car-like body, and – after 62 years – became the brand's first ever to offer a two-wheel drive option (as of 2010).

After a five-year hiatus, the two-door Freelanders were succeeded by the three-door versions of the Range Rover Evoque in 2011, and the five-door generation 2 was replaced by the Discovery Sport in 2015, the nameplate spanning two generations and less than eighteen years.[3]

First generation (L314; 1997–2006)

First generation (L314)
Facelift Freelander Sport 3-door
ProductionOctober 1997 – 2006
Model years1998–2006
AssemblySolihull, United Kingdom
Rayong, Thailand (Thai Swedish Assembly)
Shah Alam, Malaysia
Silverton, South Africa (Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa)
DesignerGerry McGovern (1992)
Body and chassis
Body style5-door SUV
3-door convertible SUV
1.8 L K-series I4
2.5 L Rover KV6 V6
2.0 L BMW M47 TD I4
2.0 L L-series TD I4
Transmission5-speed automatic
5-speed manual
Wheelbase101.0 in (2,565 mm)
Length2001–2003 5-door: 175.0 in (4,445 mm)
2004–2006 5-door: 174.1 in (4,422 mm)
3-door: 175.1 in (4,448 mm)
Width2001–2003: 71.1 in (1,806 mm)
2004–2006: 71.2 in (1,808 mm)
Height2001–2003 5-door: 68.9 in (1,750 mm)
2004–2006 5-door: 69.0 in (1,753 mm)
3-door: 67.2 in (1,707 mm)
Facelift Land Rover Freelander 3-door
Facelift Land Rover Freelander 5-door


In 1988, British Aerospace acquired the Rover Group for £150 million, which allowed resources across Rover brands and Land Rover to be pooled differently, and the idea of developing a smaller Land Rover became more attainable than previously.[4]

When the board approved the Pathfinder project, it was codenamed CB40 (after Canley Building 40, where the concept was initially developed).[4]


Remarkably, the new, compact Land Rover had become almost as long as the original Range Rover, that had been phased out just the year before, and even sported an inch (2.5 cm) longer wheelbase.[4]


When BMW acquired Rover Group, they terminated the agreement, and instead funded production facilities at Solihull, making use of the Rover SD1 assembly hall which had been inactive in the early 1980s, when Rover car production was moved to Cowley.[4]

In 2002, Land Rover SA was awarded export contracts to supply 1,000 left-hand drive Defenders to Angola and more than 3,000 right-hand drive Freelanders and Defenders to Australia. This followed the move by the manufacturer to build Freelanders for local distribution at the Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa's Q1, ISO 9001, and ISO 14001 certified assembly plant in Silverton, Pretoria. Paul Melhuish, then Land Rover SA’s sales and marketing director, said: " “From November this year we will commence shipment of approximately 3,000 Freelanders and 216 Defenders to Australia. The Freelander shipments will comprise both TD4 and KV6 models, while the Defender 110 CSW and the Defender 130 double cab models will make up the majority of the Defender sales figures."[5]


The Mk1 Land Rover Freelander was an instant hit and went on to become the biggest-selling four-wheel-drive model in Europe, with over 540,000 units sold over its nine-year lifespan.[6] The Freelander became Europe's best-selling 4WD vehicle for five consecutive years after launch in 1997; and in 2016 Land Rover embraced it as its 8th 'Heritage vehicle'.[7]

Model variations

[original research?]

Pre–facelift Land Rover Freelander SE 5-door
Pre–facelift Land Rover Freelander 3-door

There were a variety of models, based around five-door estate and three-door softback (semi-convertible), hardback, and commercial (van-like) versions. In 2004, Land Rover introduced an improved and upgraded version of the Mark I; changes included a new interior and major external revisions, including a new face and rear.

The three-door model was available in E, S, ES, Sport and Sport Premium trim and the five-door model in available in E, S, ES, HSE, Sport and Sport Premium trim.


Engine choices included:

Manual gearboxes dominated the early models, but automatic Tiptronic-style gearboxes (Jatco JF506E) became increasingly popular and were standard on the V6. The Automatic Tiptronic gearbox was also available as an option on the Td4.


The first generation Freelander was marketed as a premium compact 4x4,[7] and used in the 1998 Camel Trophy and participated in Land Rover's G4 Challenge. The vehicle represented a compromise because it did not have a low-range gear selection, nor a locking differential, as found on larger Land Rover models. This meant that in comparison to other Land Rovers, off-road performance was not as good. In comparison to similar models produced by other manufacturers in the same period of time like the Honda CRV or the Toyota RAV4, however, the first generation Freelander was far more competent off-road.[citation needed]

It had more than sixteen patented features, including the IRD or Intermediate Reduction Drive, which acted as a front differential and fixed ratio transfer; the VCU or viscous-coupling, which reacts to the differing rotational speed of the prop shafts, allowing varying torque across itself; and the Hill Descent Control system,[7] which was then implemented in the rest of the Land Rover range and even in the first generation BMW X5 (BMW was the parent company of Rover Group at the time of introduction of this model).

This first generation also used a Traction Control system and a special version of ABS produced by Wabco, modified to assist driving in off-road situations.[7] Lack of the MG Rover K18 and KV6 engines after the end of the MG Rover production led Land Rover to discontinue the model on 31 August 2005 in the U.S. and Canada.

Freelander 2 (L359; 2006–2015)

Freelander 2 (L359)
Pre-facelift Land Rover Freelander 2 HSE TD4
Also calledLand Rover LR2 (North America & the Middle East)
ProductionDecember 2006 – January 2015
Model years2007–2015
AssemblyHalewood Body & Assembly, Halewood, United Kingdom
Pune, Maharashtra, India (CKD)[8]
Changshu, Jiangsu, China
Aqaba Assembly Plant, Jordan
Body and chassis
Body style5-door SUV
PlatformFord EUCD platform
RelatedVolvo XC60
Volvo S80
Ford Mondeo (third generation)
2.0 L Ford EcoBoost 243 PS I4
3.2 L Volvo SI6 233 PS I6
2.2 L Ford Duratorq 150 PS eD4
2.2 L Ford Duratorq 160 PS TD4
2.2 L Ford Duratorq 190 PS SD4
Transmission6-speed Getrag M66EH50 manual
6-speed Aisin AWF21 automatic
Wheelbase104.7 in (2,659 mm)
Length177.2 in (4,501 mm)
Width75.2 in (1,910 mm)
Height68.5 in (1,740 mm)
Kerb weight3,902–4,300 lb (1,770–1,950 kg)

The second generation was internally designated L359; debuted at the 2006 British International Motor Show and was marketed as the Freelander 2, retaining the Freelander name in Europe and marketed as the LR2 in North America and the Middle East – mirroring the marketing of the new third generation Land Rover Discovery as LR3. A presentation at the Kensington Roof Gardens was held for journalists featuring celebrity tennis player Maria Sharapova.[9] Production ended in January 2015.[10]

Pre-facelift Land Rover Freelander 2 HSE TD4
Facelift Land Rover Freelander TD4

The second generation Freelander is based on the Ford EUCD platform, which itself is based on the Ford C1 platform. The Ford EUCD platform will be used by more upcoming vehicles from Volvo. The engine range is all-new for Freelander, featuring transversely-mounted 3.2-litre straight-six engine of the Volvo SI6 series, which debuted in the new Volvo S80, as well as the 2.2-litre DW12 common rail turbodiesel engine from PSA Peugeot Citroën.

Unlike previous Land Rovers, the second generation Freelander is manufactured in the Halewood Body & Assembly facility, near Liverpool, and was until 2009 manufactured alongside the Jaguar X-Type – as Jaguar X-Type and Landrover Freelander both used modified version of Ford's front wheel drive platform. The new Freelander features higher ground clearance and off-road capabilities that are closer to other Land Rover models.[11]


The second generation has improved quality interior with more safety features as standard.[12] The Freelander 2 features a modified version of the Terrain Response off-road driving system as fitted to the Discovery 3 and the Range Rover. The 4WD system was developed in conjunction with Haldex and was called Third generation coupling. Vehicles from the 2009 model year are fitted with a modified design of the active on-demand coupling, known as Haldex's Fourth generation.

The new Freelander was first marketed in the U.S. in 2007 as the LR2. The 2008 version is called the LR2 HSE. The limited run HST had added side trim, front valance, and 19-inch wheels. A Volvo 3.2-litre inline six-cylinder engine producing 230 hp (170 kW) is standard, with a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. In the United Kingdom, the standard engine is the PSA 2.2-litre turbo diesel. The eD4 version of the engine produces 150 hp (110 kW), the TD4 comes with 160 hp (120 kW), and the SD4 comes with 190 hp (140 kW).

Interior appointments include an Alpine 440-watt 14-speaker surround sound audio and a 7-inch touch navigation screen options, while the newer models can be equipped with an Meridian audio system, which comes with a surround sound 17-speaker system with Trifield technology, producing 825 watts.[citation needed]

The Meridian system is also equipped with subwoofers and Audyssey MultEQ audio tuning system. Also a 5-inch colour display screen is standard even at the newer entry-level models. An optional cold climate package includes heated front windscreen, heated front seats with two heating levels and heated windscreen washers. The optional lighting package includes bi-xenon headlights, adaptive front-lighting, memory for the driver seat, as well as exterior mirrors and approach and puddle lamps.[citation needed]

Freelander 2 TD4_e

The Freelander TD4_e features stop-start technology to improve fuel economy and reduce carbon emissions. The system cuts out the engine when the vehicle is stationary, neutral is selected and the clutch engaged; the engine restarts when the clutch pedal is depressed.[13]

The system includes a heavy-duty starter motor that also acts as a generator to recover energy through regenerative braking that is then stored in capacitors to restart the engine reducing stress on the vehicle's battery and electrical system.[14] The stop-start system became available in spring 2009 on Freelander 2 TD4 models.

Freelander 2 eD4

For the first time in Land Rover's history,[15] from the 2011 model year, a purely two-wheel drive version, badged eD4, was available. This model also dropped the Terrain Response and Hill Descent Control systems.[16] Omitting four-wheel drive saved 75 kg (165 lb) of weight, and the eD4 achieved a combined economy figure of 47 mpg‑imp (6 L/100 km), along with emissions of 158 g/km CO2.

After introduction of the Range Rover Evoque in 2011, this model competed with the Freelander 2, especially with the eD4, as the Evoque was both cheaper to purchase, more efficient, more premium, and combined this with standard four-wheel drive.[16]

For the 2013 model year, the Freelander got a revised look with a different grille, and new interior trim.


Year Sales
2009 37,910
2010 54,833
2011 51,954
2012 48,332
2013 57,691
2014 56,622
2015 3,278
Total 310,619



  1. ^ "Joint Venture, Subsidiary and Associate Companies: Jaguar Land Rover". Tata Motors. Archived from the original on 6 December 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  2. ^ "New Land Rover LR2 / Freelander 2 debuts in London".
  3. ^ Steve Cropley. "2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport - pricing, specs and video".
  4. ^ a b c d Keith Adams (23 July 2011). "The cars : Land Rover Freelander development story". AR Online. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  5. ^ "Land Rover SA to export to Angola, Australia". CAR Magazine. 25 June 2002. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  6. ^ Matt Burt (2014). "Land Rover Freelander 2003-2014 review". Autocar. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d Best-Selling Freelander 1 Becomes Latest Land Rover Heritage Vehicle | Land Rover International
  8. ^ "Jaguar Land Rover Opens Assembly Plant in India, Rolls Out its First Model". 27 May 2011. Archived from the original on 31 May 2011. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  9. ^ Maria Sharapova reveals the all-new LR2 Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "DISCOVERY SPORT PRODUCTION BEGINS". Land Rover Owner International. 21 October 2014. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  11. ^ "What Car First look: new Land Rover Freelander – Introduction". 20 June 2006. Retrieved 30 September 2010.
  12. ^ "European report on Freelander safety". Retrieved 30 September 2010.
  13. ^ Baker, Erin (12 December 2008). "Land Rover Freelander TD4_e launch of the first of its low-emissions initiatives". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 27 December 2008. Retrieved 30 September 2010.
  14. ^ "Land Rover Freelander 2 TD4_e (2009–); Car Review; Road Test; 4car". Channel 4. Archived from the original on 14 May 2009. Retrieved 30 August 2009.
  15. ^ Not counting Freight Rovers
  16. ^ a b Land Rover Freelander 2 eD4 –
  17. ^ "Tata Motors - Investors - JLR Volumes". Archived from the original on 31 July 2017. Retrieved 1 May 2014.