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Land Rover Freelander Softback engines, drive and performance

1997 - 2003 (change model)
Performance rating: 4 out of 54.0

Written by Parkers Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 6 June 2019

The 177 bhp 2.5 V6 is the performance choice with a 0-60 time of just over ten seconds, but it’s thirsty, giving just 22.7 mpg on the Combined test. The four cylinder 1.8 is a lot less powerful (118 bhp), but offers greater economy and adequate performance figures. Diesels are particularly frugal for their class. The modern BMW-sourced 2.0 Td4 is the best all-rounder, with a Combined fuel consumption figure of 37.2 mpg and petrol-like characteristics.

The less refined 2.0 di was produced until 2000 and returns 36.2 mpg.

On normal roads it’s stable and doesn’t roll much, with a composed and well-controlled ride. Off-road performance upholds Land Rover family expectations; it doesn’t disappoint under most conditions, though there’s no dual-ratio gearbox (the Hill Descent Control system makes up for this) and ground clearance is quite low for a serious 4×4.