The 2002 - 2005 Land Rover Freelander was a disappointment. The 2003 model was no better.
I feel sorry for the people who bought those vehicles, which -- for reasons of lackluster exterior design and economy-truck comfort -- were not up to snuff.
At $25,995, the new, well-equipped Freelander SE has a sticker price near that of the bare-bones 2003 Freelander S, which has been stripped from the Freelander lineup.
That's the tough side of retail life. Higher price tags often accompany newly introduced products, which many times are succeeded by newer and better products that cost less.
That is what happened with the Freelander, which was introduced as a 1997 model in Europe before being brought to the United States in 2001.
That first Freelander was all the rage overseas; but it bombed stateside because Land Rover seriously misjudged the American market for compact SUVs -- especially the segment for entry-level-luxury small SUVs.
In Europe and Africa, Land Rovers are viewed as rugged, purpose-oriented, off-pavement warriors. Consumers in those markets buy Land Rovers more for function than prestige
The opposite is true in America, where buyers like the idea that Land Rovers can run through the rough, but would much prefer to keep their vehicles clean and polished and confined to the combat of urban traffic jams and shopping mall parking lots
We reviewed 51 consumer complaints; we were not surprised seeing that the Landrover dealer wasn’t resolving the drivability and reliability of this SUV… During our research here is a summary of the consumer complaints
By Failure Points
96.1% of the complaints were motor related, which consisted of heads and/or some knocking from the motor
64.7% of the complaints were coolant related and over half of them or 67% were directly related to the motor failure
27.5% of the complaints were electrical failures which was result of window, door motors, or electrical failures within the electrical system that created the complaint
15.7% of the complaints were transmission failures
5.9% of the complaints were related to the brake system
3.9% of the complaints were related to the AC system