MK1 Freelander really as bad as reviews make out?

MK1 Freelander really as bad as reviews make out?

Author
Discussion

mat777

9,348 posts

132 months

Thursday 14th March 2013
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TankRS said:
mat777 said:
my recommendation however, is to go for the superb BMW-designed TD4 unit - bombproof, economical and a lot more refined than the earlier L-series td4 unit.
Even million mile BMW TD4 engined examples are out of my budget!
Buy an earlier L-series then. there's nothing wrong with them at all, they just arent quite as refined.

TankRS said:
mat777 said:
The other major problem is the 4wd system.
That right there, nails the coffin shut. Given that it’s a 4wd vehicle, and seeing all the ‘major issues with drive train’. I will need it for its 4wd capabilities, not just popping to the shops or for the mrs to have the mini chelsea tractor effect.
A new VCU is a £300 part that even the most hapless home mechanic could fit. Follow my hints to avoid buying a broken on in the first place, and periodically use the same technique to check yours is still working if you do buy an F1. Its not the end of the world if they do sieze, as long as you catch it before it breaks the IRD as described.

TankRS said:
mat777 said:
They do not rattle around any more than a similar age/mileage car. Perhaps yours has done intergalactic mileage on a rally stage?
Were i to have taken this one, driving round the stages would have been a massive part of its duties.
IN which case, if you dont do rally speeds it should be fine. Our 1.8 did 150K and our V6 did 200k miles and both were still as taut as one could expect of any car of that mileage. I can only assume Longblackcoat's example was somewhat shagged, as they are now of the price where the bottom end ones get bought for sheddage and all the abuse that goes with it.

sparkyhx

3,792 posts

176 months

Thursday 14th March 2013
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Never owned one but the ones I drove were shocking.

the steering was abysmal. Turn the wheel to turn right, quarter of a second later the left side dips and then the car turns right.

The thing rattled like a childs toy, and they were in and out of the garage with minor niggles.

And these were brand new company cars. shudder

I hid however love the rear window wind down for ventilation - all cars should have this

Stelvio1

1,153 posts

199 months

Thursday 14th March 2013
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kambites said:
Not only is the inline-4 K-series head gasket failure prone in general, but it's far worse in the Freelander than most cars because it's more likely to have been stressed from cold due to the weight of the vehicle.
As usual you churn out a total load of bks

BOR

4,306 posts

227 months

Thursday 14th March 2013
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I had a diesel 5 door from new for about one year.

Zero problems.

wiliferus

3,860 posts

170 months

Thursday 14th March 2013
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Not much to add, other than a few years back a friend of mine was selling her '00 1.8es as she was emigrating. She was selling it for a song, and I said I was interested. She refused to sell it to me on the basis it had caused her so much grief there was no way she would sell it to someone she knew.

I'd avoid, there's better mini 4x4s to be had. No disrespect but sounds like you're on a small budget, and the Mk1 Freelander falls into that budget for a reason. I'd go as far to say you'd be better off going for an older, but well cared for Disco 2?

OP, if you don't mind sharing, what is the budget? There's nothing more PHs like than searching the classifieds to spend somebody else's money hehe

Edited by wiliferus on Thursday 14th March 22:07

Disco You

3,482 posts

152 months

Thursday 14th March 2013
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Death traps too. IIRC they were 2 star NCAP until they added a seatbelt bong-er and they became 3.

ClaphamGT3

9,556 posts

215 months

Thursday 14th March 2013
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We have a 2001 2.5 V6 ESX as our au pair/knock-about car. It's been absolutely reliable, if a little thirsty. It doesn't squeak and rattle, it doesn't leak and its as good off road as anything without a transfer box and diff locks. Sure the gearbox and drive train aren't car like but then it's not a car.

The boot is pretty small and the aircon (though working fine) is a bit marginal but then ours is black. We have had it just over 2 years and paid £1500 for it. We'd def have another

longblackcoat

4,670 posts

155 months

Thursday 14th March 2013
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mat777 said:
IN which case, if you dont do rally speeds it should be fine. Our 1.8 did 150K and our V6 did 200k miles and both were still as taut as one could expect of any car of that mileage. I can only assume Longblackcoat's example was somewhat shagged, as they are now of the price where the bottom end ones get bought for sheddage and all the abuse that goes with it.
Sadly, last week's 51-plate example has just 72k on it.

TankRS

Original Poster:

2,850 posts

126 months

Thursday 14th March 2013
quotequote all
wiliferus said:
OP, if you don't mind sharing, what is the budget? There's nothing more PHs like than searching the classifieds to spend somebody else's money hehe

Edited by wiliferus on Thursday 14th March 22:07
rofl dont mind at all. Budget is £2,000 to £2,300 depending on what I actually get for my focus. told by a few garages its 'worth' £2,300 and have been offered straight swaps for various motors through them at that price.


i've been trawling the classifieds too and there are quite a few Subaru Impreza 2.0l saloons & estates knocking about that price. a few are leggy but one or two appear to be decently priced, even a few bugg/blob eyed ones. STI & WRX are out tho as insurance quotes are coming back as stupid! frown

had though about leggy disco's. but just not sure I need/want a car of that size for a daily driver

mat777

9,348 posts

132 months

Friday 15th March 2013
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I wouldnt touch a £3k Disco Mk2 with a bargepole but that budget will buy a totally mint top spec D1:

http://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/l...

They run on veg oil up to 50% in the summer (25% winter to avoid waxing) very happily with no modifications whatsoever, and they are mechanically very rugged and cheap and easy to fix if they do break. Just add £500 onto the budget to get it properly rustproofed and it will go on forever (plus a possible bit extra if there is no history of a recent cambelt change). You might not "need" the size, but as I found out with mine, by christ are they useful and you soon find yourself regularly using them to full capacity as a car or as a van

Alternatively, one could buy:
http://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/2013...

However, from experience they are far more crude, both in terms of fit and finish, and engine refinement (the 2.5 diesel engine started life as a canal boat motor). Also they are very cramped in the back and small in the boot too



Edited by mat777 on Friday 15th March 00:46

Ray Luxury-Yacht

8,860 posts

188 months

Friday 15th March 2013
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A mate had one.

I watched it's rapid demise.

Easiest way to imagine them is like this:

Think of a tragic, hideous, late-90's Rover 'weapon', like a 214 in some pensioner colour, poverty-spec, and basically fked all-round. Terminal rust everywhere, knackered chassis, noisy, recalcitrant gearbox and K-series engine on it's last legs, with a buggered head gasket, oil leaks everywhere and valve guides that leak lubricant into the smokey, wheezing, under-powered motor, that even when new, sucked way more petrol into it's greedy mouth than it had any right to, given the performance that was as slow as geology.

So old scrap, basically - and not even nice scrap, of the kind that some demented petrolhead might see and go 'oooh, that's too good for the scrapyard, that's worth buying and restoring to as good as new, that is...' no, scrap that deserves to be scrap, and recycled into something useful, like cans.

Got that image?

Now, picture it - and morph it into the shape of a Mk.1 Freelander, with some bigger wheels.


That's what you'll be buying, unless you shape up pronto and forget the whole silly idea! Capiche?




Aids0G

293 posts

121 months

Friday 15th March 2013
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Had an 04 Td4 3dr SE freelander for a year...

loved the car but it did have some issues, diff housing perished and some silly things. weird thing was that on general grabbers it would follow ,my mates defenders down fields with much less fuss, however i did bend some under bits when i took it on a pay and pay and forgot that it dosnet have such tough undersides as my defender, replacement anti role bar!!

One element that really surprised me was the handling, it was great once u learned its ways, e.g let it settle into a tight corner power on hadlex engage and...grip and go. and surprised adjustable on the throttle, weird really but i did enjoy owning it!!

AG

vit4

3,507 posts

142 months

Friday 15th March 2013
quotequote all
kambites said:
Not only is the inline-4 K-series head gasket failure prone in general, but it's far worse in the Freelander than most cars because it's more likely to have been stressed from cold due to the weight of the vehicle.
This. I'm a big fan of the K-Series but the Freelander is just too heavy for it.

TankRS

Original Poster:

2,850 posts

126 months

Friday 15th March 2013
quotequote all
Despite Mat777's best efforts to sway the vote wink

Given there's more negative than positive in here, even from owners as not one, I think, has said they haven't had some sort of trouble with theirs in some shape or form.

I will indeed be forgetting the whole silly idea of a mk1 freelander.

Having had time to sleep on it, it perhaps isn't the best weapon for the duties it would be submitted to.
Now if only Defenders weren't so damn expensive! wink

BorkFactor

7,135 posts

130 months

Friday 15th March 2013
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Good decision OP yes

I remember a mate's Dad acquired one for £200 to use as a banger to run up and down a forest track. It was a very early K series, and it was an absolute nightmare. Usual head gasket problems, drivetrain made all sorts of strange noises, interior was crap, and it was totally gutless.

At least he made his money back from scrapping it hehe

CraigyMc

13,041 posts

208 months

Friday 15th March 2013
quotequote all
vit4 said:
kambites said:
Not only is the inline-4 K-series head gasket failure prone in general, but it's far worse in the Freelander than most cars because it's more likely to have been stressed from cold due to the weight of the vehicle.
This. I'm a big fan of the K-Series but the Freelander is just too heavy for it.
  • nod*.
Nicely engineered engine except for the headgasket treatment - but it's best to remember it was really a 1.0-1.4 engine which was stretched to make it a 1.8 anyway. That's the strength of the thing (it's really light) but also the reason behind it being fragile.

My personal experience of the K is in the back of an Elise. Here's how I remember it:


C

300bhp/ton

39,684 posts

162 months

Friday 15th March 2013
quotequote all
em177 said:
TankRS said:
MK1 Freelander really as bad as reviews make out?

Cheers
Yes.
Yes if you are an idiot. No if you are not.

Sorry don't mean to be offence, but its utter bks what is spoken about them for the most part.

BTW - On our 2nd of 4 Freelanders in the family.

LuS1fer

38,311 posts

217 months

Friday 15th March 2013
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Friend has one. Had all manner of issues and had it converted to 2WD.

300bhp/ton

39,684 posts

162 months

Friday 15th March 2013
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toppstuff said:
Yes.

HTH

smile

I could write you a list as to why but it would be very long. It's a badly designed car on so many levels that just breaks a lot for many, many, many owners.

Buy a Honda CRV. Nothing short of an RPG will stop them and even then it wouldn't surprise me if the Honda shrugged that off too...
Funny, my brother had a H-RV Honda and more went wrong on that than the Freelanders.... tongue out

Badly designed rolleyes seriously some of you guys are right up your own rear end aren't you.

toppstuff

13,698 posts

219 months

Friday 15th March 2013
quotequote all
300bhp/ton said:
toppstuff said:
Yes.

HTH

smile

I could write you a list as to why but it would be very long. It's a badly designed car on so many levels that just breaks a lot for many, many, many owners.

Buy a Honda CRV. Nothing short of an RPG will stop them and even then it wouldn't surprise me if the Honda shrugged that off too...
Funny, my brother had a H-RV Honda and more went wrong on that than the Freelanders.... tongue out

Badly designed rolleyes seriously some of you guys are right up your own rear end aren't you.
Why? From sharing personal experiences? I know quite well the experience of friends and family of Freelander 1, and I also know well the first hand experience of Honda owners. So I am in a good position to offer an opinion. They may not fit in with your view of the world, but they are still true. It is what it is. Tough.