2004 Land Rover Freelander Review, Pricing, and Specs.

2004, Land Rover, Freelander

"As well as being an international best-seller, the Freelander also invented a new segment - the compact premium 4x4 sector," said Land Rover's managing director, Matthew Taylor. "The latest changes are designed to improve the premium nature of the Freelander, and make it an even more desirable and successful vehicle."

In 1997 Land Rover launched the Freelander, an all-new four-wheel-drive range code-named CB40, at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Freelander was the first production vehicle ever to offer Hill Descent Control (HDC), a system that helps to maintain optimum vehicle speed and driver control while the vehicle is descending steep, slippery slopes. It wasn't until 2003 that the Freelander got the overlapping head-lights of the Discovery and Range Rover. In 2004 Land Rover changed 700 items on the new Freelander, moving Baby Bear into the top ranks of the luxury compact SUV segment.

The 2004 interior and exterior have been completely redesigned Equipment levels are increased on the five-door wagon and two-door removable-roof versions, and the former entry S model is dropped.

The 2004 Freelander is a 2- or 4-door, up to 5-passenger sport-utility, available in 3 trims, the SE SE3 and HSE.

The year 2003 afforded me more opportunities than normal to drive SUVs off-road, not just on highways or across fields, but in snow and mountains. Land Rover had a little adventure race. You might have heard about it. The G4 challenge took 4 weeks, not including the two years of preparation. There were 16 contestants, not including the hundreds of staff and journalists following them along the way. The race took the contestants to three different continents driving different Land Rovers each step of the way. The journalists had Land Rovers to drive as well.

Chevy Blazer, Ford Escape, Jeep Liberty, Jeep Wrangler, Mazda Tribute.

I say all this because in the past decades I have been in vehicles starting to go up a hill and have had my adrenalin pumping in unsafe proportions before I got to the top. That was in yesteryears vehicles, now I jump in to the vehicles and go into creeks and up mountains with trees just inches away from me.

Available for extra in that interior design is the Alcantara leather seats. My girlfriend Holly thinks that Land Rover should do a whole lifestyle design around the Alcantara leather. Women that buy the Alancatara leather should have an option to have a suit made out of it to match the vehicle. A little LL Bean outdoor suit and than a mini skirt for night time.

On the G4 challenge the 2003 Land Rover Freelander seemed the most rugged, less comfortable. While that would make sense in cases such as a Jeep, it doesn't in a Land Rover. Americans buy Land Rover for prestige. The Freelander is not the prestigous vehicle that the Range Rover is, but it is as rugged as a Jeep Wrangler. Now, with the 2004 edition, Land Rover has been redesigned. The adrenaline still flows when I get in the vehicle, this time pumping with excitement.

Included in the new features are a Harman Kardon high-output audio system with a 6 disc Compact Disc changer, a Becker voice command navigation system, power sunroof, Alpaca Beige leather seating surfaces and 17 inch flat spoke alloy wheels.

Five percent of SUV owners take their vehicles off-road. Forty percent of Land Rover owners take their vehicle off-road. Jeep is the brand that comes closest to Land Rover, where the clientele expects every vehicle to have off-road capability. Land Rover says that the very name demands that they provide those capabilities with comfort. This year they got it.it.

I was at a party the other night and a woman that sold real estate asked me which SUV to buy. Not uncommon when you're in my business. I asked the price range and she said 20-30K. I said Land Rover. She looked at me like I must be out of my mind. I then said, Land Rover Freelander - it starts at $26,995. She was rightfully amazed. I also offered that she should drive the 2003 version first, just so that she could understand how much work, what a difference Land Rover had provided between 2003 and 2004. You would have thought it was New Years, she was so excited by the prospect of being able to own a Land Rover.

Land Rover, now owned by Ford Motor Co., made 700 changes to the 2004 Freelander. Gerry McGovern, Lincoln's old design chief, sketched the Freelander back in 1992. Geoff Upix, Land Rover's designer basically made the changes to reflect the look of Mama Bear and Papa Bear, the Discovery and Range Rover.

We drove the Discovery and the Range Rover the day after we drove the Freelander. We got everything we expected from the Range Rover, but got far more than expected from the Freelander.

By Lou Ann Hammond
0000-00-00

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