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Early v late model freelander 1 - which year is the best?

Discussion in 'Land Rover Freelander' started by CarsandWrenches, Nov 4, 2021.

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  1. CarsandWrenches

    CarsandWrenches Member

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    64638ECE-B8C8-4C9F-B259-07D0BDAB8937.png
    Early model E5DCB83D-6A76-4EBF-AC3A-3509769A5BB6.png Late model

    So a bit of a debatable topic I’d like to bring up, what’s everyone’s thoughts on the best freelander 1 model year? I know from the research I have done that the 04 onwards facelift models seem to have many of the little issues early models had fixed by Landrover, such as:
    1) rear subframe mounting points in chassis made stronger
    2) electrical gremlins fixed
    3) possibly revised body with improved crash protection?
    4) possibly revised body with added strength improvements?
    5) interior quality the same, better or worse on later models?
    6) rust treatment process improvements?
    7) the scuttle panel and mirrors where improved on later models MY2001/2 I believe
    Here’s some pics of early v late model front chassis differences between an early and late car front chassis, there’s clearly a design change here (circled), so is this for improved safety or chassis rigidity? My guess is the change was made after MY2001 vehicles?
    Also did Land-rover try to improve their product or just skimp to save money later on?
    Thanks for all the help and knowledge from you amazing members ;)
     
  2. Stanleysteamer

    Stanleysteamer Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Read this month's LRM. It'll tell you that Freelander 2 was/is much better!
     
  3. GrumpyGel

    GrumpyGel Well-Known Member Full Member

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    I dunno, but that top pic is a cracking motor :D

    I don't think there's much of a change in the area you've circled, the chassis remained pretty unaltered through the life of F1.
     
  4. CarsandWrenches

    CarsandWrenches Member

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    Thanks Stanley but the freelander 2 is horrid to look at (imo) and LRM are about as useful as a chocolate fire guard when it comes to buyers guides, or they don’t go into enough detail, cheers
     
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  5. GrumpyGel

    GrumpyGel Well-Known Member Full Member

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    The F2 is a "much better" vehicle all the time it doesn't need fixing.
     
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  6. CarsandWrenches

    CarsandWrenches Member

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    Thanks mate, I know there’s probably little to no significant difference it’s just other vehicles (and products) I have researched in the past show small improvements, changes or sometimes cost cuttings over its lifespan so wondered if the freelander had anything similar, cheers;)
     
  7. GrumpyGel

    GrumpyGel Well-Known Member Full Member

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    The later models were better equipped, or at least had higher spec models (eg HSE) over the early pre MY01 cars.

    Things like the fuel burning heater and heated front screens were just not available. As you say, foldy in wing mirrors. All sorts of things extra to go wrong :D
     
  8. htr

    htr Well-Known Member

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    Well my penny-worth based on 7+ years of enjoying my '98 FL1 K1.8:
    It's fairly quiet, comfortable, good rear passenger leg room, not that thirsty [ 33MpG or better on a run 28 or so with a trailer], easy to work on with parts readily available and reasonable prices, quite good 4WD ability [ do miss a low range when rock crawling] and acceptable performance. Factory extras: sun roof [crap & never used], tow bar [ VG & in regular use], LR spot lamps [ good] as are the main lights, A/C = good but the heater is pretty average, PAS = good, remote locking [ very short range! ie right beside the car:(] fabric upholstery which is in pretty good nik! electric windows in the front [ I'm absolutely fine with that], early model brakes are not startling :|

    your points 1 to 7
    1 yes I've had my RH front subframe mount point welded and a plate put over it.
    2 can't say I've had many = any electrical gremlins [ drivers window motor is a bit slow and the rear glass is out of adjustment but they both work].
    3 no comment
    4 no comment
    5 carpets = good [ as are the rubber mats] cloth upholstery good, seat adjustment good, would like dimmable dash lighting, ICE LR speakers fairly good Sony head unit - load space head lining beginning to sag :(
    6 no rust issues but then we don't put salt on our roads here :)
    7 scuttle issue? foldy mirrors would be nice.

    Would like heated seats and a heated from screen and better window tinting - hmm cup holders too
    I keep it well serviced - motor has had some wee tweaks mainly aimed at reliability with maybe a small performance gain too.
     
  9. Nodge68

    Nodge68 Well-Known Member

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    There were body strength improvements which came into effect with the 2001MY revision. These included better front crumple zones, which were able to absorb a higher impact loading. Also there were some minor changes to the body structure, which included some thicker steel in key areas, and some higher strength steel in some places too.
    The passenger airbag became standard equipment too, instead of optional, as did ABS with traction control.
    These differences increased the crash worthiness to a Euro N CAP ☆☆☆ rating, from it's previous potential ☆☆ rating, if Euro N CAP had tested it, which I don't believe it ever did.

    Also the rear subframe to chassis rails were strengthened, although that was out of necessity, to avoid expensive warranty repairs.

    In other areas, the facelift models decreased in quality, mainly the interior, which although better looking, is more susceptible to creaks, squeaks, and rattles than the pre-facelift models.
    The facelift has much better headlamps and the tail lamps look more integrated, but otherwise changes on them was mostly cosmetic.
     
  10. GrumpyGel

    GrumpyGel Well-Known Member Full Member

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    I agree with almost everything you say there - down to the drivers window winding slowly, especially as it get towards the top :D

    Can't say I'd want heated seats - maybe if I had leather seats and wore shorts in winter - but they wouldn't make my motoring enjoyment any better. The fabric upholstery in my car is terrible. The stitching between panels has come away on the rear seat, both front seats have marks/stains on that won't come out and have wear tears in them.

    Totally agree on the heated front screen, when I see Freelanders listed on TradeMe (and there's so few of them these days!) the first thing I look for is whether it has the heater screen button :D Down here on the SI where we have (heavy) frosts for 3 (or more!) months of the year, it would be a great benefit. Very rare to find it on a car down here though.

    I think you might find that you only want the extra cup holders all the time you haven't got them. My MY01 parts car came with them, so they immediately went in the car... and almost as quickly were taken out again. The holders in the door sufficed and I missed the place to put 'stuff' :D The cup holders are curved, so even when they are not in use, you can't put anything on there - it just falls off.
     
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  11. CarsandWrenches

    CarsandWrenches Member

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    :D
    Me likes simples:)
     
  12. CarsandWrenches

    CarsandWrenches Member

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    Thanks mate, a good bit of info there:)The original
    Scuttle panel was one piece originally and had crappy foam blocks which rot and fall off, whereas the later ones are 2 piece design with i believe rubber seals instead of foam:)
     
  13. GrumpyGel

    GrumpyGel Well-Known Member Full Member

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    The main scuttle on my '99 car is fine (I believe) - but the bits on each end around the bonnet hinges are both perished.
     
  14. CarsandWrenches

    CarsandWrenches Member

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    Thanks nodge, just what I was looking for, I did notice that the fixture points for the rear bumper changed with the facelift and some people have to cut part of the body to make it fit. I know some have said the interior quality got worse, which is strange becuase the only difference is the cup holders, instrument cluster, seats and door cards on 5 door models, so did they somehow make a flimsy creaky dash or are the “creaks, squeaks, and rattles” from somewhere else do you know? Thanks mate:)
     
  15. CarsandWrenches

    CarsandWrenches Member

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    Same on dads freelander, doesn’t really effect anything other than having some left over holes and the scuttle and is actually simpler being one piece
     
  16. Nodge68

    Nodge68 Well-Known Member

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    The facelift interior looks better IMO, however the fit n finish decreased massively, particularly the plastics, which were made of a harder and more durable plastic, but those increased the vibration in the panels, which then makes all the fittings of the door cards in particular to came loose, giving the rattles previously described.
    It's possible to fix these issues, with some well placed 2 part epoxy, and some vehicle sound proofing materials, which is what I did with mine. It was definitely better, however the FL1 doesn't come even close to the FL2 in build quality, so feels old and loud by comparison.
     
  17. Nodge68

    Nodge68 Well-Known Member

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    I actually won't buy a car that doesn't have a HFS now, as they're so good.
     
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  18. CarsandWrenches

    CarsandWrenches Member

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    Thanks nodge, I know the FL1 (particularly 3 door without the headliner) gives you the feeling you could almost wash it down with a hose(NOT RECOMMENDED), if it has leather/vinyl seats and no carpets- almost like the original rangerovers;)
    Whereas the newer landrover products are far more plush but feel less robust imho, although they still stand up pretty darn well from experience:)
     
  19. Nodge68

    Nodge68 Well-Known Member

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    There's nothing less robust about the FL2, its miles ahead of the FL1 in every way, fit n finish, materials used, body strength (it's a Euro N CAP ☆☆☆☆☆) rated vehicle, however it is much more expensive to maintain, especially if things go wrong. ;)
     
  20. CarsandWrenches

    CarsandWrenches Member

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    Thanks for the help everyone your all a great source of info:)
     
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