The Land Rover Freelander started from a strong position even before our test week began, fresh from being crowned Compact 4×4 of the Year at What Car?’s Car of the Year Awards. Superb refinement from the new 2.2-litre diesel engine, Land Rover’s legendary off-road ability and the most comfortable ride in the class won the title.
With a caravan in tow, the ride is every bit as comfortable, although our performance tester found the Freelander a little floaty through the lane-change test. The Land Rover made short work of our test hill, but there are quicker towcars.
A little more room for rear-seat passengers would be welcome, as would a more useable boot. On paper, the Freelander’s 755-litre luggage space is impressive, yet we struggled to fit all of our awkwardly shaped test load.
There’s no getting away from the £31k price tag. Still, there are less lavish versions available from £20,960, and resale values are high.