's Great British Cars – Land Rover Freelander

Sun 29th Apr 2018

Great Britain, great cars. The UK motor industry is respected the world over, and though many of the vehicles are actually owned by foreign manufacturers, there can be no doubting of the fantastic heritage of the British motor.

To celebrate Britain’s famous history is launching a series looking back on some of the most famous vehicles the UK has ever seen.

Land Rover Freelander
The back-story of Land Rover’s mini-SUV is one which will remain etched into the folklore of the company forever. When Rover Group was sold to BMW in 1994 the new owners were given a tour of the factory to see exactly what they had bought. One of the new bosses spotted the concept model of a smaller 4x4 which had been built 10 years earlier, Rover hadn’t the money or the resource to develop it, but BMW, perhaps seeing a future when ‘crossover’ SUVs would dominate, insisted the design be made a reality. Three years later and the Freelander went to market.

The Freelander’s versatility, both on and off-road, made it an instant success and stemmed te tide of Japanese imports which were dominating the SUV market. It’s early success was reflected by it being Europe’s best-selling four-wheel drive model up until 2002.

Designed by Gerry McGovern, who later went on to become head of design at Land Rover, there were early plans to subcontract the manufacture of the vehicle to Finnish company Valmet, however BMW soon terminated that agreement and moved production to Solihull in the UK.

Though the Freelander is a smaller SUV and doesn’t enjoy the low-range gear selection of its bigger brothers, it’s off-road performance is not as impressive as the more traditional Land Rovers, it does however fare much better than the similar styled Honda CRV and Toyota RAV4 models.

Whilst the Freelander may have lacked some of the grunt of bigger SUV’s what it lacked in off-road power it gained in technological innovation, with more than 16 patented features to its name. The Freelander’s Hill Descent Control system was actually adopted across the Land Rover range and then BMW borrowed the technology for their own X5.

A 2017 Freelander can be yours for just £429 per month. Get it today from