The Land Rover Freelander is a compact SUV from the subsidiary of Tata Motors, the British Land Rover. The company is now producing the second generation model named the Freelander 2 or LR2. The latest edition of the Freelander is hitting the Middle East and North American markets.
The Rover Group conceptualized the original design of the Freelander in late 1980s after doing market researches that suggested the creation of compact off-roaders. The Rover Group was about to develop the Freelander project in early 1990s when they had a limited budget for its product development. To battle it out the Rover looked for a partner for the development of the Freelander. Their formal partner, the Honda has declined to join the project but came out with the similar Honda CR-V in 1997. With their failure to find a partner the Rover Group decided to go alone with the development of the Freelander that they named CB40 with their limited available resources. They come up with a unique suspension, transmission, and body construction. The Freelander was launched in 1997 after several years of development from their limited parts bin. In 1994, the BMW took over the operation of the Rover Group but not with the development of the Freelander.
The cost cutting done in the old Freelanders was retorted when the early Freelanders were found to be suffering from several inconsistencies such as clutch failure, head gaskets problem, and electrical problems. The new Freelander has seen a change in design and improvements in the problem areas of the past and this has accounted for the vehicle remaining on top when it comes to sale value. The Freelander was the best-selling 4x4 in Europe.
One notable feature of the Freelander was the hill descent control system that was first used in this model of the Land Rover. This system uses the abs to give an off road Traction Control system and to individually control the brakes while maintaining better driving control in off road terrains. The Freelander was out of the production line after its poor sales in 2006 in U.S. and Canada.