For as long as she can remember, Sarah Royle has wanted a Land Rover – a Series I, especially. But would it really be practical to drive such a classic every day?
This doubt led Sarah to ponder other Land Rover models. She scoured the classified ads and online vehicle sales.
A Discovery looked like a wise choice, but would it be too big? Or perhaps an early Defender? Then Sarah looked at the Freelander. She hadn’t given it much thought before, but it was small enough to be practical, it wore the green oval and it would be more than capable of some light greenlaning and of carrying on calmly through winter weather. And so the search began.
She went to see a few – and then she found The One. It’s a 2003 five-door Serengeti SE finished in Monte Carlo Blue.
One of the first things Sarah did as a Freelander owner was to join the owners’ club. Hoping to take part in some greenlaning trips and off-road days, she was disappointed when, soon after, the club dissolved. But, after a recommendation from a friend, Sarah came into contact with 4x4 Northerners and, before long, she was greenlaning in the Lake District in her own Land Rover.
The side steps the car had come with soon fell victim to a tree stump after being weakened by a boulder, so Sarah got rid of them.
Despite many people knocking the Freelander for its limited off-road ability, she loves it. It’s had no modifications at all, yet keeps up perfectly with two lifted and modified Freelanders that venture out on trips. The 17-inch wheels wear Michelin road tyres which, despite their tarmac bias, cope admirably on the greenlaning trips.
The only planned modification are some rock sliders. Although hardly necessary for its daily roles of commuting and shopping, very few vehicles in the supermarket car park experience the kind of off-tarmac sorties that this Freelander does.
This owner review appeared in the December 2011 issue of LRO. Current and Back issues are available to download on digital devices here. Please note, we only hold stocks of the the last three back issues.