Review: Land Rover Freelander Commercial (2008 – 2015)

Rating:

Genuine off road ability, upmarket image and high quality interior, very refined on road.

Expensive but does hold its value.

Recently Added To This Review

23 August 2008 Land Rover launches Freelander 2 Commercial

It's available in S and XS versions. The specification is as a standard Freelander 2 at the respective trim levels, but without rear seats and side airbags and with the addition of a full-height solid... Read more

Land Rover Freelander Commercial (2008 – 2015): At A Glance

For those wanting a commercial vehicle that's truly capable off road but is also refined on tarmac, the Land Rover Freelander Commercial is the ideal choice. It's upmarket and classy image is another attraction for those who want to make the right statment with their vehicle.

Of course it doesn't come particularly cheap and there are plenty of other 4x4 based vans on the market like the Mitsubishi Outlander 4Work and the SsangYong Korando Commercial. But none can hold a candle to the quality of the Land Rover, nor match its tough image. Think rugged off roading and you think Land Rover.

Based on the passenger Freelander, the commercial version ditches the rear seats and gets a full-height solid bulkhead with mesh panel, support frame and fixed rear door glass rather than the electrically operated ones of the passenger model. It's not a huge space but is surprisingly useful.

For the XS model, Land Rover offers a more luxurious cabin that includes part leather upholstery, climate control and CD stereo. This model also has 17-inch alloy wheels, a full-size spare wheel, front parking sensors, electrically folding door mirrors and Land Rover’s Terrain Response system to tailor the car’s four-wheel drive system, to the prevailing conditions. It's the best one to go for.

Power is supplied by Land Rover’s dependable 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine that means the Freelander Commercial can tow up to 2000kg. It also means this Freelander is every bit as good on the road and motorway as other models in the range.

What does a Land Rover Freelander Commercial (2008 – 2015) cost?

Land Rover Freelander Commercial (2008 – 2015): What's It Like Inside?

The Land Rover Freelander 2 Commercial is never going to be as spacious or able as a van that was specifically designed for the purpose. It’s a passenger car that was commercialised by Land Rover due to demand from customers who had bought the previous generation Freelander as a workhorse or those who want something more stylish and refined than the glut of pick-up offerings.

As such, the Freelander 2 Commercial’s maximum cargo space of 1670 litres is not going to trouble some of its dedicated van competition. However, it’s how that space is used that makes the Freelander worthy of consideration. With the rear seats of the passenger model completely removed and replaced with a long, flat load floor, the Freelander is more useful than you might first think.

Land Rover has given the floor a tough, durable rubber finish with lashing hooks and a solid bulkhead with mesh panel make it as useful as any rival’s load bay. The Freelander then has the added bonus of two side entry doors for access to the load space, though these are the original Freelander’s rear doors with the windows fixed in place rather than the sliding doors offered with a Citroen Berlingo, for instance. Still, the Freelander has good access to its load space and the rear load sill is not excessively high for hefting in heavy items. The Freelander 2 Commercial with manual gearbox can hold up to 735kg of cargo, or 725kg with the automatic.

Up in the front cabin, the Commercial model has the same stylish, well made dash and interior as the Freelander passenger car. There are front and side airbags to keep the occupants safe, while large door mirrors help with reversing. All of the major controls are conveniently placed and grouped around the driver, so no reaching into the abyss to find the handbrake or heater controls.

There is a solid and classy feel to the Freelander 2 Commercial’s cabin that most of its rivals simply cannot match. It imparts a sense of quality that helps justify the added cost of choosing a Freelander in its Commercial guise over more obvious vans from other manufacturers.

Comfortable and supportive seats make any journey a pleasure in the Freelander and the clutch and gearshift of the manual gearbox are well matched with light actions. The driving position also has more adjustment than many other vans offer and the driver’s seat can be slid back more than enough for even the tallest driver to find the ideal driving position.

The only black mark against the Freelander 2 Commercial’s cabin is its very opulence means its more prone to scuffs and dirt that would simply be ignored in a more workaday van.

What's the Land Rover Freelander Commercial (2008 – 2015) like to drive?

If you didn’t know this was a commercialised version of the standard passenger Freelander, you would be hard pushed to know you were driving a van. Even with the rear seats removed and space behind the front cab maximised, the Freelander 2 Commercial is more refined than most of its obvious pick-up rivals.

This feeling follows through to the way the Freelander 2 Commercial deals with all sorts of roads, from town to moors. In the city, the Freelander copes very well with ruts and speed bumps, the soft suspension soaking up all before and under it with composed ease. It also does a good job of slotting into urban parking spaces thanks to the reasonable compact turning circle for a vehicle with full-time four-wheel drive.

However, the Freelander still feels like quite a large vehicle around town, even if it is the smallest machine in the Land Rover line-up and the raised driving position gives a fine view ahead. Like so many vehicles of this type, the Freelander does suffer from compromised rear three-quarter vision for parking and changing lanes on the motorway.

Even so, the Freelander is a sound bet for motorway work thanks to that same supple suspension and good refinement, which is a handy hangover from it being designed primarily as a passenger car. The other main contributor to the Freelander 2 Commercial’s appeal as a motorway cruiser is the punchy 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine.

This engine offers 160PS coupled to either a six-speed manual gearbox or five-speed automatic, which is a choice not all of the Land Rover’s rivals can offer. With a good choice of gear ratios, the Freelander can get moving even when pulling up to its maximum permissible weight on a trailer, while the upper gears allow for easy cruising and decent fuel economy well into the 30s. It’s a willing engine and never feels strained or coarse.

Although the Freelander 2 Commercial does not come with a low ration transfer box, in common with all Freelander models, it does offer more off-road ability than you might initially expect. The XS models comes with Land Rover’s superb Terrain Response system that lets the driver choose from a number of driving modes to suit sand, gravel, snow and muddy conditions.

Coupled to the full-time four-wheel drive, good ground clearance and the engine’s strong pull, it means the Freelander is unlikely to be defeated by the weather or route on most journeys. Finally, the Freelander 2 Commercial is also endowed with the same sure-footed handling in corners as the rest of the Freelander range, so it is as entertaining to drive as it comfortable.