Will the New Discovery Sport Live up to the Illustrious Freelander Name?
One of the greatest off-road cars of all time, and arguably the best Land Rover ever built, the Freelander is one of Britain’s greatest vehicles. Now, however, after almost 20 years on Jaguar Land Rover’s Midland production lines, it is time to say goodbye, as the Freelander is being replaced by the Discovery Sport. But, the question on everybody’s lips is: how does it compare?
How Do They Compare?
Produced in Halewood, the seven seat Discovery Sport is larger than the Freelander, and although it feels a shame to lose the Freelander name, it must be admitted that the new Discovery Sport is suited to the Discovery range. It also appears set to complement a new Discovery model in 2016 which will be at the larger end of the range.
What’s So Special About the Freelander?
Launched back in 1997 to critical acclaim, it wasn’t long before the Freelander became the best-selling four wheel drive car available in Europe. In 2006, the Freelander 2 was launched, in two and four wheel drive options, once more to great acclaim, giving it a unique place in the hearts of British motorists.
All Freelanders are special, although it must be acknowledged that all Land Rovers have a special place in British hearts. Although they remain expensive, new and used Land Rovers are always available online from places like Ridgeway, so you can grab a piece of British motoring history.
But, what sets the Discovery Sport apart, and why should you invest in a new one rather than a used Freelander?
What’s New on the Discovery Sport?
On the Discovery Sport, the current diesel engine will be replaced by a much more efficient 2.0-litre diesel engine with different power outputs.
Deliveries are set to start in September, and 2 wheel drive as well as 4 wheel drive models are available. As well as this, all Discovery Sport owners will have the chance to choose between a 9 speed ZF automatic transition and a six speed manual gearbox.
Of course as expected, the new Discovery Sport will also feature Land Rover’s much loved off-road capabilities, allowing for a wading depth of 600mm and a Terrain Response System for tough off-road conditions.
All things considered, it appears as though the Discovery Sport will be a huge success for Land Rover, and will almost certainly help the company match the record profits they posted in 2014-15. So, although it is a shame to lose the Freelander brand, we seem to be witnessing the evolution of a company. The only way is up.