I have one of these, a 2000 model and I love it. It feels so safe to drive and the visibility on the road is so much better than anything else I've driven. I had warnings before buying one that pre2000 models had engine weaknesses and that seems to be true. Mine had a new engine before I bought it, so I thought I'd be fine, but a year down the line and I had to spend £1000 on a new engine again. This time though, the new engine is a modified version so I should be ok. Other than that the car has been trouble free, and has taken me many miles. The storage is great, and it is so comfortable if you go on long journeys. I have dogs, and the boot is great for them as the back window opens for air. It is a nice looking car also, and I think competes well with the posher, newer freelanders that are out now. Just watch the engine, make sure you get service history and get it checked by a mechanic before you buy. Another key thing is to continously check the water levels, freelanders of this age regularly have water leaks and if you don't keep an eye you will blow the engine.
I had wanted this car since it came out and couldnot wait til i had enough to buy one, the big day arrived and i was over the moon ....until the moon came up. the 007 style back window that lowers when at the press of a button started to lower without the press of a button and at the same time disarms the alarm system which is nice when you are at a resteraunt and its raining. then the wiper motor failed and so did the replacement, then there were the rattles that irritate to undescribable levels. i did unlike most take mine off road which is where this car was made for, it handles better off road than my mates defender and discovery the only downfall is the lack of clearance which threatens the life span of your exhaust. The exhaust....nightmare constantly banging around after many trips to the dealers to get fixed. the amount of room when the rear seats are folded away is amazing i camped out in mine but would have been drier in the tent as the window decided to come down by itself. the detatchable roof is great in theory but in the cold of winter the cheap plastic creaks and groans all day long regardless of how long the heater is on. the heater on the other hand is fantastic going from -5 to the sahara in less than a couple of mins, the sunroof squeaks and creaks and lets in water the air bag light doesnt go out 30% of the time, the fuel consumption is good if you keep under 90 go above and its not just your licence at risk its your wallet. after reading all of this you may have been convinced that this is the worst of motors however a friend at work has the exact same model and year and has neber once had a complaint it may just be my bad luck or his good as i have heard many reports that they are crap, but when someone that drives an e reg escort tells you your car is crap you generally say "okeay then" and think its out of jealousy ,,,,,,until your rear window drops down in the rain and someone helps them selve
s to your laptop!!! i am trading it in for a disco being a firm believer that landrover is one of the best motors around you can await my next update very soon, it will bew a shame to see it go btu i cannot live with taking the fuses out everytime it rains or stand another cold spell with that damn roof irritating the arse off me hope this is of use and please please please take a trest drive without the salesman and throw it around listen to every noise and remember me