Land Rover Freeloader

13 Sep

Like this, but maroon. And probably heavier.

So here’s a turn-up for the books, readers. After all my humming and ha-ing about buying some strange, executive, French, early 1990s auto-erotica (well not quite) my mum, bless her heart, has given (GIVEN!) me her 2003 Land Rover Freelander. My mum doesn’t drive a lot now that her school run days are behind her (until I start whacking out grandkids and force the little blighters upon her) and she lives in the middle of town and has access to another car, so has relinquished her car to me.

Now I will qualify some of this. I can’t deny the generosity of spirit that my mother, as is typical of her, has shown. But, Carficionado being Carficionado, I proposed to her that I perhaps traded this beastie in for something a little more frugal, which raised shrieks and howls from mother dearest, protesting that she loved her car and under no circumstances should I etc. etc. You’d have thought that if she loved it so much, she’d drive the damned thing every now and again. The problem is that back in 2003, when Carficionado was still largely ignorant in the ways of the world, my mum bought the car to replace her previous car, a SsangYong Musso (don’t say ANYTHING!). My mum is 5 foot and a little bit, and has a hangup about being high up in a car, hence the SsangYong and hence the Freelander. She was also feeling a little bit riche and so specced the Freelander to the highest heights of speccing. Thus integrated DVD player. Thus heated front seats. Thus 6 CD changer and Harmon/Kardon stereo. And thus 2.5 litre V6. Now I realise that in this blog I’ve banged on about loving Range Rovers with 3,9 litre V8s, so a meagre 2.5 V6 is surely childsplay. But honestly, the Freelander, with all its high-spec gubbins, weighs about the same as a house. It is vastly heavy and uses huge quantities of fuel to get anywhere. The fuel gauge moves like those pinball flickers. The engine is not really big enough to propel the car, and what it lacks in the torque that, say, a diesel Freelander would give you (or a V8), it makes up for in revving a lot when you ask it to move a tad faster. Bear in mind that Jaguar uses this engine in the X-Type. And it’s not even the top petrol engine in that range! So my four-day a week commute to studentdom could end up being exceedingly costly. Needless to say, I’m worried. Perhaps I’ll see if I can trade it for a Golf Bluemotion without my mum noticing….

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