16 August 2009

Freelander Does It Tough


Recently I commented on a four way shootout of smaller SUVs and the Freelander won the contest. Now I have just read in my August 2009 Top Gear NZ magazine about a similar head to head. It was the Audi Q5, Volvo XC 60 and the Land Rover Freelander. They were taken around the Flinders Ranges in South Australia on dusty roads. Nothing too serious but testing all the same.

The conclusion was that had there been just the Volvo and Audi, it would have been a tough call. The final sentences: "But the Freelander makes the choice a simple one; out here in the scrub it is every one's favourite. And for me it does a better job of being both a car and an SUV, and in this segment that's what matters most. Good things do indeed come in small packages."

That is a recurring theme in tests and no doubt is reflected in sales figures. Er, no, not at all. From Jan-July '09, Land Rover made about 17,000 Freelanders, Volvo 32,000 odd XC60s and Audi in the region of 57,000 Q5s. So in essence, the better the vehicle, the less it sells. I don't get that except to say that purchases aren't based on buying the best car, but rather it depends on the badge.

The Freelander is made at Halewood, c. Liverpool, UK. They are about to lose the X-Type from production and the workers do a fabulous job there. The product is top notch too. I hope people get behind this fine product and those that assemble it.

The bottom line: The Freelander is the sensible choice.

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