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With less capability than true dirt runners and less of a prestige factor than BMW's X3, it's hard to make much of a case for the Freelander.
Excellent on-road handling for an SUV, permanent all-wheel drive, still capable off-road.
Tight on cargo space even with rear seats folded, V6 engine on the weak side, though ergonomically improved the interior still lacks a modern look, no side airbags.
Available Freelander Models
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For 2004, the Freelander's exterior has been revamped with a redesigned front bumper and grille; also added are new clear lens headlamps similar to those on the Range Rover. Front and rear bumpers are now body-colored, and in back, the taillamps assume a higher position. In the cabin, the Freelander gets a revised dash, along with new instrumentation, switchgear, door trim panels and front seats. The sport-ute's list of standard equipment grows to include roof rails, tinted windows and an in-dash six-disc CD changer, while the number of available four-door trims shrinks from three to two: SE and HSE. The Freelander's five-speed automatic transmission has also been recalibrated for smoother shifting.
Laura's old car was costing her a small fortune every month for gas and repairs. She didn't even want to drive her kids to the park any more. But buying a new Kia Soul changed all that.