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Forester v Overlander v Freelander 2


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Looking to buy a vehicle that will double as a shooting vehicle and also second domestic vehicle when (rarely) needed. 

Did have my heart set on a 2012 forester, but had some sleepless nights over the boxer diesel engine, particularly the glow plugs ( the vehicle I was close to buying had had them replaced once, possibly twice up to 68k), and the fact that they seem to have become even more niche in recent years. 

Looking to widen the search a bit, or have others convince me to stick with subaru.

The Mitsubishi and the Landrover seem to also have a lot going for them. 

Main considerations 

- prefer diesel engine 

- budget 7k-ish, potentially bit more as continue saving and looks like going to be a good while yet before I'm travelling about like I used to pre-covid 

- vehicle will have to do motorway miles, as well as some light off reading when I reach my destination 

- obviously want mileage as low as possible and keen to avoid the sweet spot on the suggested vehicles where consumables start needing replaced 

- would like the option to tow if needed (forester towing capacity is 2500kg, which seems to be class leading) 

 

Any thoughts from the collective? 

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Im in a similar situation, looking at, forester, outback, freelander 2 and xtrail [along with some cheaper petrol motors,] From reviews alone the freelander2 looks good, capable off and on the road, good towing capacity, but out of the group the one with the best service history and mileage would swing it for me.....Also keen to see any first hand knowledge or suggestions from pw

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My shooting truck is a Nissan Terrano 2 '04 reg 3.0l which I find to be very capable on and off road with General Grabber AT3s. Three years ago a very low milage Freelander 2 Metropolis Oct '14 reg caught my eye and I bought it as my wife's daily driver. She loves it. Shortly after buying it we took it up to Orkney and it was fantastic. I've also put AT3s on it and it's proven to be equally capable as the Terrano for the offload use I've put it to. The driving style is different between the two to get the job done, particularly in the recent snow.

I do all the servicing and maintenance on them. I wouldn't hesitate to get another FL2 if the Terrano bit the dust.

Happy to answer further questions if able.

Cheers, Mick

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15 minutes ago, Wylye said:

Has to be the Freelander. It ticks all the boxes.

Having owned Landrovers I would say certainly not the Landrover 😂! Sorry!

Landrovers are always having little niggles, this breaking, this snapping, this slipping, this sticking.

I bought my first German car, and as much as I didn’t want German, its been the most trouble free car iv owned. 130,000 now and all iv replaced is a wheel bearing and an exhaust coupling in its life. Serviced once a year at the local independent. 

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Heard the slightly older X-trail (T31) are better than the newer ones. 
 

Look similar to the FL2, supposed to have good 4x4, spacious and 2L engine. 
 

The newer model (T32) are more like the Qashqai and I heard a bit gutless as a 1.6 but they did re-introduce the 2L engine so not sure the newer 2L ones are better. 
 

 

I am hoping to go test drive one tomorrow that’s only down the road but it’s an automatic, I’m not sure the automatic gearboxes were as trouble tree as the manuals. 

Edited by Lloyd90
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Next door but one neighbour has an older X-Trail. I'll try to get his thoughts tomorrow, it was his late father-in-laws car and has been in the family a long time, possibly from new.

zipdog's point above, I don't know which Land Rovers he's owned but the later FL2 is generally considered to have fewer problems than other models in the LR range.

One thing I will say about the FL2, and it's something that I'll need to address at some point on mine is the Haldex unit. LR don't have a service schedule for it, it's a swap out on problems or failure. Other marques that use the same unit do have service instructions and parts (fluid and filters, Volvo and Ford, the filters and other bits are FoMoCo). IMHO it's this sort of thing that lets LR down and I'd be wary about anything newer from them because of this.

There's other stuff such as rear diff that some folks have had problems with, what you generally tend to get on owner forums are the issues crop up most so you might want to look at those forums.

Putting my views in context I've got a Volvo V70 D5 '02 that I've had from new and it's running as sweet as a nut. Has it had problems? Yes, particularly a couple of injectors that I've been replaced, one about ten years ago and one last December. Other than annual service, it's had one clutch change, two cam belt and auxiliary changes, various drop links, wishbones, brake parts etc. Last mot it sailed through with an advisory on a rear ARB bush. Would I get rid of it? No, I'd happily drive it anywhere by road at the moment. Does it owe me anything? No.

In relation to autos, my V70 is manual and all the other vehicles I had before the Terrano were manual but driving autos has been an eye opener. The auto transmission on both the Terrano and FL2 have been spot on and both are considered to be good features of both those vehicles. I sometimes wonder whether or not I should have gone for the auto D5 on the V70, I wouldn't be out of pocket for the clutch replacement.

Let us know how you get on with the X-Trail and I'll see if I can get my neighbour's thoughts on them.

Cheers,

Mick

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I owned the previous model Forester from new for 7 years, the only real negatives were wind noise (pillarless doors, not sure if same on newer version) and the price of new genuine spare parts but saying that there are some very good and cheap specialist breakers about

 

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7 hours ago, malmick said:

Next door but one neighbour has an older X-Trail. I'll try to get his thoughts tomorrow, it was his late father-in-laws car and has been in the family a long time, possibly from new.

zipdog's point above, I don't know which Land Rovers he's owned but the later FL2 is generally considered to have fewer problems than other models in the LR range.

One thing I will say about the FL2, and it's something that I'll need to address at some point on mine is the Haldex unit. LR don't have a service schedule for it, it's a swap out on problems or failure. Other marques that use the same unit do have service instructions and parts (fluid and filters, Volvo and Ford, the filters and other bits are FoMoCo). IMHO it's this sort of thing that lets LR down and I'd be wary about anything newer from them because of this.

There's other stuff such as rear diff that some folks have had problems with, what you generally tend to get on owner forums are the issues crop up most so you might want to look at those forums.

Putting my views in context I've got a Volvo V70 D5 '02 that I've had from new and it's running as sweet as a nut. Has it had problems? Yes, particularly a couple of injectors that I've been replaced, one about ten years ago and one last December. Other than annual service, it's had one clutch change, two cam belt and auxiliary changes, various drop links, wishbones, brake parts etc. Last mot it sailed through with an advisory on a rear ARB bush. Would I get rid of it? No, I'd happily drive it anywhere by road at the moment. Does it owe me anything? No.

In relation to autos, my V70 is manual and all the other vehicles I had before the Terrano were manual but driving autos has been an eye opener. The auto transmission on both the Terrano and FL2 have been spot on and both are considered to be good features of both those vehicles. I sometimes wonder whether or not I should have gone for the auto D5 on the V70, I wouldn't be out of pocket for the clutch replacement.

Let us know how you get on with the X-Trail and I'll see if I can get my neighbour's thoughts on them.

Cheers,

Mick

any thoughts on the xc70 ?

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Thanks for all the useful input folks. Just realised it's the Mitsubishi Outlander, not overlander as per title. 

My heart says Subaru, niche, cult following in certain models and probably ticks all the boxes in the price bracket. X-trail seems popular, but I prefer the older boxier version, which is getting really long in the tooth now. Last ones about a 10 plate if I'm right. Also seem to hold their money more than others, so not a lot of choice with my budget. 

5 hours ago, Charliedog said:

I owned the previous model Forester from new for 7 years, the only real negatives were wind noise (pillarless doors, not sure if same on newer version) and the price of new genuine spare parts but saying that there are some very good and cheap specialist breakers about

 

Was that the '08 - '12 model? With the big intake on the bonnet? That's what I'm looking at to be honest. 

Edited by Novice
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Hi ya Novice don't want to put spanner in works as they say, but just make sure when cam belt is due as friend had one replaced in legacy and it was a big bill ,I think I recall belt and pullys where 400 pounds or that's what he told me I am just saying to have a look before buying because easier to ask this question .Hope this helps . I know every thing has cam belts but this seemed alot.

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16 minutes ago, Morkin said:

Hi ya Novice don't want to put spanner in works as they say, but just make sure when cam belt is due as friend had one replaced in legacy and it was a big bill ,I think I recall belt and pullys where 400 pounds or that's what he told me I am just saying to have a look before buying because easier to ask this question .Hope this helps . I know every thing has cam belts but this seemed alot.

Thanks for that. The boxer diesel is a chain, so no belt to replace. Think chain is recommended for replacement at about 110k, but think they can go beyond that. Intention would be to get one with around 60k or less on clock, so not a consideration for a good while for me. 

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11 hours ago, zipdog said:

Having owned Landrovers I would say certainly not the Landrover 😂! Sorry!

Landrovers are always having little niggles, this breaking, this snapping, this slipping, this sticking.

I bought my first German car, and as much as I didn’t want German, its been the most trouble free car iv owned. 130,000 now and all iv replaced is a wheel bearing and an exhaust coupling in its life. Serviced once a year at the local independent. 

Interesting you should say that. I've had two German cars and they were the biggest pile of **** I've ever owned! Ran a Freelander 2 up to 100K and it never had a spanner on it apart from servicing. 

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3 hours ago, Novice said:

Thanks for all the useful input folks. Just realised it's the Mitsubishi Outlander, not overlander as per title. 

My heart says Subaru, niche, cult following in certain models and probably ticks all the boxes in the price bracket. X-trail seems popular, but I prefer the older boxer version, which is getting really long in the tooth now. Last ones about a 10 plate if I'm right. Also seem to hold their money more than others, so not a lot of choice with my budget. 

Was that the '08 - '12 model? With the big intake on the bonnet? That's what I'm looking at to be honest. 

yes it was but it was an 07 vehicle actually

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5 hours ago, islandgun said:

any thoughts on the xc70 ?

I've not got any direct experience of them but I believe it's a similar drivetrain to the FL2 but more road orientated. I'd certainly be interested in test driving the D5 auto. With the right tyres on it should be quite potent but with less ground clearance than the FL2.

As an aside I'd had the V70 quite a few years before accidentally spinning it round in snow one night, fortunately nothing in the way and no harm done. I fairly quickly got a second hand set of wheels and had some snow rated tyres fitted. Used them October to April/May since then and they've been fantastic. Due to not using the V70 so much now I replaced the last pair of snow tyres with all-seasons and will do so on the next replacement for the other pair. I'm a big believer in the right tyres for the conditions.

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I've had mk1 forester turbo, impreza, legacy outback (diesel) and now have an XV. As far as I'm concerned, they can't be beaten. I know you are only interested in the diesels, so I shall let you know my thoughts. My outback was a 2012 manual. Absolutely huge inside. Slightly agricultural handling on road, but with a good set of tyres it would match almost anything off road. The very early diesels were a bit suspect but most of the problem ones will have been sorted under warranty by now, and the 2012 onwards were much stronger. 

The auto box (cvt) is a good match for the engine, and I wish I'd got one of those instead. They are very economical for a big car, mine returned mid 50s mpg over 10000 miles. Servicing can be slightly more expensive if you need parts, but they arent too hard to work on if you know your way around, so you can save there. Failing that, lots of indy subaru specialist garages around that will be cheaper than main dealer. 

My dad is on his 7th subaru since 1985 and hasn't had anything else. He is a tight old ****** so it says something. 

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9 hours ago, Charliedog said:

I owned the previous model Forester from new for 7 years, the only real negatives were wind noise (pillarless doors, not sure if same on newer version) and the price of new genuine spare parts but saying that there are some very good and cheap specialist breakers about

 

 I agree with this as I had a 10 plate for 4 years but have also had an outlander.   There is little to chose between the two the Outlander is bigger inside but the Forester is more economic on fuel (used to get over 50mpg on long M-way runs)

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16 hours ago, malmick said:

Next door but one neighbour has an older X-Trail. I'll try to get his thoughts tomorrow, it was his late father-in-laws car and has been in the family a long time, possibly from new.

zipdog's point above, I don't know which Land Rovers he's owned but the later FL2 is generally considered to have fewer problems than other models in the LR range.

One thing I will say about the FL2, and it's something that I'll need to address at some point on mine is the Haldex unit. LR don't have a service schedule for it, it's a swap out on problems or failure. Other marques that use the same unit do have service instructions and parts (fluid and filters, Volvo and Ford, the filters and other bits are FoMoCo). IMHO it's this sort of thing that lets LR down and I'd be wary about anything newer from them because of this.

There's other stuff such as rear diff that some folks have had problems with, what you generally tend to get on owner forums are the issues crop up most so you might want to look at those forums.

Putting my views in context I've got a Volvo V70 D5 '02 that I've had from new and it's running as sweet as a nut. Has it had problems? Yes, particularly a couple of injectors that I've been replaced, one about ten years ago and one last December. Other than annual service, it's had one clutch change, two cam belt and auxiliary changes, various drop links, wishbones, brake parts etc. Last mot it sailed through with an advisory on a rear ARB bush. Would I get rid of it? No, I'd happily drive it anywhere by road at the moment. Does it owe me anything? No.

In relation to autos, my V70 is manual and all the other vehicles I had before the Terrano were manual but driving autos has been an eye opener. The auto transmission on both the Terrano and FL2 have been spot on and both are considered to be good features of both those vehicles. I sometimes wonder whether or not I should have gone for the auto D5 on the V70, I wouldn't be out of pocket for the clutch replacement.

Let us know how you get on with the X-Trail and I'll see if I can get my neighbour's thoughts on them.

Cheers,

Mick


Test drive an 2013 X-trail today was an automatic. 
 

Really impressed with it even for a car that’s a bit older. This one was the Tekna so top spec. 
 

Really nice to drive, loads of space, big boot, standing in the back seat you can stand up through the sunroof and could shoot a rifle off the top of the roof on a bipod quite comfortably. 
 

The fuel use on an automatic is a big worse than the manual but I quite enjoyed driving the automatic it was very smooth to drive... my Mrs even gave it a quick spin and was impressed with it. 
 

Have put down a deposit on it and the garage are going to put a new MOT on it and do an oil change. 
 

I am hoping I don’t get many problems with it :) excited to pick it up next week now! 

👍🏻👍🏻

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19 hours ago, adzyvilla said:

I've had mk1 forester turbo, impreza, legacy outback (diesel) and now have an XV. As far as I'm concerned, they can't be beaten. I know you are only interested in the diesels, so I shall let you know my thoughts. My outback was a 2012 manual. Absolutely huge inside. Slightly agricultural handling on road, but with a good set of tyres it would match almost anything off road. The very early diesels were a bit suspect but most of the problem ones will have been sorted under warranty by now, and the 2012 onwards were much stronger. 

The auto box (cvt) is a good match for the engine, and I wish I'd got one of those instead. They are very economical for a big car, mine returned mid 50s mpg over 10000 miles. Servicing can be slightly more expensive if you need parts, but they arent too hard to work on if you know your way around, so you can save there. Failing that, lots of indy subaru specialist garages around that will be cheaper than main dealer. 

My dad is on his 7th subaru since 1985 and hasn't had anything else. He is a tight old ****** so it says something. 

Thanks for that. Did you ever have any problems with the glow plugs on the diesel, or the suspension bushes on any of them? 

The boxer configuration seems to present a significant issue in removing the glow plugs if they're a bit sticky, although I believe that having some specific tooling can make all the difference. Sounds like the tooling isn't common even amongst main dealers. 

Edited by Novice
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24 minutes ago, Lloyd90 said:


Test drive an 2013 X-trail today was an automatic. 
 

Really impressed with it even for a car that’s a bit older. This one was the Tekna so top spec. 
 

Really nice to drive, loads of space, big boot, standing in the back seat you can stand up through the sunroof and could shoot a rifle off the top of the roof on a bipod quite comfortably. 
 

The fuel use on an automatic is a big worse than the manual but I quite enjoyed driving the automatic it was very smooth to drive... my Mrs even gave it a quick spin and was impressed with it. 
 

Have put down a deposit on it and the garage are going to put a new MOT on it and do an oil change. 
 

I am hoping I don’t get many problems with it :) excited to pick it up next week now! 

👍🏻👍🏻

Good to hear you got sorted. Do you mind giving some more details re mileage, service history and rough price if you don't mind? Send me a PM if you'd prefer. 

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40 minutes ago, Novice said:

Good to hear you got sorted. Do you mind giving some more details re mileage, service history and rough price if you don't mind? Send me a PM if you'd prefer. 

👍🏻

 

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16 hours ago, Novice said:

Thanks for that. Did you ever have any problems with the glow plugs on the diesel, or the suspension bushes on any of them? 

The boxer configuration seems to present a significant issue in removing the glow plugs if they're a bit sticky, although I believe that having some specific tooling can make all the difference. Sounds like the tooling isn't coming even amongst main dealers. 

Suspension was good on mine. I know bushes can wear on the much older ones (the >2010 type and before) which can make for interesting handling, but over the years of owning my various models I can't recall them being any worse than other makes for suspension wear bearing in mind mine got a fair bit of off road use. Never had a single problem with the glow plugs, but the engines are a ****** to work on so can understand the worry. Mine did have a gasket leak transmission fluid at the driveshaft but was replaced under warranty, that was the only mechanical problem in over 2 years ownership. 

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2 minutes ago, adzyvilla said:

Suspension was good on mine. I know bushes can wear on the much older ones (the >2010 type and before) which can make for interesting handling, but over the years of owning my various models I can't recall them being any worse than other makes for suspension wear bearing in mind mine got a fair bit of off road use. Never had a single problem with the glow plugs, but the engines are a ****** to work on so can understand the worry. Mine did have a gasket leak transmission fluid at the driveshaft but was replaced under warranty, that was the only mechanical problem in over 2 years ownership. 

Thanks for that. Appreciate there are risks in buying any older secondhand car, just don't want to sleep walk into anything obvious if other options will be just as good for what I want 

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