I'll second thatOnly just seen this post, I have a basic 1.8s 2001, here in Sheffield we have had over 18inches of snow and for 3 days our Freebie was the only thing that moved taking neighbours on hospital runs and to the shops as no gritters have been seen on our estate. Not once did traction control cut in and the hdc was fantastic on some of the hills around us. So don't knock the Freelander not even the 1.8 it has done everything I have asked of it including towing a caravan to the Scottish Highlands and around North Yorkshire.
We previously had a 2001 1.8 petrol Freelander and now have a 2005 TD4 - its brilliant in this weather. As my wife normally uses it, I am now thinking of getting another one for me (possibly an earlier 1.8) to use in winter rather than the TF.