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Thoughts and musings on the new defender


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21 hours ago, Retroanaconda said:

This whole TFL affair is a catalogue of terrible customer service by their dealer(s).

It is not just the dealer.  Land Rover corporate had the first vehicle moved to their own facility and flew in factory engineers to diagnose the problem.  This is an engine that has been in production for years.  Good luck repairing it in the bush.

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On 11/24/2020 at 7:34 AM, elbekko said:

Most likely all of it is perfectly repairable, but warranty procedure says "replace x entirely". Possibly so the entire faulty unit can be shipped back to the factory for inspection by people who actually know what they're doing.

I also think TFL handled it a bit strangely. Why not accept the engine swap? If that goes wrong, you can still go for another car, but at least try it out. Might've saved them a whole lot of headache.

Maybe they didn’t trust the franchise workmanship, which appears to be justified after the winch fitting.

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Not wanting to be a skeptic, but there is also a possibility that TLF are making this a little more dramatic than it actually is.... after all, their primary intent is viewer ratings and numbers. And what brings in this more than controversy?

You only have to look at their marketing slogans on nearly all of their videos to get the gist of how they operate. And isn't is convenient that almost every car they have that needs controversy, seems to get it on their channel? How many issues did they claim to have with Tesla's for example.

I'm not saying they are outright lying, but at the end of the day, you are only hearing one side of the story that is then dressed up for YouTube ratings.

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TBH, I thought their coverage was pretty much left to the facts, without the usual level of inserted drama.

Whatever way you spin it, three defenders to get one working is not a good look.

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On 11/25/2020 at 1:45 PM, Chicken Drumstick said:

Not wanting to be a skeptic, but there is also a possibility that TLF are making this a little more dramatic than it actually is.... after all, their primary intent is viewer ratings and numbers. And what brings in this more than controversy?

You only have to look at their marketing slogans on nearly all of their videos to get the gist of how they operate. And isn't is convenient that almost every car they have that needs controversy, seems to get it on their channel? How many issues did they claim to have with Tesla's for example.

I'm not saying they are outright lying, but at the end of the day, you are only hearing one side of the story that is then dressed up for YouTube ratings.

There must be underlaying truth to the complaints as it’s dire PR for Land Rover, and the company is very litigation-happy - just look at how many companies were sued for having the word Rover in their name, be they accessories manufacturers or specialist garage and repair services.  They even tried suing the authors of books,including childrens’ books for the non-trademark nickname “Landy”.  So, LR would be all over them if they had any opportunity to shut their channel down.

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48 minutes ago, Snagger said:

There must be underlaying truth to the complaints as it’s dire PR for Land Rover, and the company is very litigation-happy - just look at how many companies were sued for having the word Rover in their name, be they accessories manufacturers or specialist garage and repair services.  They even tried suing the authors of books,including childrens’ books for the non-trademark nickname “Landy”.  So, LR would be all over them if they had any opportunity to shut their channel down.

Maybe so. And I'm not saying anything underhand is going on. But rationally their channel only provides one side of the story.

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I don’t disagree.  Social media is extremely biased, and YouTube videos are part of that.  You can present things in a way that are factually correct but in a way that is misleading, which is very difficult to get corrected by the maligned.

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Land Rover are often their own worst enemy. 

But of course those making the decisions often think themselves infallible. 

Regrettably I'm certain we'll see their demise over the next few years. 

Mo

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For the crazy off-road/extreme-adventure types, there's always Torsus:

https://www.torsus.eu/schoolbus.thumb.jpg.284888ac6af61fcdce929d026a291687.jpg

who build offroad-people-transporters using well-proven MAN engines/transmissions.

I'm sticking with the Toyota 'commercial' Landcruiser - if only they can get their fingers out and actually build the thing!

Edited by Tanuki
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13 hours ago, Challo said:

Looks like the person I'm not that keen on child of a Mahindra clone of a Jeep and an early Toyota!  But it does tick the cheap, simple and probably rugged requirements.  I love the way they think an anti-roll bar is high tech!😆

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On 11/28/2020 at 8:47 AM, Tanuki said:

For the crazy off-road/extreme-adventure types, there's always Torsus:

https://www.torsus.eu/schoolbus.thumb.jpg.284888ac6af61fcdce929d026a291687.jpg

who build offroad-people-transporters using well-proven MAN engines/transmissions.

I'm sticking with the Toyota 'commercial' Landcruiser - if only they can get their fingers out and actually build the thing!

Yum yum yum!  Worth about as much as my house but I can see why.  I wonder if they throw in the plastic lady for free?

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"An off-road Rambo with mud in its veins
Jeremy Clarkson
Sunday November 29 2020, 12.01am, The Sunday Times

Over the past six months this column has sometimes been about farming and sometimes about cars. And now it’s about both at the same time, because today I’m writing about the new Land Rover Defender.

It has been designed by the company’s chief stylist, Gerry McGovern, to look like the old Defender, and I can’t see why. When Apple was designing its phone, it didn’t say: “It must be red and 8ft tall, and it must smell of urine and be full of ladies’ phone numbers.” It went ahead and did something different.

But Gerry, a little man who hates me because I’m so much taller than him, may have been wise on this occasion, because he understands the British don’t like different. The last Defender was launched just after the Second World War, then not really altered at all for 67 years.

And when the company did pull the plug, lots of Brexit-type people rushed about saying they would put it back into production themselves, so that proper British men — men, d’you hear — could continue to drive a car that smelt of damp dogs and was full of sharp edges.

I was never a fan of the old Defender, and because the new one is so obviously designed to be a modern-day interpretation, and has been styled by a small man who hates me, I was determined to dislike it as well.

Initially this was a struggle, because it does look good. I had the short-wheelbase Defender 90 model and there was definitely a Tonka-toyish charm allied to a hint of meat. The meat’s real too. This is a car that can wade through water nearly 3ft deep and is fitted with electrics so robust they can be submerged for an hour and still work. It is not, then, just a Range Rover with right angles. It’s been beefed up everywhere to cope with everything.

And that was good news, because the day after it was delivered to my farm, men came with machines to resurface my drive. This meant that for a week the only way into the world would be via what we call the brown back passage.

It is a very muddy track, and sometimes it’s very muddy without being a track at all. And I could not believe how well the Defender coped. Even my tractor slithers about in one notorious 200-yard slab of clay, but the little Land Rover kept on going.

I didn’t even need to employ any of its “special programs”, which is a good thing, because to engage these you must first press a button on the dash and then use an iPad-style touchscreen thing to make your selection. That’s only going to work if you’re 12.

Later that afternoon I heard gunfire on the other side of the farm, so, fearful that someone was shooting my deers, I set off up the brown back passage and into the woods, where the 90’s smallness meant I could zip about easily between the trees. It was also extremely comfortable, and although my test car had the 2-litre petrol engine, and not a torquey diesel, it was sprightly and gutsy too.

Soon I forgot why I’d gone out, and was to be found trying to get it stuck in bogs and on muddy banks so I could be manly and use my tractor to pull it out. I was quite sad when I failed, but then happy the next day when someone borrowed it and called moments later to say that she was bogged down in some — not very — deep ruts. I won’t say who it was. Only that her name begins with an “L”. And ends with an “isa Hogan”.

Even more impressive than the off-road comfort and ability was the interior. It’s not completely “wipe clean”, sadly, and I hated the tiny man’s faux and pointlessly visible screw heads, but there are so many cubbyholes and pockets for things, you could play kick the can in there and never find anyone. It looks good too, apart from the stupid fake screws, which I don’t think I’ve mentioned. I especially liked the folding canvas sunroof. It made me think of the Tudor Webasto on my grandad’s old Rover.

After three days I was fairly confident that I would be buying a Defender soon, but then I checked the price and, er, I’m sorry. What? The car I’d had — the short-wheelbase model with the tiny engine — was more than £62,000 with the options factored in.

Even if you take away all the extras that had been fitted, it’s still at least 50 grand and, excuse me, but if I want a vehicle to cart around bales of straw and sheep — and I do, by the way — why would I spend £50,000-plus on a Defender, when for much, much less I could do what all farmers do and get a pick-up?

Certainly a pick-up would “bong” less. The Defender alerts you firmly and loudly when you open the door or don’t do up your seatbelt, and it becomes completely hysterical when you’re manoeuvring and nearing such terrors as blades of grass or a small shrub. This is all extremely annoying when you’re using the car as a tool.

The problems continued the next day when I drove to London, because on the motorway there was quite a lot of wind noise and the sort of constant diagonal pitching motion most closely associated with cross-Channel ferries in the 1960s. Is this a consequence of the excellent off-road ability? Or has it been “engineered in” to give drivers a flavour of the old car? Rover did it with the styling, so who knows?

In London it was the eve of lockdown 2.0 and absolutely everyone was squeezed into the tiny bit of the road network that hasn’t been turned into a cycle lane. It took three hours to get from the Strand to the River Café in Hammersmith and en route the Land Rover bonged at everything, convinced we were perpetually on the verge of a massive crash.

But everyone was looking at it and everyone was giving it the thumbs-up. I admit that, thanks to some clever details and the silver paint with the optional satin film, it did look good. The tiny man who hates me has seen to that.

His engineering department has done a bloody good job as well, because it’s not like those idiotic American backwoodsmen who dress up like Rambo and imagine they’re former Delta Force troops. This is the real deal. It’s a properly serious off-roader.

I was determined to hate the new Defender, then, but I don’t. Despite the relentless bonging, it’s a fine and clever car. Sadly, however, I can’t see the point of it.

For serious countrymen that price tag is too high, and for top-of-the-range models it goes higher still, to more than £80,000. I know there are “commercial” versions coming next year, and they’ll be less expensive, but for now I’m inclined to go for a cheaper, more tax-efficient and much more practical Ford Ranger Raptor.

You, on the other hand? Well, if you are a hedge-fund manager and you commute every Friday night to your house in the country, where there are cattle grids and speed humps and sometimes a pheasant to steer round, be in no doubt: the new Defender will be not as good as the Range Rover you quite rightly have now."

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1 hour ago, Chicken Drumstick said:

You have to laugh at him keep referring to the 90 as small. He obviously hasn’t looked at the figures to see it is actually bigger than a Discovery 1.

You also have to laugh at these idiots (Including McGovern I think?) that think the defender was launched shortly after the end of WW2. 

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"I was never a fan of the old Defender"

And yet so many times he pretended to be. He has a habit of saying just enough of what he thinks "car guys" want to hear without actually holding any of those views himself (he actually detests his own fans, yet they will leap to his defence with pitchforks).

 

Irrelevat celebrity gives irrelevant review on a car.

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3 hours ago, Naks said:

I didn’t even need to employ any of its “special programs”, which is a good thing, because to engage these you must first press a button on the dash and then use an iPad-style touchscreen thing to make your selection. That’s only going to work if you’re 12

While my opinion of Jeremy Clarkson is similar to his opinion of Gerry McGovern and only slightly higher than my opinion of Gerry McGovern, he isn't far off with this observation.  All those dangerous touch screen toys do seem aimed firmly at bored adolescents, who go around masquerading as rich businessmen and complaining if some other manufacturer gives them toys missing on their Land/Range Rovers.  I'm surprised those two don't like each other as it's the press that spurs the silliness on and McGovern is a massive fan of it!

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