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Jamie_grieve

Thoughts and musings on the new defender

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The market for a 'proper' off roader is just too small for LR to really worry about, leave that to Ineos.

Plus of course, if you charge 100K for a vehicle, you are likely to make more money than on a vehicle costing half that, especially if it is stylish.

My prediction though -all this extreme capitalism and consumerism will be coming to an end in the next decade, people are just way too fed up with it all, and prefer a quieter life.

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You could have a little debate on whether Defenders were ever proper off roaders - a bog standard early 90 is a pretty useful tool, especially an ex MoD soft top - but most owners have felt the need to improve the design for safety, speed, grip, vulnerable underparts, better lighting, better heating, better soundproofing, better brakes, better stereo, stronger transmission, better gearing, better rust protection - actually¬†ūü§Ē¬†when you think about it.. it shouldn't be hard to improve ūüėĄ

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OK, to rephrase that, 'proper utility truck', rather than 'proper off-roader'.

The market is just way too small.

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19 minutes ago, Bowie69 said:

OK, to rephrase that, 'proper utility truck', rather than 'proper off-roader'.

The market is just way too small.

Why does Mercedes continue making money from constantly updated unimogs then? Iveco joined the money making utility bandwagon with the Daily 4x4, Jim Ratcliffe also thinks there's money to be made from the projekt grenadier, there's a market and money to be made from a decent utility vehicle, even at the price point that JLR would need to come in at,  although a few bits of  old range rover dragged out of the scrap bin won't cut it this time round regardless of how much new pedestrian friendly plastic tat gets nailed on top.

The market for a utility vehicle at a lower price point is massive, if JLR with TATA's help could get into that, it would put them on the map in places they haven't been in decades.

 

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The market is just way too small for LR, there,rephrased again :)

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True, and what self respecting jlr main dealer would want to deal with utility vehicle purchasers? 

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13 minutes ago, Gazzar said:

True, and what self respecting jlr main dealer would want to deal with utility vehicle purchasers? 

I know they're not as up market, but my local VW garage do pretty well having both the commercial stuff alongside the cars in the same building. 

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VW, for all their faults, remain quite true to their roots. Cars for ordinary people, I think.

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VW have a massive van culture going way back in history.

Land Rover did, sort of, once upon a time.

They just let it lapse.

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I cant beleive the prices of secondhand transporters (and new ones for that matter). My mates have just had a transit converted to a camper - the transporter wasnt an option really because of price. VW just play (succesfully) on the camper van heritage. I guess thats what LR are trying to do. 

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Our farrier has a fairly late transporter which he bought new, the engine suffered catastrophic failure either last year or late 2017 and I think he said it cost him 5 grand to replace.

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Yes, the later, t5, 6 and 7 are nothing like the earlier vans for reliability, but people keep buying them!

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I've heard the same from VW enthusiasts and commercial users - up to T4 they're near bomb proof, but T5 on are not so great. 

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55 minutes ago, landroversforever said:

What have I started :ph34r:

Bad monkey !

ūüėā¬†

Mo

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Confirming the point that these overly complex vehicles are designed almost purely for first world cities, I just last night read an LRM article about a young couple who toured Australia in a D3.  The air EAS compressor got smashed, putting them down on the stops and into limp mode, and then the brake light switch failed, putting the suspension down again and limiting them to stupidly low speed.  They also had a seized electronic parking brake and a clogged fuel tank vent system that starved the engine of fuel.  All things that wouldn't affect a Defender, Toyota, or Nissan Patrol.  Complexity = vulnerability.

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19 hours ago, landroversforever said:

I know they're not as up market, but my local VW garage do pretty well having both the commercial stuff alongside the cars in the same building. 

 

19 hours ago, Gazzar said:

VW, for all their faults, remain quite true to their roots. Cars for ordinary people, I think.

My Mercedes dealership also has the cars and commercial/trucks in the same building. No issue there, I don't see why JLR would mind. Especially considering the heritage they're selling.

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I bought a kombi type van a couple of years ago, I wanted a transporter but the 'cool tax' just put them way out of my price range. Ended up with a Mercedes Vito and I have to say it's better in almost every way apart from the styling and is a less sporty drive. 10 years old and 197,000 miles on it and still drives really well. If you look at airport taxis there are a lot of Vitos with 300,000 miles plus still working every day, I would recommend one. 

Both Mercedes and VW operate their commercial as a separate company to their car operation even when they're on the same site. They don't even share things like courtesy cars and customer service and warranties are different. 

When I had an Isuzu I ended up taking it to the local land rover dealer who were also the nearest Isuzu dealer. Its not a big chain just a one off but Land Rover had forced them to build a huge posh showroom. Isuzus are sold from a shanty hut in its shadows. I always used to go with big pockets and fill them with cans of coke from the fridge and cakes. I was much looked down on by the Land Rover owners :lol: They always used to put a land rover branded bottle of water and tin of mints in the car though :lol: Getting your monies worth!

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3 hours ago, Snagger said:

Confirming the point that these overly complex vehicles are designed almost purely for first world cities, I just last night read an LRM article about a young couple who toured Australia in a D3.  The air EAS compressor got smashed, putting them down on the stops and into limp mode, and then the brake light switch failed, putting the suspension down again and limiting them to stupidly low speed.  They also had a seized electronic parking brake and a clogged fuel tank vent system that starved the engine of fuel.  All things that wouldn't affect a Defender, Toyota, or Nissan Patrol.  Complexity = vulnerability.

People bolt guards all over Defenders and other vehicles (including Toyotas and Nissans) to protect vulnerable parts but they didn't think to move or protect the compressor? That's operator error surely. A dodgy brake light switch shouldn't be an issue, just wire the thing out. A D3 is a complex luxury vehicle not a tractor, I'd think twice before overlanding one just as I would a BMW or Lexus 4x4, and certainly would want to take the best diagnostics kit I could get.

Also, as Elbekko has pointed out, air suspension is fundamentally simple - 4 bags full of compressed air - a problem easily solved with a tyre compressor. Again, failing to have any sort of backup provision for that seems very ill-prepared. Enough people break springs or shocks when overlanding I don't see why EAS should be singled out for blame. Carrying a spare air-bag folded up sounds easier than carrying a coil spring to me too.

Who remembers Charlie Boorman's Dakar series where they used a BMW X5 as support and had to fly out a BMW tech with a tablet gaffa-taped to the back of the seat just to keep the thing running? Or perhaps Tom Sheppard's G-Wagen having to limp all the way back from the desert to Mercedes HQ for what turned out to be a minor electrical issue?

As for VW vans - they are doing what people are accusing LR of doing - trading on image/nostalgia to sell a luxury version of a utility vehicle for waaay over the odds and they're not even that reliable as others have pointed out. A friend of mine worked on "trying to make the gearboxes hold together" :lol: The camper versions are over 50k and the high-end have all the bells & whistles you'd find in a luxury saloon, it's as if that's what the market wants these days :ph34r:

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The brake light switch on the D3 is a thing of stupidity - i believe (someone knowledgeable can correct the technicalities if they are incorrect) the ABS signals somehow run through it, but it isn't man enough for the job, so the contacts burn out, so when you put your foot down, you get an ABS error that causes the suspension to drop to the bump stops, acceleration is near impossible, speed drops off and is limited to 50. I never managed to maintain 50 mph when mine went - you wouldn't want to on the bump stops anyway, but its downright dangerous if it happens on a dual carriageway or motorway in amongst fast moving traffic. You can also get the same error if a brake light bulb has gone!!

This is the kind of thing they should be looking to avoid (surely it is easily avoidable with some sensible thought), but undoubtedly will introduce more of these wonderful unnecessary tweaks....

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I don't know about Land Rover but when I had a fault with my VW and had to call out VW assist I was told it's a common fault that VW are aware of but they don't write the code for the ECU, the people that do are blaming it on the car not the ECU and VW are blaming the ECU code. It amazes me that a company the size of VAG would outsource that, I accept that most parts of the vehicle are outsourced but now the ECU interacts with every part of the car and a tweak can make a world of difference to so many aspects, you'd think they'd have the coding under their control. 

It's like this plane that they've withdrawn from service as the software kept cutting power and crashing. New planes might be more efficient but atleast the old ones by basic design could fly without needing 3 computers to agree on each movement.

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That sort of thing is common cross all cars though - VAG brake light switches are a very popular failure and cause similar confusion. Likewise VAG electronic throttle pedal. I forget which it was that nearly got my better half crashed into as it decided to go into limp mode just as she came down a slip-road :rolleyes:

The problem across the board these days is the same reason Boeing can't keep 787's in the air - everything needs so much software now it's easy for daft failures to creep through, but also when the driver/pilot/mechanic doesn't know or understand how the thing is thinking it becomes a bigger problem. A dodgy sensor or warning light is a minor problem, but when it's not obvious that a simple sensor is the root cause of a far worse problem it gets grumbled about endlessly on forums :lol: much like everyone has about every new thing fitted to a vehicle since they removed the horse from the front :rolleyes:

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The point is, John, that such systems and components shouldn't be vulnerable on a vehicle designed to be used off road, but are in practice extremely vulnerable.  It is not "operator error" as you put it but pee-poor design.  These vehicles are supposed to be capable from delivery, but have massive design flaws that make them a liability.  For the prices modern LRs command, they should be reliable in the bush as that is what they are marketed as being capable of.  The fact that other marques have the same problem is no excuse, and BMW X5s were only ever marketed as Chelsea tractors, not the global conquerors that Land Rovers are supposed to be, so the comparison, while interesting, is not appropriate.  It's fine if LR chose to abandon their roots and chase the posers and city dwellers, but any claim to be rugged 4wds or to be suitable for work applications, remote use or for third world or extreme climate driving are false.  The new generation of LRs are all about looks, not ability.

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Whereas the Defender has no weak points or design flaws at all :rofl:

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47 minutes ago, FridgeFreezer said:

Whereas the Defender has no weak points or design flaws at all :rofl:

It doesnt collapse in a heap because the brake switch throws a wobbly. The brake lights just stop working when you press the pedal.  

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