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Thoughts and musings on the new defender

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1 hour ago, dailysleaze said:

Why aren't they comparing it to the old Defender? It shows they've abandoned the market that it was built for.

 

They are continually comparing it to the old Defender and telling us it will be better in every way.

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7 hours ago, Maverik said:

I like the big red "all stop" button personally. 

The red and yellow being a nod to Series transfer box levers, I think we can be pretty sure it will either control high/low/diff lock or whatever electronic frippery they provide to perform the equivalent function.

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46 minutes ago, deep said:

They are continually comparing it to the old Defender and telling us it will be better in every way.

I like Defenders but in many areas  I would say the bar isn’t exactly high.....   🙂

driver comfort - not really

Fuel economy - nope

crash safety - erm 

Somewhere to put your elbow - not both 

on road handling - some 

0 - 60 -   Yes

Ability to fix with cable ties and gaffer tape - 10 / 10

 

 

 

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Driver comfort 10/10

Subjective. 

Mo

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5 hours ago, Mo Murphy said:

Driver comfort 10/10

Subjective. 

Mo

Quite agree. It isnt hard to make a defender comfortable if you find it isn't anyway. RRC seats in mine, plus an overdrive have  improved it for me a lot and it wasn't that bad before.

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I agree it’s subjective but I bet there aren’t any motoring reviews that give the Defender (including the £150,000 works v8 ) full marks for comfort and having to put other car seats in and change the drive train suggests perhaps it should come with Range Rover seats and that drive train from the factory.

Not entirely a dealership conversation you want to be having. I don’t like the seats. Not to worry sir here is a spanner and directions to the local breakers yard ......

I have to drive 600 mile in either  in a top end Range Rover or a Defender and we are really saying that’s a like for like driver comfort experience ?  

I like the Defender but I don’t think to do it better is some of the areas is really a big ask but that too is subjective and only my view.

 

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4 hours ago, reb78 said:

Quite agree. It isnt hard to make a defender comfortable if you find it isn't anyway. RRC seats in mine, plus an overdrive have  improved it for me a lot and it wasn't that bad before.

Pull the other one - you can make Defenders a lot better than standard (and god knows enough people spend enough time & money trying) but even the best Defender out there is miles behind modern stuff in so many ways that are very hard to do anything about without a major re-engineering.

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The only thing I find uncomfortable is the noise level in my 109.  I used ‘90s era Defender seats, and while they could do with a bit more thigh support, they’re the most comfortable seats I have had in any car, including my 2009 90, RRC, friends’ RRS, D4, Volvo XC 90, BMW 5 Series, various Fords, Dodges, Hyundai’s and Kia’s.  And moving the seats inboard 1.5-2” to the inboard bolt hole pattern of the Series seat base sorted the elbow issue, too.  They can be comfortable with a little adjustment.

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2 hours ago, mad_pete said:

 

I have to drive 600 mile in either  in a top end Range Rover or a Defender and we are really saying that’s a like for like driver comfort experience ?  

 

 

I couldn't say, I haven't driven a Range Rover I'm afraid, it's rather like comparing apples and pears.

I do have an 18 plate Seat to compare to and I'll take the 90's comfort over that any day.

But it's subjective ... 😆😉

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2 hours ago, FridgeFreezer said:

Pull the other one - you can make Defenders a lot better than standard (and god knows enough people spend enough time & money trying) but even the best Defender out there is miles behind modern stuff in so many ways that are very hard to do anything about without a major re-engineering.

 

Maybe we just agree to disagree again? I have a D2, a D3 and a 110 and it is the 110 that I do 2000 miles a month in, sure, the D3 is more comfortable, but I have no issue with the comfort in my 110 and the maintenance is cheaper as a bonus.

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Comfort is a funny thing in my 110.  The handbrake is completely in the way and I would love to move the seat back two inches.  Despite that, there are never any aches and pains after an all day drive, something I can say about very few other vehicles.  I do very much enjoy a long journey in a Land Rover.

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21 minutes ago, deep said:

Comfort is a funny thing in my 110.  The handbrake is completely in the way and I would love to move the seat back two inches.  Despite that, there are never any aches and pains after an all day drive, something I can say about very few other vehicles.  I do very much enjoy a long journey in a Land Rover.

Well, thats you and Mo who know what I am on about at least!

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Deep, you need to get yourself a discovery hand brake lever. 110% seating comfort is then achievable 😊

Probably better than that new Freelander Difender they're bringing out 😉

Mo

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2 hours ago, deep said:

Comfort is a funny thing in my 110.  The handbrake is completely in the way and I would love to move the seat back two inches.  Despite that, there are never any aches and pains after an all day drive, something I can say about very few other vehicles.  I do very much enjoy a long journey in a Land Rover.

Get some MUD rails to sort the seat out. I have them in both mine and they utterly transform the driving position for me. It's now got more legroom than any of the other vehicles we own.

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I've gone one level up and fitted seats from a 2004 Range Rover to my 110, all 5 of them :SVAgoaway:. Electric adjustment is working, still to get around to the heated seats and TVs though... As a bonus they're easier to keep clean too being leather and all.

Most of the comfort from a Defender comes I think from the seating position. You're actually sat upright rather than squashed down on the floor. I actually found my 110 as comfortable if not more so than the 2007 TDV8 Full Fat Range Rover I had for a number of years. Seating position had a lot to do with it but also it was higher up so drives, particularly in the south east, you could see further and were a bit more relaxing. The main downside is it is noisier, hell of a lot so, but then again sound proofing isn't as thick (but it's not as fat) and it did have more tread on the sidewall of my tyres than the RR had on the tyre.

The doors are rusting up on mine and the bulkhead is a little tired so once I sort those will be soundproofing things a bit more and fitting cruise control :stirthepot:

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The fundamental NVH problem with the series/defender design is the attachment of the body to the chassis being metal to metal.

The other ladder chassis vehicles have insulating rubber bushes at the attachment points, which dramatically improves the human comfort.

Other than that, most discomforts can be engineered out, if you are of post-war average dimensions.

 

 

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That's is a very good point and one I had not considered. Hmmm, perhaps some experimentation with rubber bushings is in order 🙂

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The challenge is that most ladder framed vehicles that have the body insulated from the chassis do infact have (semi)structural integrity within the body, consider the Disco 1&2, and the RRC, as an example.

The defender/series relies a lot on the chassis for body integrity, and to overcome this you'd need much tougher sills as a start point, for example, and a way of connecting the front panel to the bulkhead without the chassis, or insulating the wings from the bulkhead.

Not impossible, but a lot of work for minimal gain.

 

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20 hours ago, BogMonster said:

Get some MUD rails to sort the seat out. I have them in both mine and they utterly transform the driving position for me. It's now got more legroom than any of the other vehicles we own.

How can that work? It's the rear bulkhead getting in the way that stops me moving the seat further back.  

Anyhow, it's a good place to be, despite that.  I think Ed Poore is right - having a fairly high seating position helps a lot.  I also find the standard seats nicely supportive.  As I have a perforated disk in my spine, I am very sensitive to unsupportive seats.

I think we all expect the new Defender to have much more room for the driver and plusher seating as standard.  I wouldn't think comfort will be a problem.  If we lose that high, imperious driving position it will be a shame.

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22 hours ago, Mo Murphy said:

Deep, you need to get yourself a discovery hand brake lever. 110% seating comfort is then achievable 😊

 

Mo

Interesting.  I'll look into it, ta.

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As Gazzar noted, the traditional Defender has buggerall strength in the body when compared to a Disco1/2 or RRC or pretty much any equivalent SUV/truck. This is one of the major reasons for Defenders giving such awful occupant-protection in collisions. The rigidity's all in the chassis, none in the body. Look at a Defender from the side - apart from the bulkhead-mounting outriggers and the tubes that stick-out the sides of the chassis ahead of the rear wheels, there is essentially zero structure there to protect you against a side-impact.

Front-on, the bumper and front-chassis-irons mean there's no crumple-zone if you hit something, either. Then there's roll-over safety - or rather, there isn't roll-over safety because the roof/screen/door-pillars are just thin aluminium pressings.

To make a Defender rigid-in-the-right-ways and deformable-in-the-right-ways you'd need to add rigidity down the sides of the sills - link the bulkhead-outriggers to the tube-ahead-of-the-rear-wheels, strengthen the hinge- and lock-mountings and put proper side-impact beams in the doors. Preferably also drop the seat-boxes and footwells down so they then sit within the reinforced 'sills' rather than above them (that's not a new idea - Hudson did it with their "Step-down" body-on-frame construction in the early-50s!).

From an occupant-safety PoV the Defender is a total nightmare.

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2 hours ago, Tanuki said:

As Gazzar noted, the traditional Defender has buggerall strength in the body when compared to a Disco1/2 or RRC or pretty much any equivalent SUV/truck. This is one of the major reasons for Defenders giving such awful occupant-protection in collisions. The rigidity's all in the chassis, none in the body. Look at a Defender from the side - apart from the bulkhead-mounting outriggers and the tubes that stick-out the sides of the chassis ahead of the rear wheels, there is essentially zero structure there to protect you against a side-impact.

Front-on, the bumper and front-chassis-irons mean there's no crumple-zone if you hit something, either. Then there's roll-over safety - or rather, there isn't roll-over safety because the roof/screen/door-pillars are just thin aluminium pressings.

To make a Defender rigid-in-the-right-ways and deformable-in-the-right-ways you'd need to add rigidity down the sides of the sills - link the bulkhead-outriggers to the tube-ahead-of-the-rear-wheels, strengthen the hinge- and lock-mountings and put proper side-impact beams in the doors. Preferably also drop the seat-boxes and footwells down so they then sit within the reinforced 'sills' rather than above them (that's not a new idea - Hudson did it with their "Step-down" body-on-frame construction in the early-50s!).

From an occupant-safety PoV the Defender is a total nightmare.
 

We love our Defenders but you're absolutely right. If there is one vehicle in the world you really don't want to end up inverted in, it's a Defender. This illustrates why rather well:

DSCN1559#001.jpg

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