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Defender 2007


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Well folks, I've had a play with a couple of the new Defenders!

Went to Eastnor yesterday and spent the day enjoying Land Rovers faultless hospitality.

For those of you that have never been to Eastnor its a stunningly beautiful place. Only enhanced by a new 90 floating on the lake!

90lake.JPG

After a bacon roll and coffee we had a quick go on the zipline from the castle tower across the lake, a bit of a heart stopper!

zipline.JPG

Then the good bit, 2 hours offroad on the Eastnor estate. I lost the toss and we took a 90 instead of the 110 I wanted. The 90 was the full monty spec with TC, leccy windows, half leather seats etc etc etc. The 'Experience' instructors told us to select low range and difflock on arriving at the offroad site. We chose not to bother with the difflock to see how good the TC was ;)

The route wasn't in any way taxing by trialling standards but there were some steep wet climbs and decents which the 90 coped with much better than we expected. Even when we deliberately made it lift a wheel turning up a steep bank it just gripped and climbed even on road tyres.

The throttle was our only real criticism, scarilly unresponsive. tickover seemed to climb and fall for no reason with feet off the pedals and iff you floor it then back off the revs keep climbing for a couple of seconds, doesn't sound much but its a worry when you are behind the wheel.

Overall its great car though offroad and I can see how someone won a trial first time out in one.

Oh and we did check under the drivers seat after wading and yes it was full of water!

Defender2007offroad1.JPG

After a hearty lunch we abseiled off the castle turrets befor grabbing a base spec 90 hardtop for an hours blast around the backroads and M50. The 6 speed box took a bit of getting used to after years of 5 speed Land Rovers. Certainly fast enough for day to day use. I wouldn't say it felt quicker than a TD5 though, or even my 110 to be honest. The base spec was nowhere near as civilised as the top spec 90 we took offroad either, much noisier with the empty van back and much more road noise.

Back at base we had time to oggle the toys

tickfordandfriends.JPG

after tea and scones it was onto the G4 bikes for a blast around the woods and some clay pigeon shooting and a coffee in the woodland shack.

Finally we went back to the castle to thank our hosts and set about the 2 1/2 hour drive home.

Great day. Great Car.

The new Defender in top spec is now a very real day to day car. Its not just for nutcases like me. Comfort levels are greater than our Disco 1 by a good margin. Best of all they are finally doing them in the format that mine is 'utility station wagon' they are calling them.

Now theres just to small factor of price to consider...

Will :)

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Nice write up, both my Uncles and 2 friends went to Eastnor about a week back they all spoke very highly of the Defender.

As for the price, well they are a heck of a lot cheaper than a Disocovery and there really isn't much else to compare the Defender too. The Jeep Wrangler is the closest and while the older TJ model is still available at keen prices the new JK Wrangler will set you back as much or more than a Defender.

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The throttle was our only real criticism, scarilly unresponsive. tickover seemed to climb and fall for no reason with feet off the pedals and iff you floor it then back off the revs keep climbing for a couple of seconds

Nice to see it has retained the key characteristics of a Td5 then i.e. not bothering to do what the driver tells it to <_<

Interesting to hear some views though, I won't see one till September at the earliest but am also looking forward to the first play even if I have no intention of buying one at the moment :)

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Lucky bugger - sounds like you had a good day out Will. I'm going next week for a play, and I'm hoping to get to drive a 110.

I've driven a 90 XS CSW on the road and it was nice and quiet - I expect it was the base spec that made your drive less pleasant.

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Interesting to hear some views though, I won't see one till September at the earliest but am also looking forward to the first play even if I have no intention of buying one at the moment :)

So Stephen, what's happening for exports from now on? Is that the end of 300TDI and all will now be the new 2.4 puma engine?

Cheers

Steve

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So Stephen, what's happening for exports from now on? Is that the end of 300TDI and all will now be the new 2.4 puma engine?

Cheers

Steve

Yep, Tdi and Td5 are both history now, all will be the Fraud engine. Unfortunately we don't get any here till September at the earliest, I think they are struggling with demand in the UK and Europe, which I suppose is a good sign! I don't want one anyway - I have just bought a last of the line 300Tdi 110SW and that is what I will be keeping :)

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At £25k+ the defender is too expensive, but they always have been.

The upside is the way the residual values hold up.

If you had bought a high spec jap pick up three years ago for 21k you would not expect to get more than 8k for it. A defender for a couple of grand more would have lost less than half that in depreciation.

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Will,

Was the change in tick over rate related to whether you we in low first or not? There is a system called "Idle Jack" which lift the engine revs from the normal 800RPM to about 1100RPM when the vehicle is in low range first and moving. This is to prevent wheels locking when using engine braking as LR engineers decided at 800RPM there was too much risk of wheels locking.

Mark

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At £25k+ the defender is too expensive, but they always have been.

The upside is the way the residual values hold up.

If you had bought a high spec jap pick up three years ago for 21k you would not expect to get more than 8k for it. A defender for a couple of grand more would have lost less than half that in depreciation.

different kettle of fish here.

Do you get the full size Jap utes over there ? Nissan Patrol and Seventy series Land Cruiser ? These hold their value very well here.

Toyota have just released a 4.5 litre V8 turbo diesel in the seventy series here. Nissans venerable 4.2l TD six is about to be replaced by a newer engine (mainly emission reasons) A 2.4 litre 4cyl is just laughed at around these parts. Even the mid size utes like the Hilux, Mazda Bravo and Nissan's Navarra all use 3 litre TD common rail engines now (or the choice of a 4 litre V6 in the case of the Hilux).

Land Rover have given up on all the parts of the world where full size 4WD's are used day to day as work vehicles. The 'upgrades' like the P38 style rear diff in 110/130's are a joke. The number of those rear ends failing here is staggering. A few are retro fitting Sals rear ends to fix the problem.

Ford obviously aren't interested in spending any money on development. The rear diff change in '02, the new Transit engine and gearbox merely allow economies of scale (ie, it saves the corporate dollar, err sorry, pound)

It saddens me to think what could have been.

Oh well. Maybe I should just be thankful it's still being made. Just a shame we won't really get to see any over here. (special order only. It doesn't suit PAG's corporate image in this part of the world.... :rolleyes: )

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different kettle of fish here.

Do you get the full size Jap utes over there ? Nissan Patrol and Seventy series Land Cruiser ? These hold their value very well here.

Toyota have just released a 4.5 litre V8 turbo diesel in the seventy series here. Nissans venerable 4.2l TD six is about to be replaced by a newer engine (mainly emission reasons) A 2.4 litre 4cyl is just laughed at around these parts. Even the mid size utes like the Hilux, Mazda Bravo and Nissan's Navarra all use 3 litre TD common rail engines now (or the choice of a 4 litre V6 in the case of the Hilux).

Land Rover have given up on all the parts of the world where full size 4WD's are used day to day as work vehicles. The 'upgrades' like the P38 style rear diff in 110/130's are a joke. The number of those rear ends failing here is staggering. A few are retro fitting Sals rear ends to fix the problem.

Ford obviously aren't interested in spending any money on development. The rear diff change in '02, the new Transit engine and gearbox merely allow economies of scale (ie, it saves the corporate dollar, err sorry, pound)

It saddens me to think what could have been.

Oh well. Maybe I should just be thankful it's still being made. Just a shame we won't really get to see any over here. (special order only. It doesn't suit PAG's corporate image in this part of the world.... :rolleyes: )

Agree 100%.There is so much more that I would like to add to your comments Rick, but I think I have already done that on previous threads on the subject.

Bill.

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Agree 100%.There is so much more that I would like to add to your comments Rick, but I think I have already done that on previous threads on the subject.

Bill.

:D I had to restrain myself a bit, Bill. I almost started to wind up. ;)

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Mr Beast...

Thank you for the write up of the Eastnor day .... I am heading down on Monday, and I am now even more excited than I was before.

Sounds like the 960 mile round trip will be well worth it! (ok, so we are going via Driffield on Sunday, but it will still be a good trip)

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Interesting. I have just seen one of the "70 series utes" an Aussie bloke imported to here and while I haven't had a good look it seems a bit of a tank - massive leaf springs on the back that would shake out all your teeth on anything resembling a gravel road. Engine sounded nice - he said a 4.2L six - but that was about all that blew my skirt up.

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Along with the massive leaf springs there is an equally large and well proven gearbox and transfercase, and a decent rear diff,with available factory difflocks. Need I mention they have a crossmember/towbar that one can actually tow things with?

The front diff has been criticised as being weak ( by Toyota standards) but these are basically the same diffs as some serious LandRover folk are fitting to their Rover axle housings in order to beef them up.

Part of the Toyota and Nissans appeal in the working sector in Australia is that anyone working for a cattle station, mining company or similar can jump into one and work the tits of them with total disregard for mechanical sympathy or driving skill, and the trucks just keep on keeping on.

Bill.

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Nice write up, both my Uncles and 2 friends went to Eastnor about a week back they all spoke very highly of the Defender.

As for the price, well they are a heck of a lot cheaper than a Disocovery and there really isn't much else to compare the Defender too. The Jeep Wrangler is the closest and while the older TJ model is still available at keen prices the new JK Wrangler will set you back as much or more than a Defender.

Take the time to have a look at the Jeep UK website. The JK will start at 17K rising to 23K for a top spec 114" wheelbase 4 door diesel.

I can't begin to list how much better the Jeep is than the Defender, as much as it saddens me to say it.

Can you imagine Landrover releasing a model with factory fitted front and rear axle diff-locks? 22 grand gets you a JK Wrangler Rubicon. Nothing more to pay except metallic paint at £400

Chrysler got off their corporate arses, took a gamble and re-designed the Jeep from the ground up. The result out-classes the Defender in almost every respect.

112 Mph diesel

34 mpg diesel

Automatic option

Diff locks

4 airbags

loads of legroom and elbow room!!

Just sad Landrover can't be bothered

Tid

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Take the time to have a look at the Jeep UK website. The JK will start at 17K rising to 23K for a top spec 114" wheelbase 4 door diesel.

I can't begin to list how much better the Jeep is than the Defender, as much as it saddens me to say it.

Can you imagine Landrover releasing a model with factory fitted front and rear axle diff-locks? 22 grand gets you a JK Wrangler Rubicon. Nothing more to pay except metallic paint at £400

Chrysler got off their corporate arses, took a gamble and re-designed the Jeep from the ground up. The result out-classes the Defender in almost every respect.

112 Mph diesel

34 mpg diesel

Automatic option

Diff locks

4 airbags

loads of legroom and elbow room!!

Just sad Landrover can't be bothered

Tid

Yeah I'm quite keen on the Jeeps and will actually be attending a Jeep Trials Driving day in the new JK next month curtosy of Jeep UK :D

Sadly I wouldn't entertain a UK spec JK as the options and chioces are pitiful.

The Rubicon is only available in 2 door so there isn't infact a top of the range 4 door JK for the UK.

The Rubicon itself is only available in petrol 3.8 V6 with an auto, so a big downer to me being as I want diesel and a manual. In Europe the Rubicon is available with the diesel and manual but not here.

I also don't like the fact that air con is standard on the cheaper models but not even available on the Rubicon (which is standard equipement in the US). When I last spoke to Jeep UK the soft top was not available either (don't want a hard top). They don't offer the colour range as per the US models - I wanted red, not metallic just red. Plus ALL the colour options are £400 cost options.

So how about a Sport?? Well sadly NONE of the option packages are avaialable in the UK. In the US you can order a base model X Wrangler (they don't have the Sport name) with a full off road package, disconnect for the sway bars, rear locker or LSD and other goodies. None available here, and we pay more too.

I think the new JK is an aswesome bit of kit and as a play thing, 4x4 off roader or everyday vehicle it is a tough package to beat.

I would say that a sorted Defender is just as good, if not as modern and comfy though and as a work vehicle the Defender is a lot more rugged. Can't see a farmer chucking a bail of hay into the back of a Wrangler.

If I buy a new off roader it would have to be a proper off roader:

-New Defender 90 pick-up probably with ETC/ABS and no other options. Basic trim, manual windows etc. (what can I say, I like the utilitarian feel :D )

or

-New JK Wrangler, but as I want an off roader I'd want a Rubicon with its lockers, 4.1:1 low range transfer box and electronic disconnects. But it MUST be manual, soft top and preferably a diesel.

So until Jeep UK sort out there model range the Land Rover wins hands down and is cheaper.

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Interesting. I have just seen one of the "70 series utes" an Aussie bloke imported to here and while I haven't had a good look it seems a bit of a tank - massive leaf springs on the back that would shake out all your teeth on anything resembling a gravel road. Engine sounded nice - he said a 4.2L six - but that was about all that blew my skirt up.

The Patrol is available with either coil rear end (1 tonne) or leaf (1.3 tonne) and the leafer uses the biggest rear diff you've ever seen. It dwarfs a Sals. Standard LSD is the best clutch pack LSD I've ever used.

Both Cruiser and Patrol leaf rear ends ride surprisingly well and flex well, just look at the length of the leaves. Toyota had the option of using the 80-100 series coil rear end on the utes, but the market demanded the load carrying capacity/simplicity of leaves.

The Patrol front diff is equivalent in CWP size to a Sals and is reverse cut and uses better CV's than Rover (actually bigger inner axle size, the Rover's Achilles heel). The LC 79 Series isn't quite as beefy in the driveline but have more modern engines. They had problems in the early nineties with cranks, but the 6cyl is pretty much bullet proof now. It will be interesting to see if the new V8 will have any teething problems. The Nissan 6cyl engine is pretty old school, yet with regular servicing it's not uncommon to hear of them still running fine after 600,000km and never been touched. A lot of 300Tdi's appear to need new mains at the 270-300,000km mark.

Nissan respond really well to 'problems' such as when the rear of the chassis were cracking in extreme operations. When large corporate customers started cracking 130 Crew Cab chassis, Land Rover couldn't give a toss and refused to acknowledge there was a problem. All they did was remove the vehicle from the market, yet demand outstripped supply by 3-4 months! When the same thing happened to Nissan Patrols, they beefed them up and re-jigged their rear suspension very quickly. There were a few field reports of tie rods (track rods) bending, (which was bigger than a Rover one !) so a bigger diameter item was introduced, along with new female sleeve tie rod ends. All Land Rover ever did was instal that useless channel under the diff. Interestingly the ADF 110's all use oversize track rods/drag links. One of my mates was a Land Rover Oz engineer and he warned me about them when I bought the 130 and advised me to either make or buy larger ones. He wasn't overly complimentary of the UK's 'fix'.

Land Rover used to respond really well to problems from the field back in the eighties when they still had CKD assembly here. Their engineering staff were passionate about the product and tailored it/improved it for clients. When local assembly ceased after the BAe takeover things started going downhill and have gone totally backwards since Ford/PAG management. They just aren't interested in selling a real working 4WD.

There is a reason Nissan Patrols dominate winch challenge events out here. Most of the Rover based vehicles in these events use Nissan or Toyota running gear now.

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Jeep = chrome = Gay

Now a new 4l+ derv Defender, I would find the money from somewhere!

Will :)

Will, they used to make that combination here in the mid eighties ! It's still the most sought after coiler engine here.

It used the Isuzu 4BD1 engine. It's what powers the Oz army 110's, with the turbo version powering the 6X6's.

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The Patrol is available with either coil rear end (1 tonne) or leaf (1.3 tonne) and the leafer uses the biggest rear diff you've ever seen. It dwarfs a Sals. Standard LSD is the best clutch pack LSD I've ever used.

Both Cruiser and Patrol leaf rear ends ride surprisingly well and flex well, just look at the length of the leaves. Toyota had the option of using the 80-100 series coil rear end on the utes, but the market demanded the load carrying capacity/simplicity of leaves.

The Patrol front diff is equivalent in CWP size to a Sals and is reverse cut and uses better CV's than Rover (actually bigger inner axle size, the Rover's Achilles heel). The LC 79 Series isn't quite as beefy in the driveline but have more modern engines. They had problems in the early nineties with cranks, but the 6cyl is pretty much bullet proof now. It will be interesting to see if the new V8 will have any teething problems. The Nissan 6cyl engine is pretty old school, yet with regular servicing it's not uncommon to hear of them still running fine after 600,000km and never been touched. A lot of 300Tdi's appear to need new mains at the 270-300,000km mark.

Nissan respond really well to 'problems' such as when the rear of the chassis were cracking in extreme operations. When large corporate customers started cracking 130 Crew Cab chassis, Land Rover couldn't give a toss and refused to acknowledge there was a problem. All they did was remove the vehicle from the market, yet demand outstripped supply by 3-4 months! When the same thing happened to Nissan Patrols, they beefed them up and re-jigged their rear suspension very quickly. There were a few field reports of tie rods (track rods) bending, (which was bigger than a Rover one !) so a bigger diameter item was introduced, along with new female sleeve tie rod ends. All Land Rover ever did was instal that useless channel under the diff. Interestingly the ADF 110's all use oversize track rods/drag links. One of my mates was a Land Rover Oz engineer and he warned me about them when I bought the 130 and advised me to either make or buy larger ones. He wasn't overly complimentary of the UK's 'fix'.

Land Rover used to respond really well to problems from the field back in the eighties when they still had CKD assembly here. Their engineering staff were passionate about the product and tailored it/improved it for clients. When local assembly ceased after the BAe takeover things started going downhill and have gone totally backwards since Ford/PAG management. They just aren't interested in selling a real working 4WD.

There is a reason Nissan Patrols dominate winch challenge events out here. Most of the Rover based vehicles in these events use Nissan or Toyota running gear now.

I think you should allow yourself to get wound up more often Rick. It's a shame that Ford/Rover execs don't read these type of posts.

Bill.

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Will,

What are the rear seats in the new defender like? Are they usable?

Has the amount of legroom in the front changed much with the new dash?

I can't begin to list how much better the Jeep is than the Defender

It may have changed now, but i the dim & distant (about 1997) I bought a nearly new Jeep (I try to keep it quiet!) from a main dealer. It was one of the first turbo diesel version in the UK. It was a fine car - however - terribly unreliable! Despite FSH, scheduled main dealer servicing and no skimping, it spent a total of 8 months with the dealer in the 3 years and 18k miles I owned it.

I replaced it with a 7 year old Defender (my SV90) and in seven years and 70k miles it has had three days down time outside regular servicing.

I know a sample of 1 is not representative, but it's enough for me! If you don't off-road (well, not too much) a defender, in my experience it is exceptionally reliable! I will certainly buy another one!

Si

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