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Telegraph article: Land Rover Defender farewell drive


Happyoldgit
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Well like most of us (I suppose) I love my Defender and its idiosyncrasies, leaks, panel fit, spiders, heater that is either on or off and a thousand other things.

However I can't help but wonder why there is no immediate replacement in the pipeline, or indeed why it wasn't replaced many years ago! The current regulations make it nigh impossible to produce a more basic 4 X 4 workhorse and so JLR are quite happily churning out Range Rovers and Discoveries that are all bristling with the latest features but most of which will never see a green lane, farm track or off road site ever!

If a development of the Defender had been rolled out a decade or so ago we might have had some kind of decendent of the original design still around. Such a vehicle could have had a chassis/bulkhead designed with air bags in mind and perhaps a body designed with the purpose of keeping water out more in mind!

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That's a bloody awful article. I almost get the impression he hasn't actually driven the vehicle and just written down all the gossip he's trawled up on Farcebook. It's so exaggerated. I don't believe for one second you'd be deaf from driving a 2015 90 to Wales - I don't get deafened in my 1983 Series 3 going to Wales. Windows mist up just be breathing...yeah? And?? Has he failed to noticed that the same thing happens in just about every other car???????

What is it Journalists say?? Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.......

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Well the article isn't entirely devoid of a few hard truths:

Land Rover has starved this vehicle of investment, ignored utility and military contracts and allowed the Defender to stagnate. So, while the PR drips with crocodile tears about the demise of this old war horse, that demise has actually been a foregone conclusion for years.

More damningly, but of course based on 'an unnamed source':

And judging from the concepts and studies we've seen for its successor, they don't want to replace it with anything as competent or rugged. As one former Land Rover executive told me recently: "All they want to do is replace it with an SUV."

None of the above is enough to mitigate the somewhat lazy journalese in the article, but then again, I've given up looking in the mainstream media for insightful reporting or comment on motoring matters.

I remember reading similar articles when the old-shape mini was finally pulled from production, and doubtless Mexican motoring journalists were spouting the same when the VW combi bus was retired.

Am off for a grump in the garage now, as I clearly don't have anything nice to say :-)

Matt

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That's a bloody awful article. I almost get the impression he hasn't actually driven the vehicle and just written down all the gossip he's trawled up on Farcebook.

My thoughts exactly. Some of the observations about allowing the product to stagnate are fair, but otherwise it's just a collection of anecdotal "ha ha everybody knows" stories about a Defender, not a road test. I'm surprised he didn't claim to have shut a cat in there only to find that it had escaped in the morning. My nine year old 110 doesn't dump water on me in the rain, so I very much doubt a press demo vehicle does.

Perhaps the clue is that the review is in a section entitled 'Lifestyle'. A 'lifestyle' journalist reviewing a Defender seems rather like getting Paris Hilton to review an angle grinder. But I suppose in some small part Land Rover are to blame for this, since product development in the last ten years has mainly consisted of adding £5 of plastic tat to the vehicle and £5000 to the price, and labelling it a 'special edition'.

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I love defenders but I wouldn't call it class leading ride, comfort or heating and while the design dies restrict certain things I Land Rover could put a touch more sound proofing, a lighter clutch and a better heater in if they really wanted to. The Defender could be better but as the article says there is really anything else out there like it and that's perhaps why it has lasted so long without much in the way of changes.

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