New Defender 110 Electrical Doubts...

swrider

Observer
Hello everyone,
I've been fascinated, to say the least, about the new Defender 110, especially given the fact that I always wanted to have one since I was little.
The vehicle looks awesome and from the videos that I've seen, capable as well.
My doubts, as with almost any new vehicle, are with the amount of electronics used!!!
Seriously, taking a look at the packages, most of the off-road chops on this vehicle come from electronics.
Do any of you, more experienced overlanders, worry about this fact, or is it a normal progression of vehicle design that we should just accept.
Will they ever leave me stranded in the middle of the desert???
 

Correus

Adventurer
I've been told by more than one that the electronics suck, big time. These are Land Rover diehards, so I tend to belive them. The amount of electronics are overboard and the system as a whole was created,and manufactured by a company that has some scratching their heads.

I do know that LR has put a ton of money into the PR for this thing and has even been portraying it as a vehicle that can withstand anything.

Those diehards I know have said it is definitely NOT up to par with the original Series and Defenders when it comes to toughness and reliability. Many of them have said, and I agree, that it is no more than a luxury soccer mom car.

BTW - those that are shown in adverts and vids going through "overlanding" situations have been modified.

But,back to the electronics... the more electronics, the higher probability of breakdown. And the system that's in that thing can't be fixed by just anyone, at least the primary part that operates the main system. You can change a fuse...

One person I know said, "it's okay if you want to drive the space shuttle."

I have been noticing a trend of more and more coming up for sale in used vehicle lots and websites, same for the ne Broncos as well.

Have you considered and actual D110? They are rugged, and proven and definitely look better (last is MHO).
 

A.J.M

Explorer
Not really.

the electrics used come from the same factories that supply pretty much all of the European industry. Same with the transmission, it’s a ZF unit that with some tweaks goes into lots of different models from different makers.


As for classic defenders and 90/110/127 etc, the wiring in them is utter garbage.
From a sample of my friends models.
An 86, 89, 92 and 94 year 90s
The wiring is awful, they are constantly having issues with lights not working, switches not working.
they are genuinely hard work to keep on the road and require constant fiddling with.
Which is ok if you have the time and it’s not a daily driver, but it would get really old really quickly if it was the car you relied on.

My own series should be fine with its wiring as I have had a brand new full loom made for it from a company that specifically makes looms for classic cars, so it looks like the original but is brand new.
 

85_Ranger4x4

Well-known member
As for classic defenders and 90/110/127 etc, the wiring in them is utter garbage.
From a sample of my friends models.
An 86, 89, 92 and 94 year 90s
The wiring is awful, they are constantly having issues with lights not working, switches not working.
they are genuinely hard work to keep on the road and require constant fiddling with.
Which is ok if you have the time and it’s not a daily driver, but it would get really old really quickly if it was the car you relied on.
Old car fun too, which doesn't necessarily mean a design issue but the ones you are listing are 30-40yo trucks. Switches die, wires corrode/chafe etc, nothing lasts forever.

The only experience I have with LR is sitting in ones in the JY though. Discos and Range Rovers. I do have a 80's truck though. Switches, light sockets etc... it happens. Not often but not unheard of.

Classic Defender market in the US is a bit of a joke for a user truck. Everybody wants one and there are like 15 in circulation (slight exaggeration but not by much)

At least with an older truck a person can baseline it like you did and get a clean slate.

I have seen two D90's on the street, I have never seen a 110 in real life.
 

LR Max

Local Oaf
Not really a problem.

Main problem is if you decide to drown the car. But few, if any modern vehicles could survive a full drowning very well.

I've got a 2019 D5. It is also full of billions of microchips and miles of wires. No electrical issues whatsoever. In fact, no issues...period. 45k miles so far. A bit of off road and no issues there. I have no qualms driving the vehicle to out west, distant locations. Quite the opposite, I look forward to the range of my diesel engine (no extra cans to carry), comfort on the long haul out there, and superior off road capability.

I've off roaded both my D5 and the new L663. Both feel unbelievably solid and have traction forever. My D5 has at least 2 more inches of overall ground clearance compared to my LR3 and better traction. The 360 cameras are a godsend off road.

The only issue with the new L663 is the stock tires. The "off road" tires are apparently made out of egg shells and lemming fur.

So yeah, the old defenders electrical system is easy to repair in the field. The new defender...won't need repairing at all.
 

DieselRanger

Well-known member
I have a 2017 LR Discovery HSE Td6. The electrical system, which as a platform (D7) is largely shared with the Defender, has been flawless - the only problem there was a failed keyless entry module that the dealer fixed under warranty in 2 hours including time to reprogram the new one. Didn't keep me from starting the car or securing it - I just used the activity key.

Drivetrain wise - the ZF 8-speed (8HP) that LR uses is the same one that multiple automakers the world over use. It's ubiquitous, reliable, very tough. The basic unit is rated to over 600 hp and 600 lb-ft and is used with the Ford-developed AJ V8 engine that's rated over 500hp in the Range Rover Sport SVR and the Jaguar F-Type SVR; it's also found in the Porsche Cayenne, Lamborghini Urus, all manner of RAM trucks, the new Supra, and on and on. For me it's been bombproof including in off-road situations shifted manually with the paddles. The current 3rd generation box has been designed with mild hybrid/KERS systems in mind, as is found in the new Defender.

Can't speak to the MHEV P300 and P400 engines in the new Defender, so always consider the factory extended warranty when something new like a brand new powertrain shows up. I bought one with my 2017 Disco and so far...it hasn't paid for itself, but that's actually good news.

Generally, it seems most people who are technically inclined seem to enjoy the Pivi Pro infotainment as it's quite stable and much quicker than the old In Control Touch Pro that my Disco has, but most complaints with modern vehicles comes from infotainment frustrations. The more the car costs, the less drivers are willing to put up with infotainment glitches, but they affect every single automaker. Even Consumer Reports acknowledges this.

Terrain Response 2 - the Defender has more adjustability in terms of center diff locking behavior than my Disco, but it's largely the same. It's never overheated any of the diffs, it's bailed me out of tricky situations including 3 wheels on ice and one in a hole in the ice over a mud pit (AT tires, not even snows, and not studded), and climbs like a goat over all manner of babyheads and other loose stuff.

Air suspension - seems vastly more reliable than previous models - but there are wear items like the compressor and valves, and while the bags have been strengthened, they're still rubber, but I see no reason why 150K+ miles should be well within the lifetime. I'm at 60K and never had a problem - not even in -20F weather where old systems tend to show their age.

Go poke around the various LR forums out there. LR suffers from the ghosts of the British Leyland and BMW eras - since the latest generation of vehicles began arriving in 2012 they've been much more reliable. Still room for improvement for sure, but the days of having to keep some extra harness smoke in your glovebox are long gone.

I now see more new 110s on the road than I do Discoverys, but I see quite a few of them too.
 
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spikemd

Explorer
All modern vehicles are chock full of electronics. But some of those fears is why I bought a P300 without the P400 Pseudo-hybrid battery, manual seats and no sunroof. So far its been an awesome truck offroad. The rear locking diff is legit and the best ive seen as it will chirp the wheels when locked just like an air locker. Suspension floats over miles of washboards. Wading depth is impressive.
 

spikemd

Explorer
and I agree with the above post...change those tires!! They are the worst tires I have seen. Blew 2 in less than 2000 miles. A buddy put them on his LR4 and blew 2 on one trail. Total crap. I have General Grabber X3s 265/70 R18s and they dont rub at all.
 

SkiWill

Member
All modern vehicles are chock full of electronics. But some of those fears is why I bought a P300 without the P400 Pseudo-hybrid battery, manual seats and no sunroof. So far its been an awesome truck offroad. The rear locking diff is legit and the best ive seen as it will chirp the wheels when locked just like an air locker. Suspension floats over miles of washboards. Wading depth is impressive.
As are modern aircraft, but you'd never see me wanting to get into a Sopwith Camel or Piper Cub over a modern Boeing or Airbus just because the Camel and Cub are "simple" and therefore more "reliable." The reality is that modern vehicles, whether aircraft or 4 wheels typically on terrafirma are much more reliable, safer, more comfortable, and faster (if that matters) than those that preceded them. They are more complicated, but if I never drive a carbureted vehicle again, that'll be just fine by me. As someone who has spent many thousands of miles in 70s and 80s vehicles with carburetors stalling in off camber situations, wiring that was duct tape spliced from the factory 40 years ago, etc. I'll take a modern vehicle so I can actually enjoy my trip instead of spending all of my time fixing my simple vehicle. I've done both, and know which I prefer. Now, a 40 year old vehicle to drive occasionally, sure thing. It's a lot of fun.
 

A.J.M

Explorer
Software glitches aren’t just a JLR thing.

we have both Ford and Mercedes vans for work.
They can equally throw up random glitches.

reverse cameras will for no reason not work, but will after being turned off and back on again.

they can for no reason proclaim their collision system isn’t working, then 2 minutes later will work.

The apple car play systems will freeze up and be totally unresponsive every so often.
You need to unplug/disconnect phone then try again for it to work.

Welcome to modern cars, we all want the better kit, but they can have silly issues.
 

DieselRanger

Well-known member
Software glitches aren’t just a JLR thing.

we have both Ford and Mercedes vans for work.
They can equally throw up random glitches.

reverse cameras will for no reason not work, but will after being turned off and back on again.

they can for no reason proclaim their collision system isn’t working, then 2 minutes later will work.

The apple car play systems will freeze up and be totally unresponsive every so often.
You need to unplug/disconnect phone then try again for it to work.

Welcome to modern cars, we all want the better kit, but they can have silly issues.
This.

The two most unreliable cars I've ever owned were a Subaru and a Volvo. Against my better judgment (but bowing to SWMBO's desires), we recently got a 2022 Volvo XC60 B5. Volvo bricked it with their second OTA update and it took the dealer two days to figure it out. My 2017 D5 has never had an OTA update fail and it's never been off the road for an electrical failure - or any other failure. The ~3 small issues it has had have always left it fully usable.
 

NatersXJ6

Explorer
There used to be a joke out in the world about how cars evolving at the same rate as computers would currently get hundreds of miles per gallon and cost a fraction of what they used to, but that they would crash at random, have to be restarted on the highway, and you would have to pay annual fees for additional seats.

sometimes I’m scared by how close to true that has come…
 

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