New Defender News

ChasingOurTrunks

Well-known member
We don't even need to speculate about the occupants had this been in a "real" Defender


Incredible video and a testament to the quality of the structure. Spec-wise, there's no question of this vehicle's toughness. How they achieved that toughness (or more accurately, the complexity they layered onto that toughness) is what I have problem with. But, without a doubt, most Overlander's are way more likely to star in the video you just posted than we are to have any of the Defender's shortcomings due to complexity causing us a life-safety issue on a trip. Truly, if something electronic breaks and leaves you stranded, quite a few other things probably must go wrong for you to reach a fatal outcome. But given most people use their rigs as daily drivers, and given driving is literally the most dangerous activity most of us do, I think it's important to keep risks relative. I've been guilty and criticizing the ND for complexity, but the "rolls six times and you walk away with minor injuries" should be a super huge mark in the "pro" column and more than offset the complexity "con" for most folks use cases.
 

A.J.M

Explorer
My plan is to get a 110 to keep stablemates beside my D3 and 80”.

Yes the boot is smaller but I can pack up with it or just stick a roof box on the roof rack for mine should it be an issue.

Emma and I never had issues with manoeuvrability on the 3 hour test drive, my only take from it was that the 3.0 litre diesels would be better than the 2.0 ones.
The 2.0 240bhp one wasn’t slow, but I would prefer the 300bhp model for long term keeping.
 

SkiWill

Member
How they achieved that toughness (or more accurately, the complexity they layered onto that toughness) is what I have problem with. But, without a doubt, most Overlander's are way more likely to star in the video you just posted than we are to have any of the Defender's shortcomings due to complexity causing us a life-safety issue on a trip. Truly, if something electronic breaks and leaves you stranded, quite a few other things probably must go wrong for you to reach a fatal outcome. But given most people use their rigs as daily drivers, and given driving is literally the most dangerous activity most of us do, I think it's important to keep risks relative. I've been guilty and criticizing the ND for complexity, but the "rolls six times and you walk away with minor injuries" should be a super huge mark in the "pro" column and more than offset the complexity "con" for most folks use cases.
100% agree. I've got three kids. For transporting them, the new Defenders is probably as safe as it gets, and realistically that's what the car will do. Haul well to do kids around.

As much as I'd love a "real" Land Rover like the Series 2 my high school math teacher drove from Maine to Alaska to Argentina before overland touring and the internet were a thing, I won't because they're absolute deathtraps. Still, there's no reason AT ALL to make all new Defenders come with $2,700 a whack electronically controlled dampers in a base off-road and towing specced utility vehicle.

That's the entire reason the Grenadier exists, and I'm glad it does, because there will be one basic robust 4x4 on the market. Land Rover has evidently decided to chase every $2,700 a piece damper to get the last bit of bleeding edge technical advantage out of a suspension that's supposed to provide off road performance and satisfy the catastrophically stupid drag racer P525 model at the same time. It's like the Lexus LX600. Lexus built their ultimate luxury vehicle on their ultimate off road platform so it kinds of sucks at both because they're really incompatible missions that limit what the engineers can do. It'd be nice if Land Rover just focused the Defender on robustness. The unibody indisputably is robust, and they make plenty of other pavement pounders with 525 hp and 22" wheels that can carve canyon roads at high speed. The Defender doesn't need to do that too, but apparently that's the market that's being prioritized and we get the effects in the base models too. I think that summarizes the rub. There's competing priorities that mean that the Defender is both a crappy rollover prone speed machine, and a needlessly complex overland vehicle. Neither of which matters when 95% of Defender miles will be going to work or taking kids to school so JLR doesn't care what we think because we're not the bulk of their sales.
 

A.J.M

Explorer
The damper is a curious one.

Guy With 4” subframe lift and 1” rod lift, breaks shock.

Guy without the above, drives length of Africa in car that’s even more loaded with kit and gear, doesn’t break shock.

Now, is it driver error, a faulty batch of parts, or a badly done modification to blame?
 

SkiWill

Member
The damper is a curious one.

Guy With 4” subframe lift and 1” rod lift, breaks shock.

Guy without the above, drives length of Africa in car that’s even more loaded with kit and gear, doesn’t break shock.

Now, is it driver error, a faulty batch of parts, or a badly done modification to blame?
That's the $2,700 or $1 million question, and I don't expect JLR to give an honest answer. For what it's worth, the same failures have been reported on stock and 1" lift rod trucks. The "Insider" response from JLR on the Land Rover forums was something along the lines of a condescending "if you're destroying Defender suspension then you should think about whether you chose the right vehicle for the job." Perfect (although completely unsurprising) response from a manufacturer: blame the customer for being an idiot rather than a, "Hmm, that's a concern. Let's talk about what failed and why." I don't trust JLR to do the right thing, and I definitely don't trust my local JLR dealer that charges ridiculous markups above MSRP to be concerned about customers AT ALL. As I believe DieselRanger said something to the effect of, "Dealer/JLR customer experience was one of the original sins of the British motoring industry and should be addressed." Couldn't agree more.

The unofficial JLR response was basically, "we had a movie stunt in the James Bond movie with stock suspension and the only modification was a roll cage." Congrats. So did the Dukes of Hazard with all of the 1969 Dodge Chargers. Whoopdie freakin' doo. They didn't have to drive home afterwards and neither did the Defenders. One movie stunt doesn't equate to 30,000 miles of practical dirt road use.

Maybe it's a bad batch of shocks. Maybe it's a fundamental design flaw. I'm not willing to pay JLR to solve their problems.

Also, do you think the vehicle prep and QA/QC on a highly publicized expedition and the standard consumer delivery are the same?
 
Last edited:

Rovertrader

Supporting Sponsor
Not to digress, but being a long time Rover addict, I must say their old perspective on failures was much different. I had a very early D-II in '99, and the shock mount on the axle broke. Took it in, LR replaced the entire axle, and shipped the original back to the UK for engineers to evaluate. Then, the dealer actually contacted me at a later date to let me know they simply had a bad robot welder, resulting in a batch of failed mounts...
Sadly, with the shift in their (LR) focus coupled with all the tech and lack of customer support, I can't warm to the new Defender just yet.
 

T-Willy

Well-known member
100% agree. I've got three kids. For transporting them, the new Defenders is probably as safe as it gets, and realistically that's what the car will do. Haul well to do kids around.

As much as I'd love a "real" Land Rover like the Series 2 my high school math teacher drove from Maine to Alaska to Argentina before overland touring and the internet were a thing, I won't because they're absolute deathtraps. Still, there's no reason AT ALL to make all new Defenders come with $2,700 a whack electronically controlled dampers in a base off-road and towing specced utility vehicle.

That's the entire reason the Grenadier exists, and I'm glad it does, because there will be one basic robust 4x4 on the market. Land Rover has evidently decided to chase every $2,700 a piece damper to get the last bit of bleeding edge technical advantage out of a suspension that's supposed to provide off road performance and satisfy the catastrophically stupid drag racer P525 model at the same time. It's like the Lexus LX600. Lexus built their ultimate luxury vehicle on their ultimate off road platform so it kinds of sucks at both because they're really incompatible missions that limit what the engineers can do. It'd be nice if Land Rover just focused the Defender on robustness. The unibody indisputably is robust, and they make plenty of other pavement pounders with 525 hp and 22" wheels that can carve canyon roads at high speed. The Defender doesn't need to do that too, but apparently that's the market that's being prioritized and we get the effects in the base models too. I think that summarizes the rub. There's competing priorities that mean that the Defender is both a crappy rollover prone speed machine, and a needlessly complex overland vehicle. Neither of which matters when 95% of Defender miles will be going to work or taking kids to school so JLR doesn't care what we think because we're not the bulk of their sales.
The shock failure pattern validates one of my original concerns about new Defender: Needless complexity, coupled with JLR's worst-in-the-world reliability, creates an unacceptable risk of vehicle disabling failures for remote travel.

And, here we are.

The road upon which the shock failure video was filmed is not far from where I live. It's a typical Forest Service road with some embedded basalt, erosion gullies, etc. Where thousands of domestic and import trucks (and probably also Subarus) have made their way in and out without issue across many decades, the second coming of the global legend of remote travel... Broke.
 

Silmarillion

Observer
Did some off-roading last weekend with a bunch of new 110s, a 90, and several other LR models. The design of the Defender has grown on me a lot in the last year, so I was interested in seeming them up close.

The interiors look good. Having a dog and preschooler, I’m all about easy to clean interiors. The options available on the Defender mean you can have a more utilitarian interior or something more posh, so I appreciate that.

What surprised me is that while the 110s look huge, their interior space is smaller than my LR3. The first two rows of both vehicles are similar, but the cargo space of the 110 is 8” shorter behind the 2nd row. I could have sworn the Defender is longer, but excluding the spare tire, the Defender is 187” long (LR3 is 191”). Eating that cargo space could be tough with the dog and our camping gear, which I religiously keep partitioned from the cabin for safety. The real kicker is the turning circle: 42.9ft for the 110 v. 38.7ft for the LR3. This must be due to the wider track and bigger tires on the 110, but going to a smaller vehicle that’s less maneuverable is a hard sell.

The 90, with a front bench makes a good case against the LR3, so long as the 3 of us remain right sized for a bench seat. Thinking about that brings back fond memories of riding in the center seat of my dad’s old Ford Pickup as kid between him and my mom or older brother. But that doesn’t seem like a good option for more than a few years…

This trip made me appreciate my LR3 all the more. It’s really in a sweet spot between utility, capability, and comfort that is hard to match.
I felt the exact same way about my LR3 when I looked at the 110 last year! The third row was even smaller than the LR3 - the dealer guy had to sit sideways to fit in the 110. Felt a like a bad decision to give up a great LR3, downsize, and pay $58k or more.
 

RoyJ

Adventurer
100% agree. I've got three kids. For transporting them, the new Defenders is probably as safe as it gets, and realistically that's what the car will do. Haul well to do kids around.

As much as I'd love a "real" Land Rover like the Series 2 my high school math teacher drove from Maine to Alaska to Argentina before overland touring and the internet were a thing, I won't because they're absolute deathtraps. Still, there's no reason AT ALL to make all new Defenders come with $2,700 a whack electronically controlled dampers in a base off-road and towing specced utility vehicle.

That's the entire reason the Grenadier exists, and I'm glad it does, because there will be one basic robust 4x4 on the market. Land Rover has evidently decided to chase every $2,700 a piece damper to get the last bit of bleeding edge technical advantage out of a suspension that's supposed to provide off road performance and satisfy the catastrophically stupid drag racer P525 model at the same time. It's like the Lexus LX600. Lexus built their ultimate luxury vehicle on their ultimate off road platform so it kinds of sucks at both because they're really incompatible missions that limit what the engineers can do. It'd be nice if Land Rover just focused the Defender on robustness. The unibody indisputably is robust, and they make plenty of other pavement pounders with 525 hp and 22" wheels that can carve canyon roads at high speed. The Defender doesn't need to do that too, but apparently that's the market that's being prioritized and we get the effects in the base models too. I think that summarizes the rub. There's competing priorities that mean that the Defender is both a crappy rollover prone speed machine, and a needlessly complex overland vehicle. Neither of which matters when 95% of Defender miles will be going to work or taking kids to school so JLR doesn't care what we think because we're not the bulk of their sales.
Well said. They could've taken the same safe, strong, well built unibody, and gave it a powertrain similar to a Wrangler.

Sure, you suffer a bit of "handling sophistication", but a vast improvement in serviceability and cost.
 

bri

Adventurer
One small accident or any collision that puts a tear into the frame of a new defender results in salvage. They are new, rather incapable fragile technology.

Pictures of rich poseurs buying their way around Africa in 150k vehicles sort of disgusts me.

Just sayin.
 

A.J.M

Explorer
5A74C8E3-AABC-4493-B14C-3D72105504BF.jpeg

Kingsley and his team have arrived back at the factory their cars came from.

163,752km over 3 cars across Africa and now into Europe, and with pictures of jumping over sand dunes etc. they haven’t been shy with the cars and they are heavily loaded.

300,000 people have been helped across this trip.
And yet, no shock failures.

Despite being made on the same assembly line.
With the same shock absorbers.
From the same supplier.
With the same materials.

So not sure why the other car suffered a failure.
Either a faulty part, which can happen to any car. Or that 4” lift and rebuild hasn’t been done right.
 

XJLI

Adventurer
One small accident or any collision that puts a tear into the frame of a new defender results in salvage. They are new, rather incapable fragile technology.

Pictures of rich poseurs buying their way around Africa in 150k vehicles sort of disgusts me.

Just sayin.
This is a bad take. Go watch a crash test of any old school Rover... D1, D2, RRC, whatever. Then watch one of the new Defender. Insurance exists for a reason, I'd rather write off my truck than have myself and/or family be dead. The argument of "YEA, WELL I SLEPT ON THE PARCEL SHELF OF MY MOM'S 63 CATALINA AND DIDN'T DIE" is a straw man one. New automobiles are better 9 times out of 10 than old ones.
 

bri

Adventurer
This is a bad take. Go watch a crash test of any old school Rover... D1, D2, RRC, whatever. Then watch one of the new Defender. Insurance exists for a reason, I'd rather write off my truck than have myself and/or family be dead. The argument of "YEA, WELL I SLEPT ON THE PARCEL SHELF OF MY MOM'S 63 CATALINA AND DIDN'T DIE" is a straw man one. New automobiles are better 9 times out of 10 than old ones.
Care to quote where I brought up safety?
 

naks

Well-known member
One small accident or any collision that puts a tear into the frame of a new defender results in salvage. They are new, rather incapable fragile technology.
Pictures of rich poseurs buying their way around Africa in 150k vehicles sort of disgusts me.
Just sayin.
Sjoe, jealousy really does make some people nasty :rolleyes:
And labelling Kingsley Holgate as a poseur, what an ignorant comment - maybe actually look up who is he and what he does?


Care to quote where I brought up safety?
You did, by saying that they are fragile - nothing could be further from the truth. They are designed to save the occupants, thats Engineering 101.
Again, maybe read up on things before posting ignorant comments.
 
Last edited:

Forum statistics

Threads
177,471
Messages
2,771,835
Members
212,050
Latest member
OTONA
Top