New Defender Rage/Hate Thread

Red90

Adventurer
I have no skin in this game. Just wondering where all the private owner new Defender reviews are? Have they not started delivery yet? When will they start to deliver?

I'm sure it was mentioned somewhere in these 126 pages, but I have not read them all yet.
They have not delivered any yet.
 

nickw

Adventurer
My longest lasting project was this one - 1971-2018, bought it when I was 19 years old and spent 12 years doing a total restoration on it. Its one reason I can afford a new Defender.


View attachment 588734
I was surprised when I found out how valuable those were a few years back. I always kind of thought they were a bit silly, particularly so as I was growing up because it was all about the 911's, so context matters. Were they desirable back in the day also or is that a relatively current thing?
 

JackW

Explorer
4 cam Carreras have always been desirable and expensive. A one of one car with the history of this one should have sold for over $600k, especially with a fresh restoration. Unfortunately it didn't but I still did ok considering I paid $1100 for it in 1971.
 

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T-Willy

Well-known member
"Audio/Communication/Entertainment/ Navigation (ACEN) is the most improved category (by 2.3 PP100), but still accounts for more problems than any other category in the study. Owners continue to cite problems with voice recognition, Bluetooth® connectivity and navigation systems"

Let me know when they release the individual vehicle rankings and problem category rankings from behind the paywall.


"Though overall reliability of models produced by Land Rover (including their Range Rover vehicles) is not seen to be the best when reviewed for consumer and warranty reports, when looking at individual components of the vehicles (such as engine or braking system), they rate much better in the ReliabilityIndex report.

Air conditioning, gearbox, engine, braking system and the cooling and heating system all fared well, with less than 14% of owners reporting issues with these aspects of their vehicles. The electrics and fuel system earned an average score, placing 23 and 21 place respectively. Steering and transmission both appear in the bottom 10 for reliability, however, reports from owners for all manufacturers were rather low when it comes to these two areas, and though steering placed 32 out of 40, only 6.09% of owners reported any problems with it. The transmission system list proves similar. Though Land Rover transmission systems placed 33 out of 40 manufacturers, only 5.67% of owners reported that they had needed to get this repaired."

A rising tide of reliability lifts all boats. Not clear when this was posted but it appears to be 2017 or later. Early in the article it cites a study of used Land Rovers from 2012, meaning they were surveying reliability of cars older than the current generation of vehicles, which we all agree, were not the most dependable vehicles on the road.

Old data, does not even allow you to select the Discovery, still shows LR4 and LR2 yest somehow "Cars included in the Reliability Rating cover 2010-2019 model year vehicles with controls in place to ensure statistical confidence." Note coat of ownership is "average" for the brand in its class. Why don't they have the current Discovery, Discovery Sport, or Range Rover? It's because they don't have enough data to have statistically relevant results.

It remains a serious concern because they don't have enough data to assess whether it's still unreliable. They even state so when you select individual models - the 2017 through 2019 Discovery page has "NA" listed for all categories. Consumer Reports should stick to toasters and blenders. They also complain about how stiff the clutch is on the Subaru WRX STI. LOL.

Ah, yes, the infamous "Reliability Index" which sells aftermarket warranties. Note the "Warranty Direct Rating" is abysmal and featured at the top, and right next to a button to allow you to get a quote on a warranty that they clearly want to scare you into buying, whereas the "User Reliability Index" is at the bottom and is on the Green/Good side of the spectrum. Also does not allow you to select the current generation of Discovery by year, probably because they're all still under factory warranty.

Ok, first, "Consumer Affairs" is a for-profit business that sells "accreditation" to companies who are the subject of consumer reviews. It allows "accredited" companies, again who pay for the privilege, to review and respond to customer reviews prior to being posted publicly. No membership, then you can't respond, but consumers can post whatever they like. Interestingly, Hyundai gets 2/5 stars on this site but it's perennially one of the most reliable auto brands today. Wheres Jaguar? 4/5 stars - higher than Honda. Land Rover? 3/5 stars. Hm. Must be a really great site.

Naturally, people who are happy with their vehicles generally must be asked to respond to surveys because they're busy not thinking about how well things are working, whereas people who have problems will seek to let others know that they are having problems.
This feels like more brand-loyalist nit-picking that obfuscates consistent and clear take-homes.

I found zero publishers concluding on record, based on evidence, that Land Rovers are generally reliable. (Publishers care about credibility and reputation.)

Every evidence-based review I found concluded to the contrary, that they're generally unreliable, and among the most unreliable vehicles made, for a variety of undesirable reasons.

Defender's merits as a remote tourer will turn on its reliability. A reliable Defender, with its capable specs, will be brilliant. An unreliable one will be a liability.

Time will tell, but history casts a long shadow.
 
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DieselRanger

Well-known member
Time will tell, but history casts a long shadow.
*Who's* nit-picking? I refuted the evidence, whereas you have just proved my exact point. How long will it take for Land Rover to emerge from the shadow of Lucas and Buick? Were they unreliable and not dependable? Absolutely - aside from the 1997 Defender I almost bought 20 years ago I never considered one. I only added them to my list of brands to consider because they offered a diesel-powered SUV that claimed off-road prowess, at the time being the RRS. My own extensive research that included an objective assessment of actual owners of the same generation of RRS across the myriad Land Rover forums out there was what swayed me - there were zero chronic mechanical issues that kept coming back, zero "named" issues (e.g., "The Three Amigos", "The Cylinder Sleeve Slip", "Death Wobble," etc), and nothing that wasn't generally fixed by a software reflash once and done. Literally the only "chronic" issue is oil quality estimation software that asks you to change the oil way too early and often in the Td6 - and if you do what it says all you're doing is throwing away good oil. Yet every single automotive journal and consumer information site review I read invoked the ghosts of Rovers past and hoped they had been exorcised, without providing any evidence that they had experienced problems other than annoying infotainment issues. Contrast that with reviews of FCA vehicles such as Jeep and Alfa with actual mechanical failures on production vehicle test drives. (And it's too bad because the Giulia QF is a brilliant vehicle when it works).

Volkswagen Auto Group gave me the cash to make a ~50% down payment on my Discovery, including an extended warranty. I took a risk on it as a first model year ground-up redesign. Had it turned out to live up to its reputation, I would have dumped it and picked up a Taco, 4Runner, or maybe an F150. But I'm still in it and loving it. And I'm still not upside down on it almost three years in.

My experience and that of many others won't sway you...the shadow people like *you* cast keeps getting longer, whereas the same people keep making excuses for much worse reliability, dependability, and build quality in modern Jeeps, or offer examples of "better" vehicles that you can't get new in the US. Is any brand "perfect"? Nope, not even Porsche, not even Toyota. Certainly not Heep.
 

T-Willy

Well-known member
*Who's* nit-picking? I refuted the evidence, whereas you have just proved my exact point. How long will it take for Land Rover to emerge from the shadow of Lucas and Buick? Were they unreliable and not dependable? Absolutely - aside from the 1997 Defender I almost bought 20 years ago I never considered one. I only added them to my list of brands to consider because they offered a diesel-powered SUV that claimed off-road prowess, at the time being the RRS. My own extensive research that included an objective assessment of actual owners of the same generation of RRS across the myriad Land Rover forums out there was what swayed me - there were zero chronic mechanical issues that kept coming back, zero "named" issues (e.g., "The Three Amigos", "The Cylinder Sleeve Slip", "Death Wobble," etc), and nothing that wasn't generally fixed by a software reflash once and done. Literally the only "chronic" issue is oil quality estimation software that asks you to change the oil way too early and often in the Td6 - and if you do what it says all you're doing is throwing away good oil. Yet every single automotive journal and consumer information site review I read invoked the ghosts of Rovers past and hoped they had been exorcised, without providing any evidence that they had experienced problems other than annoying infotainment issues. Contrast that with reviews of FCA vehicles such as Jeep and Alfa with actual mechanical failures on production vehicle test drives. (And it's too bad because the Giulia QF is a brilliant vehicle when it works).

Volkswagen Auto Group gave me the cash to make a ~50% down payment on my Discovery, including an extended warranty. I took a risk on it as a first model year ground-up redesign. Had it turned out to live up to its reputation, I would have dumped it and picked up a Taco, 4Runner, or maybe an F150. But I'm still in it and loving it. And I'm still not upside down on it almost three years in.

My experience and that of many others won't sway you...the shadow people like *you* cast keeps getting longer, whereas the same people keep making excuses for much worse reliability, dependability, and build quality in modern Jeeps, or offer examples of "better" vehicles that you can't get new in the US. Is any brand "perfect"? Nope, not even Porsche, not even Toyota. Certainly not Heep.
The shadow is cast by Land Rover's poor reliability statistics--not by me, and not by publishers reporting those statistics.

The evidence does not support the suggestion that Land Rover unreliability is a problem of the past and that it is limited to presumably unimportant problems relating to electronics, which can and do wholly disable these vehicles.

Also, buttressing the many reports of Land Rover unreliability are consumer horror stories about newer Land Rover vehicles. Below are some quick plucks from a very quick scan of Edmunds.

Imagine any of these scenarios three days deep into rural Mexico:

2018 Range Rover
https://www.edmunds.com/land-rover/range-rover/2018/consumer-reviews/

"On my second week of owning this car, she died in the middle of a school intersection. Grinding\unresponsive. Unfortunately, found out through Bellevue Land Rover that the front right drive shaft was improperly installed!!! Yep. 2 weeks old car w 220 miles!!! Can you assume that my consumer confidence is zero???? "

And:

"I was driving on a highway with my child when my 2018 Range Rover Supercharged lost power. It completely shut down- no acceleration, no steering, brakes. "

And:

"It broke down for the first time not but a few miles from the dealership on the date of purchase... The initial breakdown issue continues to re-surface despite the dealership supposedly repairing the problem each and every time. I can't know when or where I will be stranded."

2018 Velar: https://www.edmunds.com/land-rover/range-rover-velar/2018/review/

"I purchased the vehicle in 02/2018 and the car has been in the dealer 3 times already with check engine and just yesterday it went into malfunction of park brake & emergency park putting the car in no driveable mode, and again leaving me stranded..."

And:

"The car completely froze and locked up on me (the brake somehow depressed itself completely into the floorboard), I was unable to start the car (and the car was telling me Ignition ON) and my steering was pretty much frozen- all the while my displays, climate control and music were working. The car had to be towed to the dealership where after having it for over 24-hours, they finally diagnosed the problem and have to replace the Telematics Control Unit. They have to REPLACE a complete unit on a brand new car!"

And:

"This is the first and last Range Rover I’ll buy. Everything I heard about ranger rover’s horrible reliability is 100% true. The remote start doesn’t work randomly. The infotainment system goes out randomly. I got stuck on the side of the road when all the instrumentation inside blacked out. Engine was running all the dash controls disappeared. No speed, turn signals. Nothing. Stopped to restart the engine and it wouldn’t start for about 10 minutes. "

And:

"This is the worst vehicle we have ever had. This is the third consecutive month we’ve made a payment and are driving a loaner. 2018 velar 4 times in service over computer. All screens go black and nothing works. Fuel line came off and had to tow in, I live 11/2 hrs from dealership. I would never got the velar if I was aware of the problems! Beware!!"

And:

2018 Range Rover Sport https://www.edmunds.com/land-rover/range-rover-sport/2018/review/

"Engine issues with warning lights started within a few days of receiving the vehicle. Had 19 return trips for ongoing issues. Trailer package never worked. Park assist never worked. Camera system failed while at the dealer. Touchscreen would not accept touch input. Cruise control had total failure on the interstate with engine shut down. Engine failed on return trip to dealer... My parting comment is that the vehicle looks great but in my experience it is JUNK. I personally would avoid Land Rover products. "

And:

"First problem a computer problem where the keys would not respond to lock/unlock doors... Second problem, after only a little over 1,000 miles the water pump broke and that was another 10 days + of wait for parts to arrive since parts come from Great Britain... Third visit to the shop was for a regular service call but when i thought car was ready, the engine light was lit. Another few days passed before I was able to take it home. Fourth visit, a water leak inside vehicle (driver’s side and seat behind driver) drenched in water... Took the car home and after short of a week an engine light comes on and the passenger’s A/C is blowing hot air. Unfortunately, there is no words to describe how unhappy and disappointed I am to own this EXPENSIVE JUNK of a car."

And:

"Without warning this LandRover died on a four lane commercial street. The vehicle gave no WARNING that it would come to a dead stop, regardless of Instinctively attempting to pump on the gas pedal. We could have been seriously injured or killed. Our vehicle was going 40mph when we lost complete power."

And:

"This has been the biggest vehicular disappointment of my life. The car has been in the shop over and over and over. The majority of the issues center around the infotainment system and electrical issue. The car has stopped recognizing the key... The tires lose pressure. It is routinely low on coolant. We also had a total loss of power steering, rendering it un-drivable within the first 10 days of owning the vehicle."

I could go on. Consumer sites are rife with Land Rover horror stories. And, of course, there are positive reviews listed too. But the frequency and severity of disabling electronic and mechanical problems is alarming, and is not, in my opinion, suitable for the reliability requirements of remote touring.

When considering the fate of $50,000 for a touring vehicle, most consumers--notwithstanding apparently desperate brand loyalists--will rightfully look to evidence of past reliability.

As to Defender's reliability, it's both generous and fair to say that time will tell.
 
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Keep in mine, JLR innovation was lightyears ahead of its "competition if you will" and like @DieselRanger stated, many of the picking came from small electrical issues related to comfort. So if we want to be real, we all agree that the vast majority of people who spend their money on a JLR product are going to warranty claim or service for every little thing where-as many other brands will not..........thus, leading to more "unreliable" claims which is not exactly accurate when coming to overall vehicle life. I'd say 75% of the stuff JLR was doing on my 08 LR3 didn't make its way into standard options on other vehicles for another 3-5 years and surely not in off-road performance and traction control and infotainment options.

I know my brother drives a 2015 Explorer Sport that had a variety of issues; the same issues FORD had to by my 2013 Explorer Sport back due to safety and unreliability of body control module and infotainment systems. My brother bought it used, second owner, and he dealt with Ford jerking him around for 13 months before I gave him the same paperwork it took FORD to buy mine back. The 5 times that thing went in did not count as FORD would not honor it; the last time they were forced to fix it. He's still plagued with problems that have not been fixed on this models.

My neighbor has 2 Wranglers, just sold one for a Gladiator; a week in gets a recall on Gladiator and it sits in the shop for who knows what for a week on repairs; parked next to all the rest on recall. His other Jeep, according to him has the same issues as the guy next door who also has 2 Wranglers (His/Her) and turns out they all have the same little issues of fitment, electrical, glitches, and the famous MOPAR scare of "when will the driveline detonate?". He then tells me "Jeep guys/gals know there are issues and some stuff will never get fixed and turn over to the next model; just what we accept." Regardless, I'm still a Jeep fan and always will be and don't project my hate on them and they don't to me either. Matter of fact, they always remind me how awesome it is to see my LR being used where so many others won't. I remind them, outside of interior and 17" wheel mods, my LR3 is bone stock and I have some tiny glitches but reliability has been top notch at 129k miles. All of the Jeeps and Tacos on my street could be lost in a parking lot; I'd bet half have more kit and suspension work on them worth more in parts/labor cost than my LR3 cost me in 2013 when I bought it.

Funny how we are all on the same trails; only them far less than I am so I must be a JLR Poser.
 

Blaise

Well-known member
Honestly dude this is like religion. You'll never convince them to change their view so why bother.

Victory - when you're up in the PNW shoot me a message. Beer on me at the end of whatever trail our unreliable rovers go up.
 
Honestly dude this is like religion. You'll never convince them to change their view so why bother.

Victory - when you're up in the PNW shoot me a message. Beer on me at the end of whatever trail our unreliable rovers go up.
I'll take that offer anytime; hoping to get a summer trip north soon. Today Victory is getting some love in the garage with new O2 sensors and I am going to work on new vacuum lines that I probably should have done on my last service but extended some extra life; have an intermittent Lean Code popping up on occasion so time to nail it down.
 

DieselRanger

Well-known member
The shadow is cast by Land Rover's poor reliability statistics--not by me, and not by publishers reporting those statistics.

The evidence does not support the suggestion that Land Rover unreliability is a problem of the past and that it is limited to presumably unimportant problems relating to electronics, which can and do wholly disable these vehicles.

Also, buttressing the many reports of Land Rover unreliability are consumer horror stories about newer Land Rover vehicles. Below are some quick plucks from a very quick scan of Edmunds.

Imagine any of these scenarios three days deep into rural Mexico:

2018 Range Rover
https://www.edmunds.com/land-rover/range-rover/2018/consumer-reviews/

"On my second week of owning this car, she died in the middle of a school intersection. Grinding\unresponsive. Unfortunately, found out through Bellevue Land Rover that the front right drive shaft was improperly installed!!! Yep. 2 weeks old car w 220 miles!!! Can you assume that my consumer confidence is zero???? "

And:

"I was driving on a highway with my child when my 2018 Range Rover Supercharged lost power. It completely shut down- no acceleration, no steering, brakes. "

And:

"It broke down for the first time not but a few miles from the dealership on the date of purchase... The initial breakdown issue continues to re-surface despite the dealership supposedly repairing the problem each and every time. I can't know when or where I will be stranded."

2018 Velar: https://www.edmunds.com/land-rover/range-rover-velar/2018/review/

"I purchased the vehicle in 02/2018 and the car has been in the dealer 3 times already with check engine and just yesterday it went into malfunction of park brake & emergency park putting the car in no driveable mode, and again leaving me stranded..."

And:

"The car completely froze and locked up on me (the brake somehow depressed itself completely into the floorboard), I was unable to start the car (and the car was telling me Ignition ON) and my steering was pretty much frozen- all the while my displays, climate control and music were working. The car had to be towed to the dealership where after having it for over 24-hours, they finally diagnosed the problem and have to replace the Telematics Control Unit. They have to REPLACE a complete unit on a brand new car!"

And:

"This is the first and last Range Rover I’ll buy. Everything I heard about ranger rover’s horrible reliability is 100% true. The remote start doesn’t work randomly. The infotainment system goes out randomly. I got stuck on the side of the road when all the instrumentation inside blacked out. Engine was running all the dash controls disappeared. No speed, turn signals. Nothing. Stopped to restart the engine and it wouldn’t start for about 10 minutes. "

And:

"This is the worst vehicle we have ever had. This is the third consecutive month we’ve made a payment and are driving a loaner. 2018 velar 4 times in service over computer. All screens go black and nothing works. Fuel line came off and had to tow in, I live 11/2 hrs from dealership. I would never got the velar if I was aware of the problems! Beware!!"

And:

2018 Range Rover Sport https://www.edmunds.com/land-rover/range-rover-sport/2018/review/

"Engine issues with warning lights started within a few days of receiving the vehicle. Had 19 return trips for ongoing issues. Trailer package never worked. Park assist never worked. Camera system failed while at the dealer. Touchscreen would not accept touch input. Cruise control had total failure on the interstate with engine shut down. Engine failed on return trip to dealer... My parting comment is that the vehicle looks great but in my experience it is JUNK. I personally would avoid Land Rover products. "

And:

"First problem a computer problem where the keys would not respond to lock/unlock doors... Second problem, after only a little over 1,000 miles the water pump broke and that was another 10 days + of wait for parts to arrive since parts come from Great Britain... Third visit to the shop was for a regular service call but when i thought car was ready, the engine light was lit. Another few days passed before I was able to take it home. Fourth visit, a water leak inside vehicle (driver’s side and seat behind driver) drenched in water... Took the car home and after short of a week an engine light comes on and the passenger’s A/C is blowing hot air. Unfortunately, there is no words to describe how unhappy and disappointed I am to own this EXPENSIVE JUNK of a car."

And:

"Without warning this LandRover died on a four lane commercial street. The vehicle gave no WARNING that it would come to a dead stop, regardless of Instinctively attempting to pump on the gas pedal. We could have been seriously injured or killed. Our vehicle was going 40mph when we lost complete power."

And:

"This has been the biggest vehicular disappointment of my life. The car has been in the shop over and over and over. The majority of the issues center around the infotainment system and electrical issue. The car has stopped recognizing the key... The tires lose pressure. It is routinely low on coolant. We also had a total loss of power steering, rendering it un-drivable within the first 10 days of owning the vehicle."

I could go on. Consumer sites are rife with Land Rover horror stories. And, of course, there are positive reviews listed too. But the frequency and severity of disabling electronic and mechanical problems is alarming, and is not, in my opinion, suitable for the reliability requirements of remote touring.

When considering the fate of $50,000 for a touring vehicle, most consumers--notwithstanding apparently desperate brand loyalists--will rightfully look to evidence of past reliability.

As to Defender's reliability, it's both generous and fair to say that time will tell.
Lots of the same for many brands. I read all negative reviews I could find of those posted at the time and looked for patterns, because if you just read consumer advice sites for the reviews, the vast majority of all of them will be negative because that's where people go when they have problems, and those with more expensive or exclusive vehicles generally post most often. People who buy transportation appliances don't bother. If you're scared off by people complaining about Land Rover don't even think about looking at Jeep reviews, and definitely stay off sites like Jeepforum.com.
 

T-Willy

Well-known member
Lots of the same for many brands. I read all negative reviews I could find of those posted at the time and looked for patterns, because if you just read consumer advice sites for the reviews, the vast majority of all of them will be negative because that's where people go when they have problems, and those with more expensive or exclusive vehicles generally post most often. People who buy transportation appliances don't bother. If you're scared off by people complaining about Land Rover don't even think about looking at Jeep reviews, and definitely stay off sites like Jeepforum.com.
Well, we agree that patterns are valuable.

The pattern among Land Rover reviews is of vehicles becoming completely disabled--terrible for remote touring.

It could be worse--they could spontaneously combust.
 

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mpinco

Expedition Leader
Considering that the auto industry is worldwide with supplier networks in support of multiple manufacturers, there are few degrees of component level reliability differences. Now one vehicle may be more complex and use more components but that is product differentiation. Land Rover is no different.
 

JeepColorado

Active member
I agree, you can't really just look at individual posts; you have to look at the reports- all of which @T-Willy cites are incredibly clear- LR as a brand is horrible and clearly worse than Jeep and Toyota and basically anyone else.

Regarding numbers of posts about Jeeps- sure there will be some- I'm surprised there's not more- LR sold roughly 95,000 vehicles in the US last year, not bad, up actually, Jeep sold over 923,000. @DieselRanger please do take a fair look at jlwranglerforums.com what you'll find are people who are modifying and actually using their vehicle as it was intended. Much of the LR cites are discussing how to fit 20" rims and asking whether they should trade out their air bag system for coils.
 
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