22 May 2013
Even a trip to the mall is an adventure and parking is no problem as it climbs over an obstacle onto a spot where lesser rides can’t go. Spartan yet solid and reliable. Also 30mpg imperial if driven with circumspection. The younger sibling circa 1999 also is a winner. You just can’t go wrong buying new or a good used one. Even if you are a teen, it could out last you!
I gave the Defender a 5 star rating instead of four because of the marvelous warranty LR issued. I had two problems: The transfer case made very loud noises, so they changed it for a new one with no questions asked. I got the clutch replaced three times, everytime an improvement was made to the faulty clutch the dealers gave me a call and got it swapped, no matter if it was working properly until they got it right. I guess they did this since I’m overseas in a country where the Defender is very expensive and bought because it is needed and not because it’s a manly ride or a fancy toy to own in the UK. Also, I believe with this new model LR wishes to gain some terrain lost to the Toyota Land cruiser. Its been five years now since I bought it new and it now has 233 000 km on the clock ( 145625 miles). During its warranty period the dealers fixed an oil leak in the rear diff somewhere around 50 k miles and its never had a leak since. This vehicle is only on tarmac when it takes the 2 hour drive to the dealers for service, which is every 5 k km due to poor fuel. I own it and I’m the only person who drives it. The vehicle has never ever been abused, it works very hard that is a completely different thing, it is not a fancy toy. It gets fully loaded according to specs payload capacity at least twice a week (has never been overloaded). The low range and center diff lock are engaged on a daily basis. What I mean with this is that it has been used and respected as a tool, chassis washed and body waxed every sunday with high quality products supplied by the dealers and all transmission oils checked weekly due to the amount of rivers and creeks it has to traverse all the time. Fuel efficiency is very good compared to the majority of vehicles around, which are Land Cruisers at 70mpg with the naturally aspirated 4.2 six cyl diesel. It is also quicker on dry dirt roads and the turbo is very efficient when a boost of power is needed going up muddy roads with load. When I bought it I didn’t know the engine came from a Ford van, if I had known I would not have bought it and what a mistake that would have been! I bought this Defender because I needed a crew cab pick up with proper off road ability, there is none out there as American trucks are too big and don’t fit in our small roads. Hilux here don’t survive more then a year due to the fragile front suspension and drive system compared to a solid axle. Navaras Frontier Ranger are all the same story. LC is not offered with a crew cab, and for my taste they are kind of slow and come wanting when a power boost is needed, higher fuel consumption. If this review is being read by a possible buyer, I say go for it, it is the best vehicle out there and you wont regret it. It feels it will last forever and when it dies, I will rebuild it from scrap. It is my tool and also my companion, it has never let me down. I did some research before I went for it and heard some horror stories about reliability, to avoid such nightmares I only use original parts and a qualified mechanic certified by LR. It was expensive, but has already paid itself off many times.
I own a Land Rover Defender 90 300 tdi pick up and I have recently put a 3" lift kit on it and an external roll cage. It is a great truck, both on-road and off-road, with its big chunky tyres it goes anywhere. It even still ran after going through a ford and suking up water due to a faulty snorkel. The best Land Rover out there.
An excellent economical truck with low running costs. Depreciation of this particular model is also non-existent.
I have always wanted a Land Rover 4x4, after a little research I decided to have an early Defender 110 300TDi, due to the fact that this particular vehicle does not carry any fancy electronic gadgets EGR ECU and the like, and due to most work can be carried out by any DIY Mechanic. Purchased about 3 months ago work required for MOT, 2 front calipers, new rear xmember, welding to outrigger and that’s it. For a 15 Year old car that’s pretty good. I am not that mechanically minded, however, most of the work required has been done by myself, ie, Callipers, S/S Braided Brake Lines, Brake Bleeding, Brake pad replacement (easiest pad replacement I’ve done.), A DIY Mechanics dream. Cheap Insurance, Cheap Tax, Low Emission Zone tax exempt. Economy Have had highest 31.17 MPG, lowest 23MPG but depends on your driving style. Road handling is fairly good for the size. Off-Road capabillity is extremely good. Turns lots of heads. At 175,000 miles the engine is in fairly good working order.
A great new improved landy. Heated and leather seats too, electric windows, tinted windows, fully loaded! Ok, the rear seats when unfolded has minium leg and head room, but I do have a dog guard fitted too which doesn’t help. Cubby box is very useful for cd’s etc... The stereo is pants, so that was changed to get rid of the tinny sound. The gear box is lovely, the power is awesome, and the ride is lovely for a defender! One fault at the miniute and that is the double jet washer snapped in the cold. To replace, the dashboard needed to come away to get to the small washer to change the part!!!! Why??????
Responses to this review
I’ve had the washer jet fail twice now in the cold - the plastic retainer breaks and the jet falls off. As you say, not straightforward to replace and the Land Rover dealers round here don’t keep them in stock - Kenny Allen from Yorkshire
Hi, regarding the washer jet. Mine froze last winter and the top of the jet fell off. To replace it, pull the top off the new one and push it on to the stump that’s left off the old one. It does take a great deal of force to pull it off, a vice and mole grips is best. Good luck - John Suffell from Yorkshire
Take it back to Fords, it’s under warranty - Martin Jones from Essex
We use our Land Rover for the dive club and sometimes you have got to see what this thing carries and tows. We can fit 5 people in, 5 sets of cold water dive gear, 10 scuba tanks, 5 sets of weights, and then behind we tow a 22 foot RIB, usually with 200 litres of petrol on board, and it doesnt miss a beat. Genuinely, there is nothing like it.
I have now owned 2 Defenders and can’t imagine life without one. I carry waterproofs for when it’s raining outside (and therefore inside too). I learned from having a sunroof in the first one NOT to have that option again, and consequently I don’t have to wear a hat too when it rains. They go anywhere, take kids, dogs, shopping, furniture, anything you want to carry, they tow trailers with ease and you look uber cool in them! Other Defender drivers wave at you, especially if you have pimped your ride! They’re classless, and look the same as they did years ago. You can’t get into town carparks due to the height, you can’t turn around in the streets due to the terrible turning circle and you can’t burn anyone off the roads at traffic lights. However, they are the BEST vehicles in the world - who could want for anything more!
Responses to this review
|You are totally right and I must add it is a fantastic 4 wheeeler - Constantin Benakis from Egypt|
Always wanted this cult truck and bought one after moving to Australia Oct. 2007. Going from a smart Renault Scenic to a tank was a real adjustment. Parallel parking was challenging to say the least with a turning circle as big as a semi, its a bumpy ride, so you’ll never fall asleep at the wheel and the seats are only made for skinny people, not problems there. But I love this truck that has no schnick schnack, just what you need for serious off-road fun, nothing fancy that’ll break and it commands attention when you drive down the beach! I love the look on people’s faces when they say what great shape our truck is in and we tell them that its only 3 years old. Not everyone can drive a cult object!
The Defender is a great tool. My 140,000 miler has towed a large caravan and loaded horse trailer and it is really planted on the road. Fit a roof rack and shift timber and furniture with ease. Your area flooded? Wade through it with a Land Rover. The 300 Tdi engine is arguably the best of the bunch for DIY owners’ with no on board computer to worry about. The later TD5 is more powerful and smoother however and this has been superseded by one from a Ford Transit! It leaks in the rain (wear a coat!) and is not a comfortable long distance machine. Parking can also be a problem in height restricted car parks for town dwellers’. Second row seats are poor and there is only a lap strap in the centre one if you have children. Seat belts are only fitted in the rear side facing seats on later models in line with legislation - again check if child safety is an issue. Insurance companies’ get concerned if you tell them it is a 12 seater and ask more questions than usual. Pattern spares are abundant and cheap and DIY repairs are easy. Fuel consumption is pretty good for a 2.2 tonne vehicle at 30 mpg when driven carefully and even 25pmg when towing my large caravan. It will go anywhere, do anything and is a tough as old boots - remember bodywork dents add kudos!
The Defender is the best that Land Rover have ever made!
As a dairy farmer this really is the only car for the job. A superb workhorse, this car can take anything you can throw at it. Don’t even consider if you’re looking for comfort - a real bone shaker on road! These cars really hold their value and are as solid as a house.
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Average driver rating ( based on 61 reviews )
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Average driver rating ( based on 23 reviews )
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