5 for and 5 against the new Land Rover Defender
We were finally able to touch it with our own hands. True, while in a closed area.
The new Land Rover Defender is a very special vehicle. Because we all remember Defender as simple, uncomfortable, not cheap, but thanks to the design and technical part, it is quite attractive for off-road enthusiasts. After the premiere of the new Def, the majority waved their hands “well, this is not the same Defender, this is Discovery in a different wrapper." And they were disappointed. On the one hand, it is justified, but on the other, it is too early. Because only a few managed to test it in full growth due to the coronavirus, so it’s worth waiting for the start of sales.
By the way, it was not possible to fully test it even now – the pandemic has greatly delayed the certification process of the model and it continues right now (it is announced that it will be completed in late autumn), but for now we were given pre-production copies to test at the Jaguar Land Rover Experience center, which is located in the suburbs. Although this was enough to understand what questions arise and what expectations were justified.
That’s what, but there are no questions about the design at all. Jaguar Land Rover has been able to make a truly authentic car both inside and out. It is very beautiful, it can be confidently called “brutal” and “stylish”, and it will look organic both on the highway and in the city. And even in a puddle of mud, it will not become an alien element.
2 Technical equipment.
It has everything you need to perform the functions for which the new Defender is intended. 2.0-litre diesels with 200 and 240 hp, 3.0-litre V6 mild-hybrid petrol with 400 hp. Sufficiently strong construction – the SUV is much stiffer than the old Defender and much tougher than the Discovery. Adaptive air suspension, which can increase the ground clearance up to 361 mm, center and rear wheel locks, a bunch of auxiliary systems. SUV of the 21st century as it is.
Forget about the rattling, uncomfortable, hot in summer and cold in winter, hard and noisy Defender. Now all this is not here. The new Defender is an SUV about comfort, convenience and pleasure. Yes, on it you are unlikely to participate in trophy raids, where you need to dive into the swamps up to the roof. But to go on it from Moscow beyond the Urals, to Baikal, with the whole family, with equipment, tents, even a boat on a trailer and not earn arthritis, sciatica, a compression fracture of the spine in the process and not jump out every 200 kilometers to warm up – this is about him. Yes, and having moved off the road, you will not need to bang your head against the ceiling on every bump.
170,170 accessories will be available from dealers for the new Defender. This is a lot. By the way, the winch in the front bumper has already been certified, so there will be no problems with registration. You can install a compressor in the trunk, a tent on the roof, additional boxes on the sides … In a word, a fair amount of cool toys have already been prepared for future Defender owners, which can be equipped with a car. And many of them not only look cool, but also bring real benefits.
In the premium car that the Defender has now become, feel is very important. The feeling of good leather interior, wood, feedback from the steering wheel, excellent climate in the cabin and in general from owning such a car. You understand that this is essentially the same Range Rover, but you don’t have to dress in GUM to look organic in it. For Defender, expedition equipment, rubber boots, or anything else is quite suitable – this is a story about passionate and active people.
Disclaimer: These "cons" are not claims, but a statement of facts that should be taken into account when evaluating the new Defender as a potential purchase. Because many people often want a combination of incongruous things like “sporty performance” from a large SUV or a low price from a premium brand car.
Yes, the old Defender was also not a very budget SUV, and, given the need for serious improvements, not a budget one at all. The new Defender raised this bar even higher, while weeding out those who seriously shake up the technical part. The basic version will start from 3-3.2 million, while the top ones will run into 4.5-5 million. Plus, the technical part will require the work of specialists with equipment, and not friends in the garage cooperative. So now this is a car for non-poor lovers of travel and off-road. Although, as usual, among them there are those who will never leave the road further than the primer during the entire time of ownership.
It’s only about diesel so far – 200 forces is not enough, 240 – even more or less. So if it’s about "drive" – it’s not here or to the 3.0-liter 400-horsepower V6 with a mild hybrid. On acceleration and high speeds, the Defender behaves adequately, but without fun. Although they promise that the V8 will arrive later.
3 Overloaded with options.
This is an owl stretched on a globe, but in order to drive and activate the necessary system, setting or combination of them at any time, you need to sit tightly with the manual in the car for a couple of days, and then practice for a few more days to understand how that or some other system works. There are really a lot of various settings and modes, and for an SUV they really are helpers. But then you forget where the vertical take-off is turned on – and that’s it. Call a tractor.
4 Farewell, chipping.
Yes, the new Defender also joins the “air-upgradable” cars, a considerable number of blocks of which are updated via mobile Internet or Wi-Fi. Of course, backups are made in case of a failure, and if you suddenly find yourself in the desert without a connection, nothing bad will happen. But on the other hand, various chips and firmware that can be used to increase power will either crash at the first update, or the car will simply stop updating settings and system data correctly. And these are problems already with the dealer (it is not yet clear how this will work in reality, but something will happen).
5 Offroad? Really?
Well, let’s be honest now, under the finish line. Our country. 21 century. SUV for conditional averages of 4 million conditional units. With a bunch of electronics and a variety of systems. In your fantasies, does it fit in with a swamp, mud, winches, sandtrucks, shovels and other attributes of labor off-road? And a driver covered from head to toe with mud in boots, from the tops of which water pours out … And crawl through the bushes along the route … Vooot. Expeditionary. Cool, but expeditionary.
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