1500ish mile review of my 2021 Land Rover Defender 110.
Reposting my review on Opposite-lock.com here
Right, well I know a few people have been wanting an update and I've finally gotten some time to sit down a write one (also it is dark and I have no where to drive tonight or at least no good excuse to drive tonight). So here goes.
On January 23rd I took delivery of my 2021 Land Rover and man was I psyched. Seeing as I've never bought a car new in my life this has some additional special meaning to me.
P300 110 S Ingenium 2.0 liter 4 cylinder Twin Turbo Acceleration: 0-60 mph in 7.7 secs Maximum speed: 119mph 296 HP @ 4000rpm 295 lb-ft of torque
Ebony Grained leather & Robust Woven Textile seat facings w/ Ebony interior Three-zone Climate Control with Rear Cooling Assist
Digital Gauge Cluster
Air Quality Sensor
Cabin Air Ionisation
3D Surround Camera
All Terrain Progress Control (ATPC)
Auto-Dimming, Power Fold, Heated Door Mirrors with Approach Lights
3D Surround Camera
18" Full Size Spare Wheel
Tasman Blue body colour
White Contrast Roof
18" Style 5094, 5 spoke, Satin Dark Grey
Manual Third Row Seats - HEATED
60:40 load thru rear seats, manual slide & recline w/centre armrest, 7 seat configuration - HEATED
12-way heated semi-powered front seats
Front Fog Lights
Electronic Active Differential with Torque Vectoring by Braking
Domestic Plug Socket
Off-Road tyres - 255/70/18 Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure
Advanced Tow Assist
Tow Hitch Receiver NAS
Terrain Response 2
Configurable Terrain Response
COLD CLIMATE PACK
Heated Steering Wheel
Heated Washer Jets
Headlight Power Wash
Base Price $ 53,350.00
Options Price $ 9,475.00
Destination $ 1,350.00
Total Price $ 64,175.00
There are the specs, I spent some time in September looking at what was on the lot but (unsurprisingly) there wasn't a single P300 with a rear eLSD option so decided the best route would be for me to just custom order what I wanted. It's not TFL's (first) Land Rover but I think this is a pretty no nonsense build.
My previous ownership experiences with Land Rover have had their ups and downs:
Aaannndd the downs:
Aaaandd the really bad downs:
She's dead Jim
So you're probably thinking to yourself, "Why the hell is he buying another Land Rover, is he an idiot?"
Probably, but then again I wouldn't be on Oppo if there wasn't something wrong with me.
Anywho, back to the Land Rover.
If I said that the whole saga TFL has gone through with their 3 attempts at owning a Land Rover have not been in the back of my mind nagging me, I'd be lying. I feel like I've been hyper sensitive to everything but so far the Landie has treated me well. Only issues I've encountered was the remote start on the app failing to work one morning and the two side view cameras not turning on (corrected by turning the car off and on again, it hasn't reoccurred) one day I was backing out of my driveway. So far so good?
On to the size of the vehicle:
It's way bigger in person, and I'm starting to realize that the reason everyone thinks it so small is that 90% of stationary photos of the Land Rover is when it's in access mode (set by default). If you're wondering what access mode is, the Land Rover suspension can be set to three different modes (shown by a neat info graphic accessed via the PRIVI Pro system):
Access mode (for easy getting in and out of):
Off Road Height (extended mode also allows the truck to go higher if it senses that it's high centred)
For additional reference, here is my truck (in access mode) sitting next to a Wrangler Unlimited Sahara:
Not exactly a tiny vehicle as a lot of people assume.
Now, you're also probably wondering why there aren't any gratuitous videos and photos of me sinking this thing in mud holes and there are a few reasons for that:
1.) Covid, cuz yeah not comfortable with group gatherings just yet.
Break in period... SIGH (also given everything I saw the what happened to TFL's first Land Rover, I'm being rather safe than sorry). So wheeling will have to wait but it won't be long at the rate I'm driving this.
3.) In order for me to get my beach buggy tags, I need a valid registration and temp tags don't count. I my registration just came in so I've sent in my beach buggy tag application and am waiting for them to send me my tags. So, soon.gif.
Given the setback regarding the off roading, I feel like mother nature decided to do me a solid and dumped more snow on us in the last month than what we've had in the previous 3 years combined and it was glorious. This trucks traction control system is second to none, I doubt there is any other manufacture that has a system that is comparable at the moment.
While the Goodyears are better than most A/T's, I'm regretting not just paying the difference for a set of KO2's. Couple of my drives were done on fresh powder on top of frozen snow. While I did feel a bit of sliding here and there I never felt like I was going to slide off the road with the traction control system directing power to the wheels that had traction.
Watching the centre and rear diffs on the 4x4i screen lock and unlock as needed made for some neat info on how the car was reacting to the conditions. Also fun thing to note is that this screen can also be pulled up on the digital gauge cluster so all the info is right in front of you.
Traction Control II system is a must in my view because it allows you to manually lock center and rear without having to rely on the system to automatically do it. Additionally it lets me dictate how the system reacts with wheel spine, steering wheel and throttle response:
The system itself is actually super easy once you know what to do (a 5 minute "here, here and here" from the LR tech when I picked up the vehicle was all I needed)
Below you'll see all you need to do is press one button and then press the screen to select the mode you want:
More pictures of a Land Rover in the snow:
Now for the Glamour Shots:
I have found that a lot of the reviewers are missing a subtle design cue on the new Land Rover that hint of the heritage of the vehicle.
Found on the Googles
That was deliberate.
Another neat thing I found about the dash is that when you leave your sunglasses in the car over night and it's super cold, you can put them on the dash in front of the vent and warm them up so they don't immediately fog up. Probably not an intended use but I've found it useful non the less.
Let's swing around the back for a bit:
Cargo area is functional although due to the Land Rovers short overhang doesn't have as much room as it's sibling Discovery so you're not going to fit as much in the back. However, all the seat backs are a hard durable plastic that won't scratch when you load your 5 or 6 sheep in the back (cuz apparently that's important to people who like to romanticize about the old Land Rover). Unlike the old Land Rover though, this new Land Rovers air suspension allows you to press a button in the back and the vehicle will squat for you so you're not having to lift things (or sheep in this instance) as high to load them. Neat.
The 180W AC outlet in the back that will be the future home of a Jackery or similar so I'm able to run a fridge and/or compressor ect...
Now that I've gotten that out of the way, time for the hottest of takes. You'll notice that through out my post I have not mentioned the word "Defender" other than the title. That is intentional, and here is why:
When the Series 1 first debuted for the Rover company in 1948 Land Rover as a company didn't exist. It was a "Land Rover" the same way that the Jeep Wrangler is a "Wrangler", it is the name of the model so you had the:
Land Rover Series 1
Land Rover Series II
Land Rover Series IIa
Land Rover Series III
Land Rover Stage One V8
Land Rover 110/90
Land Rover Defender 110/90
In my humble opinion this vehicle is worthy of it's name and before the "oh well I can't fix this in the field with duct tape while scratching my balls with a screw driver" crowd lays into me... If that is how you feel, then the Defender died in 1998 when the first ECU controlled TD5 rolled off the assembly line. Good luck field repairing that if the electronics shit the bed. At least now days I just need to plug in a diagnostic computer and the vehicle will literally tell me what is wrong, you just need to update your tool box and learn a few new things (that happen to be way fucking easier than tuning/rebuilding a carb or adjusting valves, fucking voodoo magic that is).
Regarding price? Yes it's more expensive than the old one, but not by very much if you spec it correctly and even then you'll have way more things crammed in it than what were in the 2014/15. Example, one Facebook commentator proudly stated that he bought his "(real)" new 1985 110 for 22000 Pula (Botswana). Doing some rough math brings that to $54,420 in todays money (Pula was around 1:1 to the US dollar in 1985) and that is for a vehicle without aircon, abs, airbags ect...
There you have it, my initial thoughts on my Defender. Do I think it's better than the old Defender? If we're comparing stock from the factory? Absolutely. Vs a modified Defender? Things start evening out but you'll still be dealing with a cramped driving position that SUCKs for long drives in the old Defender vs an actually comfortable driving position in the new one. I'll happily drive across the US in the new Defender, not a stuff would I do it in the old one because I've spent more than enough time behind the wheel of Series Landies and Defenders to know that my knees wouldn't last the journey.
Once I get my beach tags and get through the break in period I'll start posting more content of my adventures. Stay tuned! Or not, I'm not your supervisor.
Heh, "Puddle light"