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Home 4X4 Quick look at the new Defender
Quick look at the new Defender

Quick look at the new Defender

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Several readers have been talking about the new Defender, and some have sent photos and video, so I thought I’d share some with the readers. I haven’t yet driven or even seen a Defender so this isn’t a review, but nevertheless should be helpful for prospective owners.

Here’s the Defender showings its variable height air-suspension capabilities:

The heights are -50mm for Access, Normal, +75mm for Offroad if the car is in Offroad, them above 80km/h it drops back to +40mm. There is an Extended mode where it goes to +145mm, but that’s computer-selected only.

That was taken by a passenger and shows the TFT screen for the dash, something not new to Land Rover products but new to Defender! The advantage is clarity and easy reconfigurability of the screen. Also easy to overlay things like cruise control, speed limits and the like on it, or just get the revcounter out of the way entirely if needs be.

Below is the boot, nice flat loadspace with a 40/20/40 split in the seating. Decent rubber mat too.

Good that the middle centre folds down. I used the same facility in my Discovery 3 to place my fridge, but not sure if that’ll work here. Much better than a 40/60 split anyway.

The 110 is known as a “5+2” which means, 5 adults and 2 less-than-adult sized humans. Maybe wait for the 130 (strongly rumoured) if you want a 7-seater, or buy a Discovery 4 which one of the very best.

Am not liking the fact the second row doesn’t fold totally flat. Land Rover had it totally nailed with the D4, which has just the most amazing and versatile interior. Why a backwards step in Discovery 5 and Defender?

Another view of the second row. That not folding flat is so disappointing.

Wondering how long the boot is? Here’s your answer.

Nowhere near as capacious as the previous Defender, but again, maybe we wait for the 130. The reason for the relative lack of space is that there’s much more room in the first and second rows compared to old Defender.

Here’s a look at the front right seat, where the battery lives. So, no under-seat storage sneaking there.

Now we come to the side storage pods. What do you notice?

The side pod is pretty big in the mirrors, apparently even worse than appears in these photos. It stores 20L, and is obviously prone to damage in the bush.

Now for the front suspension:

Not the greatest of flex tests, but it’s interesting to note that the Defender has much more front flex than Triton or Prado, both of which are also independently sprung on the front. This is due to at least Land Rover’s cross-linked air suspension system, but probably also greater inherent flex on the front end. As a result, the Defender sits flat on the two ramps, whereas both other vehicles are canted. Here’s the rear view:

Also of note on Defender is the tidy, well-integrated towbar. Minimal overhang, that’s great for towing! Even the electrics look to be fairly well positioned. Also notice how flat the tyres are to the ground compared to Triton and Prado, good for stability and traction. Here’s a closeup of the rear:

A quick look at the front:

And the tyre placard. Not sure there will be many 255/65/19 options available though. I’d go the 255/70/18 if possible, but that’s not possible on all engine options due to brake caliper size. But, Tuffant Wheels may be able to help out.

You may also like my 14 Reasons why the Defender Will be a Great Towcar, and the recording of the live New Defender Q&A on my YouTube channel.

Robert Pepper Automotive journalist specialising in 4X4s, sportscars, camping and future tech.

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