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Frank Hovis

Land Rover Defender

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Well it is Sunday. Mods can you give it half an hour so people might see it before shunting it into outer darkness? Ta.

This is a trawl for personal experiences as I am considering buying a Land Rover Defender. My specific questions are:

1. Can you reasonably use it as an only car? Daily commute and limited business travel on mainly A roads - 250 miles per week, occasional motorway use.

2. Is there a real benefit in shelling out £20k for a new one or is one 5, 10, 15+ years old equally as good.

3. I was looking at a 90 (ease of parking, manouvering) but somebody noted on the holiday thread that a 110 can be used as a camper van. Anyone tried this and is it worth it for putting up with a longer wheelbase?

I have looked at various websites but they either assess it in pure car terms (rates low) or as an off-roader (rates high). I'm not buying it for off-roading.

I'm not looking for alternative cars, if it looks like a bad idea I'll just keep my current one.

Ta in advance.

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Message from my man (who knows):-

Defender a pile of ill-handling lousy to drive unreliable crap.

Buy a Daihatsu Fourtrak Independent.

Much nicer to drive. Tough as they come. No contest.

EDIT:- couldn't spell 'messssage'!

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Don't go there!

Had one in work as a pool vehicle for off road conditions. Not bad for that, but motorway driving in one is not fun.

We got rid of it after 2 weeks, when everyone refused to drive it, it sounded like the gears were about to explode at any moment.

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Guest anorthosite

Have you seen the price of fuel? Try a Ford Ka or Nissan Micra ;)

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Message from my man (who knows):-

Defender a pile of ill-handling lousy to drive unreliable crap.

Buy a Daihatsu Fourtrak Independent.

Much nicer to drive. Tough as they come. No contest.

EDIT:- couldn't spell 'messssage'!

Thanks Laura, that's what I call an honest opinion!

Having said I wasn't interested in alternatives I will check this out as I've seen these going cheap. Cheers.

Zach is steering me the same way. This is definitely the place for information.

The Defender is off my shopping list then, shame as I've always liked their look.

Anything else I should be looking at apart from the Daihatsu? It's the Defender type I'm interested in - i.e. basic and solid, don't need to wash, can park anywhere and not worry about it. Anybody who suggests an X5 is a right BTLer.

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Get a Toyota Land Cruiser.

You'll spend as much on fuel, but they are very reliable.

Landrovers are ideal for carrying around sheep and fertiliser.

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Guest anorthosite
or one of these:

08SWTransitionQS_UK_d.jpg

I'll see your bike and raise you a walking boot!:

15080-NVY_m.jpg

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Well it is Sunday. Mods can you give it half an hour so people might see it before shunting it into outer darkness? Ta.

This is a trawl for personal experiences as I am considering buying a Land Rover Defender. My specific questions are:

1. Can you reasonably use it as an only car? Daily commute and limited business travel on mainly A roads - 250 miles per week, occasional motorway use.

2. Is there a real benefit in shelling out £20k for a new one or is one 5, 10, 15+ years old equally as good.

3. I was looking at a 90 (ease of parking, manouvering) but somebody noted on the holiday thread that a 110 can be used as a camper van. Anyone tried this and is it worth it for putting up with a longer wheelbase?

I have looked at various websites but they either assess it in pure car terms (rates low) or as an off-roader (rates high). I'm not buying it for off-roading.

I'm not looking for alternative cars, if it looks like a bad idea I'll just keep my current one.

Ta in advance.

If your planning on buying a larger car or 4x4 make sure you buy an older one/2000 or before for tax reasons...

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I've had one for years for towing boats and horse boxes. As an indulgent second-car/toy it's great fun, as your main method of transport it'd be a disaster,

-too tall to fit into many multi-storey car parks

-the driver's seat is off-centre, so your right leg is pushed against the window winder and your left leg is squeezed against the transmission tunnel which gets very hot in summer

-the heater, de-misters, and winscreen wipers are all 1950's novelties

-at speeds above about 40mph the handling and brakes are poor, plus the noise levels preclude conversation

-thirsty but still underpowered

-no diff locks so you can still get bogged down towing on slippery surfaces

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Guest Skint Academic
Landrovers are ideal for carrying around sheep and fertiliser.

I'd love to have the lifestyle where I genuinely needed a 4x4 to carry around animals and animal poo. Why would anyone want a Landrover Defender for normal driving??

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Guest DissipatedYouthIsValuable

donkey.jpg

Don't fight the future.

post-8170-1215357675_thumb.jpg

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Disclosure: I have two Land Rovers, a Series 3 (old) and a Long Wheelbase Defender with a 4.6 engine conversion.

Unless you want to haul immense loads or go off road, don't bother. They are hard work, uncomfortable and chew through the petrol/diesel. For general purpose commuting duties, a normal car is far more sensible.

If you want to move loads of equipment or materials and drive around fields, then Defenders can't be beaten. They can be modified to suit your precise requirements at reasonable cost and are tough and repairable.

A Fourtrack is the tool of choice for Welsh hill farmers, is pretty nearly as uncomfortable, doesn't tow as well but is generally reliable - apart from rust, or maybe it is the toxic sheep/cow leavings that my friend drives through all the time. Again, a pretty daft option for a commuting car IMO.

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Choppy ride, poor handling, lots of noise, cramped driving position, poor fuel consumption - even the modern diesel ones struggle to get 30 mpg. But I know the feeling - if you gotta have a Land Rover, then you just gotta have one! The Defender is essentially a 25 year-old design, apart from a few updates and new engine designs.

Having said all that, I'd recommend the Defender over any of its competitors, like the Fourtrack, if you want to do serious off-roading or heavy towing.

If you just want the high driving postition, how about a secondhand Ford Galaxy / VW Sharan / Seat Alhambra 1.9 TDI? People get 40 to the gallon out of those and they're much nicer to drive, are good for towing but have poor off-road capability. However I believe there was a 4x4 version of these produced for a while but probably very difficult to find one.

If you want a Defender as a hobby and labour of love (they are fairly easy to work on), then it's worth putting up with its failings. Spares and insurance used to be cheap - I don't know if that's still the case.

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The Land Rover is only to be considered if you need extreme off road performance. If you want something in a similar style as a reliable road car buy a Toyota. When I was considering a Defender the machanic who maintains my cars put me off by quoting from memory horrendously high parts prices. My wifes Suzuki 4wd commutes very reliably and is good off road but I wouldn't want to drive 100 miles in it without stopping for a massage.

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My sister has got a Nissan Qashqai and its good. Nice inside with all the gadgets. Its powered by a 1.5Dci Renault engine for the size it shifts and is very economical. Compared to the VW Tiguan from £19405 its cheap.

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2001 or earlier Honda CRV - versatile, comfortable, easy to drive and reasonably economical.

The Defender is a sturdy bit of kit tho' ideal if you intend to crash into a house.

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My sister has got a Nissan Qashqai and its good. Nice inside with all the gadgets. Its powered by a 1.5Dci Renault engine for the size it shifts and is very economical. Compared to the VW Tiguan from £19405 its cheap.

Found myself too tall and long-legged for the Quashqai - coudl not believe how small the cabin is. Did not like the discovery as, although big and you felt safe, I felt it was uncomfortable. Any 4X4 is a huge expense IMPO and I have not yet seen any price reductions on them even though the market has apparently disappeared for them - perhaps you could find a MEWer who is despwerate to sell.

A friend has a 1960s landrover which he uses around town and for his work - ironmonger - and has an old Jap Mazda I think as his commuting car.

I do like the space and feeling of security in the new CRV from Honda but I simply cannot justify the price when you can get a pre-reg Mondeo, Focus or similar for basically half the price, or less, of a new CRV.

IMPO, 4X4s are now history, the fashion has passed and I guess Government taxation will do for them - although we are one of the biggest makers of 4x4s in the World.

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I've been for a ride in a couple of old MK III defenders, the first one was a real bone shaker that skittered across the road like the axle was about to fall off, I could not get out of that one fast enough.

The second had been tinkered with, new wheels, bridgestone tyres and god knows what other expensive mods, and boy that thing was a magnificent flying machine.

So what I'm saying is theres a world of difference between a 'good' defender and an average one.

I've a rule of thumb for 2nd hand cars - take the price of a new one and divide by 4, anything cheaper than that will be trouble.

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My sister has got a Nissan Qashqai and its good.

How long has she been an EA for?

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Thanks all.

That has left me...... confused. :blink:

Though the Defender is definitely off the list.

Basically if you want a 4x4, you need to buy a 2000 or before model. After 2000 vehicals are taxed against CO2 emissions and a 4x4 will probably fall into the G tax band, which means you will paying 400 quid a year road tax next year... and thats probably just the start it is bound to go up further and further...

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Guest Bart of Darkness

Jermy Clarkson isn't much of a Defender/Land Rover fan in general.

Link

The Defender is a sturdy bit of kit tho' ideal if you intend to crash into a house.

With my eyesight, that could be a selling point.

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  • 399 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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