Finally Drove One

RBBailey

NAS-ROW Addict
Callsign: KF7KFZ
First of all, I stand by my criticisms of earlier: This does not do a good job of really replacing the Defender. They should have kept the Freelander, and the current Disco would have slid nicely into that spot, making this (with a bit of a roof line change) the new Disco; the front end from windshield forward needs a facelift; it is too reliant on electronics. They have their place in the 21st Century, just not this much for the Defender.

That said, I finally got up close to one, and drove a 90, First Edition.

Good:
  1. The interior fit and finish finally feel like the quality Land Rover has long needed. The rubber flooring, seats, and design of dash are all pretty great.
  2. The visibility and driving position are not as good as the old Defender, but better than I’d hoped. Coming from the RRC, Disco, Defender, and GWagen, I have to say this is probably as good as it gets for one of these modern vehicles. (Crash safety requirements.)
  3. The front and rear passenger space and comfort are excellent. And the alpine window is excellent for the rear passengers in the 90. Not so much in the 110.
  4. it still drives with the feel of an SUV. It hasn’t been completely sanitized.
  5. The 90 drives just fine, and I assume the 110 is only better on the road.
  6. The coil spring version definitely rides higher than those with airbags, which tells me that getting a 1-2” rod lift should not be bad on the drive train for constant use
  7. The engine power is plenty for a 90, probably just fine for the 110. This is one thing the old Rovers never quite got.
  8. It really does look better in person. This vehicle does not photograph well, in that it fools you on how big it is, and what the angles look like in real person. For instance, the two images below demonstrate how it often appears cartoonish, when it really looks more normal, and with a better stance in real life. The only difference here is the lens length.
  9. The steel wheels look awesome. Even the dealer was taken by them.
  10. It is not too big inside. I was afraid it would feel like a fat American couch on wheels.
  11. Overall, it is not going up against the Jeep, but it will take some of those customers. It seems to be in a niche of its own. I can’t really think of any other SUV like it right now. So maybe they did that right: we don’t really want Land Rover to go 100% mainstream do we? It is still a bit obscure, quirky, and unique.
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The Bad:
  1. There are some design issues that need to be addressed. The third row seats don’t really lay flat? At least I couldn’t get them to do so in the 110. Maybe I’m wrong. The second row seats don’t lay flat? And although the cargo space in the 110 is OK, there is none in the 90. None. If you buy the 90, your only hope for gear off road camping is a good roof rack, and folding down or removing the rear seats. The rear floor also has a structural beam running across it, so if ou do remove the rear seats, you must then put in a self to get a flat surface. It’s odd.
  2. The center front seat is stupid.
  3. The front end....
  4. The windshield feels too far out from the driver.
  5. the alpine window in the 110 should be moved forward so as to actually mean something for the passengers.
  6. it is stupid that you really can’t have the 18” wheels on the 110 unless getting the i4 engine.
What would I get?
I’d get a certified used 110 with the P400 engine. I’d get the base model with the tow package, air suspension, rear locker. Winter package, wheel arch protection, mud flaps, and manual seats. I’d then get a 1” lift, and 18” aftermarket wheels and calipers.
Oh, and I’d make sure to have a 1965 Series IIa, or an MoD Defender from the mid ‘90s in the garage, just to keep it real.

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Tbaumer

Technical Excellence Contributor
I think we all agree that it's the Defender name that is bothersome because we expected more connection to the past. Other than that, I don't mind it at all. I'd like to see the 110 in person. Closest LR dealer is almost 300 miles away from me.
Nice review (y) - For comparison, I'd like to request another highly anticipated replacement review - the full sized Bronco. I've seen the sport & it's too small for my tastes.
 

rocky

Well-known member
My next DD isn’t going to be a LR. I just don’t like over electronically managed systems, reliance on a few select shops to fix them and problems adding TBC to them.
Because I want something that can comfortably tow my 90 on a trailer. That’s beyond the ability of most SUVs out there with their 5k limit.
 

hillstrubl

Founding Member
I think we all agree that it's the Defender name that is bothersome because we expected more connection to the past. Other than that, I don't mind it at all. I'd like to see the 110 in person. Closest LR dealer is almost 300 miles away from me.
Nice review (y) - For comparison, I'd like to request another highly anticipated replacement review - the full sized Bronco. I've seen the sport & it's too small for my tastes.
I'm ordering a Bronco as soon as they allow the combo of base model + sasquatch package (34s and lockers) + stick. I'll leave a review once it arrives!
 

JimC

Super Moderator
Staff member
I'm ordering a Bronco as soon as they allow the combo of base model + sasquatch package (34s and lockers) + stick. I'll leave a review once it arrives!

They somehow managed to make the bronco look like gen 1 original freelander. The ones I’ve seen in person look quite bad IMO. Something about making the hood too flat so that it looks almost like it’s sagging toward the center. Weird.
 

RBBailey

NAS-ROW Addict
Callsign: KF7KFZ
Exactly. I really don't like the baby Bronco. It looks to have some good innovative features, but.... When the new Bronco comes out, I'll be looking to compare it to the Jeep. Land Rover has moved the Defender over a slot.
 

RBBailey

NAS-ROW Addict
Callsign: KF7KFZ
This seems a pretty good comparison. Many of the reviews have had stupid obstacle tests, but this one looks fairly challenging. And they put the two cars through in pretty much the same way. The Defender does not have the rear diff in this video. I like how this guy just casually chats all the way through the whole thing, and doesn't even look like he's sitting at steep angles. Lots of other presenters get all out of breath and break off their commentary. I think his conclusion is right on target.

 

michael67

Member
Does the new Defender have all the same LR electronic nanny crap? I had a Discovery Sport loaner car last year and it had so much electronic nanny crap that I hated driving it until I figured out how to shut most of it down: idiot lights in side mirrors to tell you when another car was there (well, most of the time), idiotic adaptive cruise control, auto braking when you got too close to another car that was turning, auto start/stop (ASS), etc... I never did figure out how to lock the navigation map north, so I just shut down the display completely. Even after shutting off all I could it was still a bother as it would pester you with a warning that you've shut off the nanny stuff. I drove a new Gladiator with none of that crap except ASS.
 

RBBailey

NAS-ROW Addict
Callsign: KF7KFZ
Actually, that’s one thing I failed to mention. This one that I drove did have the nanny turned on, and I put it to the test. It did not like when I cam up on a painted traffic line at speed, not lined up in a “safe” manor. It steered for me.......

I’m pretty sure you can turn it off, but also, I think you can order a vehicle without lane departure or adaptive cruise control.

My first run in with this type of system was in our Audi A4 Avant when I pushed it through a corner that I’d taken the BMW through many times, the Audi didn’t like it, applying selective braking all the way through on its own.
 

hillstrubl

Founding Member
They somehow managed to make the bronco look like gen 1 original freelander. The ones I’ve seen in person look quite bad IMO. Something about making the hood too flat so that it looks almost like it’s sagging toward the center. Weird.
Are you talking about the Bronco Sport? If so I agree, the Bronco proper isn't (widely) out yet I don't believe.
 

FlyersFan76

Well-known member
3. The front end....
4. The windshield feels too far out from the driver.


What would I get?
I’d get a certified used 110 with the P400 engine. I’d get the base model with the tow package, air suspension, rear locker. Winter package, wheel arch protection, mud flaps, and manual seats. I’d then get a 1” lift, and 18” aftermarket wheels and calipers.
Oh, and I’d make sure to have a 1965 Series IIa, or an MoD Defender from the mid ‘90s in the garage, just to keep it real.
And a bumper sticker that reads, "My other car is a REAL Defender" ???

I really do not understand the front. Are the after market, angry Jeep lights a really cool thing? I don't get it.

The windshield I agree with also. Kind of throws off the whole part of replacing the Defender.
 

FlyersFan76

Well-known member
Agreed on the
Agreed, I think Jim is referring to the sport, which looks like some freelander/lr2 weird duck looking thing. I haven't seen a full size on the road yet
Bronco sport. In pictures it looked better than what I have seen in person. Granted I have not physically touched one yet and have only seen them driving around. I will say it is a much better replacement for the original Escape than the european imported Escape. In style and comfort.
 

rocky

Well-known member
I’ve seen enough Bronco Sports (“heinafter “BS”) not to have any desire to check it out. Bland, forgettable but they are starting to show up everywhere. Definitely Mall Rated.
 

FlyersFan76

Well-known member
I’ve seen enough Bronco Sports (“heinafter “BS”) not to have any desire to check it out. Bland, forgettable but they are starting to show up everywhere. Definitely Mall Rated.
I do like the BS as a potential first car for a child but certainly not my daily driver. It is sort of bland but has a little different style than the type utes in that size/category.
 

erover82

Well-known member
The Sport isn't designed to appeal to you guys. It's designed to be the most off-road oriented domesticated crossover on the market. It's Ford's Freelander. How many of you got excited about the Freelander?

The Nu Defender is designed for Instagramming metro folx who can't afford a G-Wagen.

The Grenadier and daddy Bronco are designed for you guys.
 
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1of40

Well-known member
They somehow managed to make the bronco look like gen 1 original freelander. The ones I’ve seen in person look quite bad IMO. Something about making the hood too flat so that it looks almost like it’s sagging toward the center. Weird.
Agree. The new Bronco is stupid ugly too. If you need to put 35's on it to look good whats the point.
 

blueboy

Well-known member
Agree. The new Bronco is stupid ugly too. If you need to put 35's on it to look good whats the point.
Versus the 32” on the 90/110? It is at least an option on the Bronco.
Like the Defender until I actually see one I’ll hold off on the styling yet even that is a subjective view.
 

volleymdut

New member
This is a great review! I can't handle this truck. The front end alone is a deal-breaker. It looks wonderfully capable, if it's working. I've seen so many other reviews now showing its electronics are just as unreliable as I would expect from LR.
 
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