The frustratingly terrible design of Defender rear seats.

worldofinflation

Active member
Seeking public opinion poll + thoughts

The story is I've owned a 3 door 110 for about 5 years. Great truck and I've been all over Southern Africa with it.
Considering it's worth about $1 million in the United States, I'm tempted to import and sell it and roll that money into a later model 300 tdi. In South Africa, they made the 300 Tdi until through 2007 - all 110 station wagons as I understand it (I stand corrected here).

The idea of going to a station wagon is compelling; I like the ability to take passengers and I also like that it forces some more thoughtful packing for trips. A station wagon is also a more liveable daily driver in my opinion. BUT, what I absolutely hate is the terrible visibility rear-seat passengers have. Any moderately tall adult is looking straight into roofline. No view outside the side window unless you perpetually hunch and the alpine, while great for light, offers no view either.

Even though I'll never sit in the back, this lack of livability almost kills the SW option for me. A LC 79 series offers leagues better visibility for rear-seat passengers. Am I being petulant here?
 

Adam

Well-known member
If you don't currently have second row passengers in your current truck - why is visibility for the second row a deal breaker for the future? I think the overall utility of the sw outweighs this rear (do you mean second row or actual rear) seat visibility issue.
 

worldofinflation

Active member
If you don't currently have second-row passengers in your current truck - why is visibility for the second row a deal-breaker for the future? I think the overall utility of the sw outweighs this rear (do you mean second row or actual rear) seat visibility issue.

I do mean the second row (although troop seats are equally poor no?). A handful of times per year I will travel with more than two passengers for multi-day camping trips and such. Shame to admit it but usually, folks pile free in the back with sleeping bags and cushions (this is not safe). In South Africa, a 3-door would be considered a 'pickup'.
 
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O2batsea

Well-known member
If you want second row plushness, it's very difficult to top a Range Rover Classic LWB (well, except for a 2018 Autobiography maybe). It will also go off-road as well or better than your 110.
If you think you'll get more than 15 or 20 for a right hooker 3 door in the USA, you'll probably be very disappointed
 
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RDavisinVA

Technical Excellence Contributor
So being very literal minded, have a tendency to read exactly what is written without trying to analyze exactly what you meant only what was put down in words.
You start out chatting up a 110 2 door, then switch to a 5 door and talk about how poor the rear seating is, then we learn you meant middle row.
What are you asking if anything and do you need advise, because Alan Turing is no longer among the living and I am not sure what your post is about?
If you're complaining that the middle row of a 110 5 door station wagon is terrible for adult passengers, you'll likely not find many if any who disagree with such an obvious assessment, but am not sure what all that has to do with a A LC 79 series whatever that is (perhaps Land Cruiser).
Again, if you are looking for advice, be clear and please leave out the acronyms and vague innuendos.
If you are not looking for advice and just want to see your oblique words in print, then the responses you get will probably be equally full of meaningless chatter.
 
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worldofinflation

Active member
I'm complaining that the middle row of a 110 5 door station wagon provides terrible visibility for adult passengers.

I would like to hear if others who actually own a station wagon find it as irksome as I'd imagine I might. A 5 door has a lot of pros over a 3 door but middle seat visibility is a big con in my opinion. Such a bummer to be driving through a beautiful landscape and have to hunch to see it.

LC = Land Cruiser. The name of this forum is literally two acronyms. Apologies though for being cryptic.
If you think you'll get more than 15 or 20 for a right hooker 3 door in the USA, you'll probably be very disappointed
$25k would be my wish, I think, for a rust-free vehicle in good order with no modifications.
 
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Adam

Well-known member
I'm complaining that the middle row of a 110 5 door station wagon provides terrible visibility for adult passengers.

I would like to hear if others who actually own a station wagon find it as irksome as I'd imagine I might. A 5 door has a lot of pros over a 3 door but middle seat visibility is a big con in my opinion. Such a bummer to be driving through a beautiful landscape and have to hunch to see it.

People who own station wagons don't generally ride in the second row, and anyone who's opinion they truly care about usually rides beside, not behind them.
 

Uncle Douglas

Well-known member
Callsign: delete
One of the best seat mods I have seen in a 5 door is the use of a discovery 2 rear seat. It lowers the seating position and sits a bit further back (requires notching front of rear wheel wells to sit further back)
Lower's seating position and allows adult leg room.

The worst 2nd row seats are the "high back" after market seats. Warn folks they will hate them, get told "its what I want please install" only to get "you were right, totally unusable" later.
 

JimC

Super Moderator
Staff member
The second row is quite fun for kids, mine have always appreciated the stadium seating in both my puma and pre-puma trucks.

Adults would be purely occasional for me, and most of the time those people would be pawing all over the inside saying “wow, this is really cool.”
 

worldofinflation

Active member
People who own station wagons don't generally ride in the second row, and anyone who's opinion they truly care about usually rides beside, not behind them.
I'm at an age where I use the truck to transport friends, so I do care about their experience. For me, the vehicle is merely a tool to reach far-flung places for climbing/hiking.

The second row is quite fun for kids, mine have always appreciated the stadium seating in both my puma and pre-puma trucks. Adults would be purely occasional for me, and most of the time those people would be pawing all over the inside saying “wow, this is really cool.”
I agree and probably great for long-term travel with young kids. Station Wagons seem to work well for the handful of families I've met doing the Cape to London thing.

One of the best seat mods I have seen in a 5 door is the use of a discovery 2 rear seat. It lowers the seating position and sits a bit further back (requires notching front of rear wheel wells to sit further back) Lower's seating position and allows adult leg room. The worst 2nd row seats are the "high back" after market seats. Warn folks they will hate them, get told "its what I want please install" only to get "you were right, totally unusable" later.
Thanks, Doug. First time hearing of this. Do you perhaps have a photo of the install/notching you could share? I installed some junkyard seats in the back of my 3-door for a 6-month trip a few years back. They worked for our budget and purposes at the time but were horrible.
 
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evilfij

Well-known member
Try using the back seats in a Porsche 911 and get back to me. :)

The rear seats in all but one of my vehicles (a long wheel base Jaguar super V8) got yeeted day one (I guess they are technically still there in the back of one of the porsches, but absent a very short trip with a small child they were never used) as I use the cargo space more than have passengers. I might keep them in the 95 Range Rover long wheel base, but that would have to be a functional vehicle for it to matter. ;)

I don’t find the back of the 110 that bad, at least you have headroom and you can look forward.
 

rocky

Well-known member
I've only sat in the back of one 110 Station wagon.

That's after I managed to origami my 6ft2 frame into the back seat through the narrow door opening.

What a bloody miserable experience sitting there.
 

RDavisinVA

Technical Excellence Contributor
Yes don't get me started in the rear seats of the MGTD, MGA, and MGB.

Have always wanted to add 12 inches to a 110 to get 2 additional inches in the front and10 more in the middle row.
Won't help with the passengers view, but they can see out the front.
 

RBBailey

NAS-ROW Addict
Callsign: KF7KFZ
The last project I was going to do on my 110 would have been to convert the stupid bench seat to two front style bucket seats. I was thinking of having a frame built specifically to lower the seats about 2", and also to bring them inboard about 2". This would leave enough room for a center console, maybe even a fridge. It would also make sitting back there relatively tolerable.

But my kids are high school/college age now, so I really backed off on that project, and sold the truck to someone who does have two young kids, and I discussed the project with them. One person on this forum actually used the frame of the bench seat to mount the bucket seats to. It worked well. I've also seen people use puma seats. I didn't want to do that because of the expense and I always liked the idea of matching the style and cloth front to back.
 

rocky

Well-known member
Yes don't get me started in the rear seats of the MGTD, MGA, and MGB.

Have always wanted to add 12 inches to a 110 to get 2 additional inches in the front and10 more in the middle row.
Won't help with the passengers view, but they can see out the front.
I’ve always wanted to stretch a 90 long enough to have the second row doors the same length as the front row. That will create plenty of legroom. Keeping the 90 tub to for it’s better departure angle.
 

worldofinflation

Active member
I've also considered fabricating an 90 NAS style jump seat in my 3 door as a second row. I'm lucky that my 3 door has a station wagon footwell. No idea if it's a PO mod or if it's an South Africa CKD quirk. With the jump seat, it would be a bit of a pain to hop in, but I imagine one would sit more than 2" lower than the stock bench.

Here's a pic from when I was removing the carpet (7 hours of scrubbing off glue).

IMG_2731.JPG
 

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worldofinflation

Active member
Doug can jump in here and correct me, but I think you'd be really lucky to get 15 for that.
You might well be right. I'm attaching a pic. The silliness going on in the US Defender market makes it a toss-up.
Part of the debate is in South Africa I could get a decent 2006/2007 110 Station Wagon 'Kalahari' edition -- which a basically a late ROW spec 300tdi -- for about $12-15k.

Seems like there a is bit of an arbitrage opportunity. I could upgrade and get a 12 year newer vehicle and someone here could get a good, reliable driver (likely with better bones than most of the trucks pulling $30k+ on BaT). I recognize people really dislike RHD, though..

I've been thinking about this more recently. I will either do a sympathetic refurb on the one I have, or roll earnings into a newer vehicle.
 

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