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Anyone towed with New Defender 90?


conquest
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I currently tow my 1450kg caravan with Discovery 4.  A fantastic combination. 
However, I am considering changing the Disco for a New Defender 90. 
 

Has anyone towed with the a new Defender and what are their impressions?

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I know Practical caravan have tested it-might be worth doing a search on their on line pages.

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Yes they did. basically they regard it as extremely good apart from fuel consumption. Check their website for full details.

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Extremely capable no doubt but reliability holds a question mark for me :-(

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Check out Defender2.net, there's a towing thread on there, a few grumbles about the position of the spare wheel and the AL-KO handle, plus boot space seems pretty small.

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12 hours ago, Barney1 said:

Check out Defender2.net, there's a towing thread on there, a few grumbles about the position of the spare wheel and the AL-KO handle, plus boot space seems pretty small.

Interesting site, looking at all the topics on faults and fixes makes worrying reading...

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I quite like them, especially with the 3.0 engine. Road tests say fuel economy not brilliant but they are pretty big cars,especially the 110. Pricey for higher spec  models.

Our trusty Santa Fe is great but I would consider a Toyota Land Cruiser,similar size and 2.8 turbo diesel, 5 year warranty and proven reliability. Pricing lower than LR and they do short and long wheelbase.

Edited by 664DaveS
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But the Landcruiser is being dropped from most of Europe, UK included. 

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Thank you all for the replies so far.

 

I am still hoping that someone will reply who has actually driven / towed with the new Defender.

 

Over the past 17 years I have owned 4 Land Rovers from new, and so far all have been reliable, comfortable, well made and designed for their job. 

 

I have an extended test drive shortly, although I won’t be able to try it  out with a caravan attached. At least I will have time to compare measurements and make a notional hitch up.

 

 

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Have a look on TFL studios on youtube. They have a Defender on long term test. Difference is most reviewers are given loan cars, these people actually bought theirs.

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5 hours ago, Tuningdrew said:

Have a look on TFL studios on youtube. They have a Defender on long term test. Difference is most reviewers are given loan cars, these people actually bought theirs.

I think it is their 3rd.  The first one died after 160 miles 

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5 minutes ago, fred said:

I think it is their 3rd.  The first one died after 160 miles 

Second one was rejected  soon after it was delivered,  the third never left the dealership. One of the technicians cut through the wiring harness fitting a winch so hardly JLRs fault.

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15 minutes ago, Tuningdrew said:

Second one was rejected  soon after it was delivered,  the third never left the dealership. One of the technicians cut through the wiring harness fitting a winch so hardly JLRs fault.

No you can’t blame JLR for the winch problems.  

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A friend of mine was looking to change from a D4 to a D5 and Lloyds in Kelso arranged for a D5 with a tow bar for a 3 day test drive.

 

He hated it and bought one of the last D4s.

 

Ian 

2018 Range Rover Sport AB,  2015 Buccaneer Cruiser.

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6 hours ago, IanV8 said:

He hated it and bought one of the last D4s.

Your friend clearly has great taste Ian.

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I haven't towed with a new Defender but I have been driving a 110 on and offroad. And been a passenger in a 90.

 

I'm a huge fan of the D4, less so of the D5, both of which I've driven extensively. I've towed a 2.7t trailer with the 2.0D D5, and it copes, but the gearbox is very busy keeping that little engine on the boil. The 3.0V6 in my Jeep Grand Cherokee handled the load far better, even though the power and torque figures aren't far apart.

 

The Defender? Feels contrived and overpriced to me. Undoubtedly very very capable offroad, it doesn't feel as stable as the D5 on the road. I find the driving position poor in all current Land Rovers, the Defender in particular is tight for shoulder and elbow room. Legroom is limited in all of them, again comparing with my Jeep. Ride in the 90 is choppy, as I would expect from a short wheelbase.

 

It sounds minor, but the steering wheel in the Defender is hideous, like something from a lego set. For something that's so tactile and constantly in your eyeline, it's a terrible piece of design.

 

Both Defenders and the D5 have had minor electronic wobbles with cameras not working and Terrain Response glitches. So far, switching off, powering down the car and restarting has reset everything, but it's not very promising.

 

All the lwb Land Rovers and my Jeep have been on air, I think the 90 was on coils.

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@Fireman Iain I find the driving position poor in all current Land Rovers, the Defender in particular is tight for shoulder and elbow room. Legroom is limited in all of them, again comparing with my Jeep.

 

I am 6' 2" and find my current and many previous LR the most comfortable of any suv with legroom absolutely fine.  Are you a giant amongst men?;)

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3 hours ago, 8ftWanderer said:

Your friend clearly has great taste Ian.

Yeah but that wasn’t the point of the post, :D it was to show that you can get a tow bar equipped car on a test drive.

 

Ian

2018 Range Rover Sport AB,  2015 Buccaneer Cruiser.

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1 hour ago, Fireman Iain said:

Ride in the 90 is choppy, as I would expect from a short wheelbase.

 

That in the old Defender 90 was a real issue towing and we soon changed to using 110s for towing caravans and any longish trailers. I would be very guarded till I had tried it towing my van.

 

Conquest, why are the dealers not allowing towing with the demonstrator, surely that is why people buy them, other than the posers?

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TEST UPDATE.

 

Have spent most of the day driving and examining the New Defender 90. This included backing the 90 up to the front of caravan at home. I couldn’t  hitch-up as no tow ball, but it looks like the rear door needs to be open to allow assess to the AL-KO stabiliser handle. I was able to open and close rear door without fouling the jockey wheel stem, so hopefully no problems there.

 

Driving to and from dealers on identical route of stop start traffic and open roads, albeit only 50 miles each, the OBC shows the Defender 90 about 25% more fuel efficient than the MY16 D4.

 

Comfort and elbow room seems similar to both vehicles. I am 6’4” and 13 stone. The 90 has much more leg room.

 

The 90 felt more nimble, quieter engine, but more tyre/wind noise. The D4 is the reverse, but both really quiet and comfortable.

 

The 90’s rear seats fold down, but the do not make a flat floor. The are still angled up by about 6 to 7 inches. However the seat base can be easily unclipped (no spinners needed) and removed. This then allows the back of the seat to fold down virtually flat.

 

JTQ. The dealer did have a LWB available with tow ball, but I partially wanted to try out the 90. I was able to take the 90 home and see how the dog cage, chairs, air awning and other camping equipment fitted.

 

CONCLUSION.  I have ordered a New Defender 90 with the new D250 deisel engine and among the extras included air suspension.

 

RESULT. A very excited conquest!

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2 hours ago, SamD said:

@Fireman Iain I find the driving position poor in all current Land Rovers, the Defender in particular is tight for shoulder and elbow room. Legroom is limited in all of them, again comparing with my Jeep.

 

I am 6' 2" and find my current and many previous LR the most comfortable of any suv with legroom absolutely fine.  Are you a giant amongst men?;)

Pretty much. 😆. I'm 6'6" and well over 17 stone. Discovery 4 and 5 are spacious enough, bit the Defender is compromised by them making the gap between the front seats wide enough for a jump seat. As a result, the seats are wide apart and very close to the B pillars.

 

The Jeep has noticeably bigger seats and more legroom than any LR, although not as much headroom as D4 or  new Defender.

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1 hour ago, conquest said:

CONCLUSION.  I have ordered a New Defender 90 with the new D250 deisel engine and among the extras included air suspension.

Congrats! When do you get it?

 

I will be interested to read more once you have it and tow the van.

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A rather long wait until around September time.  We are having it built with the extras we want. Very few off the peg, none suit our need. 

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Quote

To 8ftWanderer.

 

Fuji White with white wheels will grow quicker on you! 

It did for me.

 

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