Published on December 6th, 2010 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Banana Leaf At Buckingham Palace
You don’t need me to tell what this Land Rover can do off road. It is not a totally new product. We have seen hundreds being driven by the police, military and TNB staff. It has been the default choice of purchase for its ability to take on the roughest terrain with ease. It is however not much of a domesticated urban 4×4 vehicle until this version arrived recently. This is the latest Defender 110 with a new 2.4L engine borrowed from the Ford Transit commercial van. It is mated to a 6-speed gearbox for good highway gearing and comes with some interior features never before seen in a Landie.
The looks of this ‘new’ Defender remain. Nothing we can spot seems new or different. Inside however there are some urban creature comforts. Leather clad seats for 5 persons. Power windows in front only. A stereo with front speakers only and roof cladding.
There is a decent climate control system but sadly only 2 vents up front have been installed. No air vents on the ends of the dashboard for added front passenger cooling. Almost forgot, an alarm system with auto locks have been included.
So, how does it fare as an urban family vehicle for the wanna be rough and tough yuppie? Well we took it for a family weekend away with the kids to see how it would fare as a city dwellers transport. First thing you notice is how tall this defender really is when compared to all the Japanese and Korean pickups.
The footstep on each door is a necessity. Vision up ahead is good but rear vision is very restricted with the rear seats headrests. Ignite the engine and it works like any other diesel. Some clatter and minimal roar.
The clutch is a little heavy at 1st but after a few takeoffs we get used to its spring action liftoff and its weight. Takeoff speed from rest is not the best as the weight of this Defender can be felt. Speed is easily built up as you row the gears in the shape as the engine delivers with no sudden boost pressure…….the turbo provides power in a consistent flow.
One thing for sure, curbside attention and onlookers will be a common sight as the Defender still gets respect. On the open highway every bad resurfacing work done can be felt as the rock solid suspension returns the bad tarmac workmanship to the passengers. Otherwise there is little issue. Turning radius is not that tight and you need to plan your parking movements.
At the beach the Defender shines as the soft sand does little to hamper its movements and all the rough patches on the road leading out are easily conquered. Consumption is decent, highway speeds of 150km/h easily reached with a secure steering feel, brakes solid to the dime and on road presence supersedes all other negative issue mentioned earlier.
For RM148,888.00, it is the most expensive of the current regiment of pickups in the market, but no other will have the Lara Croft image in the eyes of children when you drive up.
Land Rover Defender 110 Double Cab Diesel Specifications
Engine: Turbo diesel intercooler
Gearbox: 6-speed Manual
Torque: 360Nm @ 2000rpm
Horsepower: 120bhp @ 3500rpm