Although it has only been called the Defender since 1990, most people remember the legendary English SUV, whose first copy was born in 1948. Continuously modernized production lasted until 2016, ie. 68 years. By comparison, even the 39-year career of the first-generation Mercedes G-Class does not seem too long, and even the Lada Niva has been made “only” for 43 years.
In almost seven decades, more than 2 million copies of the type have been made, whose first last bolt was completely covered in the autumn of 2019. We now present the larger of the new Defender in three- and five-door versions.
Located in a new Defender 110, we can experience the strange feeling of not only looking down from the BMW X5s but also the Audi Q7s. Although the latter are not small cars either, they just somehow get lost in the shadow of a small British companion.
The length of 5 meters is not small, but not a record, as the BMW X7, which is large in the European market, is 15 centimeters longer.
The defender, on the other hand, clearly feels longer than 5 meters and behaves like a fish thrown ashore in a city.
It is not that the steering wheel would be difficult to turn, that straight driving would not be good or that the gearbox would not work smoothly. No, there are no problems with that, but somehow the car feels so gigantic that even the drivers hang out with larger SUVs driving in frenzy on the city’s stretches.
The oversized hood extends far in front of us and extends about as high as the roof of most cars in front of us in a traffic jam. I do not even press the daughter, because even if there is a reversing camera, its image is misleading, because due to the spare wheel attached to the rear door, the car is actually longer than we would think based on the camera’s image. The central rearview mirror can be digitized by tilting, but the image from the camera also does not help to maneuver too much.
It is worth paying attention to the height of about 2 meters if you drive into an underground garage. In this case, it is practical that the body can be lowered by 4 centimeters at the touch of a button. Thanks to 572 thousand forint air suspension, the car can be raised by 14.5 centimeters in the other direction, which can provide excellent service when off-road driving.
There is a large space in each corner of the cottage. By default, the Defender 110 has room for five people, but by requesting a place instead of the center console, we can already fit in it, and with the seats in the trunk, the car can accommodate up to seven people. In the latter case, the luggage space is only 160 liters, but there is no less than 857 liters of space behind five seats.
Getting back to the new Defender, which refers to its famous predecessor with fine details both inside and out, is not easy, but after that we can immediately feel at home in the big places. Our test car is a very well-equipped, not cheap, and uniquely tries to balance between a work car and a luxury consumer item.
The lines in the passenger compartment can even be carved with an ax compared to a BMW X5, for example the intentionally overlooked screw heads are unique, there is no shortage of handrails and there is an easy to wash plastic cover under the carpets. On the other hand, there are high-tech screens and the nicely sewn sensitive leather surfaces, so we get a little of this and that.
The small lever in the eight-speed ZF automatic transmission is high and close to us, but it is not ergonomic to say that it is too close to the center touch screen. The user interface is tasteful, but the menu is not very logical, and the speed of the system leaves something to be desired. We get plenty of outlets and finally a car with both USB-A and USB-C ports.
The seat adjustment must be partially electric, back and forth with manual force to move the front seat, which can almost be attributed to the armchair. The huge and partially openable panoramic roof further enhances the already bad feeling of space for a fee of 717 thousand HUF. 424 thousand forints are requested for the three-zone climate, the remote-controlled stationary heating is 543 thousand forints and HUD is 325 thousand forints extra.
Proponents of rock-hard SUVs are likely to look a little miserable on the new Defender, as it is no longer a chassis but a self-supporting body car that also sits on fluffy air springs and its differential locks are electrically controlled. Nevertheless, the permanent four-wheel drive type should not be unduly regretted.
The test car does not roll on terrain tires at all, but on four-season regular tires, but still we found no terrain where it would have been more serious. He did not like deep mud so much, but in our case it is the “sara” of the tire, and it is guaranteed to always find the one that best suits the current challenge from a variety of terrain locations.
Even on loose surfaces, you can always start very smoothly with Defender, the electronics keep the horsepower in check all the time, unlike the new Ford Explorer, for example, which has no strength to start with a soft crawl. We get 18-inch steel plates at a basic price, and for a fee we can venture up to 22 inches.
The roof, perforated in the style of small windows at the back, has been oversized: thanks to its load capacity of 300 kg, there are no obstacles to camping on the roof. The lost game can easily be packed in the trunk, especially if the buttons are there to lower the suspension, but the huge fifth door that opens to the side is very impractical in the city.
Under the hood is a 2-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine that at first glance may seem narrow in such a large and not by the way 2.3-ton car. Exercise, on the other hand, shows that 240 horsepower and 430 Nm are enough to drive at high speed measured with an off-road vehicle and the off-road test ended with a favorable average consumption of 9.6 liters. The fuel tank is 85 liters.
The 9.1 second sprint level of the 0-100 sprint and the top speed of 188 km / h are less important than, for example, that the flexibility is completely correct: overtaking can certainly be quickly identified with the large front-end Defender.
Arriving is the 3-liter 6-cylinder diesel engine, whose versions of 200, 250 and 300 hp promise a smoother ride and a more beautiful sound. And with the strongest version, you can solve 0-100 in as little as 7 seconds.
On the petrol front, the 2-liter base version is 300 horsepower and a 400-horsepower hybrid version based on a similar petrol unit has also been recently introduced. This green license plate design in Hungary has an electric range of 43 kilometers.
+ : unique character, excellent terrain knowledge, advanced technology, correct consumption.
–: life in a city with him is difficult, economic money, not cheap.
The modern Defender must dance on thin ice. On the one hand, you have to remain an unadulterated SUV, and on the other hand, you can no longer be as charmingly uncut as its predecessor, you just have to keep up with the times. And in our experience, the Indian-owned Jaguar Land Rover has successfully removed the obstacle, and once the necessary compromises have been made, the Defender has managed to innovate in a way that may not hurt anyone. Or at most just for blind fans of the old Defender.
The Hungarian base price for the type manufactured in Slovakia is 17.6 million HUF, but against this amount only a base model with a 3-door, 200 horsepower diesel engine can be driven home. The 240 horsepower diesel model with 5 doors opens at 21.5 million HUF, and for higher equipment the amount is 27.5 million HUF on the price tag.
The price of a very well-equipped test car is 30.1 million HUF. This is one of the extremes, besides getting to know the other: if we have the opportunity, we will also present a basic 3-door model that is much more designed for work.
If you are looking for a less luxuriously rock hard SUV, the much more analog Jeep Wrangler can be a good buy at a height of 15-20 million forints. Mercedes G-Class is not cheap, we have to spend at least 40.1 million forints on it. At Toyota, Land Cruiser opens with HUF 16.3 million, the larger Highlander was not priced until we wrote our article.
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