Automobile

How Does The New Defender Square Up Against Its Predecessor? @ Top Speed

Design

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The new Defender has an edge over the older generation considering the latter’s styling has not changed since the early 1980s. The automaker did modernize the current model but retained the boxy proportions, so there is some nostalgia to hand over. There are other classical design cues like the spare wheel on the tailgate and the rounded headlights. The older Defender also has more rugged-looking features like visible rivets and handles that appear bolted on. As it is an off-roader, one might argue the older model accomplishes its mission of looking tough. Though, it is also redundant as the design has been the same for the past 40 years, save for the 2020 offering.

Off-roading Ability

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The Defender was the vehicle of choice for unexplored or rough terrain. That is why it is the optimal option for the military and UN personnel in sensitive zones worldwide. Both of the models can climb a steep incline, though they handle it quite differently. The older version features a six-speed manual gearbox and a central locking differential, so both axles go at the same speed during off-roading. It is possible to engage or disengage the differential lock manually. The older Defender does gain credit with similar approach and departure angles of 47 degrees, but the new era SUV is set at 38 and 40 degrees, respectively. The break-over angle of the predecessor is 28 degrees, while that of the new model is 32 degrees.

Angle, departure, and break-over angles indicate the ability of the vehicle to get on or off steep obstacles, so higher numbers mean a better ability to negotiate according to its body shape. The ground clearance of the 2020 Land Rover is 11.5 inches, while the older model had a ride height of 12.3 inches.

Reviews also indicate the wading depth of the predecessor is 500mm, while the new Defender can go through almost twice the depth at 900mm. The new Defender has additional favorable features, including its eight-speed automatic transmission and sophisticated differential system. The driver only has to select auto terrain response, and the SUV will decide on the best settings. The new Defender also has the ClearSight Ground View that shows a view of the vehicle’s underside on the touchscreen, which instructs on the best approach for the wheels.

Interior and Cargo

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The old Defender was notorious as well for having a basic interior. It is unsuited for the model year context of the 2020s, as the interior could easily match any 1980s SUV. Significant amounts of clunky plastic and basic instrumentation are mostly to blame. The old Defender did have an advantage when it came to space, considering the cargo volume is 56.5 cubic feet. It was actually a truck that one could purchase without a hardcover and with front seating. The new model does have lower cargo availability with a full load of passengers at 34 cubic feet, but this changes to 78.8 cubic feet when the second row is folded down.

The new Defender has a lot of room up front, and it’s possible to add another two seats in the back area to make it a seven-seater. The middle seats also have adequate space, which is not the case with the older version, and there is a sliding function that helps accommodate those taller passengers in the back. On the other hand, the new Land Rover Defender gives the full package that one would expect from a 2021 SUV, including premium wood trim and luxury stitching. It is possible to fold the seats down for both generations, though it is assumedly easier in the newer version.

Engine

How Does The New Defender Square Up Against Its Predecessor? Exterior
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The older generation defender had a variety of high-capacity engines. Between 1991 and 2007, the petrol alternative was a 3.5-liter V8 that generated 182 hp. There were two similar 2.5-liter TDI diesel engines as well that produced 113 and 122 horsepower. Before the discontinuation in 2016, though the Defender had a 2.2-liter diesel engine, producing 122 horsepower. This was linked to a six-speed manual gearbox, while the 2007 models had a five-speed manual transmission. It also had an anti-stall system that allowed the Defender to crawl over most terrain types without acceleration.

There is significant diversity as well in the new generation Defender has two petrol and diesel engines each. The diesel options two include 2.0-liter SD4 engines producing 200 and 240 horsepower, respectively.

Petrol engines include the 2.0-liter SI4 and a 3.0-liter, mild-hybrid rated at 300 and 400 horsepower consecutively. Both models have a towing capacity of 3,500 kilograms. The new version has been said to feel significantly capable, though, and the mild-hybrid technology significantly boosts acceleration. The disparity in power is illustrated in the 0 to 60 mph time for both models. The older diesel-engine, Defender, does in it 14.7 seconds while the new model achieves the same in 5.8 seconds

Land Rover Defender specifications
Land Rover Defender P300 Land Rover Defender P400
Engine 2.0-liter, four-cylinder twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter, six-cylinder
Horsepower 296 HP @ 5,500 RPM 395 HP @ 5,500 RPM
Torque 295 LB-FT @ 1,500-4,000 RPM 406 LB-FT @ 2,000-5,000 RPM
0 to 60 mph 7.7 seconds 5.8 seconds
Top Speed 119 mph 119 mph

Price

How Does The New Defender Square Up Against Its Predecessor?
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The new Land Rover Defender is much more costly compared to the predecessor, considering the technological and comfort additions. The new Land Rover is valued at $63,600, while the 2015 Defender is available for $23,200.

Verdict

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The revamped Land Rover looks a bit similar to the earlier version in terms of the boxy styling and the nostalgic tailgate. However, there are distinct differences that should be noted. Its off-roading is much more intelligent on account of the auto terrain selection and ClearSight Ground View systems. Not only is it much easier to take into the wild, but it is also much more powerful. The 2.2-liter diesel yields a disappointing 120 horsepower compared to the 400 given by the 3.0-liter hybrid engine. It does not stop there, as the new Defender adds something to every department, including the cabin and infotainment. It is not surprising then that it would have a much higher price tag than the last available Defender.


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