Archive for February 6th, 2005

Best 4X4?

Defender 90 SW XS ready for business.

Now here’s a can of worms to open up. Everyone who has a 4X4 will, no doubt, swear that their’s is no doubt the best. And who am I to agree with them?

There will be a few of those amongst you who think Land Rovers are the best, and even fewer of those who swear by the Land Rover Defender. Will those few stand up? And take a bow; your choice is not only the best choice, but it is the best choice in the world.

But buying a Defender is not easy. At the time of writing this, the basic on the road price for the Defender ranges from £17,995 to £27,997. And do note, I did say basic.

To simplify the rest of this blog, I am going to talk only about the Defender short (90) wheel base Station Wagon and, where possible, the XS (luxury model – as far as a Defender could possibly be called luxury).

The extras which are included in the basic on the road price of £25,595 include alarm/immobilisation, alloy wheels and 235 tyres, black part leather seats, body coloured wheel arches, Brunel coloured switch panel, Brunel grill and headlight surrounds, bulkhead deletion, cargo space stowage net, cold climate pack (heated seats & heated windscreen), convenience pack (electric front windows and cdl), cubby box, front mud flaps, heated rear window and wash wipe, heavy duty suspension, leather steering wheel and leather gear knob, rear folding step, side runners, smoked front indicators and side repeaters, stereo radio, single CD and four speakers, tinted glass, number plates and delivery charges.

Then there are extras. Some extras are fitted at the factory, others by your local Land Rover dealer. Because we have chosen the XS (luxury) model, most factory options are already fitted, but there is the colour to choose, the towbar and electrics, and the useful battery backup sounder upgrade.

“left-hand down a bit – watch out for that dip!”

Then there are the dealer options. The sump guard which is important if you intend to drive over rough terrain.

Other important options could include a protection bar, a raised air intake, a pair of fog lamps, a pair of front lamp guards, a pair of rear lamp guards, a work light, a pair of quick straps, a rear ladder rack, a roof rack, tow straps, a winch to pull up to 4 tonnes, winch access kit, checker plate kit, a pair of wing top protectors, a rear step bumper and a loadspace protector.

These aren’t all the options, but just the ones I would include with my dream machine. But then there are the little extras, such as a loadspace mat, a pair of front well mats, a first aid kit, a bulb replacement kit, a fire extinguisher, a cockpit handlamp and, of couse, a pair of triangles. Not to mention A set of four waterproof rear seat covers!

The total price came to nearly £35,000.

You can’t rely on the salesman to know the score. I went to Hadley Green to get a spec drawn up and the Salesman there made a lot of errors about which product you must buy to go with other products. In fact he wasn’t even sure which items were chargeable and which came free with the XS version.

I contacted Land Rover’s head office and the person there seemed unsure of some of the points but then I heard of a woman called Michelle at Diamond in Welwin Garden City who was very knowledgeable. She certainly knew her stuff and helped me considerably.

Defender 90 – how driving rough can make it look!

This is what separates the men from the boys, and what a Land Rover can look like when you drive it over really rough terrain. Fortunately you’d be driving the beast because if you saw this from a few yards away, after paying the sort of money this would cost, you’d nearly have a heart attack. More information at wikipedia!

I have heard that the Americans who were driving their huge Hummers in the desert laughed at our boys driving Land Rovers – but guess who were laughing when, one by one, the hummers gave up the ghost and the American Army then bought Land Rovers?

Given the choice of a Defender with all my trimmings or a new Jag, I know what I would choose, any day. They are both Fords I know, but it would be the Land Rover for me!

Link to Land Rover’s website after my sign-out below.


PS I have asked Land Rover for a JPG of their new advert and if they send me a copy, I will incorporate it here later. It’s the one showing a rugby player and a lion “playing” rugby!


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