Sometime had passed since we had gone on a road trip. So we thought to go to a place in the mountains where we couldn't once due to security issues (wasn't serious). The feudal lord of the local area wasn't notified of our arrival hence we were told to go back. Now we went after notifying the area representatives to explore the area.
This time though, I wasn't in the MUTT. A relatively new member of our group, who wanted to avoid his new Prado getting bruises, bought a 2009 LR Defender 110. And he was unbelievably scared (But not scared to put the Defender to the absolute limit) and skill-less driver and handed over his Defender to a pro.
The backseats were TERRIBLE! Sitting on a rock while falling down a flight of stairs would be more comfortable and no wonder, most of the people here who have a Defender have swapped LC Prado's back seats. The front seats though were quite good. The newer models though have different seats.
The interior was simple, styled by function one. Although you had to open the door to easily roll up or down the windows, it wasn't much bothering but sometimes, you suddenly enter a terrain with soft sand which is very light and wraps around your vehicle within seconds so we couldn't avoid it anytime because you just can't roll up the windows that fast so utility lost a few points there.
The whole body on chassis construction meant that the car although is bullet-proof but it vibrates and rattles the whole time but with that said, it wasn't bothering because you're giving a stupid stereo system to make the interior rattling noises go away but with that said, it wasn't bothering as no screw had to be tightened again after getting back, nothing which on a Land Cruiser or other 4x4s with a bit of luxury would otherwise break; worried us because there was nothing in it.
Some seats, a steering wheel, 6-gears and a easy diff-lock is all there is and that's rather my type of 4x4 because when it rains, you can take off the roof and enjoy the weather but not on this Station Wagon 2.5 turbo-charged diesel engine which reminds me off the stupendously good mileage and power.
With little effort and power we drove up hills. We didn't even needed the low gear. Into first, then into second, loss of our power, back into first and we're there however, the clutch was quite hard but we have ideas to fix that but Land Rover should've done it in the first place.
Once we talked the owner of the 110 to take the wheel and try to learn. He managed till the middle and left power so the vehicle stalled, switched it back on and engaged low gear and easily climbed back with very little power.
Some people though think about turning the air-con off when going up to save engine from unnecessary stress and although we didn't felt like the engine needed that yet we had to switch it off but because the air-con was terrible. It was I think under the impression that it was a Land Rover Boiler 110.
So bad seats, bad air-con, cabin rattles like today's pop-star but what you get is the freedom to ignore rocks (big and small) hitting your underbody, freedom from the sense of tightening screws and fixing rubbers, cleaning the car, and above all; is the fuel! You get freedom from worrying about the fuel.
It has a 2.5 liter turbo-charged diesel with enough seats to accommodate nine people so we thought that it might be underpowered in the beginning but it isn't. The power is plentiful and the total trip length was 500 kms. And it did it in just a half tank which is in total 75 liters big! And that is just staggering.
We calculated that it gave 11 kms per liter on a trip which had 200 kms off-road travel and 300 on road (half of which sucked).
The LR Defender which is soon to be replaced by a new one, lives on to its identity as a robust 4x4 conqueror but the reason I and my friends like traveling in MUTT is its a convertible. So if I were to get a 4x4 for myself right now, it would most definitely be a soft-top Defender as like MUTT, the way to clean these two is fill a bucket with water and throw it in or park it in the middle of a river and open the doors because there is nothing in there to break.
PS: We arrived back on sunday at around 7 PM so the pics aren't developed at the point of writing this. So not many to share. Better pictures with a lot more action will be shared once developed but I would've lost the sense of the experience of the Defender so shared it now. Cheers!
The valley; our destination which we had to abandoned late night due to fast winds full of sand and dust.
Spotted a battered 929 Coupe in the wilderness.