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2021 Land Rover Defender 110 P300: Ownership experience

I had my eyes on the car the day it launched, and when the dealer reached out to me with a great offer, I could hardly resist.

BHPian mathranik recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I was working on an early ownership review of my Defender P300 that I picked up last month, but crazy work schedule and classic procrastination got the better of me.

We added the LR Defender to our garage that already had a Porsche Macan (2 year old with 40k on the clock), Mini Cooper JCW and Corolla Altis. I had my eyes on the car the day it launched, and when the dealer reached out to me with a great offer, I could hardly resist.

Having driven the car for 2500 km in the first month of ownership, I would share my list of hits and misses with the vehicle.

Positives

  • Road presence like no other! Having parked next to a Wrangler, Thar, Endeavour and Fortuner, not just the size but also its design elements lend it a rugged & imposing presence. Head-turning guaranteed, although that is never a deal maker / breaker for me
  • Looks: Many may disagree, but I don't know of an SUV south of INR 2 Cr that looks better. Colour and element treatment of some surfaces (Bonnet with the matt pad, front bumpers, snorkel attachment, tail lamps, quirky C pillar, black roof on my example to name a few) steal the show
  • Go anywhere capability: Enough said!
  • Tech & electronic everything: LR has redefined the off-road SUV segment by loading it up to the brim with convenience, comfort and coolness - Nothing that I can add to the original review, as that covers it all, but there's nothing that I miss in particular in this vehicle, that a German or Italian would have at this price point or in this segment
  • Space, and then some more: Comfortable seats up front and in the middle row, and three can be seated abreast easily
  • Road Manners, both on-road and off it: Well sprung, super efficient braking, and a mile-muncher on highways
  • Insane off-road features: Loaded with off-road assist functions electronically, both active and passive, helps retain the true Defender DNA. We tested this on the cliffs at Bera (Jawai, RJ) and it never skipped a beat.
  • Smart-sounding Meridien music system
  • Small bits: Safari windows (Giraffe windows), connected car features, smart accent lighting and hologram on door opening, voice assist that is truly functional, solid refrigeration in the centre console, iPad attachment behind the front seats, blindspot indicator for door opening, insane number of cameras for all possible views, et al.

Negatives

  • Rear view mirrors: Too small for a vehicle of this size
  • Memory seats are a big miss
  • Adequate power  Low-end finds itself lacking, though the engine is good enough for highways
  • Last row of seats are a joke
  • Long term reliability and servicing are a shot in the dark: Would update my experience here
  • My only complain with the styling is the alloy design

Experience till now

The Defender has been taken out on two long trips, one of which was for off-roading to the leopard hills of Jawai, in Pali Rajasthan, that is known for its rocky terrain. I was yet to develop confidence and skills for a true-blue off-roading experience, and was being cautious instead of pushing the car to its limits, but went way beyond my comfort zone, hitting 37º decline angle at one point.

The car can gobble rough terrain up for breakfast, and with the air suspension taking it to a maximum 290mm of ground clearance, there is almost zero fear of anything. We were four adult occupants for the trip, and the comfort-level review was extremely high.

This is one vehicle I foresee retaining for 5+ years, and would be my go-to car for all highway drives.

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