The Defender 110, or Land Rover One Ten as it was called in 1983, came one year before the 90 did. The numbers marked the length of the wheelbase in inches. The name Defender was heralded by the entry of the Discovery by the turn of the decade. So much for the history of a vehicle that is about to become history!
SPECS: 2.2 L diesel 4 cylinder, 6-speed manual transmission, 122 hp @3500 rpm, 360 Nm @2000 rpm, 0-100 in 15.8 sec
Dimensions: LXWXH: 4639 x 1790 x 2079 mm, Approach and Departure angles: 49 and 35 degrees, Ground clearanceL 250 mm, Weight: 2111 kg, Wading depth 500 mm, Towing capacity 3500 kg
PRICE: AED 180,000
[I’d rather read the Defender 90 review first.]
The Defender 110 is as tall as the 90, and equally wide, yet longer by 745 mm or two and a half feet. So, while the fear of height still peeps down your shoulders, the drive puts you a lot more at ease. Like you know this feeling that you aren’t going to make it past the gantry is just a feeling!
You would expect the extra-large steering of the Defender to have been recalled by an era where men leaned on their wheel to catch a wink in the wilderness, even as the vehicle slithered along, on its obstinate low gears.
Forget the steering, even the narrow insides of the Defender pushes you closer to the window. Being one with the elements – rolling down the windows – is the way to drive this transporter. If you are keeping the windows up, watch out for a few painful elbow bumps, and hold back your seatbelt buckle from smashing into the window upon release, please!
The Defender 110 is 242 kilograms heavier than the Defender 90 and inevitably almost half a second slower to get to the 100 mark on the speedo. But in the 110, you wouldn’t mind getting past it more often. While the difference in the fuel feed is negligible, the longer vehicle can tank up 75L of diesel as against 60L for the Defender 90.
The Defender 110 is longer, and has two extra seats. The mid-row bench is the extra addition, and surprisingly, the third row individual seats are slightly more comfortable to ride in, if you are not the very tall kind. Now, the downside to those two seats sitting tall in the rear is that the already meager rear window is strangled even more, so much so that all you can see behind you are a couple of bonnets gleaming in the sun. Well, the long side view mirrors do make up for any lost data, so no practical issues back there.
Compare the Defender 90 on road
The Defender 110 not only offers the family close to two and a half feet of extra wheel base but also four stable wheels as well. It’s the two and a half feet you need to hoist yourself to step inside, that families might hate.
The 7-seater makes you feel less jittery when changing lanes on Sheikh Zayed Road – less of that ‘plucking all four and planting again’ feeling! The Defender 110 offers 4 cm additional ground clearance (250mm) but the departure angle is 35 degrees compared with the 47 of the shorter station wagon. Again, where the longer vehicle loses out is at U-turns – with the U you carve, you wouldn’t dream of getting through kindergarten.
While the G55 and the original Jeep and even the Suzuki Jimny has charmed me with their basic box-like appearance and a sturdiness that brings bridge scaffolding to mind, the Land Rover Defender seems to have the brightest halo – not entirely because it’s ready to join the angels.
The Defender 110 is contemporary macho and primitive utilitarianism rolled into a box. The one vehicle that stands for charitable joy and selfish thrills; brave conquests and daring escapes, needs only a bumpy backyard to prove its raison d’etre. The silent potholes, the shallow threat of squishy sand, the smoothed fangs of rocky roads: the original adventurer makes any terrain seem genial and any place hospitable.