By Stephen Macharia
If there has ever been a successful attempt at redesigning a revered British Icon, it has to be the 2020 Land Rover Defender 110. Its predecessor was the undisputed king of off-road expeditions.
While the design of the new Defender 110 is -in any measure- a massive step change in the 110 series, this vehicle has successfully retained the adventurous demeanour of its predecessor. It kept its naming convention and versatility, a sign of respect to the Defender heritage.
It did not, however, retain the ergonomic disasters for drivers and passengers witnessed in the retired model. The new Defender 110 has comfortable seats available in five-seater models or seven seating capacities. It is a masterclass built with modern-day technology in functionality and entertainment features.
To enhance its off-road capabilities, the Defender 110 has ClearSight Ground View technology which displays images of the front underside of the vehicle on a touch screen. This helps the driver know the exact positioning of the wheels.
And something more; the vehicle does not have sports mode which is quite astonishing owing to its aesthetic look. But who has ever bought a Land Rover for sports?
Land Rover Defender series is arguably one of the vehicles that have undergone the least number of iterations since its inception. First produced in 1948, the Defender series has sold over 2 million units.
But in 2016, the last Land Rover Defender 110 was driven out of production marking the end of the longest-running production car in the world. This is why the return of the Defender 110 is a moment to record for posterity.
The new model is available in 5 versions in Kenya- the Defender S, SE, HSE, Defender X and the First Edition. The vehicle comes in 7 colour codes with options for Matte and Gloss finishing. The retail price starts from $ 140,000 depending on the vehicle trim level.
The new Land Rover Defender 110 offers unique combinations of a luxury brand equipped with robust off-road capabilities and features of an urban utility vehicle. The design is versatile and cannot be confined to just one area of use. Building with modern-day technology for functionality and entertainment is not available in other brands.
Through Apple Play and Android Auto, you can connect a smart device to the vehicle and still access other features on the infotainment system. With a device connected via Bluetooth, the system still supports a 3D surround camera, a 360-degree parking aid and a host of other driver assistance features.
It is equipped with heated and cooled leather seats, a leather steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, driver condition monitor, satellite navigation, heads-up display and blind spot monitor.
This vehicle is not made for linear usage. Besides improvements in 0ff-road capabilities, the 2020 Defender 110 has an aluminium body equipped with a range of advanced driver assistance and off-road driving packs.
Under its bonnet, the vehicle boasts of an advanced Ingenium engine with Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle (MHEV), a clever combination of Land Rover engines and an underfloor battery that allows the vehicle to be turned off whether it is coasting, braking, or stationary.
The second and third-row (exceptional) seats fold flat when wrangled. This translates to a bigger boot space for cargo. It also can raise and lower the vehicle’s ground clearance.
When you buy the vehicle from Inchcape Kenya, the motor dealer gives a complementary interior and exterior Gardx ceramic protection pack.
The GardX Vehicle Protection is a technology that forms a highly protective coating over vehicle surfaces to shield them from damage under normal abrasions. This technology provides a high-gloss showroom finish at all times.
But that is not all that you get. Inchcape Kenya told AutoNews Magazine that customers get 5 years Warranty or 150,000km (whichever comes first), and a service plan covering 100,000 kilometres or 5 years of free service whichever comes first.
Unlike the old model, the new Land Rover Defender 110 is not locally assembled. According to Inchcape, the vehicles are imported “as completely built units (CBUs) specific for this market. This includes the enhanced suspension and tropicalized cooling system.” This vehicle has a fuel consumption of between 8 – 14 kilometres per liter subject to normal driving conditions.