well i have little knowledge of the 300 however i have had now 5 td5's the latest being a brand new 110. now up untill now i have no complaints with the td5 and in fact i just love it. i never managed to start working my way up the ladder with series landies and moved straight to the range rover, disco and now the past few years the defender which is the best fun of them all. yes its not as plain to work on as the older m/c's but is a joy to drive.
I'm not saying that the td5 is not a good engine, infact it's a very good engine proberbly the best in any 4x4 but what happens if your in say Morocco in a td5 that is 4years old and with 120k plus on the clock and it breaks down. Your local mechanic is unlikely to have a lap top and the software to find out what is wronge.
A defender is not just a vehicle but a statement of your life style. The people know that if you buy a new Defender that it will, if they want it to last them for at least twenty years, and more if they look after it. It's rugged image is what sells defenders, lose that and you lose sales! If you are unlucky enough to break down far away from any land rover delership you need to know that any local mechanic can get you going again if not yourself.
Hubber, you said that yours is "a joy to drive", well yes, it's a land rover thing. Every time that I get behind the wheel of mine it makes me smile, and 99% of defender owners would agree I am sure. It's not many vehicles that can clame that is there. I have driven or owned Land Rovers all my adult life and would not change any one of them for anything else.
One more thing, the British army do not have td5's but still go for the tdi's. Worth thinking about that isn't it.
Yes I agree with you entirely. The Utility Landrover should be just that and able to be repaired by non technical people wherever it happens to fail with whatever is at hand. Landrovers have built up their reputation for toughness and durability while operating in some of the most hostile climates on earth. It simply is not sensible to use a vehicle that is a technological masterpiece with all its gadgetry in those situations where your life may depend on its continued running. If you can't beat a part back into functioning with a hammer it has no place on a utility Landrover.
The whizzo gadget jobs are Ok for a jaunt with the family up a grassy slope in Wiltshire but not so clever when you are up to the dashboard in water after rolling it down a river bank in Borneo.
Keep the Defender or its successor technically simple.
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