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  #1  
Old January 14th, 2014, 03:08 AM
muziq
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Should I buy one?

Hi everyone,

I'm new here. I'm also not from the US (as it seems like most of you are).

I'm considering buying a defender. I am not knowledgeable about them, so I'm not sure what model to look at.

The reason I want a defender is because I would like to comfortable drive around with my two large breed dogs, my missus and son (and the future child we're planning). Also for camping with the whole family.

I do not plan to go offroad at all, as it's not the thing for me. But I've always liked defenders, and loved every time I've been on one.

I've not jumped at the first opportunity to get one because I've always heard that they could give a bit of trouble, but most people I know that own them tend to take them offroad.

I do not know how to work on cars, so that might be the deal breaker, as again, most people that own them seem to enjoy working on their own car.

If you do not think a defender is not the right car for me, do you have any other suggestions with the same price ranges? Was thinking about a Toyota pickup truck too.

Thanks a bunch.
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  #2  
Old January 14th, 2014, 04:14 AM
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ed angel
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My first thought would be NO!!
But it's not my choice but if you have the money to pay for up keep you should buy one . There's lots of defenders that don't go off-road . There's a fair share of guys on here that own defenders and don't work on them or take them off road . There's a lot of shops that can and will help you when needed . There's a defender for most every owner and you should at least buy and try . If you don't you will all ways wonder .
Happy shopping and welcome to the forum

Cheers Ed
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  #3  
Old January 14th, 2014, 04:21 AM
muziq
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Thanks Ed,

That's usually the replies I see around places like this, but never asked the question myself. I don't want to end up working for it. I can afford buying one, and I should be able to afford it's regular maintenance (if it was like another car). I would have already bought one if I was able to work on them, but I'm not, and I'm not really interested to start working on cars either.

Do they have any regular issues that most would suffer from?
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  #4  
Old January 14th, 2014, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muziq View Post
Thanks Ed, That's usually the replies I see around places like this, but never asked the question myself. I don't want to end up working for it. I can afford buying one, and I should be able to afford it's regular maintenance (if it was like another car). I would have already bought one if I was able to work on them, but I'm not, and I'm not really interested to start working on cars either. Do they have any regular issues that most would suffer from?
Matthew,

As you live in Malta, you can buy a 2014 Defender which operates much along the lines of any modern vehicle with no real mechanical knowledge required or excessive maintenance expected. The trials and tribulations that you read about here are largely due to the fact that, in the USA, we are relegated to owning either the North American spec Defenders which ceased to be imported in 1997 so are 18 yr old plus vehicles or are vehicles that are 25 years or older in order to meet US import requirements. You are able to buy a new vehicle so should contend with virtually none of the issues you see here. So my advice is to go buy a 2014 Defender 110 and make us all jealous on this side of the pond!!
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  #5  
Old January 14th, 2014, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muziq View Post
Thanks Ed,

That's usually the replies I see around places like this, but never asked the question myself. I don't want to end up working for it. I can afford buying one, and I should be able to afford it's regular maintenance (if it was like another car). I would have already bought one if I was able to work on them, but I'm not, and I'm not really interested to start working on cars either.

Do they have any regular issues that most would suffer from?

The biggest issue they would suffer from is lack of maintenance. Defenders are pushing 20 years of age in the USA, if maintained well they are reliable contrary to internet lore. Since you are in Malta, I am not sure what year defender you are looking at.

In the context of 20 year old cars, I would say that the defenders are not any more less reliable than any vehicle of that age. IMO there is a lot of *hype* by non-land rover owners concerning Land Rovers and reliability, in order to elevate their own modern 4WD that have as much character as a rolling mass produced refrigerator. But I admit I am biased.
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  #6  
Old January 14th, 2014, 07:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thewap View Post
The biggest issue they would suffer from is lack of maintenance. Defenders are pushing 20 years of age in the USA, if maintained well they are reliable contrary to internet lore. Since you are in Malta, I am not sure what year defender you are looking at.

In the context of 20 year old cars, I would say that the defenders are not any more less reliable than any vehicle of that age. IMO there is a lot of *hype* by non-land rover owners concerning Land Rovers and reliability, in order to elevate their own modern 4WD that have as much character as a rolling mass produced refrigerator. But I admit I am biased.
I've heard the that they require maintenance by Land Rover enthusiasts too. Most (and that's a big most, like 90+%) of people that enjoy offroad here do so with Land Rovers.

I'm not sure what I'm looking for yet to be honest, but I know that there are ones from 2013 found from dealers, so the age depends on the budget I guess.

Here's a link to one of the dealers:
http://www.ciapella.com/land-rover/sales/

------ Follow up post added January 14th, 2014 01:08 PM ------

Also what do you mean by lack of maintenance exactly? Would regular servicing suffice like any other car?

------ Follow up post added January 14th, 2014 01:09 PM ------

Also, what do you mean by "The biggest issue they would suffer from is lack of maintenance." please?

Would regular servicing suffice like most cars?
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  #7  
Old January 14th, 2014, 07:11 AM
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I'm going to tell you yes do it, but not quite the way you expected.
If there is an active used market there, buy a 2-4 year old one that's depreciated nicely. Drive it for a year. Find out how well it meets your needs. Without dropping all your money into the purchase.
If you and the missus plus the kids really fall in love with it, trade it for the latest and greatest model in 2015.
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A friend of mine runs a land rover / range rover specialty repair shop. Based on his experience, they are capable of stopping anywhere, anytime, at any cost.

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  #8  
Old January 14th, 2014, 07:13 AM
muziq
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
I'm going to tell you yes do it, but not quite the way you expected.
If there is an active used market there, buy a 2-4 year old one that's depreciated nicely. Drive it for a year. Find out how well it meets your needs. Without dropping all your money into the purchase.
If you and the missus plus the kids really fall in love with it, trade it for the latest and greatest model in 2015.
You're right, that's not what I expected. But a good idea. Not sure I'm able to afford a 2-4year old one for the time being honestly. But I'll need to research, as I don't know what kind of prices they'd be selling at.
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  #9  
Old January 14th, 2014, 07:14 AM
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Agreed you could get a newer one and that would take away some of your concerns. Our problems are age and what we use them for. Maybe you would enjoy tinkering on it, I'd encourge you to give it a try...worse case just sell it. You'll never know otherwise!

Side note...I have relatives in Malta...great place always wanted to buy an overpriced farmhouse there with a vineyard! Good luck in your quest!
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  #10  
Old January 14th, 2014, 07:17 AM
muziq
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Originally Posted by Bill Larson View Post
Agreed you could get a newer one and that would take away some of your concerns. Our problems are age and what we use them for. Maybe you would enjoy tinkering on it, I'd encourge you to give it a try...worse case just sell it. You'll never know otherwise!

Side note...I have relatives in Malta...great place always wanted to buy an overpriced farmhouse there with a vineyard! Good luck in your quest!
Most Maltese have relatives in the US Have you been here?

Reselling won't be as easy as you'd think, I'd have to lose money to get it off my hands if it comes to that.

I currently only open my bonnet to refill the windshield water. Just so you get an idea of what you're dealing with
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  #11  
Old January 14th, 2014, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muziq View Post
I've heard the that they require maintenance by Land Rover enthusiasts too. Most (and that's a big most, like 90+%) of people that enjoy offroad here do so with Land Rovers.

I'm not sure what I'm looking for yet to be honest, but I know that there are ones from 2013 found from dealers, so the age depends on the budget I guess.

Here's a link to one of the dealers:
http://www.ciapella.com/land-rover/sales/

------ Follow up post added January 14th, 2014 01:08 PM ------

Also what do you mean by lack of maintenance exactly? Would regular servicing suffice like any other car?

------ Follow up post added January 14th, 2014 01:09 PM ------

Also, what do you mean by "The biggest issue they would suffer from is lack of maintenance." please?

Would regular servicing suffice like most cars?

If a newer defender, yes, just regular maintenance will do. If an older defender that has been well sorted out (all age related issues sorted), then regular maintenance will be all right.

The key here is *well sorted*. For example in my 16 years of D90 ownership my records show about 12K in maintenance overall Doing the work myself. I started with a well maintained 28K on the odometer in 1997. Of course customizing your D90 will be much more expensive with aftermarket parts if you are so inclined.

If you compare a modern car that is maintained off warranty at dealers or shops in the US, the costs would be higher IMO.

I think that by your questioning you are trying to see if there is a glaring issue with Defenders in general. I have not found that to be true.
The other thing to consider is that many defender owners will drive their trucks hard off road. Any truck driven hard off road will have maintenance issues, Defender or not.
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  #12  
Old January 14th, 2014, 07:27 AM
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Research. Figure our what you can afford, budget a couple thousand for annual maintenance, and post up some pics here when you buy it. Good luck.
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I am talking purely from an aesthetics standpoint.
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  #13  
Old January 14th, 2014, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by rijosho View Post
Research. Figure our what you can afford, budget a couple thousand for annual maintenance, and post up some pics here when you buy it. Good luck.
You guys are very enthusiastic, I'm not sure if it's helping

If I do buy one, I will definitely update the thread with pics.
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  #14  
Old January 14th, 2014, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muziq View Post
Most Maltese have relatives in the US Have you been here?

Reselling won't be as easy as you'd think, I'd have to lose money to get it off my hands if it comes to that.

I currently only open my bonnet to refill the windshield water. Just so you get an idea of what you're dealing with
Haven't been but I might next year as I'm planning a holiday trip to the UK and France. I wanted to move there a few years back but the surrounding countries are just to unstable and given the historic nature...well lets just say a visit would be nice.

Adding fluid is all good and at least you can raise the bonnet!
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  #15  
Old January 14th, 2014, 08:24 AM
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Musig:

My advice- go drive one. See if there's a club, and if so, attend some meetings. You'll soon discover if it's the right rig for you.

On a side note, I have been to Malta seven times. Spent my first birthday there, actually!

Cheers,

Paul.
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  #16  
Old January 14th, 2014, 08:31 AM
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Thanks Paul,

I know some people that might help, but haven't seen them in ages, will give that ago.

The one in your picture looks great for me. As I'd like one with seats in the back too. That's not an estate right?

7 times to Malta from the US? Wow.
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  #17  
Old January 14th, 2014, 08:43 AM
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Matthew, you should contact Stuart Foley at Foley's Specialized Vehicles in Essex England. He is an owner of a very well establish shop that specializes in Land Rover. PM me if you need any assistance. I know Stuart well and know he will deal with you honestly and can take care of everything from a-z given your needs and location.

I would suggest you buy the newest Defender you can afford with the fewest miles and with the most maintenance history. These vehicles were well designed but designed to be maintained. They were not designed to commute and forget about it.

All the luck!

Clay
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  #18  
Old January 14th, 2014, 08:48 AM
muziq
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I've got no issues getting one from England. As I've got relatives that come over with cars from there frequently.

The only issue with that is that our government has idiotic registration laws which would nearly add 1/2 of the car's worth to your overall cost.
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  #19  
Old January 14th, 2014, 11:34 AM
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Maybe I missed it, but what is your budget? Can you afford a new Defender that is still under factory warranty?
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  #20  
Old January 14th, 2014, 12:07 PM
muziq
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I've no idea what prices are as I don't know what to look for yet.

------ Follow up post added January 14th, 2014 06:09 PM ------

To create a bit of a diversion. What's everyone's take on Discoveries and free landers?
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