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Thread: Which is better Off Road a D3/4 or a late model Defender? ... Puma 110

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Gold Coast

    Which is better Off Road a D3/4 or a late model Defender? ... Puma 110

    Ok this is not meant to create friction between the flat earthers over in the Defender section and the Latte set here, so, believe it or not I am asking a serious question.
    Why? Well with all this talk of how rear new or late model 110 Defenders (Puma) are and how expensive they have become I went and checked Carpoint and found a 2015 Limited edition 110 second hand for over $90k. The only thing that looked different was the mainly orange paint. But even so other older higher mileage 110's were still in my opinion very expensive for what you get, so are they worth it and are they better off road than a late model similar spec Disco?

    My thoughts on this well the only real claim to fame a Defender has is its serious off road ability, but seriously is a late model fairly standard Defender better off road when it gets in to the serious rough stuff than similar modded D3/4?

    Now I'm not talking about a twin locked Defender on 35" muddies with a four inch suspension and body lift. I'm trying, if possible, to compare similar modified and spec vehicles.

    To make it fair both vehicles need to be similar in spec and the closest to a Disco is a 110. To also keep it fair and comparible they need similar sized and spec tyres so let's say up to the standard OEM Defender size which is just under 32" from memory, but they can both be Muddies plus what ever wheels required to fit those tyres. I have included a couple of other mods that you commonly see added to many 4x4's if you go for a day out bashing the tracks up around Lithgow or I bet most other favourite weekend distinctions.

    Front bull bar.

    Rock sliders


    And that is it, no other mods, yes you can remove things like mud flaps etc put the spare in the back if you want to as this costs nothing.

    Sure there are plenty of other bits but this is just about trying to compare their off road ability with them as standard and similar spec as possible. I have put rock sliders in because I'm not talking about actually testing these machines with the least amount of panel damage. Plus compare their value for money now a Defender can cost as much as a new D4.

    So given this fairly mild spec which is better bush bashing a Disco or a Defender?
    Last edited by TerryO; 23rd January 2016 at 02:23 PM.

    D1 V8 (Gone)
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Well,I am no expert, but my observations from some Land Rover days out with Defenders and Discos, the only area where the Defer beats the Disco is in clearance. In all other respects the Disco is just as capable and maybe with the terrain response better, I have seen the Discos walking up stuff that Defers have to hit at speed to get over and that breaks things. Also the Disco is more comfortable, safer and the Defer might have a bit more room in the back but the Discos space is more accessible.

    For me I would spend my 90k on a Disco well before I would on a Defer. I love the concept of the Defer and the look and have been tempted but it really is a no brainer.
    MY09 TDV6 SE

    Llams, ARB Bar, Warrior Winch, Snorkel, Traxide dual battery kit, Long Ranger Tank, Rear Wheel Carrier, GME UHF, Mitch Hitch, Rhino Platform Rack ++

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Harper Creek
    I'm sure that emotion will always be of more significance than capability when making these comparisons however;

    One terrain which would show a big difference in your vehicle comparison is tea tree swamp land. Weight is your enemy... Power just sends you deeper... An extra 500kg is more than enough to sink your day... An extra tonne will certainly send you south. The extra weight of the disco with the lower ground clearance will end in winching.

    '95 130 dual cab fender (gone to a better universe)
    '10 130 dual cab fender (getting to know it's neurons)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Old Toongabbie, Sydney NSW
    I have no experience of Defenders at all but maybe the price hike is due to the Defender coming to the end of its production run.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Tuross Head, South Coast, NSW
    Since the original question seems to have been inspired by an observation of the prices of Defenders, it occurs to me that there may be something other than off-road ability that affects the price.

    There are tasks for which the Defender is a much more suitable vehicle than a D3 or D4.

    In fact there are things that a Series LR can do better than a Disco.

    When I had my Series III, I regularly carried close to a tonne of firewood in the back. Most people would not buy a Disco to do that.

    On a few occasions, I carried a tonne of sandstock bricks in the back and another half a tone in the trailer. I would have much preferred using the Series III or my current Defender for a job like that to any of the other LR products.

    Maybe the Defenders, in particular to 110s have broader appeal and hence command a higher price.

    I realise there are things a D4 does better than a Defender. I suspect they would be a better choice for dropping the kids off to soccer training on Saturday morning.

    1973 Series III LWB 1983 - 2006
    1998 300 Tdi Defender Trayback 2006 - often fitted with a Trayon slide-on camper.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    The answer is it all depends in my book. What are you going to use the car for in the first instance? We all spend around 80% of our time on bitumen or formed dirt roads getting to a point where low range is required. So IMHO a D4 without question.

    Having driven green ones all over Oz and in some rather fascinating places on this planet my memories are of an underpowered, noisy, uncomfortable and subsequently fatiguing box that got me there and back without too many issues

    Whereas I hop into the D4 for a 10 hour run to Coober Pedy or even further North of Adelaide with the exception of some fun, comfort and arriving at my destination without the need for a quartizone injection in my back and another 10 hours of physic so I can move again

    Still there will be others who can feel differently about this I am sure

    What a great question to start a small war


    MY15 TDV6. Compomotives with KO2's, Traxide 160-DBMS, Llams, OE bar, custom rear storage slide, Rhino roof storage system, LSM TPMS, ICOM 440N, rear ladder and GOE compressor guard

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    NSW far north coast
    Probably ends up coming down to driver ability, and without driving either a late Deefer or a Disco, I'd guess the Disco is more capable for a wider range of drivers.
    Personally I don't like the way it's achieved, (I'd rather have the wheels stay in touch with terra firma as much as possible, a wheel in the air isn't driving you forward and if the right wheel and damper rates are used the chassis is so much more stable, but at some compromise to on road use) but marvel at the Disco's ability.

    Personally I don't like some of the mechanical compromises in the late Deefers, but it can all be fixed/optimised. eg. better/increased wheel travel, crappy front driveline angle and a poor rear diff design.

    The real claim for the Deefer is that it's a commercial (and in previous lives, military) vehicle.
    I used to carry damned near 800kg of work gear most all the time and could go wherever in much more comfort than in a Lolux, Cruiser or Patrol, even though the interior is more cramped than the Patrol.
    That's what the Defender needs to be compared against.
    Could I do that in a Disco ?
    Some of it, but I'd trash the interior badly.

    $90k for a Deefer though ?

    tell 'em they're dreamin !

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Brisbane, Queensland
    I think my L322 tdv8 (similar power to a D4 SDV6) is a bit better than my 110 turbo Isuzu when getting on and off the beach, mainly because of the huge power and torque. I don't have to air down with the L322.
    L322 tdv8 poverty pack - wow
    Perentie 110 wagon ARN 49-107 (probably selling) turbo, p/steer, RFSV front axle/trutrack, HF, gullwing windows, double jerrys etc.
    Perentie 110 wagon ARN 48-699 another project
    Track Trailer ARN 200-117
    REMLR # 137

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    NSW far north coast
    Quote Originally Posted by rar110 View Post
    I think my L322 tdv8 (similar power to a D4 SDV6) is a bit better than my 110 turbo Isuzu when getting on and off the beach, mainly because of the huge power and torque. I don't have to air down with the L322.

    Might be the rubber too ?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Western Victoria
    Would have been nice to see a D4 do this track.

    I have no doubt that it could have. I just question would you want to.

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