Defender: tackling the rough in comfort

Although Land Rover’s Defender is synonymous with the rough stuff, owners also opt for convenience when taking on the bush and dirt.

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Although Land Rover’s Defender is synonymous with the rough stuff, owners also opt for convenience when taking on the bush and dirt.

Data from JLR South Africa’s vehicle configurator shows Defender clients prioritise comfort and convenience along with legendary all-terrain capability with 89 per cent of Defenders sold locally specified with the optional Comfort and Convenience Pack.

The Off-Road Pack, Electronic Active Differential with Torque Vectoring by Braking and the electrically deployable towbar also remain firm favourites, the data shows.

The optional Comfort and Convenience Pack adds premium cabin lighting with 10 configurable settings to suit mood and driving conditions. Also included is a front centre console refrigerator to keep drinks chilled, as well as wireless device charging for powering mobile devices.

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Comfort also ranks high among family-orientated clients. This is evident in the popularity of the Family Pack, which was specified for 40 per cent of the Defenders bought during the period under review. The Family Pack includes Air Purification Plus. The pack also adds third-row seating with three-zone climate control and an air quality sensor, which detects harmful gases outside the car and activates the recirculation mode.

The rear-mounted spare wheel is part of Defender's unmistakeable silhouette and can be specified in body colour. Some 74 per cent of clients chose this. Further enhancements to the iconic shape include illuminated metal treadplates with brand-name script (chosen by 42 per cent of clients) and the Extended Black Exterior Pack (38 per cent).

Matrix LED headlights, which significantly improve visibility at night, were among additional safety features specified by 64 per cent of clients. The automatically adaptive headlights adjust the light beam to avoid dazzling oncoming traffic, or the vehicle ahead, while fully illuminating the road.

Izak Louw, Product and Homologation Specialist at JLR South Africa, says: “With its legendary off-road capability, complemented by an array of standard and optional comfort, convenience and design features, the new Defender raises the bar to meet the requirements of our discerning clients who expect the absolute best, on- and off-road. Using data gathered from JLR South Africa’s vehicle configurator, we are able to prioritise these features in the build programme to continue meeting the needs of our clients.”

The electrically deployable tow bar is a popular add-on, with 65 per cent of clients choosing it. Twenty-five per cent selected the Off-Road Pack, which brings an even greater element of all terrain capability. It supplements the standard air suspension with an Electronic Active Differential, and a domestic plug socket to power appliances when venturing off the beaten track.

Thirty-five per cent added the Electronic Active Differential with Torque Vectoring by Braking as a standalone option to further enhance their Defender’s off-road capability.

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