4x4 or Not?

They’re UK mpg Robert that means 25mpg is 20.8mpg US and 33mpg is 27.8mpg US.

Oh, not so good, but not terrible either. I would have thought better of diesel. It’s an odd system here, wait until I start talking about feet and inches. HA

Ah well in a mixed economy we can still buy a 2ft x 4ft 32mm marine ply as I did just a couple on months ago

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You’ll find the craziest mix of measurements here. Some measurements are metric and everyone has done them that way for 45 years. People will have now done apprenticeships, worked a lifetime and retired in some skills and never used feet and inches here. But will still buy pints of beer. They sell petrol in litres here, my car tank capacity is given in litres, the trip computer shows mpg or l/100km, distance signs are in miles. We just flip the units in our head.

The conversion I can’t do is body weight in lbs. Americans always give body weights in lbs and so someone who weighs 200lbs doesn’t mean zip. But if you said they weighed 91kg or 14st4lb it would make sense.

My MT colleague Brian G8ADD grew up with imperial maps he knows what 2000ft means more than me. I drive in miles but walk in km and climb in metres. A 2000ft ascent is nonsensical to me but I know exactly what 610m of ascent feels like. I can’t do the conversion easily because I never consider mountains in feet but I think deep down Brian will have a greater affinity for feet even though his working career will have been metric.

I think our mixing of units and our silent internal adjustment to and from imperial seriously infuriates people from mainland Europe, we’re neither metric nor imperial, just awkward!

I read somewhere on the Web that:

(1) The reason that the Landrover Defender series is going to be discontinued later this year is that the design of the vehicle is such that it cannot comply with the latest EU exhaust emission laws.

(2) In the UK, allegedly they are going to double the already extortionate road tax on existing Landrover Defenders because of the unacceptable level of CO2 emission. I paid GBP 285 for a year’s road tax in 2014; it comes up for renewal at the end of July. If it’s true that they are going to double the tax rate, I shall be having serious second thoughts about whether to retain the Landrover.

BTW, contrary to what someone else reported in this thread, I have had the Defender for four years and I have spent next to nothing on maintenance. Only routine services and a clutch master cylinder … nothing more.

Walt (G3NYY)

The reasons are it’s impossible to build the car economically as using robots and it’s also impossible to meet future impacts requirements for pedestrians. A replacement will be on sale in 2016 probably all aluminium and only available with a 9speed auto box.

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So if I bought a set of winter tyres to use November to March - would I have to declare that to my insurers?

Having had to endure nearly an hour of being bouned over the zastrugi in the rear section of a Hägglunds I’d have to caution against them if you want any degree of comfort. But maybe it’s not so bad in the front.

As for metric units, what amazed me was the complete lack of them in a US-run workshop. Whereas for instance we’d have rules with both inches and mm there it was all imperial - not a mm in sight. And this was a scientific engineering workshop with plenty of non-US visitors. But I do quite enjoy swapping units, to the consternation of younger and continental colleagues!


Which means they will lose their primary market - gamekeepers, landowners and farmers, plus the military. Present price of the last of the line is in the region of £46k so Jaguar-Land Rover have already given up. Guess the only off roading the replacement will do is in supermarket carparks with yummy mummys at the wheel - cynic, moi?? :wink:

Yes, Imperial measurements are my “milk” units, the units I went through school with. In my teens I started learning cgs (centimetre/gram/second) which morphed to mks (metre/kilogram/seconds) and then SI (with all the self-explanatory units now named after scientists I thought of SI as Silly Idiots!) so it has imbued me with a certain mental flexibility - but I refuse to part with pints when it comes to beer, and not those undersized American pints, either! However, it must feel strange for you that a Munro is 914.4 metres rather than a nice neat and tidy 3,000 feet!

Coming back to driving in snow and the various ways of making this easier, the big unknown is the driver. It might well be different in the Highlands, but down here we get road chaos every time the odd snowflake settles, and it all comes down to the average British driver has little idea of how to drive in the snow. Now how’s that for a sweeping statement!


Generally no, although the link below has full details for each particular insurer


Over the last few years more and more Insurance companies have seen sense/bowed to pressure and accept that winter tyres can reduce the risk of your car getting involved in disagreements with other cars/walls/immovable objects in winter.

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I think the nearest equivalent for the Landrover Defender is the Lada 4x4 (formerly known as the Lada Niva). It is less than half the price of a similarly-dated Landrover Defender.


Walt (G3NYY)

The people who buy Defenders are a completely different market segment to those who buy Discoveries, Freelanders or Range Rovers. The plan, as leaked, is there will be a number of Defender size models and there will some with better trim though there will still be working vehicles produced. The Discovery is moving upmarket and the Range Rover is to move into silly luxury territory. Unlike BMW X5, Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7, Range Rovers do actually work well off road (unless it’s a sport model with rubber bands wrapped around garden rollers for tyres).

The important Defender model has to be the SWB one. If you look at farmers etc. many have pickups (HlIux, L200, Rodeo, Ranger, Navarra etc.) and these are fine for farmer’s tracks and working in fields. But when they need to get seriously off road they need a vehicle with excellent approach and take-off angles and compact dimensions. This is where the Defender 90 really shines and has limited competition from overseas. I see many more Defender 90’s than 110s on farms.

I think the new LR will be one for the townies and there the marque will die.


But they only have themselves to blame.

Making the same thing for over 60 years by hand and they still refuse to galv the chassis during manufacture and then have the cheek to ask huge money for the Defender. Build quality awful. Such a shame.

One of the ‘last 3 special editions’ is well over £60K!

Anyway, back to my tyres…

If its not snowing and not too cold (like today), would I not just chew up the winter rubber?

Heh! Last real Land Rover was the Series III (or possibly the Series II). The Series I was interestingly idiosyncratic. Mind, so is the ex-British Army long wheel base four door pick-up beast my brother’s driving at present. It wasn’t bothered by this bit of road…

With sales of JLR up 40% this year and pre-tax profits around £1billion/quarter I think JLR probably can ignore the marketing input of a few radio hams with tight wallets. :wink:


Now you’re talking! Last proper Landie I had was an ex-mil SIIA 109" FFR. What a piece of kit - two 11 gal fuel tanks under the front seats, 16mpg and a top speed of 63mph. 24 volt electrics with separate batteries for the radio kit and an alternator that would run an electric cooker… No winter tyres, but the NDT’s got it through anything I threw at it.

Those were the days… (wipes tear from eye)

73 de Paul G4MD

No, as Andy 'FMF says, the compound is softer than standard tyres…but not that soft. But like standard tyres, rate of wear varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. I’ve heard of a fair few folks who have run winter tyres on their vehicles year round (in the UK) with no problems.

My winter tyres are actually cheaper than the tyres I have on the car in the summer so if they do wear a tad faster I’m not fussed as I’m not wearing out my expensive tyres. That said I have 2 winter tyres on my car that are on their 5th season, so 2.5 years in total so far (I tend to run the winter tyres from the beginning of November to the end of April give or take, so a good 6 months), the other 2 lasted 3 seasons before I changed them and I could have kept them on a few more months if I’d wanted, I think they’d spent most of that on the drive wheels at the front of the car hence the increased wear).

Think not so much “softer” but “more flexible at low temperatures”. Achieved by adding (amongst other things) a greater proportion of natural rubber to the mix which is incredibly tough stuff…

Most manufacturers recommend winter tyres below 7 deg C so November to March is about right for most of the UK.

Downside to winter tyres in summer is braking distances are slightly longer on warm dry roads.

73 de Paul G4MD

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With all this talk of off-road, you could mistakenly think that some people don’t like walking up the hills. :wink: