The potential for really bad floods around the metro is one of the reasons drivers buy high-riding SUVs. However, even they can only go so far before encountering a flood more than they can handle.
If you happen to live in or have to pass through flood-prone areas, there is a great albeit very premium solution to your problem: the 2020 Land Rover Defender.
How so? Well, read on.
The Land Rover Defender is one of the most iconic and most recognizable names in SUVs. It was so popular the British marque continued producing the previous-generation model for more than 30 years. It wasn't until 2016 when the Defender was finally discontinued, marking the end of an era. Now, for the first time in over three decades, an all-new Defender has been launched.
For 2020, the Defender has made a massive leap forward with regard to styling. While the new Defender continues to don a boxy shape, the overall styling is more rounded as compared to before. The body lines are a lot smoother and modern at the same time especially with the modern set of LED headlights and taillights. However, it still has the same rugged appeal as the previous model which was achieved with large black cladding all around, externally-mounted spare wheel, and side-hinged tailgate.
Inside, the Defender is all modern as well. In front of the driver sits a digital instrument cluster with a 12.3-inch multi-info display. Front and center is the new 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system which comes with a host of features including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Another feature is Land Rover’s ClearSight Ground View, which uses cameras to show what’s immediately ahead of the vehicle during extreme off-roading.
Occupants will also feel more luxury as compared to the predecessor. The seats are now lined in leather. Passengers are also spoiled with features such as USB ports and automatic climate control.
Under the skin of the new Defender, it uses an all-new chassis called D7x which Land Rover says is the stiffest to date. In order to give it proper off-roading capacity, the Defender comes with a permanent all-wheel drive system, a two-speed transfer case, and a locking center differential. It also features Land Rover's Terrain Response 2 system, allowing drivers to fine-tune vehicle set-up for specific road and weather use. Depending on the variant air-suspension is also available.
Probably the most useable feature of the new Defender is its wading depth. Unlike most SUVs that have around 700 to 800mm wading depth, the 2020 Defender can go through 900mm of water. This makes it seem perfect for Metro Manila during the rainy season with all the flooding. For references, the previous-generation model only had a 500mm wading depth.
With regard to the powertrain, there are numerous engine options to choose from. The 2020 Defender is offered with a host of new gasoline and diesel engines with power ranging from 200 to 240 horsepower. Unlike its predecessor, the new model is now available as a hybrid in the form of the P400. The P400 features a mild-hybrid system paired to a 3.0-liter turbocharged engine which produces a combined output of 395 horsepower. An 8-speed automatic is paired to every engine, with no manual transmission in sight.
Similar to the previous model, the 2020 Defender is available in two variants – 110 and 90. Land Rover will first be offering the longer 110 edition body with the shorter three-door 90 arriving later on. Coincidentally, Land Rover will also be offering a host of accessories available depending on which 'pack' customers choose – Explorer, Adventure, Country, or Urban.
With the new Defender revealed, the question now is whether it will live up to the reputation of its predecessor. Considering the old one was produced for more than 30 years, the 2020 Defender sure has big shoes to fill.