Build your own Land Rover Defender…we did…and the price went through the roof

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ByIsaac BoberSeptember 12, 2019
Build your own Land Rover Defender…we did…and the price went through the roof

The Internet is still buzzing about the Defender and Land Rover has switched on its online configurators around the world…even in Australia. Here’s what we built…it’s not cheap.

Planning your dream garage can be a lot of fun. And while the look of the new Defender has polarised punters around the world, me, well, I like the look of the thing. But I’m not so sure I’ll like the price…

And, sure, the grizzled Defender Country Wagon owners will be twitching in a corner, but the world has turned, and this is clearly a modern Defender for modern times. And the price has gone modern too. For me, there are enough nods to the Defender and enough back to the original Land Rovers, too but it won’t make all of the people happy all of the time.

Head to any website running a yarn about the new Defender and the comments will come back to the price of the thing. While other markets around the world have released prices for the thing, Australia’s configurator allows you to ‘build your Defender’ but there’s no pricing attached.

So, we did what most will end up doing, we built a Defender in Australia and then tried to replicate it in the UK and get some sort of indicative pricing. And that threw up a few interesting things, like the fact the Defender 110 which will be the first variant here in June next year with indicative pricing of $70k can only be had with the 18-inch steel wheels if you select the 2.0-litre turbo-diesel; if you want the bigger engine, the smallest wheels offered are 19s.

Screen Shot 2019 09 12 At 9.56.37 Am

Moving on. Working on the Australian and UK configurator side-by-side, I built the exact same Defender with the exact same features. In the end, the Defender, in the UK, started at a base price of £43,700.00 which converts to, at the time of writing, $78,336.62.

From there, I added the Adventure Pack which includes the integrated air compressor and portable rinse system. I stuck with Fuji White because it’s the only free colour, added the black contrast roof and privacy glass. On the inside, I went with the centre console rather than the walk-through set-up and went with five seats only. In terms of options, I added the Off-Road Pack, Towing Pack and Driver Assist pack and, because this is Australia, the solar attenuating windscreen, three-zone climate control (because I’ve got kids), the ClearSight rear vision mirror (just because). Additional accessories, yep, Land Rover’s got a long list of stuff…raised air intake, matte black bonnet decal, Interior Loadspace Protection Pack, and the winch accessory kit.

In the end, with UK VAT my build ended up at £59,160.00, which converts to $106,050.22. Look, these figures aren’t going to be 100 percent accurate but they’re a good guide. So, essentially, we’re looking at a Defender optioned with the stuff you want costing a lot more than a Discovery with the same engine. The Defender 90 will have a cheaper starting price, obviously, than the 110 but in no way shape or form is this new Defender going to be a “cheap” vehicle.

So, my question is this: Will the new Defender kill the Discovery?