I’ve just returned from taking our newly purchased Land Rover Defender TD5 Dual-Cab Pickup to the feed merchant to collect 750kg of pig feed.
The old Land Rover 200 TDi would have growled, creaked, whistled, rustled, rattled and banged all the way there at a somewhat leisurely 50mph.
It would have settled under the load as it was packed in, then roared, creaked, whistled, rustled, rattled and banged all the way back at an even more leisurely 40mph.
Yes, I could have wound another 10mph but it would have been hard work for both me and the truck.
It would have roared up the steep hill at the back of the croft in third, or second if the wind was blowing down the hill instead of up.
I wouldn’t have been listening to the radio, even if it was having a working day, as it’s only audible when the 200 TDi is stationary—with the engine off.
But I would still have enjoyed every minute of the journey because I was in a Defender and don’t mind pootling through the countryside at a leisurely pace.
Yes, many other drivers hate me but I’m not unduly bothered as they occasionally breathe a puff of rich black smoke as I drop a gear and give the throttle a bit of welly.
Today was different, Today was revelation. Today, I went soft!
The TD5 with no load on board flew up the hills like manure off a hot shovel (or at least it felt like it).
I could hear the radio clearly, with only the occasional growl to be heard from the engine.
There were no rattles, no creaks, no whistles, no bangs and no rustles.
And I easily maintained 60mph, where safe, with barely a touch of throttle.
At the feed merchants, I loaded the 750kg of feed and had a lengthy conversation about “Land Rover porn” with a very knowledgable, Land Rover driving member of staff .
She was definitely of the opinion that I was going soft given that I was now driving a Land Rover with comfortable seats, an easily heard radio, air conditioning, electric windows and a gearbox that engaged 1st on the move.
It didn’t stop her giving the TD5 a good perv, though. Sorry, look!
Her opinion that I was going soft would have been confirmed if she’d followed me down the road.
I’m accustomed to really putting my foot down in second, then pushing hard third to get the old Land Rover rolling with a good load on board and did the same with the TD5.
It leapt forward. Well, by Land Rover standards it leapt forward.
I found myself exceeding 60mph in next to no time and had to back off fast to get back under the speed limit.
There was so much power available that I was able head up steep hills in 5th—and still be able to accelerate.
Even better, I could still hear the radio with the engine working “hard”.
After driving SIIas, SIIIs, 110 TDs and 200 TDis, I have to say I am now thoroughly spoiled and, yes, soft.
The TD5 might be seven years old, but it still has bucketloads of “va va voooooooom!”
I like it. In fact, I like it a lot.
Even if it is “soft”!