Off-roaders seemed to have gripped the world with various modern iterations of mud plugging old-school beasts flying off the shelves. As the SUV world goes all topsy turvy with too much of a crossover themed malaise, people are pining for a back to basics off-roader with honest intentions. Nowadays, there are so many of them replicating the charms of the original Land Rover Defender, but there are two that rise above. Born out of the very philosophy of innovation and off-roading glory, the pair are intrinsically linked, albeit approach it from entirely different angles. Behold the Land Rover Defender and its new advisory, the Ineos Grenadier.
The new Defender is a controversial beast. Moving away from the humbler original model, many car analysts have questioned if the new edition is simply too posh to be covered in mud, but for us, the new Defender is a hugely capable SUV that reeks of charm and reminds us of the original one in all aspects we want it to. But would we have wanted the new Defender to be as ergonomically challenged as the old one? Nope, the new version takes Range Rover luxury and combines with immense off-road potential.
Trouble is, purists would have wanted a raw Defender experience drenched in its emotional currency it dictates in since the Range Rover is there to care of the luxury business. In Land Rover’s defence, it just had to look forward while something like the new Bronco means some people might not want that. The Ineos Grenadier could be that SUV. It sure looks like the old Defender in many places save for the glitzy rear tail-lamps and small details but Ineos just wanted a tough no-nonsense off-roader and it just had to come to the Defender shape.
Comparing the two SUVs reveals many stark differences. Both are comfortable and luxurious enough for everyday duties with no fuss. The Defender is more luxurious with a huge amount of tech/gadgetry on board. It’s like a Range Rover with some added ruggedness. Yet, both have chunky switchgear, grab rails and off-road-ready demeanour. The Ineos leans towards a retro-themed interior but its toggle switches are cool nevertheless.
The same is seen with the powertrains. The Ineos raids the BMW parts bin and takes its straight-six while Land Rover has an array of motors including a tasty V8 with a menacing soundtrack. Off-road, both are invincible with all the proper hardware and eye-popping wading depth along with ease in terms of doing extreme off-roading. However, the Ineos in its looks or even its personality is more of an honest 4×4 with a utilitarian spirit while the new Defender is more of a luxury SUV that still can roll up its sleeves and do the rough stuff. Also, there is no doubt that the Ineos clearly endorses the old Defender in more ways than over its successor at Land Rover.
The same would be seen with the price-tags as the Ineos Grenadier 5-door would be expected to cost less than the Defender 110. In short, the new Defender clearly takes a new path from its predecessor with luxury/features while still being capable off-road but the Ineos is certainly closer in spirit to the old Defender. Either way, the future is unequivocally bright, if not a little muddy and adventurous.