Defender or Santa fe?

indiat

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Hi all,

We need to upgrade to a 4x4 as I am currently towing with a Volvo. I need something that I can be confident will get us out of a mucky field at PC rallies BUT it also needs to be our family car. I am currently towing an Ifor 505 with ponies. The biggest pony we own is a Highland and he is so broad, I put him in the trailer on his own (the partition is too tight a squeeze and he hates it). I know the Defender is the bee knees when it comes to towing but it is also thirsty and very big - I am concerned about getting parked at shopping centres, etc. Some of you really seem to like the Santa Fe and it does seem to be a more practical choice as a family car but does it tow well? I would be grateful for any info!
 

HeresHoping

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What's the budget and are you buying new?

Personally, I'd go for the Defender every time, and if it has been made post 2000, parking is absolutely not a problem. My ex-army Defender didn't have power steering and as a result, I had biceps to rival Arnie's and perfected the 342 point turn into supermarket parking bays. I drove a friend's and was almost disappointed with its excellent handling. If you do go down the Defender route, opt for a 110 for stability issues alone. 7 seats is a bonus, and there's still room for tack and two dogs. The Santa Fe is a bit squashed with 7 seats.

The Santa Fe's towing limit is 2500 kg. The Defender's lower limit is 3500 kg.
 

Shay

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Ditto - Defender 110 if you can afford it. There is nothing this car won't do - and you'll never get caught out in a muddy field or at a weighbridge. The new ones have a much better turning circle that the older ones - but the older ones have a cheaper road tax level. Both are high vehicles so you will have issues with some very low multi story car parks - but Chelsea tractors are so common now that many car parks accommodate the height.

And if you add to your collection a strop to tow a horse box you'll be the most popular person in PC! We even pulled out the bogged tractor earlier this year with our 110.
 

indiat

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Suger, just checked with OH and it's a Discovery we are after not a Defender! Sorry! Does this change your opinions?
 

Midlifecrisis

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I tow my trailer with a Santa Fe - its never let me down...actually i have two an 11 year old one and a 5 year old one but I have to say that Im fed up with mess and smell inside my car so am looking to swop one of them for a "truck" like the ford ranger or isuzu range that I cant remember the name of..purely so I can keep hay and tack and smelly rugs in the back out of the cabin.
 

turnbuckle

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Modern Discos are excellent, totally different beast from the Defender, which is WONDERFUL but not a great everyday road car.

How new a one are you looking at?
 

View

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We have a 2012 Discovery 2 and a 2012 Defender 110 both with the Td5. Sure, the Discovery is comfortable and sure footed -but if you need the 7 seat version, it only comes with air suspension on the back. Downside is, with 7 seats in use, it doesn't have a lot of boot room. It's also thirstier than the 110!

The 110 is a very practical family car (the only reason we have the Disco is to provide better access to the car for a disabled relative). Even with 7 people in it, there is still lots of luggage room (sorry, meant room for tack, grooming kits etc). OH and I argue over who is going to be unlucky enough to drive the Disco (again, I stress there is nothing wrong with it - we both just enjoy the 110 more).

The only downside to the Defender is that now that they are no longer made, they are not depreciating any further.
 

Cocorules

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Bought a Santa Fe which died 3 days later went through multiple garages none of whom could fix it because they could not work out what the problem was. I admit this was probably a one off but it caused us so much agro I would not touch one again.
 

cremedemonthe

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Why don't you consider a Santana PS10 half the price of a Defender to buy, tax and run. Last models made and sold here were around 2007-8, I've seen them out there in good condition with low mileage for year.


Here are a few:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/152042198982?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/231871408592?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2004-Sant...zsy1nrPdUHPpgHSRGsxAY%3D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc

When we have sold our current car and van, we may buy one
 

Annagain

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I see you're after a Discovery, but you wouldn't go far wrong to look at a Defender 110 as long as you don't have to do too many day to day miles. They're not the most comfortable for long journeys but there is no better car to tow with.

In terms of off road ability, all the Land Rover models are better than any of their counterparts. Even the now defunct Freelander was surprisingly good off road especially when you compare it with its rivals of a similar size like the CRV, Rav 4, X-Trail etc so if muddy fields are a regular thing I'd opt for the Discovery.
 

turnbuckle

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If you do go for 2011 or so, DO get a good extended warranty. Not cheap to fix if they go wrong and they have been known to!

Just a thought....is your Volvo knackered? Don't know which one it is, but if it's up to pulling the weight you need, a set of decent mud and snow tyres and a pair of sand ladders clipped to the side of the trailer and you'll get out of almost anywhere.
 

popsdosh

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We have a 2012 Discovery 2 and a 2012 Defender 110 both with the Td5. Sure, the Discovery is comfortable and sure footed -but if you need the 7 seat version, it only comes with air suspension on the back. Downside is, with 7 seats in use, it doesn't have a lot of boot room. It's also thirstier than the 110!

The 110 is a very practical family car (the only reason we have the Disco is to provide better access to the car for a disabled relative). Even with 7 people in it, there is still lots of luggage room (sorry, meant room for tack, grooming kits etc). OH and I argue over who is going to be unlucky enough to drive the Disco (again, I stress there is nothing wrong with it - we both just enjoy the 110 more).

The only downside to the Defender is that now that they are no longer made, they are not depreciating any further.

That must be a 2002 discovery not 2012 as that would be a discovery 4
 

Antw23uk

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If you do go for 2011 or so, DO get a good extended warranty. Not cheap to fix if they go wrong and they have been known to!

Just a thought....is your Volvo knackered? Don't know which one it is, but if it's up to pulling the weight you need, a set of decent mud and snow tyres and a pair of sand ladders clipped to the side of the trailer and you'll get out of almost anywhere.

This sounds positive as will be looking for a towing vehicle and liked the look of the Volvo.
 

indiat

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See, I like my Volvo! I have an XC60 and it is a lovely car to drive. As we only have ponies we are comfortably within it's towing capacity. Oh is worried about getting up and own our lane if we have a bad winter and I was concerned about getting the trailer out of muddy fields but turnbuckle has given me some food for thought. What really concerns me is that none of you guys seem to tow with Volvos?! Do you know something I don't? The XC90 is a beast of a car but no one seems to use it to tow?
 

indiat

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Why don't you consider a Santana PS10 half the price of a Defender to buy, tax and run. Last models made and sold here were around 2007-8, I've seen them out there in good condition with low mileage for year.


Here are a few:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/152042198982?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/231871408592?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2004-Sant...zsy1nrPdUHPpgHSRGsxAY%3D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc

When we have sold our current car and van, we may buy one

Thank you for that, cremedemonthe, we hadn't looked at these.
 

Antw23uk

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See, I like my Volvo! I have an XC60 and it is a lovely car to drive. As we only have ponies we are comfortably within it's towing capacity. Oh is worried about getting up and own our lane if we have a bad winter and I was concerned about getting the trailer out of muddy fields but turnbuckle has given me some food for thought. What really concerns me is that none of you guys seem to tow with Volvos?! Do you know something I don't? The XC90 is a beast of a car but no one seems to use it to tow?

I would be wanting to tow a 16.2 ID but not sure what trailer yet .. another headache to get my head round, lol. Any thoughts?
 

honetpot

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I buy cheap cars so my opinion is based on buying old cars off of e-bay. The disco though old and basic (£728) towed like a dream a huge weight, was reliable, because it was an older one it was simple and cheap to fix.
We now have an 05 plate Santa Fe, looks nice, fairly comfortable but drives like a plank and although in the book it should pull more is underpowered and not a true 4x4. The parts are imported, a basic garage is scratching their head when it was bust so it costs a bomb to fix. It only cost me £1350, so if it does not past the next MOT its going to the scrappies.
My two friends who have more money than sense have had new or nearly new110s, a lot of money for a basic box which although fashionable is very uncountable and not nice to drive. One of these friends also had bells and whistles Range Rover brand new and that was a money pit when it went wrong, but it looked lovely.
 

popsdosh

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All landrovers especially defenders are overated we have had several discoveries all changed to nissan Navaras now as they are better and more stable for towing. They also go places the landrovers never would. Can never get my head around why people think the defenders are good tow vehicles we had several mishaps with trailers on the discoveries and previous defenders.
The other benefit was my back problems went away when the Defenders went.
 

Paint it Lucky

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I have a Santa Fe, it's the older version so can only tow 2.2 tonnes but on the whole it is a great car and when it eventually dies (it is 10 years old now) I plan to replace it with a newer version of the same. It is a really comfortable car to drive and there's lots of storage space in it. I think I've had it five or six years and know that when I got it I did a lot of research into which car had the best fuel economy, cost of tax, insurance etc and this one ticked the most boxes. I agree with others that it's not the strongest 4x4, it's only let me down once when I had to be towed by a tractor from a show car park in a field which had become a quagmire after torrential rain but to be fair pretty much every other car/lorry was being towed out too (only the pesky defenders managed to escape independently!) It can struggle up hills if I have two horses in the back and I do have to be careful of my weights, I'd never take two big horses as it just wouldn't be strong enough, possibly the 2.5 version would cope better but obviously it's never going to be as strong as something that can two 3.5 tonnes. I wouldn't want a land rover though as they use a lot of fuel and they're too expensive for me to buy in the first place. The ones I've known tend to break down a lot or have a lot of things wrong with them. I used to drive an old defender at a livery yard where I worked and it was horrible to drive, really noisy, used fuel at a ridiculous rate and not nice to handle at all, to be fair though it was ancient and I'm sure they've improved them a lot since then.
 

McFluff

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I tow with my husbands Defender 90. I love it, it doesn't feel a show trekka with cob on board - and it goes anywhere (in my experience any that get stuck are due to driver and/or tyres). I sometimes take it on my commute (60 miles round trip) and it is fine. Fun car to drive in the city, easy to park (except in low multi-stories, which are no-go!). We love our defender, but can appreciate not everyone's cup of tea (life would be dull if we all liked the same things!).

I have driven the new Disco. Lovely car, seriously nice, and lots of toys that made it easy to handle. Not sure I could ever spend £70k on a car though :-0

I can vouch for the power of tyre choice - I have winter tyres on my Saab and in bad snow I got through conditions people in 4x4 were stuck with. I came unstuck when the snow was too deep to clear it! So if you like your Volvo, and it can tow the weight, pop winter tyres on and it should be fine. I know someone who tows Ifor plus pony with xc90 happily.
 

peaceandquiet1

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I am on my second Santa Fe-and have never towed with the most recent-just as well as the front coil spring has just collapsed spontaneously in my driveway and punctured my tyre....lucky to be alive and I will never buy another one!
 

cremedemonthe

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Thank you for that, cremedemonthe, we hadn't looked at these.

You're welcome, here's the history of Santanas (in link below), they used to make the 110's for Landrover so saw it's flaws and tried to improve on them.
They are slightly larger than a 110 and therefore count as commercial vehicles, hence the road fund licence is under half of a Defender.
Makes interesting reading, I had a Santana built Suzuki SJ413 well made and excellent in the dirt.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santana_Motor

Good luck with what ever you decide to buy.

Oz
 
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