One of the guys I respect greatly for his uncluttered assessment just got a chance to go for the Grenadier test drive..riding shotgun.
came away quite impressed with the suspension and seats overall. https://youtu.be/mqJXDFm1kW4
Anyone can make a comfortable ride on benign slightly muddy green lanes.Aussies want to know if it can do sandhills , bogs and 1000km of corrugated highways , reliably, when there is no phone coverage.Then it will be the tough modern "Defender" it claims to be.And I will buy one , but only if it can survive an Aussie's test drive.
True. Any test drives at this point are pretty much curated and should be taken as such with a pinch of salt. However what I like in this video is the relativistic assessment of comfort on the same course with a Defender. So that should give some yardstick. Still it’s no measure of durability and reliability.
My wife and I were pretty impressed when we had the test drive (Shropshire) on the prototype 5 seater commercial version in Shropshire. Obviously I can't comment on long term reliability but I've spent a bit of time around the mines in Oz and she in oil and gas and it seemed considerably more able than the Land Cruisers and Defenders used to ferry us about sites and much more comfortable too. The test driver was a difficult chap to get much information out of but he didn't hold back on the muddy bits and my wife (passenger seat) was not being bounced into the headlining (as she would have been in our Hilux). In fact, despite taking some pretty fierce slopes at ludicrous speeds, the test driver was unable to make my wife stop talking for less than a nanosecond. Despite this, I put a deposit down and hope the 5 seater commercial variant turns out reasonably tax efficient to buy.
Paraphrasing here but: "The Defender would do the same course, but not at that speed, because you'd be thrown out of your seat".
That is a huge point in Ineos' favour for the ride quality over the old Defender. That's not just about comfort -- if the person inside the vehicle is bouncing up and down, what are the wheels doing with regards to their contact patch?
I am curious about his comments on suspension tuning for the country. I'd prefer that suspension be tuned for weights, not the roads. The point of this vehicle is to take it on any and all roads, from cobbles in Belgium to interstates in America. I hope Ineos will let us choose suspension based on load but if not, I'm sure there'll be an aftermarket option.
I'm with you @Tazzieman - Australia has the most unforgiving terrain in the world as far as I can see. I can't wait to see it thrashed through Cape York, the Simpson, maybe the Canning Stock, and Tasmania. Ideally, do all of this with the same rig. Three times. And drive it like it's a rental and the tester is a kid on a gap year.
And then tell us what broke (because SOMETHING will if you do all those things thrice!). If by some miracle nothing breaks, than Mr. Toyota will probably have to bubble wrap their crown and ship it directly to Mr. Ratcliff for there would be a new "king" in off-road durability.