An Archive for Fanatics of Land Rovers

An Archive for Fanatics of Land Rovers










Fuel Consumption of Defender V8 vs Tdi 

This is a great comparison in fuel economy between two Land Rover Defenders, a v8 petrol vs Tdi diesel, on the same off road trip in Namibia.

Our two families and two 1996 Land Rover Defenders, spent 3 weeks of July touring Namibia. One Defender is a 3.5l V8 Petrol and the other a Tdi Diesel. Both vehicles had roof racks loaded to the height of a low lid ammo box and roof top tent. The average fuel consumption, over the 7000 km, was 19.2 for the petrol V8 and 13.6 l/100km for the diesel Tdi. For the 950 km section between fuel at Opuwo and Sesfontein we carried a total of 200l of petrol and 140l of diesel. The only car problems we experienced were a number of tire punctures that we quickly fixed with a plug - without even removing the wheel.

"Van Zyl's pass must be negotiated from east to west, thus downhill." We, however, encountered 2 vehicles coming up the pass, towing TRAILERS! Thus it can be done - but you will cause damage to the track and reversing when you encounter somebody coming down , can be tricky.  

Our biggest disappointment was the camping at Epupa falls. Everybody recommended Epupa and we expected it to be the highlight of the trip. We did not, however, find the unspoiled wilderness we expected. Instead, razor wire, a NOISY generator and water pump awaited us.

At Sesriem (Sossusvlei) everybody arriving without booking is allowed to camp on the open field outside the main camping area, after paying the full camping fee. This was great, but the BP Garage has a massive generator running 24 hours a day!

Booking for camping beforehand seems to be a waste of time. We went to a lot of trouble to book camping at Etosha and Ai-Ais. The booking office seems always to be fully booked, but when you arrive there is a lot of space.

At Etosha and Ai-Ais a daily entrance fee is charged, in addition to the camping fee. This fee must be paid every day and thus queuing at the office became part of our daily routine.

All B and C number roads travelled were in an excellent condition. Namibian roads in general are better than South African roads.

You can expect long delays at the border the day after the schools close. We had to queue for 2 hours! (The normal delay is only in the order of minutes.)

Camping at Epupa falls. (Overcrowding, noise from generator and razor wire)
Generator at Sesriem.
Track in Marienfluss extremely corrugated.
Van Zyl's pass was easily negotiated after replacing rocks dislodged by the vehicles coming up.

Must see:
Spitskoppe. Must be the best un-developed camping area.
Purros, Hoarusib river.
Sossusvlei area.
Epupa falls.
Swakopmund town.

Must take:
Tire repair kit and pump.
Shade cloth for a groundsheet.
Warm clothes. The temperature does drop below freezing in the south.

Maps used :
Namibian 4x4 Routes, detailed maps and GPS coordinates by Jan Joubert. Expensive, but it has excellent, hand drawn maps.
Namibia Roads Authority map (2002 update), Available at shops in Namibia. (R20)
AA (Automobile Association) Map.
Shell map of Kaokoland.

Notes on fuel consumption:
Highest consumption was in deep soft sand, when the tires were not deflated, from Sesfontein to Kamanjab via the Hoanib river.
From Swakopmund to Kamanjab very strong head winds and fast driving increased consumption.
During the return journey to Cape Town consumption also increased due to high speed. 

Submitted by Stephan Theron


Land Rover Defender V8 vs Tdi Fuel Consumption Comparison

Comparison of V8 and Tdi Land Rover Defender Petrol/Diesel consumption (Both 1996 models)
Namibia Kaokoland Trip July 2002.

Town Consumption l/100km


Petrol 3.5l V8 Diesel Tdi
1 Springbok 18.5 - Tar 100km/h
2 Aus 18.8 12.5 Good gravel road
3 Betta 18.8 - Good gravel road
4 Solitaire 16.6 12 Good gravel road
5 Swakopmund 17 12.4 Good gravel road
6 Kamanjab 21.1 15.6 Strong wind, 4th gear 100km/h.
7 Opuwo 18 12.8 Good gravel road

Kaokoland section of 955 km


8 Sesfontein 20.7 12.2 Van Zyl, some 4x4. 80l Petrol and 20l diesel in Jerry cans.
9 Kamanjab 24.6 - Sand in river. High range 2nd and 3rd.
10 Halali 16.9 14.2 Tar and good gravel roads.
11 Otjiwarongo 18.1 - Tar, 120 km/h
12 Usakos 19.1 12.5 Tar, 120 km/h
13 Solitaire 18.1 - Good gravel road
14 Mariental 21.3 14.9 Good gravel road
15 Keetmanshoop 20.8 16.4 Tar, 120 to 130 km/h
16 Noordoewer 17.7 14.2 Tar, 100 km/h
17 Klawer 19.7 - Tar, 120 to 130 km/h

Average 19.2 13.6  



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