I don't think that swapping tires would have made a difference. They would have had to swap wheels altogether to get more sidewall. That is a more complicated and expensive proposition than simply switching tires. The Defender is not an off-road vehicle right from the showroom. It absolutely needs an immediate and expensive modification. Although you can get it spec'd from the factory with 18" steelies (which TFL tired to do but that one was a nightmare). It's still the prettiest though, and the one I would want to own.