Land Rover Defender Review & Buyers' Guide
£17,174 – £26,032
Available as: Van, Single Cab Pick-up, Double Cab Pick-up, Utility, Chassis Cab, Chassis Double Cab. Engine options:2.4TD 122hp.Volume (m³): TBA. Payload (kg): 650 – 1,529.
Link to the Author
If you truly need to be able to get anywhere off-road, then Defender is the one for you. Looks cool too.
Land Rover’s go-anywhere Defender is a British icon, no question about it; even though the manufacturer is now owned by Indian industrial giant Tata. Still easily recognised as a descendent of the original Series 1 Land Rover launched back in 1948, it received a much-needed upgrade three years ago.
Equipped with permanent four-wheeldrive, these days it’s powered by a 2.4-litre 122hp/360Nm diesel borrowed from Ford’s Transit; the company used to be part of Ford’s empire. Fitted with dual-range transmission and a locking centre diff, it comes with a six-speed manual gearbox.
The legendary off-roader is sold with three different wheelbases; 2,360mm (the 90), 2,794mm (the 110) and 3,225mm (the 130). The numerical designations give an indication of the wheelbase in inches.
As well as being marketed as a station wagon, a hard top and as a single and double cab pick-up, Defender is also sold as what Land Rover refers to as a Utility Wagon; a five-seater version of the 110 Station Wagon with a separate cargo area at the back. It’s treated as a light commercial for VAT purposes.
Top payloads across the board range from 650kg to 1,529kg.
These days Defender gets a dashboard pinched from the Discovery and a proper heating and ventilation system. The driver is alas still wedged right up against the door; some things never change.
Today’s Defender is a lot more competent on the public highway than you might expect, although you’re unlikely to break any speed limits given that it’s governed to 82mph. It’s off-road where it comes into its own, however; and its performance is truly awesome. It keeps forging ahead in conditions that would leave almost all other 4x4s bogged down with the driver frantically calling for help.
With service intervals set at 15,000 miles, Defender is protected by a three-year/unlimited mileage warranty.