On the road with the new Land Rover Defender SWB XS

Land Rover Defender 90 – Station Wagon – XS

Land Rover Defender 90 – Station Wagon – XS I was lucky enough this month to get hold of a Land Rover Defender SWB XS Spec to road test and will probably be one of the last new,

but old style Defenders I will get to test before it’s changed for a newer model that I hope to test sometime in the near future.

The Defender as we all know has been around so long now that it’s very much part of the British way. The Queen drives one, the Army have them and so do all my mates in one form or another.

I do own one myself, but it now spends much of its life parked in a lock-up garage as I rarely have time to take it out because it has no heater, no carpets and my family says it’s too loud and cold. So once in a blue moon, I dust off the windscreen and take the family out for a joy ride. Of course we all have to dress like we are going on an Artic Expedition, but isn’t that what it’s all about in the end. ‘Having Fun’

To be honest with you here, I know nothing of what a Land Rover can actually do off road. Yes I dabble doing a few muddy lanes etc, but I have no concept of what Low or High Range means or what a diff lock is – Yes, I know if I pull a lever, things happen and I am no longer stuck, but that’s about the limit of what I understand of the greatness that the Land Rover engineers created so many years ago.

What I know about off-road, you could write on a match head. This is of course not uncommon, because I have one friend who has a Range Rover and another who has a Discovery and both have about the same amount of knowledge as me. One thing we all do agree on though is that if you do buy a Land Rover, it will be absolutely brilliant.

Let’s face it, every manufacturer has tried to pull off what Land Rover did so well all those years ago, but to be honest, they all failed badly.

Anyway, enough about that, let’s get on with my final test in one of the best off-road 4X4’s ever made in the history of motoring.

Land Rover Defender 90 – Station Wagon – XS The model I have on test is a special XS edition with leather seats, loud stereo, carpets, and a very smart Black and Silver paint job. I want to go on and tell you every little detail, but there is no point really because we all know what it can do and what little amount in the way of luxuries you actually get. However, it did come with Air-con, which I found to be amazing. So I shall spare you all my waffle and get to the good bit.

So, what shall I do with my week with the Defender then? Well, I decided to take a leisurely drive to Oxford and pretended to be a farmer going around his daily life. This was just what I needed- as it gave me time to play with that brilliant 122ps 2.2 litre diesel engine with 6-speed Transmission. Yes that’s right – 6 speed in a Defender! Whenever I stopped in a small town on my travels, people stopped to ask me what it was like and how brilliant it looked, plus wherever I went, I would see more and more people driving around in a Defender which made me smile.

Just think, no matter how rubbish you are on the muddy stuff; you could be spending the weekend with the family having fun. It’s just a matter of pulling a few levers and off you go into the unknown.

I’m going to end it here, because there is so little I need to say about this brilliant piece of machinery. One thing to remember here though is that once you can no longer buy a new old style Defender, the used prices will begin to climb and that makes for a very sound buy indeed.
To sum up: Brilliant, just utterly brilliant. I look forward to driving the new Defender in the future.

Land Rover Defender 90 XS – 2.2 litre diesel engine with 6-speed
Transmission –

£30,505 – on the road but excluding fitted options
Cubic Capacity: 2.2 litres
Power: 122ps @ 3500 rpm
Torque: 360Nm @ 2000 rpm
Urban Fuel: 24.1 mpg
Extra Urban: 30.1 mpg
Combined: 27.7 mpg
CO² Emissions: 269 g/km  By Anthony Yates

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