The old Defender as we all know it has been around for a long time and is now very much part of the British way. For example; the Queen still owns one, the Army still use them, and so do all my mates in one form or another. Some of them own a 1960s version, while one friend is right up to date with the latest version you see before you.
Of course, I'm an outdoors type of guy, so I used to own one, but it spent much of its life parked in a lock-up garage as I rarely had time to take it out because it had no heater, no carpets and my family complained it was too loud and cold - so they made me sell it and buy something more realistic for all our summer camping trips to the lakes. So, in order to keep my family happy, I went out and bought an old Toyota Hilux just for good measure. As you can imagine, they we’re not impressed.
Then, the borrowed Defender arrived on my drive - and suddenly, I was told I needed to immediately go out and buy one. This was good feedback from my family, apart from I didn't have the 50k + kicking about in my back pocket. So, unfortunately, this idea was very short-lived. Shame really that I only had it for a few days – because my family started talking about getting dressed up like we're going on an Arctic Expedition and heading off to the Peak District for the weekend.
To be honest, I know nothing of what a Land Rover can do off-road. Yes, I dabble doing a few muddy lanes like most of us, but I have no concept of what High or Low Range means or what a diff lock is – Yes, I know if I press a button inside the new Defender, 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 have created.
So, this time, I’m going to try and give you an overview and not a review of the new Defender, but saying that, I still think I’m going to struggle because I’m still chatting about everything else.
Power and Efficiency:
To find out exactly how good the new Defender was, I decided to take a leisurely drive into Hereford whilst pretending to be a farmer going around his daily life. This was just what I needed - as it gave me the chance to play with that brilliant 240HP 2.0-litre diesel engine with 430Nm of torque and a 0-62 time of 8.7s. You also get a decent top speed of 117mph. So, there you have it. A brilliant engine that’s also connected to a wonderful automatic transmission that connects to all 4 wheels to the road.
On and off-road:
So, what do I know about going off-road? Not a lot truth be told. This of course is not uncommon because I have one friend who has a Land Rover Series 1 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 the new Land Rover Defender, it will be 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. For me, there is nothing on this earth that can compete with a Defender. I also know that you will say; ‘What about the Toyota Land Cruiser or the Isuzu D Max’ Yes, they are good, but can they really match up to the Land Rover Defender.
Just remember, no matter how rubbish you are on the muddy stuff, the new Defender has got your back. Why waste time shopping for some new clothes – when you could be spending the whole weekend with the family having fun with the Defender and finding out just how good it is.
Anyway, enough about that, let’s get on with the rest of my ‘overview’.
Interior & Technology:
For starters, I could begin with telling you about all its new technology and how it has more buttons than a flight simulator – but I’m not. I’m going to give you a few basics because I want you to find out the rest all by yourself. Key features include: 20" Style 5094, 5 spoke, Gloss Sparkle Silver, Premium LED headlights with signature DRL, LED tail lights, Automatic Headlight Levelling, Auto High Beam Assist (AHBA) Keyless Entry, 12-way heated, electric memory front seats with 2-way manual headrests, Meridian™ Sound System, Interactive Driver Display, Smartphone Pack, Connected Navigation Pro, Emergency Braking, 3D Surround Camera, Driver Condition Monitor, Lane Keep Assist, 360⁰ Parking Aid, Traffic Sign Recognition and Adaptive Speed Limiter, Wade Sensing, Cruise Control and Speed Limiter, Blind Spot Assist, Clear Exit Monitor and Rear Traffic Monitor.
To sum up:
Go straight down to your local Land Rover dealer as soon as possible and ask for a test drive. Also, whatever town I stopped in during my travels, people stopped me in the street to ask me what it was like to drive and then tell me all sorts of stories of how they had a series 1 back in the day. One gentleman even managed to go as far as to say how he spent his first wedding night stuck in a field in Wales because his new bride decided it would be more fun doing a ‘bit of off-road driving’.
Price (From) £53,810 By Anthony Yates