Ever since Land Rover ended production of the Defender in January 2016, interest has peaked. One of the world’s most recognisable four-wheel drives suddenly got a bit more iconic. Among the road-focused 4x4s, it stands out as a genuine off-roader and that rarity in today’s market means fans of the Defender will put up with some limitations.
What you need to know about the Land Rover Defender
The Defender is a car with a purpose. With a ladder chassis and live axles, it's pretty much a basic off-road truck. A 2.4-litre turbodiesel engine, combined with a six-speed manual gearbox and a full-time four-wheel drive set-up, make it a capable off-roader.
The low gearing lets the vehicle crawl over extreme terrain and pull away with ease, without clutch slip. To make the Defender more liveable on-road, the axles are coupled to anti-roll bars.
With three wheelbases and pick-up, high-capacity pick-up, double-cab, van and station wagon body styles, there’s a lot to choose from. But that’s if you can get your hands on one for a good price. Whilst the Defender has obvious flaws - including a surprising lack of equipment and practical cabin space for a car of that size and price - resale values remain exceptional. Unbeatable really.
What you need to watch out for
When we reviewed the Defender before production stopped, we knew it was noisy, cramped and bumpy. Part of you will love it though – it just depends how much you really want it. Its appeal is largely to people who spend time off-road and towing.
We found the ride and handling a struggle at first. As time goes on, the driving experience becomes tolerable, even entertaining. After all, there’s a reason it’s a British motoring legend.
- Toyota Land Cruiser
- Jeep Wrangler
- Subaru Forester
The Defender isn’t claiming to be great value for money. Which is lucky. It’s in another world to other cars. But it’s not like other cars. What it lacks in on-road manners it more than makes up for in one-of-a-kind charm and sheer character. Find a Defender today with Exchange & Mart.