The newly awaited Land Rover Defender
- Credit: Land Rover
I would not normally review any new model on the market but the replacement to the Land Rover Defender is something special.
It has to be when you think what it is replacing. The vehicle we all know and love.
Boxy and traditional yet used by everyone for everything.
As a specialist Land Rover dealer some years ago and a continuous Land Rover owner for over 37 years, I was always going to be wary of the replacement.
It drives amazingly well, and is very refined. Just the best off-road and a brilliant design.
The new Defender has a mountain to climb of course, because off-road ability is essential.
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But also, a metaphorical mountain. It's got to replace the old one.
So, the new one has to be as capable off-road as the old one.
And it has to evoke the old one's heritage, which is why it looks the way it does.
Think of those who have used this in the past and how will they need to be convinced... builders, farmers, boat dealers, the list is endless.
The original outlasted itself because the Defender was such a capable all-rounder but was now dated and unsafe by modern standards.
New Defender works and works perfectly.
The exterior design is masterful. It invokes the old one yet it's completely modern.
The square box look maximises internal space and helps you place the vehicle where you want it.
The short overhangs help off-road.
The new Defender's subtle curves look smart and solid.
The bodywork is structural. The whole shell is immensely strong. So is the suspension it rides on. A completely new design for the new age.
Coastguards, electricity supply workers and rescue crews will adore this when their time comes.
However, it's a family car that makes you feel adventurous. And when you do use its ability on and off road, it will feel immensely reassuring.
Hugely capacious and capable. One of the family.
Fabulous to drive, stately and dignified and feels good.
If you can make use of it, there's nothing to match it.