A cult classic and one of the original off-roaders, the old defender land rover was a true workhorse for years and will always have an appeal among enthusiasts. Its ancestry goes back to the 1940s, but it’s only since the 1990s that the name became a coveted status symbol for buyers across the globe.
The old defender land rover has been a defining vehicle for Land Rover and a huge influence on the SUV market. There are now many off-roaders that have inherited the Defender’s DNA, and it has even inspired new vehicles such as the Mercedes G-Class and Toyota Land Cruiser.
Reviving the Legend: The Process of Rebuilding a Land Rover Defender
The Land Rover Defender was born as a hard-core off-roader, and its off-road capability is unsurpassed by any other SUV. It can climb a 38-degree approach angle and descend a 40-degree ramp breakover (provided it’s been specced with air suspension), wade through water up to 90cm deep and tow up to 3,500kg of cargo.
It’s not the luxiest off-roader around, but it does have a few things that make it feel less like a workhorse and more like a real car. It has a great ride quality, it’s comfortable in town and it’s also not difficult to drive on long journeys, as you get lots of safety kit included as standard.
The interior is a mix of utilitarian design and upscale aspirations, with soft materials mixed in with deliberately exposed screws and rubber floor mats (though you can get carpet if you like). It’s a nice mix, but it doesn’t quite look or feel as luxe as Land Rover is probably aiming for.