Buyers Quickcheck Land Rover Defender


The current incarnation of the 'proper' Land Rover - the closest thing we've got to the original of 1948, despite being a more sophisticated (relatively speaking...) design than its predecessors. Whichever secondhand Defender falls within your budget or fulfils your needs, you'll be driving a British icon that's revered by farmers, explorers and TV personalities alike. Kirsty Allsopp drives one, for heaven's sake...

Re-branding the previous 90 and 110 models as Defender way back in 1990 means we now have a wide range of Defenders on the used scene - with versions available to suit most budgets.


Whatever you're looking for in an off-roader, you'll find it somewhere in the Defender line-up of the last 20 years. Short-wheelbase or long-wheelbase; commercial, station wagon or pick-up; ex-army or pampered runabout... they can all be found.

Early Defenders featured the Discovery's 2.5-litre (lllbhp) 200 Tdi unit, replaced in '93 by the 300 Tdi with the same power but more refinement. The Td5 replaced that in '99 (with 122bhp / 221lb.ft.), which gave way to the ex-Transit DuraTorq in 2007 - with the same power but a hefty 221lb.ft. of torque.


Pretty much whatever you want it to. This is one of the most formidable production off-roaders, easily capable of traversing the toughest terrain. Carry out a few basic mods (off-road tyres, engine snorkel, etc.) and you'll make it even more unstoppable. And there's no shortage of Land Rover specialists around, offering advice on which mods are best for your needs. Best news of all? Parts prices are exceptionally keen via the independents.


As well as boasting competitively priced parts and accessories, the Defender has plenty of plus points - including its reputation as the best off-roader in its class. The wide age range means a broad spread of asking prices., and the myriad of different versions means a Defender to suit all requirements. Equipment levels improved on later versions, with 2007-on models being particularly weli-specced. Depreciation levels are also low.


Because it holds its value so well, you'll pay more for a Defender than many other 4x4s of similar age - but that will also reap rewards when you come to sell. Watch out for seriously abused examples, as these machines are built to work hard but aren't immune to damage. Refinement levels aren't great (but improved in recent years) and the driving experience is dated (albeit fun), thanks to the Defender's narrow cabin and old-fashioned design.

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