A complete guide to Land Rover Defenders

Looking to buy a Defender? You won't want to miss out on our complete guide to Land Rover's Defender. Discover all about the grand machine here.

Trying to get your head around the world of Land Rover Defenders? They might not look that easy to digest, but this handy guide is about to take you on a dedicated adventure of all things Land Rover.

These days it’s the dream to be able to have a fully restored vintage Defender sitting in the garage, and with more than 2 million Landy’s having been produced, there’s plenty to go around for all of us.

Land Rover History

Known for producing luxury four-wheel-drive vehicles, Rover started their journey to producing unique rides back in 1948. In 1990, that’s when the real work began and the Defender graced us with its presence. Initially, with a 107bhp and 200Tdi turbodiesel, this was later replaced in 1194 with 111bhp and 300Tdi. Since then, the Defender has had many touch-ups and in 2015 we saw several special run-out editions that were produced and Landy recreated the original Series I production line at Solihull. Interesting fact, just in case you’re not already aware, but Land Rover and Jaguar are part of the same umbrella company.

How Landy names its wheels

If you can’t handle anything complicated, then look away now as the names of Land Rover vehicles are a whole different ball game. There are currently six models and all six are similar-looking, five-door SUVs, and with four of these referred to as “Range Rovers” instead of Land Rovers. Interesting, we know.

Going a bit deeper, each of the models has at least three trim levels, and just to confuse you, even more, the basic-named models, like the Range Rover, are the company’s premium brands, did you manage to catch all that?

The original overland vehicle

Also known as the Defender, is Land Rover’s British equivalent of the Jeep Wrangler. We saw a new version of the Defender last year and the new V8 this year too, looks cracking, don’t you think?

The V8 range has swollen Land Rover again with its rapid 518bhp 4×4 hooligan. This supercharged Defender is available in both 90 three-door and 11 five-door bodyshells and capable of 0-60mph in just 4.9 seconds, what’s not to love about this supercharged mud-plugging hero! It’s no shock that performance doesn’t come cheap, however, you can bag yourself a V8 for around £98,000 if you fancy treating yourself. It’s a guzzler too so you’re probably going to need deep pockets.

Initially, the Defender was just known as the Land Rover but it was given the name Defender in 1983 to differentiate it from other models. It got some deep roots and it’s a granddaddy of a car that has seen some ever-increasing improvements. For private buyers, the main difference has been its body shape, with the most popular version being the Station Wagon, which has a solid rook and windows in the rear. If that doesn’t sound luxurious enough for you, then it’s time you got equipped with a real-life Defender, word on the grapevine has it that by Land Rover standards the Wagon is almost as fancy as a Rolls-Royce.

There is also the Hard Top, which when you look at it, it’s basically a van, Land Rover just likes to be posh. Then there is the Pick Up too, which has an open load bed behind the cab. We could sit here and real of all the other versions too, but they’re typically niche models, so these ones will do for now.

What is the most affordable Defender?

Are Defenders cheap? Now that is a good question. The cheapest Defender out there is probably going to be one of the earliest models, the 200 Tdi. Obviously, your going to want a genuine example and not some knock-off, so you’re probably going to be looking at something around £3,500. If you’re not that fussed about the engine being fitted retrospectively, then an early Land Rover 90 or 110 might be right up your street.

Launched back in 1990, the 200 Tdi was powered by a 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel, which is shared with the Discovery. Back then this heavy 4×4 had 105bhp, which may not sound a lot now, but back then this was more than enough for a vehicle like this. With features such as direct fuel injection, this was considered well advanced and gave the Defender a kick up the backside along with some oomph to get it going. For a heavy vehicle like this one, it’s what you need really or it will just be plodding along forever.

What’s a Defender like to drive?

Put it this way it’s an experience that you’ll never forget. If you’ve never driven one before, you’ll either love it or hate it. With each new engine, the Defender has had, its brought improvements in performance and brightened up the modern SUV.

On a serious note, these are serious off-road machines and can tackle virtually anything thrown at them. With a manually operated four-wheel drive and a short wheelbase 90 model, when the going gets tough, the Defender can be a choppy ride.

Overall, it’s quirky and has enough room to swing a cat as they say. It’s steering, braking, and vehicle stability all require a certain adjustment but many owners say that they would never look back after driving the Defender, as there’s nothing else they’d rather drive.

If you fancy taking the Defender for a spin yourself and putting it to the test, but you need to cash in your current car first, then look no further. We can help you secure the best deal for your vehicle right here. Simply enter your reg number into our online valuation tool and watch your best offers roll in. It takes just a few seconds and you could be well on your way to saying goodbye to your car in no time.

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