The Land Rover Defender is at the core of what Land Rover offers. First released in 1983 this Land Rover has helped shape their reputation into a household name for British motoring. With its instantly recognisable body and ability to tear it up in all terrains, the Defender is a great model to pick up second hand.
What you get when you pick up a second hand Land Rover Defender will vary quite a bit depending on the age. Of course, this SUV has been out for nearly four decades so this is to be expected. For the purpose of this guide, we will focus on the more recent models.
The Land Rover Defender has five trim levels to choose from. These scale in features are you move up the trim levels. Again, we will focus on the more recent models for this one.
The entry-level Defender gets a 10-inch touch screen, surround-view cameras, climate control, and electric seats as standard. This is incredibly well spec’d out by default, as you’d expect in a premium Land Rover.
Next, you have the S model. In addition to the above, you get a leather steering wheel and gear selector, part-leather seats and a centre console armrest. The SE brings keyless entry, an electric steering column, and a 400 watt Meridian sound system. It also has Land Rover’s signature ClearSight rearview camera. This displays a view out of the back from a camera mounted on the roof. A great solution for looking past a full load in the back or past that spare wheel.
Then at the high end of the trim levels, we have the HSE model. This brings adaptive cruise control and lane assist along with a panoramic sunroof if you have the 110 and fabric roof if there is a 90. At the top of the range, there is the X. This raises the bar to include heated rear seats and a wooden inset.
What makes all Land Rovers stand out from alternatives is their ability to dominate off-road. That said it can still perform well in urban environments. With some of the more recent models featuring air suspension, you’ll glide through streets with ease. This takes that pain out of the badly surfaced roads that plague Britain.
Steering is light and easy allowing you to relax and enjoy your commute. It is worth noting that the spare wheel in the back does impair visibility.
Now to the important part, why we love a good Land Rover going off-road. Newer models boast an incredible ride height of 145mm. You can also raise the latest model up to an incredible 291mm. More than any other model on the market. The older model was able to go up to 250mm.
The other benefits from a solid break-over angle of 28 degrees. Also if you're picking up one of the newer models you’ll benefit from all-terrain progress control, just set your speed and on your off.
The Land Rover Discovery also cleans up when it comes to approach and departure angles of 38 and 40 degrees respectively. This is key for going on steep slopes and allows you to safely drive on uneven surfaces.
You can also take your Defender into water. This will again vary on which model you choose. Older models can go to around 0.5 metres depth and newer models 0.9 metres. The other benefit of the new models is sensors in the door mirror that measure the depth of the water.
Newer models of the Defender benefit from sleek minimalist design and lots of high tech features. It also has ample storage throughout and a simple design with many classic Defender design elements.
The boot in the Defender is massive. It can hold 857 litres which can be increased by lowering the back seats. Depending on the model again you could see an array of enhancements including hooks, tie-down points, and even a three-pin plug in the newer models.