Land Rover Defender

The New Land Rover Defender

Unfortunately, due to the super chip crisis and the horrific and totally unnecessary war in Ukraine, car manufacturers are all having a real nightmare trying to manufacture cars.

Second-hand vehicle values are going crazy, like nothing I’ve ever seen in all my time reviewing cars.

Some lucky owners have been able to sell their cars and actually get more money than they paid, which is mad when you think about it.

The main issue for people cashing in has been trying to get another car, if you’ve been lucky enough to get hold of a new car then you are a very fortunate person indeed.

Despite the issues all manufacturers are facing, Land Rover are in an enviable position as they have huge waiting lists for not only the new Range Rover and the Sport, any lucky people on the waiting list for the new Defender are able to sell their spaces on for a profit. Many used cars are selling for massive premiums over list price.

This brings me on to the car I’ve had the pleasure to drive this month. The new Defender is a car I’ve been absolutely desperate to get behind the wheel of.

Trying to get a car to drive from our local dealers was proving very difficult indeed, even for me – and believe me I know each and every dealer!

I wasn’t going to be defeated by that though, so I turned to a lovely loyal Sachins customer and dear friend of mine, and asked if I could drive his car.

Thankfully he said yes, and I was finally able to test drive this beautiful car.

The original Defender was launched in 1983 and production ended in 2016. It was originally based on the Willy’s Jeep. The original Defender had the unenviable reputation of being able to go anywhere and it was a firm favourite amongst farmers.

It was literally the Swiss Army Knife of cars as it is very practical and dependable. The car is available in three versions; a commercial model with no rear windows and ideal for businesses, the 90 is a 3-door version (and the one I’d personally go for), and the 110 which is a more family-friendly and practical 5-door model.

A plug-in hybrid model can travel up to 27 miles on electric power alone.

The Defender is priced from £38,100 and the range topping model is priced at an eye watering £105,740, and this version is fitted with the same 5lt engine found in the SVR.

As you’d expect, the brakes, chassis and suspension have all been beefed up to deal with the 518 bhp – this amazing sounding engine propels the car to 60mph in a blistering 4.9 seconds.

There are three diesel engines to choose from along with three petrol ones – all cars get an 8-speed auto gearbox as standard as well as 4-wheel drive.

After driving it, I can honestly say it didn’t disappoint at all.

Looking at the new car, the designers have kept the boxy shape, which means you do recognise the original car’s distinctive look.

Air suspension is standard on the 110, cheaper models get coil springs, the chassisis now made from aluminium. The new Defender is so much nicer to drive than the original, it also feels so much more tight and rigid compared to the outgoing Defender.

Despite being a serious off-roader, the car is so civilised to drive. It feels extremely well put together and even when driven off road there is no creaking or alarming noises from the bodywork at all.

Any serious off-roader will be impressed with the car’s wading capacity of 900mm – which, incidentally, beats all of its competitors with ease.

Another area where the car is so different to the outgoing model, is the interior. It is literally like chalk and cheese. I loved the new Defender’s exposed bolts and the metal trim on the side of the doors.

The fit and finish is absolutely top notch.

There are large door pockets and plenty of areas where you can store pretty much anything you need – add to the mix endless USB sockets and no one should have any issues trying to charge any electronic devices, no matter how large the family.

It is a very wide car, and the driver and passengers have plenty of room indeed – two small child seats can also be ordered so this car becomes a very stylish 7-seater.

Unlike the Velar, the climate controls are proper dials instead of a split screen. The Defender is fitted with either a 10” screen or a 11.4” one, the infotainment system is the company’s latest generation and it seems relatively easy to use, plus it also features either Apple or Android Car Play.

If you are lucky enough to be on the waiting list for the Defender, you really are in for a treat as this car is absolutely amazing to drive and it really is a lovely looking vehicle.

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