Land Rover Defender Review

Land Rover Defender 90 XS Station Wagon
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Land Rover Defender Review

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The Defender is powered by Land Rover's 2495cc, 5-cylinder, direct injection, turbo-charged diesel engine which produces 122 bhp @ 4200 rpm and has been the class leader in power, tractability and clean emissions for on and off-road use.

How It Drove - Performance

The Defender is powered by Land Rover's 2495cc, 5-cylinder, direct injection, turbo-charged diesel engine which produces 122 bhp @ 4200 rpm and has been the class leader in power, tractability and clean emissions for on and off-road use. The 0-62 mph figure is not generally published as the Defender could never be described as rapid but progress is steady.

First and foremost the Defender is an off-road vehicle which is permanent four-wheel drive with a dual-range transfer box and locking centre differential enabling it to tackle most challenges thrown at it with ease. The 5-speed manual gearbox took a little getting used to but once you do it is surprisingly easy to change gear and it will forgive the most lazy of changes. With 221 Ib/ft of torque the Defender is not only ideal for transporting livestock between fields it could also happily tow a horsebox, trailer, boat or caravan.

The Defender coped well on the motorway and once up to speed proved itself to be a surprisingly good motorway cruiser at 60 to 70 mph. Despite the atrocious weather conditions which included heavy winds and torrential rain the Defender felt reassuringly stable and we knew that whatever the weather threw at us we would reach our destination.

Around town the Defender was easy to drive however, in crawling traffic the constant 1st and 2nd gear changes did eventually become tiring. Parking is surprisingly easy once you get used to the turning circle and visibility is good with few blind spots. The handbrake took some getting used to as it is very low down and slightly offset and those with shorter arms found it awkward to engage.

The Defender benefits from Appropriate Throttle Response and under normal driving conditions when an instant throttle response is desirable, the engine uses a Fast Throttle Control (FTC) setting where most of the engine´s power is accessible in the first 30 per cent of pedal travel. However, when low range is selected the throttle reverts to a long travel setting to allow the gentle application of off-road power.

On-road fuel economy is good for a vehicle of this size returning a combined figure of 27.9 mpg. On the downside the engine was relatively noisy at idle, although this is a characteristic of most diesel powered vehicles - but once on the move it was less intrusive.

Land Rover Defender ReviewLand Rover Defender Review | Part ThreeLand Rover Defender Review | Part FourLand Rover Defender Review | Part FiveLand Rover Defender Road Test
Land Rover Defender Road Test Data
Model ReviewedLand Rover Defender 90 XS Station Wagon
  
Body Type3-Door Four Wheel Drive
ColourZambezi Silver Metallic
  
Performance (manufacturers data) 
  
0 - 62 mphNot Published
Top Speed 87 mph
  
Transmission5-Speed Manual
  
Fuel TypeDiesel
  
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
  
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
  
Urban23.7 mpg
Extra Urban32.1 mpg
Combined28.2 mpg
  
Insurance Group10
Euro NCAP RatingNo Data
WarrantyEvery new Land Rover supplied by Land Rover UK comes with a standard 3-year unlimited mileage warranty. Please apply to your dealer at time of purchase for full details of the manufacturer's terms and conditions
Price (when tested on the 05/02/05)£25,595.00

The information contained within this Land Rover Defender review may have changed since publication on the 5 February 2005. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Land Rover dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. carpages.co.uk © 2017