Editor: Jason “The Bok” – Date: 23 Sept 2016
There are some cars which remain at the iconic pinnacle of the automotive world. An icon can take on any shape, but to remain iconic it has to offer some very special characteristics and most of all, it has to be immediately recognisable and remain timeless.
With its long journey starting way back in June 1948, the Land Rover plant in Solihull, England has continued to produce this legendary off-roader, in almost the exact same manner for the last 67 years! The final production run of the Defender ended on the 29 of January 2016, marking more than 67 years of this true icon.
When it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
This ethos was clearly applied by Land Rover when it came to producing the Defender. There is virtually no head-of-state, no offroading adventurer and few people throughout the planet that have not somewhere come into contact with the Defender. Owing to its simple ladder style suspension, lightweight body panel construction, and overall practical, yet simple approach to motoring, the Defender continues to remain a firm favourite with hoards of enthusiasts the world over.
The Technical Elements
The Land Rover Defender 90 as featured in my review, makes use of a 90kW engine and produces 360 Nm of torque at a low 2000 rpm. This may not sound like a lot of power, but with the rev’s developed at this low power output, and with the LR’s locking differential and transfer case, there is simply no rough situation that it will not pull you out of!
On the road, its 2198cc 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine appears very crude and coarse, but when you get the Land Rover into its natural habitat, it is an absolute dream. Owing to its overall solidity and small powerplant, the Defender 90 is able to reach a top speed of 145 kph and will get you from 0 – 100 km/h in around 15.8 seconds. The defender also carries a 60-litre fuel tank, which within my week of testing, was able to produce much more efficient than I was expecting.
The Defender 90 features a 500mm wading depth and has a body with the dimensions ( 4.04 meters length ; 250 mm axle ground clearance ). These dimensions make it possible to take the Defender 90 virtually anywhere.
The Defender comes in two distinct wheelbases;
– The Defender 90 – short wheelbase 3-door
– The Defender 110 – long wheelbase 5-door
Within these two wheelbases, you get different versions, such as the Adventure, or the final run Heritage edition. You also get different body types, such as hard top or pickup in a variation of combinations. The Defender is one of those vehicles, which can be modified, dressed-up or dressed-down depending on your personal requirements.
Despite its overall offroad prowess and rugged stance, the Land Rover Defender 90 Adventure, features many creature comforts when it comes to its cabin. The seats are dressed in a beautiful leather, the roof-lining has a soft suede texture and the overall cabin is a great place to be seated.
Thanks to clever design, the engineers who designed the interior ensured that no minor details were left out. The rear seats, for example, fold out of the way, with the simple pull of one lever. This single-handed operation makes provision for this vehicle to be very useable in situations such as a routine shopping trip.
I didn’t want to like the Defender, in the first couple of minutes of driving it, I considered parking it and walking back to the office. At first, I just found the Defender appeared to be too tough to steer, to0 clunky and overall a lot of hard work.
Within the first half an hour, however, the Defender had completely won me over. Its overall charm, charisma and go anywhere air of invincibility makes it just an unbelievable treat to drive.This really is one of those automobiles that I just want to keep on driving until the end of time itself!
includes:5 Year 100 000km (whichever occurs first) Care Plan, consists of three components:
– Warranty (3 years 100 000km)
– Service (5 years 100 000km)
See below my special tribute video in honour of the Land Rover Defender – The Final Adventure