In the niche corner of the world that is enthusiast automotive news, Land Rover is the hot topic of the day. The British manufacturer has just revealed its new Range Rover with a host of new technical innovations – which you can read more about here – and an altered design, making one of the plushest SUVs on sale evermore desirable. But for all of its bells and whistles, the Range Rover isn’t the model that symbolises Land Rover the most. That title falls to the Defender – and handily, cinch has just welcomed one into its stock. Prepare to drool.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past two years – we wouldn’t blame you – you’ll probably know that Land Rover’s plucky, decades-old original Defender was succeeded by the car you see here. Understandably, fans of the original, which could draw its roots back to the Series 1 model of 1948, were initially hesitant in falling for the new car. But it’s fair to say that anyone to have climbed aboard a new Defender, or better yet, driven one, has quickly been won over by its many merits. Technically speaking, this is a fantastic car. It’s quite possibly the best off-roader on sale.
It absolutely had to be, of course, what with its spiritual predecessors all holding the title at some stage in their extensive careers. But the new Land Rover Defender adds a whole lot of road capability and comfort into the equation; where the old Landy (yeah, we went there) was more tractor with a few trimmings than a typical road car, the 21st Century Defender is a tremendous all-rounder. You could easily put one to routine road use, with school run, shopping and even touring duties easily handled by this new machine. The on-road presence of the Defender in Britain suggests plenty are.
But when the going gets tough – say, the single-track lane to your village floods, or you fancy green laning in the pouring rain – the Defender, with its hefty all-wheel drive system, low-range gearing (which helps with grip in slippery conditions) and mountain-goat like enthusiasm is, well, practically unstoppable. When it comes to accessing difficult-to-reach places in a car with numberplates and road tax (so that excludes your monster trucks and purpose-built rally machines), the Defender is easily one of the very best offerings out there. It could even be the best. Although we’re sure Jeep would quite like to contest that suggestion with its Wrangler. One for a future cinch test, perhaps.
Either way, there’s little doubt that this handsome, fashionable, and well-equipped 4x4 is a tremendous machine, one made by a company famed for its off-road engineering prowess. The new Range Rover adds even more luxury and plushness into the equation, but nothing can top the Defender when it comes to being capable and cool. This 8,137-mile-old, 2020 example is only a few big splashes of mud away from taking the needle off the scale. Fit a set of roof racks and a roof box and we’d be bowing down to you at the traffic lights…
Edit: Since this story went live, a second Defender has arrived in cinch's stock! You can see it here.Since this story went live, a second Defender has arrived in cinch's stock! .