If we were to compile a list of the most recognisable vehicles on the planet, the Land Rover Defender will most certainly have a place on it. The slab-sided styling, square proportions, and butch look – they all speak of one thing, and that’s its ability to operate in all conditions. It’s like the vehicular equivalent of a special forces soldier. And it is this aspect of the Defender that has made it a tried-and-tested weapon for people working in difficult conditions.
But, let’s face it, in the hands of most Indian owners, the most testing conditions the Defender is ever going to see is the pavement of a busy street. So, it begs the following question – how good is the Defender for everyday driving?
Well, let me begin by saying that the design of Defender – especially the Defender 90 with a shorter wheelbase – catches your attention. The proportion of the two-door version is spot on. And given its height and size, it’s a vehicle you simply can’t ignore. So, if you’re someone who dislikes attention, the Defender is not for you. However, at the same time, despite having only two doors, the Defender still has plenty of space for four adults and their luggage. And no to mention its virtually unbeatable off-road abilities, thanks to its brilliant suspension and all kinds of off-road hardware.
In fact, the Defender is phenomenal for everyday driving and remains totally unfazed regardless of road conditions. The 2.0-litre petrol engine is also up to the task, for it allows you to cruise at three-digit speeds all day long, without any issues. On the track though, the Defender posted the slowest lap time due to its overly strict electronics, which can’t be turned off and, therefore, intruded at the slightest hint of body roll. All this made the Defender lose some points.
The biggest issue with the Defender, however, is its price tag. With a decent variant costing well over ₹1 crore (on-road), it makes little sense in terms of value, especially when you can buy its larger five-door sibling, or even its rivals, at the same price point. In fact, you’d have to be a die-hard Defender fan or a young person with no need for the extra space to plop your money down for a two-door Defender.
- Land Rover Defender (Lap Time – 01:19.8)
|RIDE & HANDLING||5||3.5|
|VALUE FOR MONEY||30||14|