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A truly rugged off-roader

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: April 12, 2014

LandRoverDefender1111(4)

LandRoverDefender1111(4)

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THE Land Rover Defender has been treated to a suite of revisions including a Euro5 compatible engine. Andy Enright takes a look.

The latest Land Rover Defender gets a 2.2-litre diesel engine that complies with Euro5 emissions rules and also offers better refinement. Other than that and some minor trim changes, it's much as you were. It's still the go-to choice for serious off-roading.

To most, the Land Rover Defender is an anachronism. Even the latest cars feel crude and old-fashioned, with a hotch potch of make-do fittings inside and some parts that feel more akin to camping than motoring. While this would be enough to deter a huge percentage of 4x4 buyers, there are enough who feel that this is exactly what a true off-roader should be.

The Defender might not appeal to all, but a specialised niche can be very profitable and if, you've been building them since 1948, you bring to bear one heck of an experience curve. Small wonder that the Defender is, both literally and figuratively, the car that just won't die.

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The old 2.4-litre diesel unit beneath the Defender's bonnet has been replaced by a far more refined engine.

The Defender has never been the first nor last word in interior sophistication but it has improved in recent years.

The fascia features a single large moulding supported on a robust steel rail that helps eliminate the sort of twitters and squeaks that made the old Defender's interior sound like an audio track for Bill Oddie's Wildwatch. Instruments have been filched from the Discovery3 production line and there are numerous ergonomic advantages.

A passenger grab handle offers handle offers two-handed support during off-road manoeuvres, while there is also a lot more usable stowage.

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