Land Rover Defender

Nothing says off-road vehicle quite like the military-style Land Rover Defender. First introduced in 1983 as the Land Rover Ninety and Land Rover One Ten in reference to the wheelbase. This Land Rover vehicle officially became the Defender in 1990.

More on the Land Rover Defender
About the Land Rover Defender

The Land Rover Defender is known for keeping the look of the original Land Rover Series One, used during the war as a jeep-like vehicle by the British Army. Knowing that pedigree, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that the Defender is a fantastic off-road vehicle. It is surprisingly sturdy, reliable and will take a beating for several years without showing any signs of wear.

The Defender is not a well-known vehicle in the United States, since it was only sold here for a few years and in limited qualities. Mainly, this is due to Land Rover refusing to update the Defender for U.S. safety requirements. A LR2 or LR3 Freelander is most common in the States. Land Rover dealers are your best bet if you’re on the lookout for a Defender.

Land Rover Defender Features

The 2012 Land Rover Defender comes in two wheelbase sizes, the 90 and the 110, and in several styles. A hardtop, jeep-like version is available, as well as a station wagon, pickup, utility wagon, double cab pickup, HC pickup, double cab HC pickup, and specialist conversions.

The hardtop version comes in a 90- or 110-wheelbase size. Both vehicles come with a 2.4-liter diesel producing 122 hp with 265 lb-ft of torque. The 90 version has two seats and comes in three trim styles including the Base model, S, and SE. The 110 hardtop has a longer body with better cargo space in the back.

The pickup style comes in a Base, S, and SE trim package in both a 90-inch wheelbase and 110-inch wheelbase. It is a two-door, two-seat vehicle with an open back like you would see on a pickup truck. The pickup has the same engine as the 90 and 110.

The station wagon version of the Defender has a larger seating capacity than the Hardtop and the Pickup, seating four passengers in the 90-inch wheel base version and five passengers on the 110. Again, the same engine is offered.

The Utility Wagon only comes in the 110-wheel base. It has five seats standard with a large cargo area.

The Double Cab Pickup has five seats and comes in the 110 wheel base size. The Double Cab has separate cab areas for carrying equipment and personnel, keeping loads separate from passengers.

The HC Pickup is a high capacity model, able to carry large loads in a huge bed. The truck can carry a little over seven pounds on a braked trailer and over three pounds in the bed.

The Double Cab HC pickup has five seats instead of the two in the HC pickup. The Double Cab can carry the same amount as the HC but keep loads separate form passengers.

Land Rover Defender Evolution

The 90 and 110 model names were changed to Defender in 1990 after the release of the Land Rover Discovery.

A new engine was introduced, a 2.5-liter I4 Turbodiesel that was able to produce 107 hp with 195 lb-ft of torque. The engine was called the 200Tdi. It was a huge improvement over the previous engine model.

In 2004, the engine received another refinement and was renamed the 300Tdi. Although this was a completely new engine, it only increased the horsepower to 111 hp and had the same load capacity.

Between 1997 and 2000, a BMW M52 2800 cc petrol engine was offered on the vehicle. It was a vast improvement over the diesel engine, pumping out 182 horsepower.

In 1998, a new Td5 engine was offered along with the petrol engine. The 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine produced 122 horsepower, significantly increasing the power of the vehicle.

In 2007, after a long update hiatus, the Defender was given a bit of a working over. Many of the changes were made due to new environmental requirements, which the company had so far ignored. The Td5 engine was replaced with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that was used in the Ford Transit. This increased the horsepower to 122 with a lower peak speed to increase towing capabilities. The dashboard and other interior features were also changed.

North American Defenders are largely modified before being sold in the states. All early models were painted white, except the Ralph Lauren black edition. A Defender 90 with a 3.9-liter V-8 was offered in 1994 and 1995 as well.

Defenders were only available in the U.S. prior to the 1998 year. The car can, however, still be found on used car lots.

Select a Land Rover Defender Year

1997 Land Rover Defender

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 1997 Land Rover Defender, which also uses the name Land Rover 90 and Land Rover 110, provides a British-made, four-wheel drive, offroad SUV.

1995 Land Rover Defender

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 1995 Land Rover Defender provides a low-cost alternative to the Discovery or Range Rover.