I had a quick spin in a Land Rover XTech special edition today. Once again, it’s almost impossible to justify why such a antediluvian, beastly, bumpy, lumpy and unwieldy has a place on the new car price lists in 2012. You can’t get comfortable, you need the window open if you want meaningful elbow room and, despite being fitted with the latest 2.2-litre turbodiesel and six-speeder, it’s not exactly economical.
Okay, it’s going to be near-unbeatable off-road, but for those who like to use their off-roaders, er, on-road, the Defender’s lack of usability is a genuine handicap.
But despite all that, and I am sure you know where this is going, I still adore the Defender. I absolutely adore the way it looks and its sheer all-round classlessness. My London-bound friends will tell you that they’re all over the West End and are currently the coolest thing to be seen in there. Mind you, at £27,995 for this one, it’s probably only Sloanies that will want to buy this. As a Defender you could conceivably trick-up a £3000 example to look largely similar to this car – and be just as bouncy and uncomfortable.
The one other thing I really like about this car is there’s so much heritage componentry in it – it’s easy to find. I’ll post a few images below and see if you can identify where they come from. As a BL aficionado, it’s a delight to see just how much Land Rover have dipped into the parts-bin – and that’s without taking into account the MGF window switches and Range Rover steering wheel.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.