I bought my Defender a couple of years ago - never had any problems.
On the road it is fun to drive as long as you're not in a hurry - keeps you well occupied adjusting the steering to keep going in a straight line... The ride is firm and bouncy, but comfortable and entertaining. TD5 engine has plenty of power and torque once it is spinning, however it does not have much just above tickover so it is possible to do an embarrasing stall!
Running costs have been excellent although if driven above 55mph for long periods it does have a thirst but really very good for a true 4 x 4 - average is around 30mpg.
Cabin is excellent and very different to anything else I've experienced - mine is the basic version without a radio or anything else which is the way I like it - prefer to concentrate on the driving and the lovely beat from the 5 pot diesel - if you don't want a real driving experience buy a VW Golf.
Overall this is the best vehicle I've owned - hope the new model lives up to this.
This is my fourth short wheel base Landrover and fifth Landrover product, having previuoisly owned an 88 inch diesel, two 200Tdi models, an automatic Discovery 300Tdi and now the Td5. I have liked them all despite their idiosyncracies but this is just the best. It leaks a bit round the door seals like all Defenders seem to do. It has a lot of frightening electrics under the driver's seat such as ABS and ETC but so far none of them has developed a fault. I bought it at 3 years old some two years ago. It drives beautifully. it has loads of power.It is footsure and I feel confident throwing it into bends on Highland roads. I need a totally reliable car for my job and so far none of the latter 3 cars has let me down. Servicing costs are modest for such a big vehicle. I was recently amazed when driving to England I drove 402.7 miles before getting the reserve fuel light. Did it really do about 40 mpg cruising at 65 to 70 mph? My advice to anyone is buy one and you will never want another car. My advice to Ford is do not change a proven formula. I was recently considering "downsizing" my car but I cannot bear to part with the Td5 Defender.
It is not so much in a class of its own, as it actually defines the class of 4x4s. All the others are plastic mother's school run vehicles for people who want a larger version of their previous sardine can.
The small brained tail-gaters cannot be seen hidden behind and consequently fail to irritate. The driver sits high, allowing him or her to look down upon other road users.
With a usable top speed of 65mph (80mph if you want to push the earth’s atmosphere aside) it’s not a car for anyone in a hurry. There is loads of space for all your junk, seating for 9 people and 28mpg.
Yes rain water comes in and pools in the wheel wells, but after all it is a farmer’s car. 2.5 l turbo diesel gives it great pulling power.
Now for off road: unbeatable, I used to drive the pre-turbo models in the army 30 years ago and this one is better still. On a pebble beach it moves forward with ease where other 4x4s get stuck.
Big moments of joy: I had the enormous pleasure of towing a Toyota Land cruiser out of the pebbles at Cooden beach last Summer. Range Rovers are for gamblers, Discoveries are for second hand car dealers, whilst Defenders are for farmers and the unpretentious.
I have owned Alfa Romeos, Audis, blah, blah, blah... but this is the best car I've ever had.
It may be noisy, leaky, have no turning circle and a tendency to drift around corners, but I just smile every time I drive it. It is fantastic.
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