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One for the petrolheads - Landrover Defender


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So, last week, for the first time ever I had the generous loan and opportunity to use a Landrover Defender 90 TD5 for a day and a bit - just for around town driving.

As an 'ordinary' car owner and user all my driving life I had often wondered the appeal of the 'ancient' Defender and the seemingly silly prices paid - even if old and what would be huge mileages for any other 'ordinary' car.  I had vaguely appreciated that it apparently still has good off road qualities even compared with more modern 4WD vehicles with nicer comfort/equipment/etc levels. But even so it seemed to be more of a cult following thing to me, as far as I could always tell.

That said however, after actually driving one, I must confess to being absolutely smitten with it!  Now I can't seeing it being 'fun' for a motorway journey of any reasonable length. I can't quite put my finger on it and why BUT there was an element of fun to driving it.

So now I find myself SERIOUSLY contemplating and wanting to buy a Defender of some sort. BUT, being a (mostly) boring pragmatic kind of person, I have  to be able to assure both myself and the dear wife that it won't end up being an expensive mistake.

I realise there are probably many Landrover dedicated websites/forums I could post this question on BUT want to try and avoid undue favouritism and bias - so thought I would address it to some more general 'petrolheads' of which I am aware there are a fair few lurking here.


Anyone care to offer any quick thoughts/opinions IF owning a Defender doesn't come with longer term cost burdens that more modern 4WD cars don't (e.g. reliability, build quality, etc).

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I'm not an expert - but isn't that self maintainable, and isn't there a large amateur support network for cheap/swap spare parts? I would think if you are going to own one then half they point of it is that you maintain it yourself on a shoestring just for the fun. Maybe.

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I suppose the stereotypical Land Rover is held together by duct tape and bailer twine, so...

Wish I could find some reason to have one myself but unfortunately it would be completely the wrong sort of vehicle for my use.

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Friend of mine has a III which he only runs in the summer - he spends about one weekend every month underneath it fixing something.

There are plenty of cheap spare parts available, but that's because they are constantly breaking. Wonderful cars but I would only get one if you also enjoy the maintenance side.

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Never buy anything with the word Rover on it, especially not Land Rover. The most unreliable motors going, don't ask how I know!

If you want something rugged and reliable, get yourself a decent Isuzu Trooper with a manual gearbox and a service history. Take you to the moon and tow it back to your house for you!


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