PistonHeads Expert Opinion
The icon. As much a part of British car culture as the Mini, the Jaguar E-Type or the Ford Escort - perhaps even more so. Though officially only known as a Defender from 1990, as a rebadge of the previous 90 and 110 models it was instantly familiar given the evolutionary relationship with the Series Land Rovers that preceded them. To the layman, the different versions have almost become interchangeable, not least because each represents the utilitarian, unpretentious, rugged off-roader that made Land Rover famous.
The Defender itself evolved gradually over its quarter-century on sale, gaining new Ford engines and the odd interior tweak. Perhaps the most significant change, however, was nothing that the Defender did it all - it was in trendy metropolitan elites adopting it as their carriage of choice, taking the Land Rover legend from the country into the city. As such it became popular with both cattle herders and yoga instructors, and is now reflected in a replacement Defender that’s as good up to its axles in clag as it is carving through SW1.