Land Rover Defender: Gallery

Cars

They are so ubiquitous you might not notice them. But heaven is in the details of the Land Rover Defender.

There is one word that summarises the appeal of Land Rover’s Defender: Simplicity.

It might be that this straightforwardness of approach is the harbinger of its ultimate demise. But we think it’s the direct approach to an automotive problem that makes the Defender so eternally beloved.

We drove a Defender around from Cumbria to Cape Wrath recently – and then down across three countries to Pembrokshire, and finally back to London. At first, we couldn’t believe how archaic the car seemed. You can’t switch off. You feel every yard of the road. And through an absolute hoolie of a storm we threaded our way up through the Lowlands and then to the heightening glens and finally across the Highlands and down to the North Shore of continental Europe. By the morning we were in love with the car.

Nothing is extraneous to the simple requirement of keeping going. You throw stuff in the back. You trundle along . There’s something of the simple joy of driving inherent in bumbling about in a Defender. And you know you can go anywhere, any time, in any conditions.

That safety and emissions and other regulations mean that Land Rover can’t go on producing these totems of an agro-industrial age is a travesty. It might be seen as simple progression by technocrats. But know this. When the final Defender roles of the lines in Solihull some time this year, it will be the end of a much-loved era.

You never realise what you’ve got until it’s gone.

CLICK TO ENLARGE