Used Land Rover Defender (Mk1, 1990-2016) review - What do owners think?
It’s as tough as old boots, but the Defender is an old design and will be more troublesome than newer machines
Overall Defender owners love their cars, blindly accepting its flaws, quirks and occasional reliability concerns because it’s such a characterful machine. Most take their cars to a specialist for mechanical work, which is unsurprising given the brand’s own dealers finish plum last in our Driver Power satisfaction poll, with high costs and poor service singled out by owners.
The Defender hasn’t appeared in Driver Power surveys, but an army of enthusiastic owners has left reviews on our sister site Carbuyer.co.uk, awarding it on average 4.1 stars out of five, compared with our less generous verdict. Essentially, the Land Rover is built tough and can withstand plenty of abuse, but older examples in particular are likely to suffer from more faults than owners of much newer cars are used to.
In this review
- 1Used Land Rover Defender (Mk1, 1990-2016) reviewThe Land Rover Defender is bursting with character and brilliant off-road, but its dated design, agricultural on road behavior and high running costs count against it
- 2How much will it cost?Prices are high and values rising, but you’ll need to budget for high running costs
- 3How practical is it?It’s not as big inside as you’d expect and it’s sparsely equipped, but the Defender can turn its hand to anything
- 4What’s it like to drive?Sluggish performance and vague on road handling, but Defender is packed with charm and a supreme mud-plugger
- 5What should you look out for?The Defender is a dependable choice, but here are plenty of things to look out for, particularly on older cars
- 6What do owners think? - currently readingIt’s as tough as old boots, but the Defender is an old design and will be more troublesome than newer machines