Land Rover Defender (1990 – 2016) Review

Land Rover Defender (1990 – 2016) At A Glance


+The most capable and agile off-road machine you can buy, latest 2.2-litre diesel engine offers strong pulling power, retains its resale value like no other utility vehicle.

-Cramped driving position, load space is useful but not as generous as in most of the competition, great off road but terrible on it.

Few things have been around as the Land Rover Defender in its various guises. Just about as soon as the wheel was first made, Land Rover came along and used four of these new fangled devices to carry people and cargo to places that previously seemed impenetrable.

The Defender took over from the Series Land Rovers in 1984 and it has slowly continued to evolve. That evolution has been more rapid in the twilight years of the Defender than ever before, with improved engines in 2007 and 2011, plus a six-speed gearbox to improve the rudimentary driving manners.

While some still buy the Defender as a lifestyle accessory or for leisure off-roading, the majority of customers choose it for the peerless off-road workhorse it remains. If you need to get somewhere inaccessible, the Defender will get you there.

Admittedly, this mountain goat ability means plenty of compromises in other areas, such as comfort and refinement but the Defender is endlessly configurable for any need. It’s also one of the slowest depreciating machines on sale.

Ask Honest John

Will replacing the battery in my key fob cause problems?

"I am confused over replacing a battery in the fob for a Land Rover Defender 08 plate. Some websites say it will need to be re-synced with the vehicle - some say not. I went to Timpsons and they said it would be about £100. One company I contacted said these vehicles were notorious for fob problems and would need a whole new fob. Can you help please?"
We believe that a key fob with a new battery won't always require resynching, but if the battery level drops too low then a manual resync is required. This procedure should be outlined in your owner's manual, but it also available online. If you are unsure about where to go from here, we would suggest finding a local Land Rover specialist who will be able to give you a fair price for a replacement battery and also take care of any resynching if required. You can find one in the Honest John Good Garage Guide here:
Answered by David Ross

I'm selling my Land Rover Defender 110 - is it worth upgrading the interior to get a better sale price?

"I'm thinking of selling my Land Rover Defender 110 and what I really need is some advice regarding the condition of the car. It is in genuine original condition with no added extras, would it be more saleable if I upgraded the interior or should it be left as is? It is clean and tidy but there are no luxuries i.e. padded seats etc."
Unless the interior of your Land Rover is in poor condition, investing money into making the interior more presentable might make it more saleable but it is unlikely you will recoup much of that outlay in a better sale price. Buyers looking at Defenders should understand that it is predominantly a working vehicle and is far from luxurious, so we would suggest just making the car as clean and presentable as possible to get the best possible price.
Answered by David Ross

Where can I buy a cheap Land Rover Defender?

"Where can you buy an older Land Rover Defender that won't break the bank?"
The Defender has a strong following and the current used car climate (with extremely strong prices) means you're going to struggle to find a bargain. Keep an eye on eBay and Facebook Marketplace, while it's worth contacting local Land Rover specialists in case they're aware of any being sold. Tread carefully, though – an old Defender can very quickly turn into a money pit.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What's the best way to sell an old Land Rover Defender?

"I work for a UK disability charity and we have a 2010 Land Rover Defender 110, which is no longer needed. We want to sell it but need advice as to the likely value and the best place to sell. It’s done 34,000 miles. Any advice etc greatly appreciated. "
We'd recommend sending it to a specialist car auction to help it achieve its full value. Online auctions like Collecting Cars and The Market are proving to be very popular, with cars appearing to fetch good values. Alternatively, you could try selling it yourselves on a website like eBay. Putting a price on such a car is difficult, though – the Defender is a niche model with a huge following, but prices vary dramatically. The good news is that, unless it's completely rotten, it's probably worth quite a bit.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

What does a Land Rover Defender (1990 – 2016) cost?