Defender tweaked for 21st century
22 August 2006

You wouldn’t know to look at it, but this is the new Land Rover Defender, which has been refreshed to keep it on sale to 2010 and beyond.

As we revealed two weeks ago, the outside is little changed, but the cabin has been given the most radical makeover since 1983, headed up by an all-new and greatly improved dash. Cabin airflow is up by nearly 50 per cent, and you now get the clarity of the Discovery’s instruments.

Behind the new front seats, the second row of seats can be asymmetrically split and there is the option of full-size forward-facing seats in the rear, in place of the bench seating of old.

Underneath the new bonnet - the only exterior change - is a new 2.4-litre common-rail diesel. Although it packs just 120bhp, the new engine produces 265lb ft of torque, 232lb ft of which is available from 1500rpm. A new six-speed gearbox offers a lower crawl speed in first and a 20 per cent higher sixth gear for cruising.

There’s still a huge range of variations on the Defender, with 14 separate body styles and three different wheelbases - not counting any of the bespoke versions LR builds. The new Defender goes on sale in the first half of next year, with prices “slightly increased” from those of the old model.

Our Verdict

Kia Cee'd

The Kia Cee’d is more than good enough to harry the opposition

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