Now for the real test, then.
We’ve already tried the new Land Rover Defender in some of the most inhospitable environments on earth, in off-road locations where its mechanical credentials were taxed to the extreme. But not anywhere as harsh as those that really show up a car’s character: the relentless, thoughtless daily grind, the urban jungle and motorway schlep, family abuse from morning till night, the get-in-and-drive as mechanical process.
The kind of use, in short, that the new Defender – arguably the most important and interesting car of the year – will have to undergo when it starts filtering into customers’ daily lives.
To recap: the new Defender is available in 90 and 110 forms and this five-door 110 has arrived first, with a choice of two diesel and two petrol engines. This is the range-topper. Available in X trim only, it’s a mildly hybridised straight-six-cylinder petrol engine, badged P400, and it’s expensive. But we majored on the diesel in our first drive report, so let’s find out what this P400 has to offer and see just what heights – in terms of prestige – the car can scale.
The Land Rover Defender line-up at a glance
Grades are base, S, SE, HSE and X. Base gets steel wheels, fabric trim and analogue dials. S adds part leather, alloys and digital dials. SE has different wheels, full-powered seats and a camera in the rear-view mirror. HSE means full leather, sunroof and heated steering wheel. Sound systems and driving aids take a walk upwards through the range, too.
X and the P400 engine are exclusive to each other; kit is closest to HSE. The D200 can’t be an HSE. The base trim can only be a D200.