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 Defender will undergo as any other versatilte luxury SUV would as it filters into customers’ daily lives, takes the strain of providing family transport, and sets about answering just about any need you might demand of any new car in the world. "The best 4x4 by far" really must do it all.
The new Defender is available in 90 and 110 forms, with the former only emerging into showrooms early in 2021. The engine range, which was only four options strong at launch, has expanded to encompass seven motors in all, although some are only on offer in models with starting prices above £80,000.
The meat of that engine range is now comprised of three six-cylinder, 3.0-litre diesel options (D200, D250 & D300) which offer between 197- and 296bhp, as well as a four-cylinder, 2.0-litre, 296bhp P300 petrol and the petrol-electric plug-in hybrid P400e (which adds in electric drive motors to help out that same four-pot petrol turbo engine, and to boost real-world running efficiency).