We have tested the new Land Rover Defender’s capabilities both on road and off road and at no time has it been found wanting. Its brilliance as a 4x4 is without question. The ease with which it performs in the wild makes it almost feel like it’s built for people who don’t like off-roading. It’s like using a pneumatic nail gun rather than a hammer: it wants to make the task as straightforward as possible.
But remarkably, while a Toyota Land Cruiser or Jeep Wrangler or Ford Ranger Raptor can feel compromised on the road as a result of their adventuring capabilities, the Defender remains quiet, pliant and, in short, good fun to drive.
That’s what marks it out as an adventuring vehicle. Whether your adventure comprises a day trekking through forests, traversing your farmland or a building site, or is just a solid day of school run followed by motorway schlep to a meeting, you’ll get out of it less tired than you would any of its rivals. Draw up a list of the most broadly capable cars in the world and the Defender would sit comfortably in the top three. It costs and it’s thirsty, especially in this form, but it’s a triumph.