What is it?
Of all the Land Rover Defender variants, the D240 seems the best-positioned for UK residents.
It uses a 2.0-litre turbodiesel with 237bhp and 317lb ft, and while these modest outputs don’t quite translate to sparkling fuel economy, in S form the Defender’s pre-option price is reasonable. It’s also worth remembering that this is one of the world’s most capable cars – maybe even in the top one.
To recap, the new Defender arrives in five-door ‘110’ form first, with the short-wheelbase 90 to follow. Both are based on the most rugged derivative to date of Land Rover’s longitudinal-engined architecture. This largely aluminium car comes with 2.0-litre diesel and 2.0 and 3.0-litre petrol engines, can tow 3500kg, and on air springs (steel coils come later) wades 900mm of water. It has remarkable off-road credentials.
Here, though, we drive it on the road, at length, for the first time. A British road at that. And a narrow one, which was my biggest concern for this 2105mm-wide car when I first drove it in Namibia – a country nearly four times the size of Britain but with fewer than 4% of the people. So while the place has fewer surfaced roads, they’re plenty wide enough.