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Land Rover Defender 110 2007 review

At the same time Defender's loyalists are drawn to the minimalist design, to a vehicle that can take you just about anywhere, that you can treat badly, but that will still bring you home in one piece again.

Available in a myriad of variations world-wide, it's a vehicle favoured by the military, aid organisations and government agencies as well as those who simply love the great outdoors.

We take two models, the 110 wagon and the 130 cab-chassis, which misses out on traction control.

Designed primarily with functionality, practicality and reliability in mind, it's also a vehicle that you can literally hose out when it gets too dirty.

But the underlying design could well be the Defender's undoing, with no plans to continue production beyond 2010 when it no longer meets minimum safety standards.

The problem here is that with only 25,000 sales a year world-wide, redesigning the car for the 21st century could simply be uneconomic.

So, with two years to run, Land Rover has just updated the current 2002 model for what is perhaps the last time, to produce what is arguably the most comfortable Defender ever but one that is still just as tough.

Having said that we managed to crack the engine case of our test vehicle, a 130 cab- chassis through bad luck more than bad management.

On a particularly tough section of bush track, a stone is thought to have been flicked by one of the front wheels with sufficient force to punch a hole in the crank case in an area otherwise shielded from hard knocks.

It was a million to one chance but some putty and a top up for the oil later and the vehicle was back on the road.

In a nutshell, that describes what the Defender is all about.

For the new 07MY model the TD5 five cylinder diesel has made way for a Ford 2.4-litre four cylinder unit, a six speed manual has been added and cabin comfort has been greatly improved.

The new 2.4 litre diesel is the same engine that can be found in Ford's Transit van and is good for 90kW of power and 360Nm of torque, with 90 per cent of torque available from 1500rpm.

In comparison, the old engine was good for 90kW and 300Nm.

The six-speed manual is a welcome addition with a lower first gear for extreme off roading and a higher sixth gear for more relaxed highway cruising.

Fuel economy is rated at 11.0 litres/100km.

We reckon second gear in high range is still a little too tall for the speed we wanted to maintain.

Defender runs a full time four-wheel drive system, with low range selectable via a traditional transfer lever. We found changing between high and low range tricky at times and the turning circle is terrible.

Inside, more elbowroom has been created by moving the front seats towards the middle of the cabin. The seats themselves are surprisingly comfortable and in the wagon a third row of front facing seats are now available as an option.

The padded dash draws on instrumentation from the Discovery with a centre mounted analogue clock. You even get a CD based sound system but surprisingly no iPod connection.

Gone are the pop up air vents replaced by standard airconditioning.

Land Rover has lost count of how many Defenders it has sold in Australia and indeed how many different versions of the car it currently produces.

The bushy's bushy has been sold here since 1949 and many a back paddock can attest to its rust resistant alloy body.

Defender 110 is priced from $48,990 and 130 from $50,990.


Pricing guides

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Range and Specs

110 (4X4) 2.5L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $12,700 – 18,370 2007 Land Rover Defender 2007 110 (4X4) Pricing and Specs
130 (4X4) 2.4L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $15,200 – 21,450 2007 Land Rover Defender 2007 130 (4X4) Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide


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