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Land Rover Defender 2009 Review

A hard core military style vehicle, Land Rover has been producing the Defender for nigh-on 60 years, with 25,000 examples sold in more than 100 different countries and in over 100 different variations each year.

But the past is finally catching up with this British icon, which could well be nearing the end of the line — deemed no longer safe by modern standards.

In the meantime, however, Land Rover has produced a special 60th anniversary model, complete with Recaro seats which incidentally are heated.

It's almost a contradiction in terms.

Only 82 of the individually numbered Defender 110 SVX's will be sold in Australia, out of a total 1800 units worldwide, making it a highly collectable version.

It's a striking looking vehicle finished in glossy black with contrasting metal trim.

While the SVX bears a strong resemblance to its 1948 predecessor, many of the features have never been seen in a Defender before — things like aforementioned Recaros, satellite navigation, leather steering wheel and iPod compatibility — to name a few.

In addition the SVX features satin black 60th decals, five-spoke alloy wheels, tubular side-steps, reinforced aluminium bash plate, sunroof, aluminium gear knob, and a Clarion audio system with a separate sub-woofer and amplifier.

But don't get the wrong idea because this is no suburban taxi.

No sireee. It's built for strength, reliability and ease of repair.

We can verify the latter because we managed to punch a hole in the crankcase of one last year.

It was back on the road within the hour after plugging the hole with metal putty.

Anyone who has ever driven one of these vehicles can attest to the love-hate relationship that many drivers share with their cars.

It can be a pig to drive, especially in traffic, where it's more like a truck than a car with low gearing and a terrible turning circle _ but off road it has few peers.

Defender is not as you may think powered by five, but by a 2.4-litre four cylinder diesel that produces 90kW of power and 360Nm of torque.

The engine is hooked up to a six-speed manual transmission, with drive fed to all four wheels.

It sits on a separate ladder chassis, preferred for off road work, with a full time four wheel drive system and low range gearing.

It even comes with traction control and anti-lock brakes.

The wagon has a maximum speed of 132km/h and uses 11.0 litres of fuel per 100km.

Zero to 100km/h takes a long time _ 15.8 seconds.

It's a big sucker at 4639mm in length, weighing in at just over two tonnes and standing just over two metres tall.

Torque is normally split evenly between the front and rear wheels, but it can transfer up to 100 per cent either way as required - unless the conventional centre diff is locked.

Front and rear diff locks are optional.

Ground clearance is an impressive 314mm and it has a wading depth of 500mm, which combined with short front and rear overhangs, means this truck can go almost anywhere.

The limited edition SVX is priced from $63,320 and that includes seven seats, but you'd better be quick because there's not many of them left.

Pricing guides

$29,990
Based on 13 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$27,800
Highest Price
$29,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
110 (4X4) 2.4L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $27,800 – 29,990 2009 Land Rover Defender 2009 110 (4X4) Pricing and Specs
110 SVX (4X4) 2.4L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $20,400 – 27,720 2009 Land Rover Defender 2009 110 SVX (4X4) Pricing and Specs
110 (4X4) 2.4L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $27,800 – 29,990 2009 Land Rover Defender 2009 110 (4X4) Pricing and Specs
110 Hcpu (4X4) 2.4L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $13,300 – 19,250 2009 Land Rover Defender 2009 110 Hcpu (4X4) Pricing and Specs