Off-Road Rage: The 2014 Land Rover Defender Review [Video]

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The iconic 2014 Land Rover Defender is a serious off-roading giant that puts its hefty functionality in front of the usual tech and comforts you may expect from other, dare I say it, lesser 4x4s. This latest model is geared up with a bit more refinement and a new Euro-5 compliant diesel engine to silent the ever clicking pen of bureaucracy that would see it abolished or revised to the point that it can no longer be recognisable as a 2014 Land Rover Defender. Aside from that, not much has changed – which is a good thing.

rear view of 2014 Land Rover Defender

2014 Land Rover Defender

This is especially true for the way it looks – it’s still that iconic strong blocky silhouette that cannot be mistaken for anything other than a 2014 Land Rover Defender. It’s based on a steel ladder-frame chassis on which the pieces are all bolted on. It’s so hardcore that you can even see the rivets! Inside, the interior has been upgraded a bit in recent years and although there is room for optional modern touches such as the stereo system and an iPod plug, you won’t find anything too frivolous in here. They were obviously focused on priorities when engineering this vehicle and many of the old characteristic throwbacks remain – It doesn’t even have airbags! Then again there is a certain beauty in its totally utilitarian nature. It includes a really useful rear external take off which you can use as a mobile power generator anywhere – what other car can boast that? It has to be said that the ambience is a bit nicer than with older generation Land Rover Defenders and the seats are plusher and more supportive. It’s worth getting the handy 14ltr central storage bin for all your oddments too. There are 2 man station wagon body shapes – the 90 and the 110 (or small and large wheelbase for those not up on Land Rover lingo).

The longer 2014 Land Rover Defender 110 form is much better if you wish to transport people as it can fit up to 7 (forward facing!) seats depending on how you spec it. There are also numerous body variations you can get such as the van option or the dual cabin pickup. Again it depends what you want to use it for. In the back seating area there is not a great deal of leg room however the premium amount of head room and airiness of the cabin distracts you from this. On top of that, the rear bench is set slightly higher than the front seats so it offers good views out the front and makes it feel like a good car to ride in. Right at the back, the boot area is vast (and oddly carpeted considering what kind of vehicle this is).

Front View of 2014 Land Rover Defender

2014 Land Rover Defender

Behind the wheel of this beast, it has to be said this is what it is – and that’s a full on proper 4×4 experience. Naturally the driving position is high and commanding, the 6-speed gearbox is a bit notchy and the suspension is very firm and crashy, allowing you to really feel the terrain. The turning circle is also pretty massive. But just what do you expect for a vehicle of this calibre? Remember that this isn’t a refined city slicker – this 2014 Land Rover Defender can power through the toughest off-road terrain with astounding approach and departure angles of 45 degrees as well as drive through ½ metre of water. It’s simply unbeatable when it comes to off-roading prowess. Even the ‘unstoppable’ Jeep Wrangler pales in comparison! The first gear is also very short which, when combined with the anti-stall system, allows you to crawl at a slow but unrelenting pace while all you have to do is direct the thing. Good for cruising on a rough track. As immensely capable as it is, if you’re a committed off-roading junkie, then you might do well to opt for the Off-Road pack which will kit the Land Rover Defender out further by adding ABS braking with traction control, an underside protection bar, a heavy duty steel spare wheel and the all-important tow bar.

The new 2.2ltr diesel engine comes in to replace the 2.4ltr Ford Transit derived diesel unit from before. This is Euro-5 compliant but is only marginally more eco-friendly (anything to keep the pen pushers happy). The performance is exactly the same as the previous 2.4ltr engine with a 0-62mph at 14.7 seconds and a limited top speed of 90mph. The engineers are allowing for an 10 mph to play with.

All in all, what’s the lowdown with the 2014 Land Rover Defender? Despite a few updates it’s just as rugged, skilful and uncompromising as ever. It might have its rough edges but at the end of the day – this is what it is and hardcore Land Rover Defender fanatics will not be disappointed. It’s capable and reliable beyond anything else while pulling it off with considerable cost effectiveness. One thing is for certain – this new 2014 Land Rover Defender should be at the top of your list if you’re planning a trip to the Serengeti or even something a bit less extreme… like rural Sussex.

If you want to get hold of the 2014 Land Rover Defender then don’t hesitate to leave us a message on our contact us page or give us a call on 01903 538835 to find out about our Land Rover lease deals.

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