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Land Rover Defender New vs Old


The Land Rover Defender has been on UK shores since 1948. Starting with the series 1 the car has gradually evolved while retaining its classic looks. The series and the defender both have famed off road capabilities and their cult following. These chassis have been the foundation for many adventures including Antarctica and Africa. This rugged reputation depended on simple parts and a lack of electronic systems. A simple tool kit could often get you back on the road. These classic attributes ended with their latest generation which debuted in 2020.

Land Rover Defender next to a Series 1

For the die hard fans, the thought of electric anything is a worse case scenario. Tapping the starter with a spanner won’t cut the mustard with this latest model. Even the thought of a functioning heater might put off some of the hardest purists. While some may consider this an issue they all improve the driving experience. Some might disagree with additional weight and power these systems manage this better than human intuition.

While the original defender is immensely capable it isn’t without its faults. The chassis dimensions eventually began to limit what could be added to the car. The small power output meant newer cars quickly boasted more power and more comfort. Land Rover stuck it out with their dependable chassis and engines until consumers demanded something a little more.

Land Rover Defender Old and New

This is how we arrived at the 2020 model, while the styling has changed the ethos hasn’t. Land Rover understood what was important, after almost 80 years of producing a no compromise off road vehicle. Wading depth, suspension travel and engine performance were all improved over previous generations. While there may be some questions over styling there is no question over function.

The video below compares the two vehicles head to head. While the older Defender isn’t standard the modifications aren’t as drastic as some owners make. Quite quickly the improvements become apparent between the generations. In almost every test the new car outperforms the older one some by greater margins than others. The most surprising moment is the cross axle situation the older defender runs into while the new car traverses the same section with ease.

What the Defenders lose in its aesthetics it gains more in driving ability. While previous defenders have had hundreds of aftermarket options to improve this, most owners want something straight out of the box. Without diving into the rabbit hole of modifications you still won’t get the everyday functionality of the new defender. One thing you will never be able to improve is the infamous driver’s elbow room.

The difference between the two cars is indicative of the times. While before all out compromise to achieve off road performance was essential, now it isn’t. A choice between off road and on road performance is no longer necessary as you can have the best of both worlds. While the original defender will always be an icon for its history and longevity. For the modern consumer, this is irrelevant compared to modern practicality.

The new Defender can be found Here

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