There’s no escaping the fact that the rather boxy silhouette seems out of place in the current design trends, but it’s a clear attempt at continuing the classic two-box outline of the original car. What it does give though, is an awesome amount of interior space. It’s also a very big car, measuring just over five metres in length.
It’s the most configurable of all the current Land Rovers and besides a long list of official bolt-on accessories, the five-door version seen here can be delivered as either a seven-seater or a five plus one seater.
We’re driving the seven-seater here, though dealer Wearnes Automotive tells us that this version will only be available in Singapore on an indent-basis. As expected, the third row of seats fold flat into the boot and are deployed by pulling up on a strap.
The five plus one seat version meanwhile, employs a centre seat in the front row that folds down to become the centre console. It’s a throwback to the original Land Rover’s front bench seat, though these are infinitely more comfortable.
The cabin manages to be both luxurious and practical at the same time. Through the clever use of materials and excellent sound absorption, it’s reasonably quiet on the open road, and there’s plenty of soft touch material all round.
But it’s a car designed for serious off road use too, and underneath the floor mats you’ll find a hard wearing rubber surface that is designed to be washed directly when mud gets on it. The floor mats themselves can be washed and dried quickly, while the dashboard surfaces are not averse to getting dirty.
What’s interesting is that the designers knew that the car could be cluttered with a lot of accessories and gear that may restrict vision through the rear view mirror, so the said mirror helpfully becomes a video monitor with the flick of a lever, and with the help of the rear video camera offers the driver a fully uncluttered view of what’s behind the car in real time.
It’s an interesting paradox in that it no longer feels like a military vehicle, but is also very usable in rough conditions.
Owners of the new Defender will also get access to a registered Land Rover app that lets them unlock the car and even remotely start the engine. The car is packed with clever gadgetry all round, and that includes cameras all around the car displaying real time views of what’s around you. This means that even when crossing difficult off road sections you no longer need a spotter outside the car to guide it over tricky spots.
Continue to page 3: Driving Experience