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That stalwart icon of Land Rover all-terrain capability, the Defender, will be with us at least until 2010. What Car? reports that the legendary 4x4 is slated to receive major updates starting next spring that could carry the boxy off-roader well into the next decade.

Although Land Rover is working to extend the Defender's lifespan as far as possible, it seems likely that it will eventually be replaced by a more pavement-friendly model.

Elsewhere in the Land Rover product line, the new version of its entry-level Freelander will debut at the British Motor Show this summer, and What Car? says an even smaller SUV is rumored, based on Ford's upcoming Focus 4x4.

[Source: What Car?, Land Rover]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      • 9 Years Ago
      With all due respect to this venerable 4 X 4, making it more manageable on road does not mean having to compromise off road capabilities.

      The Defender is an old truck that has a reputation as one of the best off road performers ever built. It's replacement can build on that reputation, while making behaving itself more on asphalt.

      http://www.automobilesdeluxe.blogspot.com
      • 9 Years Ago
      I have owned a Defender 90, a 1994 #1039. I have to say it kicks ass, it was my daily driver for 5 years I paied 24,000 for it drove it for 5 years and sold it for 18,000 with a 100,000 miles on it. I know eveyone says oh yeah the new LR3 has the same kind of off road abilites and it might but not over and over again. What makes the defender so nice is its lack of electric crap to brake. Solid axles kick ass, but are not as frinedly on road, but if you want a rig for the pavment then buy something else a H3 or H2.. I hope they don't make the new Defender soft. Even on the G4 event they still take a couple of 110s with them for clean up.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I have been considering which 6-or-more seater 4x4 to buy for some time now.
      I keep coming back to the Land Rover Defender.
      I will probably opt fo rthe 110 as this will give plenty of space for passengers plus my 2 dogs.
      Also, the 110 looks really cool. Especially in bonatti grey or java black.
      Sadly so many other cars look great when you first see them in a magazine but after you have seen them a few times you realise they look too "lifestyle" and thus are rendered totally uncool.
      What other vehicle can you think of that could be carrying either a group of mud-splattered hard core offroading fans or a Lord of the manor on his way to the horse trials?
      The Defender rocks!
      • 9 Years Ago
      "An all-new version with a similar emphasis on pure off-roading ability isn't out of the question, but new, models more suited to on-road driving are more likely"

      This is code for an independent front suspension.

      Overall, this "article" is fairly useless. Supposition, without citing sources: "the manufacturer says" isn't a source. Give us a name to put this in context.

      Waste of space.
      Daniel
      • 9 Years Ago
      The Defender's closest competitor for off road ruggedness is the Jeep Rubicon. In short and long wheelbase versions, the Jeep still uses solid axles due to their near unbreakable nature, and ease of maintenance in the field. These vehicles also perform fairly well on road. Just don't expect it to handle like a Ferrari 360 Modena. The Jeep does NOT have the utilitarian abilities of the Defender. If Ford/Land Rover choose to chase after the soccer mom/off road poseur crowd with the Defender, it will be a mistake of legendary proportions. Land Rover already manufactures vehicles for this market segment. The Defender needs to stay true to it's roots - a go anywhere, do anything vehicle designed to be bashed off road and repaired in the field - not prettied up for a night on the town like the Range Rover (a vehicle that has also strayed from it's original roots). This will guarantee continued military, government, farm, expedition, and enthusiast sales for the forseeable future. I personally wish to see them market Defender here in the States with an environmentally freindly diesel, five speed gearbox, aluminum coachwork, body on frame construction, and the awesome repairability and capeability that this vehicle is known for. If Land Rover builds it for this market, I will find a way to purchase one. Make mine a 110 any day.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I've always wanted a diesel Defender, it was such a short time that the modern version was sold in the U.S. that the used versions are very hard to find and very, very expensive when you do find one. One day, hopefully I'll own one. I'm glad Land Rover/Ford aren't setting it off to pasture just yet.
      • 9 Years Ago
      What is interesting is that the changes they are making to the defender for UK legislation will probably meet the US requirements. In the various articles, (autoblogs included), I have seen a couple of mentions that it may meet us spec as well.
      • 9 Years Ago
      "This is code for an independent front suspension."

      Grrr...
      You're probably right. Solid axles are disapearing because the core market for SUVs no longer takes them off road, recreationally or otherwise. They have become platforms for towing and some heavy hauling, not off road travel. Even if they keep the live axle, a more pavement friendly model will mean that it will turn into a vehicle just like the mercedes G-wagen: capable, but not something you can thrash around because all the expensive gimicks will break if mud or water ever touches them.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Stock out of the box an LR3 with it's air suspension, terrain optimization, traction managment, hdc, and optional rear locker is just as capable as the Defender off road, despite it's independent suspension. The only advantage the Defender has off road is that it's less suceptible to body damage and it just looks cooler.

      Solid axle vehicles are great for rock crawling, especially when modified, but for a nice daily driven off road capable vehicle few can compare with the independent suspension Land Rovers of recent. That is until they break.
      Fisler
      • 9 Years Ago

      Purchased 2006 Land Rover LR3 HSE Edition. Loved it beyond belief.
      7000 Miles later I can barely get into it without feeling sick..

      Why?
      Monumental transmission problems when rolling to a stop and then accelerating. Car jams into gear and it sounds and feels as if somebody just rear ended me.

      First Land Rover denies. Complain a 3rd time and dealer says "it's a smart transmission and it's getting to know your driving". I say "baloney".

      Another new "software update being released in June". First update made it worse!
      What a $53,000 heap of junk. Regret buying it.
      I talk with other LR3 owners every chance i get and most complain about same problem.
      Public should be advised of this serious problem. I feel mislead and ripped off.

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