• Apr 5th 2008 at 2:02PM
  • 28
Click above for 28 new hi-res photos of the Defender SVX

Companies can crow about the ability of their SUVs, but for a great number of people, the land Rover Defender is the epitome of the SUV concept. As iconic as the original Jeep, the Defender does its thing, and does it better than just about any other vehicle in its class. Wagon or convertible, new or old, the Defender will happily wade into whatever slop its driver points it at and come out the other side no worse for wear. As we reported late last year, Land Rover is building a limited run of 1,800 Defender SVX models to celebrate the marque's 60th anniversary. The SVX kit dresses up the Landie with flashier trim on the grille, side steps and roll cage; a swankier set of wheels; special badging and decals; plus interior appointments including Recaros, a Garmin GPS, and that all-important iPod hookup. Glitzing up a Defender seems akin to a mud wrestler putting on Harry Winston jewelery before heading into battle, but at the end of the day, at least you know it'll clean up nice.

[Source: Land Rover via The Land Rover Chronicles]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      I own a 1994 NAS Defender and I love it. I'm Glad they only brought 5000 over here. It makes it special to me. They will never bring it back over to the US unless it meets out safety standards, ei: airbags, anti-lock brakes and so on. But since they haven't changed it in 25 years, well that to me is a good thing.

      This new one looks stupid. Why would they "dress up" a Defender.
        • 7 Years Ago
        One of the best things about the Defender is its' resale value, and thank the limited production for that. My uncle sold his for about 30 grand with 50k miles on it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The front on that thing just doesn't look right. Other than that, I'll take two.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I agree... I'd love it if they didn't ruin the front where the front fenders on the sides come forward, pass the front grill.

        It look great.... but ehh.... the front part kinda killed for me.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I LIKE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!
      • 7 Years Ago
      There's no way that today's Defender would comply with US standards on crash test/emissions, etc...
      The car has no airbags, crumple zones, the ergonomics are from the 80's. Most US buyers won't be able to drive it off the showroom as no automatic gearbox is available. Heck, most US customers won't even be impressed with the 2.4L diesel engine (Ford Transit sourced) @ 122 bhp. 0-60 in around 18 seconds.

      That being said, in off-road environment, Defenders will run circles around vehicles costing 3 times as much, take abuse and punishment while having the ability of being repaired in the field (a bit less nowadays with all the on-board electronics). Defenders have been places that most SUV to the exception of a well prepared Jeep Wrangler could only dream about.

      Land Rover lost the plot on Defender a long time back with the deletion of the V8 from the range.
      The Defender 60th anniversary is a joke. A tarted up, once proud vehicle. On the other hand, the 50th anniversary had the right stuff. 4.0 V8, Auto, Roll cage, etc... . Nowadays, LR management finds it easier to sell Range Rover Sports, LR2 and desecrate a brand icone by putting make-up on it.

      I would not hold my breath on Defender coming back to the US. LR will bring the LRX and probably put a Range Rover badge on further dilluting the brand DNA.

      See link below to see what Defender stood for and what LR has given up:

        • 7 Years Ago
        Is there an off-road vehicle available that costs 3 x as much as a Defender?

        Maybe an H1 Alpha.

        ( with the machine gun.)
      • 7 Years Ago
      I AM IN LOVE! Good God that thing is amazing. LR is losing $$$ not selling those in the States...that thing would destroy the market share of the Wrangler the lesser Jeep models.
        • 7 Years Ago
        @ Brett No it would not be taking sales from Hummer since a person who would buy a 5 passenger H3 would not be shopping for a 2 passenger Land Rover. I see this would attract Jeep Wrangler buyers looking for something a lot more civilized and luxurious. Not something Land Rover defenders are known for but you know, it's a Land Rover.
        • 7 Years Ago
        4x4north: are you seeing anyone?

        just kidding buddy. i too have blasted the euro shows for unnecessarily trashing the better american products like the Z06 by squaring it off against a $192k porsche gt2 on a post last week then trashing it.
        i saw that fifth gear episode and closed it waaaay before it got to that segment.

        has anybody there read LR's reliability ratings? just flat out garbage. just because its expensive doesn't mean its any good, they should look at their brothers over at jaguar.
        • 7 Years Ago
        British Rover: I just watched that clip of Fifth Gear you mentioned, and my stomach turned. I've never seen more nonsense from a more ignorant bunch of wannabe automotive experts. The bias towards a british brand is evident, and I knew the conclusion from the moment they started speaking.

        First of all, their "test" was a joke, that wouldn't even classify as a beginner course in any offroad park in the US, and with enough people putting H3's through some of the most difficult trails out there, in stock form, and it passing with flying colors, anybody doubting the H3's capabilities or comparing it to other "SUV's" doesn't understand much about offroading. I won't even touch their comment on "better built" vehicles out there, considering the H3 is one of the best built and strongest 4x4's out there. This just proves that the Fifth Gear episode was designed around one purpose, no matter how well the H3 does, the Land Rover would beat it. Funny how they never even had a Land Rover there to compare to? I haven't seen nonsense like this in a long time.

        Lets get some facts straight about the H3 vs D90:

        Tire Size:
        The H3 can fit a 35" tire with no lift required. No other truck can do this, other than the H2 (H2 can go to a 37")

        The D90 can only fit a 31" tire.

        Water Fording:
        The H3 is rated at 24" (26" with a 35" tire, and people do more with no issues)
        The D90 is only rated at 20"

        Locking Diffs:
        H3 currently has a rear locker, soon available will be a front locker.

        D90, I see no talk of lockers at all on their website, surprisingly. I can't believe this.

        Electronic Traction Control:
        Standard on all H3's, provides power to wheel with most traction.

        OPTIONAL on all Defender models, OPTIONAL!?

        The ONLY thing that the D90 has over the H3 is a slightly better approach and departure angle at 47 degrees for both (and on the 110 and 130 their departure angle goes down to 35 degrees) and a ground clearance of 10".
        An H3 with 35" tires has a ground clearance of 10.1 inches, an approach angle of 41 degrees, and a departure angle of 38 degrees.
        One thing that the D90 really has an issue with in the departure angle is that the muffler hangs right behind the rear tire, lower than the bumper. Anyone who's done any rock crawling understands how bad a design flaw this is. The H3 has the muffler up into the body above the rear bumper line, so no damage can occur to it when crawling off a rock.

        That episode was nonsense, they didn't touch the features or capabilities of the H3, just designed to knock an American product. I find it amusing when those who understand nothing about offroading start mouthing off on which vehicle is best, it truly shows their ignorance.

        Here's an idea, if any of you brain cell challenged over at Fifth Gear might be reading this, take a stock H3, and a stock D90 to Moab, and go at it, with a true test, with both vehicles. Maybe try the Rubicon, or some good ol' fashioned mudding.
        • 7 Years Ago
        4x4north is dead-on. The H3 is an incredible off-road machine.
        For example:

        British car shows have always been excruciatingly biased against the Hummer brand. I remember when Top Gear compared the H2, Escalade, and a Range Rover in an off-road competition. Close to the finish line, the H2 mysteriously died of "altitude sickness". In other words, the Hummer was winning, so Clarkson told the driver to stop.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I doubt it would take the sales of the Jeep but it probably would slaughter the Hummer in the States!

        Agreed, I am also in love!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Land Rover is convinced that they couldn't make money selling the Defender in the US. I don't know if I agree with that but they have done studies saying it would not be profitable. Keep in mind that all that changes with Tata buying the company.

        The Defender will have to be redesigned to be sold in the US in order to meet crash and emission standards. The Defender will have to be redesigned soon anyway since it is mostly hand built and the hand built process is very expensive. The Defender line was automated some recently but the build process is still labor intensive.

        Land Rover makes 10 different versions of the Defender counting the SVX and not counting the numerous custom versions for commercial or military use. The D90 Station wagon seats four. The person looking at a H3 might be more interested in the D110 Station wagon that can seat seven or the D110 hardtop that can seat five.

        Someone looking at a H2 or H2 SUT might be interested in a D110 double cab or maybe even a D130 double cab. Those Defenders would also do fairly well as half ton double cab pickup replacements.


        Check out all the specs at the Land Rover site. The Defender is essentially the F150 of Europe.

        The last episode of fifth gear this year had an interesting test of a H3 for the mountain rescue division in Wales IIRC. They normally use specially prepared D110s and the H3 was seen as a possible supplement do the Defenders. The H3 did not fare well in the test and just couldn't do the things the D110 could.

        The two biggest problems were the poor visibility and poor interior space relative to the overall size. The H3 seats fewer people and holds less cargo then the D110 but the D110 is five inches shorter. The defender is also four inches narrower.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Subaru called, they want their acronyms back.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Id take a jeep wrangler over this anyday IF it had a hemi or the diesel. Wranglers are underpowered as they stand now.
      • 7 Years Ago
      land rover is hemroging money and they are gona spend the money to manufacture a limited production of these? are they kidding? This better be a prequil to a full run and a release in the states this thing is awesome and yes this would take jeep sales deffinatly maybe even put chrysler out of buisness lol maybe an exageration but really dont dilly dally with this one youve got a winner lr
        • 7 Years Ago
        @seoultrain Did you understand what i was saying? If so what is the use of all this fancy pants grammer? Me and periods dont get along so well. I thought this was a casual blog and not 7th grade english class dont be so anal :p
        • 7 Years Ago
        can we have some punctuation in that last sentence/gibberish?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Land Rover and jag combined made over one billion dollars last year so I think they are doing ok.
      • 7 Years Ago

      World's Best Off-Roaders

      LR Defender
      Jeep Wrangler
      Mercedes G-Wagen
      Hummer H1
      Range Rover
      Nissan Patrol
      Toyota Landcruiser
      Mitsubishi Montero
        • 7 Years Ago
        World's smartest people:

        Avinash Machado
        Paris Hilton
        George Bush

        Yeah, your list is as accurate as mine. *shakes head* The beauty of the internet, every numbskull gets to voice their opinion regardless of knowledge. Opinions, everyone has them...
      • 7 Years Ago
      What a manly machine. This demands its owner to have at the least, some outdoorsy stubble.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wrangler/H3 is to Defender as Tonka is to Caterpillar.

      Wading depth of 20 inches - you have to be kidding me!? No V8? Why would you want a V8 when you have this:

      Defender´s all new 2.4litre Diesel engine produces a class-leading 360Nm of Torque (90 percent of peak power is on tap from less than 2,200rpm to over 4,350rpm) - good for over 25MPG average!

      Please, Wrangler, H3, and H2 are style over substance.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Just one thing:
      The Defender is not a S_UV. It's just a U_tility V_ehicle ;P
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