Land Rover Defender: Making a splash at 65
By now you must be perplexed at seeing photos of the car being driven with the driver’s window down. You may think I am trying to show off. The fact is, with the window up, there is absolutely no room for my right elbow in this car. Sure, I am, er, dimensionally gifted and the Defender is not a small car. But the seats are placed so close to the door, it’s as if they will fall out if you aren’t careful opening the door. The interior is all rudimentary. The only safety feature the Defender comes with is seatbelts. No airbags. Compared to the older Landies from the 1940s I was driving earlier, I can tell you the modern Defender has softer, more rounded edges in the cabin. And in place
of a glovebox you have a massive grab handle.
But it’s not all bad. There are creature comforts. Air-conditioning, power windows for the front, self-cancelling indicators and some thoughtful touches too. For instance, the ignition key is to the left, not the right as it usually is in right-hand-drive cars. I thought this was another Defender quirk. But it’s actually smart. As a Land Rover employee joked, the Defender has seats that are one-size-fits-no-one. Apart from moving it a bit back and forth, there’s nothing more you can adjust. And so, if the ignition keyhole was to the right, I would have impaled my dimensionally gifted self into the protruding key when climbing in. And they call Defenders agricultural.