*sort of. But who cares how tenuous the party is, when the cake looks this good?
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Land Rover Defender
The Top Gear car review: Land Rover Defender
Final thoughts and pick of the range
One in a hundred, one in a thousand, who knows? But once in a while, out of all the people buying Land Rover’s vehicles, there will be someone who has the intention of using it to the max. For the other 99 or 999, not so. The firm’s entire success has been founded on making vehicles that are so capable they go well beyond the normal needs of the buyers.
The Defender is the pinnacle of that. Who are the one in a thousand? A few adventure crews. Some deep-country folk of unusual prosperity. And, with next year’s Commercial version, such noble entities as coastguards, electricity supply workers and rescue crews.
In the meantime though it’s a family car with a deep and wide backstory. It just makes you feel adventurous. And when you do use its ability – as an off-roader, a snowy-roader, a towing roader – it’d feel immensely reassuring. It’ll carry mountains of kit, and shrug off the dirt and wet.
Those same qualities of versatility and ruggedness are equally handy even if you just take a bunch of unruly kids to school, the shops, the sports ground. Families wreck the insides of posh cars. This one resists wrecking.
And the amazing thing is how well it drives. It’s stately and dignified and feels good.
We usually recommend 4WD estate cars over expensive crossovers, because there’s not much a crossover can do that an estate can’t. But the Defender isn’t a crossover and skittles that argument. If you can make use of it, there’s nothing to match it.
Our choice from the range
This is the one we'd pick...