Land Rover Monthly - - [£10k Buyers Gukle] -


De­fender prices have rock­eted in re­cent years, but £10,000 will buy you a great ex­am­ple. It will also buy you a ve­hi­cle that should hold its value bet­ter than any other car on the road.

To avoid con­fu­sion, we are lump­ing the Land Rover Ninety and One Ten in with De­fender for the pur­poses of this fea­ture, be­cause they are De­fend­ers in all but name. That name changed to De­fender in 1990 to avoid con­fu­sion with the ar­rival of the all-new Dis­cov­ery in the Land Rover fam­ily.

With a pro­duc­tion run from 1984 through to 2016, the De­fender be­came a na­tional trea­sure and in that time it changed a lot. Early Nine­tys and One Tens had ei­ther thirsty 2.25 or 3.5 petrol en­gines or lack­lus­tre diesels.

Land Rover tried to im­prove the per­for­mance of the 12J nat­u­rally-as­pi­rated 2.5 diesel by bolt­ing on a turbo. It added a bit more power, but didn’t do any­thing for the longevity of the en­gine. Most have now been retro­fit­ted with 200Tdi or 300Tdi units.

It was the Tdi en­gines that trans­formed the De­fender. The 200Tdi (1990-94) and 300Tdi (1994-98) shared iden­ti­cal per­for­mance fig­ures of 111 bhp and 195 lb ft torque.

The 300-se­ries en­gine was marginally more re­fined and it was at­tached to the R380 gear­box, which was less agri­cul­tural.

In 2007 that power out­put was upped by the ad­vent of the five-cylin­der Td5 diesel en­gine (122 bhp / 221 lb ft) and in 2007 by the first of the Ford-de­rived Puma (TDCI) en­gines, both of which were 122 bhp, but the 2.4 (2007-12) boasted 221 lb ft of torque and the 2.2 (2012-16) a whop­ping 265 lb ft.

Through­out the life of the De­fender, im­prove­ments were in­tro­duced – no­tably to in­te­rior trim, driver and pas­sen­ger com­fort and dash in­stru­men­ta­tion. Heaters re­mained in­ad­e­quate un­til the TDCI mod­els, but all De­fend­ers boast that same un­mis­tak­able pres­ence.

They also share the same ten­dency to get cor­ro­sion in the bulk­head, rear cross­mem­ber and body out­rig­gers, so check care­fully be­fore buy­ing.


For­get those scare sto­ries about De­fend­ers all be­ing snapped up by col­lec­tors: they are liv­ing his­tory to be driven and en­joyed. They’re great ev­ery­day cars and £10k will buy a good one. With ten grand you can take your pick of the very best Nine­tys and One Tens. Don’t be in too much of a hurry to part with your money, be­cause you should be able to pick up one with a gal­vanised chas­sis and per­fect body pan­els, in­clud­ing bulk­head, at this price.

The ever-pop­u­lar 200Tdi and 300Tdi mod­els are a lit­tle pricier, but £10,000 will find you a very solid and tidy ex­am­ple. Ex­pect to find a good Td5 for £10k, but later TDCI mod­els are re­ally hold­ing their val­ues, so you won’t find the best ex­am­ples for ten grand.

“For­get those scare sto­ries about De­fend­ers all be­ing snapped up by col­lec­tors: they are liv­ing his­tory”

This page: You should be able to pick up a good Ninety or One Ten with a gal­vanised chas­sis for £10k

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