It had to be a modern car and it is. That its ‘character’ was therefore also going to take a hit was inevitable. As I have said in this space in the past, such character is most often found in a car’s deficiencies, which is great in a recreational toy but a pain in the backside in your do everything, go everywhere workhorse.
I speak not as a Defender owner, but as the owner of an even older, more rubbish Land Rover, the Series III in which I passed my test. It is unbelievably characterful which is really just another way of saying it is unbelievably useless, except at the very narrowly defined jobs with which it is tasked, chiefly ensuring we don’t get cut off when the snow comes, which until recently was every year. And yes, in that regard, it is brilliant: indeed it’s not been stopped yet.
What cannot be denied is that the new Defender not only still has character but that it is entirely distinct from that of any other Land or Range Rover on sale. It is anything but a restyled Discovery with rubber floor mats.