Buying a new Defender wasn’t an impulse. It had been a dream for years but it just never seemed viable. That was until a long, uncomfortable coach journey to the Alps in December 2013, which persuaded me to make it happen. The next skiing trip would be by Land Rover.
By this time, rumours that Defender production was ceasing in 2015 were almost accurate and the aim became to own a model produced in the last year of production to use alongside my trusty Hi-Cap.
The 110 Utility has always seemed to be one of the more practical models. Seating for more than three was needed, ideally all forward facing, and this ruled out a 90. Some decent room for luggage was also on the wish list and the station wagon’s tax seemed excessive.
I finally placed an order with Harwoods in Sussex in November 2014, and picked it up in March last year.
Everything I thought I might need in the future was specified from new to avoid the need to mess with anything while it’s still under warranty. It’s been given extra security and a good coat of Waxoyl. The rear has also been lined with rubber matting to protect the exposed metal and reduce road noise.
On the outside the upgrades include LED lights and a rear bumper step, as seen on the SVX. Another SVX-inspired option is the dual-finish alloy wheels but fitted with Continental Cross Contact tyres.
The interior is fitted with Ebony premium leather seats and the audio upgrade kit. Both have proved their worth in the first 3000 miles, the majority of which have been clocked up on longdistance trips to Cornwall, Wales and the Lake District.
Even though the 110 is 'brand new', at least in my eyes, there’s no forgetting you’re in a Defender. If you ask me, that’s no bad thing.