The broad-shouldered Land Rover Defender is a stalwart in the classic off-road scene. Bold, boxy, and unrepentantly crude, its go-anywhere mettle cemented its reputation as one of the most off-road-capable vehicles on the planet.
Enter 2020, and the Land Rover Defender redux promises to deliver us from sport utility vehicle blandness. But do we dare invoke the dreaded “icon” term for the reanimated Landy? Put more simply: Does the decades-old nameplate live up to its revered origins? We flew to Namibia, in southern Africa, to explore its remote reaches for answers.
No Pressure, Team
First, a bit of background. Though Defenders of yore resembled Series Land Rovers that date back to 1948, Land Rover didn’t invoke the Defender name until it needed to distinguish between its brutal off-roader and the more civilized Discovery. Defenders killed it in the do-or-die Camel Trophy races and hung with the toughest street-legal four-bys that ever roamed…