The Good Life

The Return of the Great Defender

Land Rover’s classic SUV takes on contemporary conveniences, but never forsakes its tough-as-nails heritage
| By Paul A. Eisenstein | From Brian Cox, November/December 2021
The Return of the Great Defender
Call it the “there’s only one way back down” vehicle. The Land Rover Defender is the two-ton machine you want to be encased in when you find yourself wedged at the peak of a wooded summit and the lone way out is a treacherous descent down a steep incline with nothing but solid ground to greet you 100 feet below. With a checklist of state-of-the-art equipment—automatic-locking differentials, terrain-response control, hill-descent control, even a front camera—it can make the most perilous climb seem simpler than negotiating the typical hill in San Francisco. But for all its many 21st-century conveniences, the reintroduction of the Defender traces its root to a …
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