What are Old Land Rover Defenders Like to Drive?


If you’re considering investing in and owning a classic Defender, one of the most pressing questions on your mind is most likely – what are they like to drive? This is one of the most commonly asked questions from potential buyers and enthusiasts. And, this all comes down to lots of people wondering if Defenders are hard to drive on a daily basis.

Essentially, the short answer is that a classic Defender is not inherently difficult to drive, but, naturally, it’s a more unique driving experience compared to driving a new Land Rover Defender or another similar car. To learn more about the overall driving experience and get a longer answer to this frequently-asked question, keep reading our post below.

Addressing The Common Misconceptions

When it comes to what a Defender is like to drive, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions that exist. For example, you might’ve heard that they’re difficult to handle or steer, but the reality is actually much different. The simple answer is that a Defender is not hard to drive.

Instead, it’s important to remember that classic Defenders are simply different to drive, handling bumps and steering differently to brand-new models or other modern SUVs. Defender drivers experience a more direct and connected feel to the road and the track, navigating the land in harmony with the natural environment.

Old Defenders are highly practical, reliable and provide an unrivalled touch of nostalgia that will transport you back to the early roots of driving. Rugged, simple, and durable, a Defender is a delight to drive in any terrain, whether you’re driving over mud, rocks or another uneven surface. With high ground clearance, robust suspension and four-wheel drive, you’ll feel just as comfortable in the mountains as you do on the beach.

The Role of Restoration and Customization

Vintage Land Rover Defenders feature solid axle suspensions; this is a strong, robust option with both advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, Defenders can typically handle abuse, require less maintenance, and perform extremely well off-road in any conditions. However, they don’t offer the smoothness of independent suspensions.

However, Defender suspension can be improved through restoration and customization. At TATC, we install new road bias suspension, struts, springs, bushings, brakes and brake lines. With a modified suspension and quality steering components, the steering is relatively precise and the ride is certainly a long way from being bumpy.

Overall, it’s commonly noted that a Defender drives like a truck – pretty straightforward and without the need to have any special driving skills. And, with modifications, a classic Defender becomes even more stable, planted and comfortable to drive. You’ll always have a visceral and highly enjoyable driving experience every time you’re out in it.

Can a Defender Be a Daily Driver?

Another common question that comes up time and again relates to the suitability of an old Defender for daily use. And, the answer is that a Defender is an excellent daily driver for someone who wants something special and one-of-a-kind to drive.

With professional restoration by TATC, your Defender will be more comfortable to drive and navigate wherever you are, whether you’re based in the city or off-roading in the country. Interior modifications such as upgraded A/C, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, USB and power sockets, upgraded seats and more can make it a pleasure for both driver and passengers.

Newly remanufactured engines and transmissions, and upgraded suspension, brakes and axles, can also make your Defender more reliable and comfortable as a daily driver. Fundamentally, a Defender as a daily driver is not for everyone; but if you want to experience life and adventure, and express yourself in a distinct way, this 4×4 off-roader is the perfect companion.

The Final Verdict

All in all, the answer is that Defenders are not hard to drive; in fact, with the right upgrades and customization, they’re perfect daily drivers that stand out from the crowd and give you a truly unique driving and ownership experience.

You can always expect effortless navigation and an uncomplicated drive. What’s more, you’re guaranteed remarkable longevity and enduring popularity; Defenders never go out of fashion and continue to appreciate in value with each passing year.

Considering an Old Land Rover Defender?

If you’re thinking about buying and owning a classic Defender 90, Defender 110 or Defender 130, then TATC is the Land Rover specialist to choose. We specialize in custom restored Defenders, offering a diverse range of rebuilds including the 2-door Hard and Soft Top 90s, the 4-door Hard and Soft Top 110s, and the 4-door 130 Double Cabs.

Our restoration and customization process involves preserving the rich history and heritage of this iconic 4×4. At the same time, we also aim to enhance every aspect to contemporary standards, incorporating modern upgrades like air-conditioning, heated seats, Android Auto and Apple Car Play, enhanced heating, and more.

We have a dedicated team of highly skilled automotive engineers, all of whom live and breathe all things Defender. Committed to quality and craftsmanship, we invest over 1,000 man hours in each bespoke restoration, ensuring longevity and robustness in every build. To enquire about our old Defenders, please feel free to reach out to us today through the online form on our website or via email at hello@tatc.us.com.