11 Reasons why people buy Land Rovers
Just why exactly do people buy Land Rovers? They are gas guzzling, rust buckets… right?
A friend of mine once emailed to say that he was considering buying an old soft-top 109 Land Rover to carry around his family and their kayaks on weekend trips. “What about this one?” he asked, showing me a decent looking 109 rag top, “But I want a non fan-boy opinion”. I thought that was interesting. I’m known amongst friends to be very enthusiastic about Land Rovers, but to the point that people obviously believe I’m blind to even the biggest oversights and niggles that Land Rovers do have.
So, having sat and pondered this comment, I wondered, why do people buy Land Rovers? Land Rover’s are expensive, very basic, difficult to drive around towns, not particularly comfortable, slow, fuel burners, noisy, costly to run, hard to get into with a skirt on (apparently), damp, leaky and we could go on.
Here’s 11 reasons people buy Land Rovers
There’s no denying, Land Rovers are tools on wheels. Interiors are made of rugged, hard-wearing materials and can be hosed down. Fabrics and carpets resist mud and moisture well. The rear load space is perfect for carrying anything from a concrete mixer, to a 50 gallon drum, several dogs, boxes of tools, the queen or a combination of the above.
2. Body options
There’s few civilian vehicles you can still purchase in the following body options:
- Chassis cab
- Truck cab
- Double cab
- Hi cap
- County spec
- Utlity wagon
- XS plush options of above
- 3 different wheelbase lengths
And Land Rover even have their own “Special Vehicles Department” offering additional, specialised outfittings. There’s no other company out there that can offer this kind of variety and that’s why you don’t see many Nissan Navara snow ploughs or Hilux based cherry pickers.
3. Out of the box Off-road Abilities
Land Rover’s history is off-road. Farmers love Land Rovers for their go anywhere capability. Mud, wet grass and rutted farm tracks prove trivial. Snowy roads, even under thick drifts of snow are completely passable, crucial if you live in a secluded village with limited access. These vehicles are designed for trips across a beach, into the sea, through fords and across side slopes that would topple a lesser vehicle.
4. Cool Factor
One big reason people buy Landy’s now is the cool factor. Companies like Twisted Performance have made tuned defenders desirable. Purchases by premiership footballers and celebrities increase exposure, resulting in copy cat buyers. It’s become trendy to have a sporty Defender and with appearances on every TV show ever shown, the Defender, despite all it’s downfalls, is seen as a chique & hip vehicle. On a recent trip to Paris, I was surprised to find a lot of Defenders. Mostly all special editions…
The look of the Defender is perfect in every way, the design harps back to the 1948, revisited in the 80’s resulting in a retro design that still looks good on the road now.
6. Ease of Maintenance / Simplicity
Die-hard Defender fans will often state the 300 tdi was the last ‘proper’ engine to be fitted to the Defender. In reality, all engines fitted to the Defender have their fans and their detractors. One thing all iterations have shared is relative ease of maintenance and simple construction.
You can still quite easily knock down even the latest Defender with a 19mm, 17mm and 13mm spanner. The high ground clearance means a lot of jobs don’t even require the car to be jacked up. There’s no plastic trim hiding the nuts and bolts and the internet is chock full of information on how to strip down, repair and replace just about any component. It’s the perfect vehicle to learn about the mechanisms of a car and to be able to have a bash at fixing it yourself.
The Defender body and chassis are extremely modular as we’ve already discussed. Interior load space is cavernous. The flat outer panels mean you can mount just about anything anywhere. A full length roof rack gives you plenty of room for fuel, spares and equipment. Couple this with the wide availability of Land Rover parts & the ability to run on low quality fuels and you have the best adventure vehicle by far. Of course, you don’t have to be a globe trotter to get the most from a Land Rover. It’s just as suited to those who enjoy adventure sports, with plenty of room for canoes, ropes and bikes as needed.
No, this vehicle doesn’t have side impact protection. It doesn’t have air bags. It’s actually never been officially crash tested. But the Defender’s strongest structure (the chassis) is positioned above that of normal cars. The Defender has a nice high driving position too, helping you see over the tops of other cars around town and miles ahead on winding walled country lanes.
9. Lack of Depreciation
There’s very few sound investments in this world. But buying a Land Rover is somewhat sensible, as demand is constant and high while depreciation is comparatively low.
10. Towing capability
The Defender still has a class leading 3.5 tonne maximum tow load, even though it will tow a lot more than that.
Other 4x4s can only ever match the Defender, never out do it.
Very few vehicles have as a big and as dedicated a following as the Land Rover. With a very enthusiastic set of owners, it’s easy to always find help, advice and general Land Rover chat. There are lots of forums and facebook groups dedicated to all things Green Oval.