Ad closing in a few seconds...
Parkers overall rating: 2.8 out of 5 2.8

A final hurrah with a performance twist

Land Rover Defender 110 Station Wagon (90-17) - rated 2.8 out of 5
Enlarge 11 photos

PROS

  • Supremely capable off-road
  • Now an icon, so strong resale values
  • Longer 110 version is more practical

CONS

  • Thirsty and loud V8 version
  • Crude to drive on the road
  • Out of series production

PROS

  • Supremely capable off-road
  • Now an icon, so strong resale values
  • Longer 110 version is more practical

CONS

  • Thirsty and loud V8 version
  • Crude to drive on the road
  • Out of series production

 

Having reached iconic status long before production ended in 2016, the long-wheelbase Land Rover Defender 110 Station Wagon was one of the British brand’s most famous models.

The Defender name had been in service only since 1990, but the car itself could trace its roots back to 1948, albeit with a series of significant overhauls along the way.

In car rather than commercial vehicle form, the Defender was available in two guises: the 90 Station Wagon was the short-wheelbase three-door, while the 110 Station Wagon here was the more practical five-door, seven-seat version.

Land Rover Defender 110 Station Wagon side static

It’s an SUV that’s no longer on sale any more, but due to its legendary off-road ability, character and huge fan base, resale values are strong. If you’re looking to buy one, be prepared to stump up handsomely for the privilege.

Icon reborn: Land Rover Defender 110 Works V8

This is the most over-the-top Defender of them all. Available in both 90 and 110 wheelbases, the Works V8 version is Land Rover’s final (honest) farewell to the now classic Defender.

It’s not a new model in the strictest sense of the word, though; you need to provide your own Defender 90 or 110 Station Wagon registered between 2012 and 2016, for Land Rover to strip down and build back up as this all-guns-blazing V8 version.

It uses a 5.0-litre V8 engine, producing 405hp and 515Nm of torque, which is a lot for any 4x4, let alone one with basic ingredients that are 70 years old. The Works V8 uses an eight-speed automatic gearbox shared with the likes of the full-size Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, and – naturally – has four-wheel drive.

Land Rover Defender 110 Station Wagon engine bay

All of that power means it’s fast – Land Rover claims a 0-62mph time of 5.8 seconds for the 110 Station Wagon version. If you’re brave enough, the Defender will top-out at 106mph, limited primarily by the Defender’s heavy duty off-road tyres.

Behind the wheel of the Land Rover Defender 110 Works V8

Accelerating quickly may be fun, not least because of the serious turn of speed and amazing engine noise, but going around a corner at almost any speed requires nerves of steel and an emergency bailout plan primed and ready to enact.

Land Rover Defender 110 Station Wagon dashboard

The steering from the enormous, thinly-rimmed wheel is vague to the point where you have no idea where the Defender is placed on the road, making you furiously saw this way and that.

It’s also very bouncy, there’s a lot of wind noise courtesy of the sharp-edged perpendicular bodywork and the driving position is less than comfortable, making you sit upright with nowhere to put your left leg or right arm.

Lavish for a Land Rover: inside the Defender 110 Works V8

Other than the terrible driving position, the interior has copious amounts of leather upholstery, including on the headlining and on the dashboard top.

Up front are a pair of Recaro-branded sports seats that are as supportive as they are incongruous-looking in a Defender.

However, the dashboard is at odds with the luxury provided here – it’s archaic. Land Rover provides an infotainment system, but the screen is smaller than most smartphones and mounted so low you can barely see it.

Land Rover Defender 110 Station Wagon infotainment screen

There’s a decent amount of equipment, though; along with the navigation, there’s Bluetooth and DAB radio functionality in the infotainment package, plus a rather noisy air conditioning system and heated front seats.

Can you use a Defender 110 Works V8 as a daily driver?

Get ready for expensive fuel bills, and be prepared to not feel very comfortable on long journeys.

The Works V8 is a step up in refinement over other Defenders with their coarse diesel engines, but it’s still nowhere near as luxurious or as fuel efficient as something like and Audi SQ7, which is around half the price of the Works V8, is faster, more economical and way more refined.

Land Rover Defender 110 Station Wagon front dynamic

If you’re after excessive luxury, vast speed and a ‘look at me’ exterior, the latest Mercedes-AMG G 63 should fill that bracket.