Truck ahead traveling at 55 mph in the middle lane? Kick down, count to five and there you are. A steep slope of 40 degrees prevents access to the quarry you must enter? Similar story, lower speeds. Whether or not you think the Defender deserves its rugged styling or its sacred nickname, there’s no denying that the versatile utility and foolproof capability of a large-capacity oil burner sends its reserves to both axles. There is, admittedly, a slightly delayed response when stabbing the throttle which can be a dent on busy roundabouts etc.
Thankfully, while it’s much more audible than its gasoline-powered lineup mates, it’s nowhere near as grumpy as the old Defender’s diesels, and once it’s up to date, sets quietly in the background. It also gets on like a house on fire with Land Rover’s intuitively configured eight-speed automatic transmission, which serves the cogs quickly and with impeccable timing once underway.