Last year he gave us the chic and expensive five-door Defender 110.
Never get your moccasins dirty in Chelsea, do you?
Then came the cheaper 90 three-door, which I prefer.
And now we have the even cheaper and better Defender Hard Top – it’s a pickup truck, for you and me – for people who actually work with their hands.
We’re talking about a Defender pickup further down the line, or at least one with roll-up canvas sides.
It would be a real workhorse to do it all, and that’s exactly what a Defender was designed to do in the first place.
For now, however, we have Hard Top and I’m pretty happy with it.
Especially in this hero blue and white paint job with white steel wheels. Stick your name on the sides and it’s a business card as much as a van.
Basically, Hard Top is a regular 90 or 110, minus the rear seats.
Same off-road minerals, same relaxed on-road ride, just with a bulkhead to keep anything in the back from shifting forward and knocking you out.
In addition, it has tie-down points and hooks and a sweeping rubber floor.
Everything is fine then, but what size do you want?
The Hard Top 90 has 1,355 liters of cargo space. It is 1326 mm x 1031 mm. Or about six sheep. Payload: 670kg.
The Hard Top 110 has 2,059 liters of cargo space. This is 1423 mm x 1472 mm. And a few more sheep. We need a European palette. Payload: 800kg.
COMFORT AND COMPOSURE
Now on to the murderous question: how much? Prices start at £ 35,000 plus Vodka And Tonic, which is reasonable considering a top-of-the-line Ford Ranger is similar money.
And it’s a Defender, remember. Solid as a rock, super trendy, and bristling with more tech than a Mars Rover.
Press the right button and the terrain response system will drag you through ditches and ravines and god knows what.
Equally impressive is the way this vehicle approaches a normal road.
I’m serious. It has the speed, comfort and calm of a Range Rover, and you won’t go wanting for a kit.
This sleek 10-inch touchscreen caters to your phone and other standard equipment including heated seats, parking cameras, and all kinds of crash-proofing tech.
You have to pay extra for the middle third seat, the spirit and this digital mirror. But spoil yourself. You work hard. You deserve it.
As far as the engines are concerned, the Hard Top 90 is powered by a 3.0-liter six-cylinder diesel that develops 200 hp and 500 Nm. There is no other choice at the moment, but I would say it is everything you need. It’s solid, smooth, and clean, and makes good numbers.
The Hard Top 110 has three engine options, all with more growl.
RHYTHM & NOISE
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Most and least damaged cars revealed – is your engine on the list?
We test a Mini and a Bentley – two Brit belters wired for fun
High-tech crooks steal a car in Britain every SIX minutes
Jaguar’s new all-electric I-Pace is the cat’s whiskers
If I had a good job doing or fixing things, or if I had spent the weekends exploring the green parts of Britain, I would have a Hard Top. No competition.
I’ll close with a little thank you to farmer Giles (yes, really) who kindly provided the talent for these photos. And a few apologies to Land Rover.
I’m sure the seats will wash.
KEY FACTS: LAND ROVER DEFENDER HARD TOP
- Price: £ 35,368 plus VAT
- Engine: Turbo diesel 3 liters 6cyl
- Power: 200 ch, 500 Nm
- 0 to 62 mph: 9.8 seconds
- Top speed: 109 mph
- Economy: 29 mpg
- CO2: 251 g / km
- Payload: 670 g
- Towing: 3 500 kg