1994 Land Rover Defender Reviews

1994 Land Rover Defender 300tdi 110 2.5 tdi from UK and Ireland

Model year1994
Year of manufacture1994
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 2.5 tdi Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Previous carDaewoo Matiz

Summary:

Great, do anything, practical vehicle

Faults:

Rear cross member and drivers side outrigger required replacement at 120000 miles due to rust.

Battery lasted 90000 miles/10 years.

Prop shaft UJ failed badly at 130000 miles (cheap to replace)

Leaking fuel tank replaced with rear cross member.

Front bumper rusted through at 140000, replaced from ebay for 22GBP.

General Comments:

The ultimate functional vehicle that will do everything except race round a track.

Easy and cheap to fix but very tough and reliable.

Comfort is okay but over very long distances it is not as good as a car. The heater is pathetically weak along with it's demisting qualities. I carry a rag in the cab. The cab also leaks in the rain but this is normal for most Defender and Series Land Rovers - I'm used to it now.

Mine is a 1994, 300Tdi non-cat version which is the best of the bunch. No cat means a complete exhaust for about 120GBP. Non genuine parts are abundant and very cheap and I've had no problems using them from a Land Rover specialist. I do 95% of my own maintenance and repair and it's easy - but you'll need a hammer.

My landy is a family car and used for everything including towing a large caravan and carrying bicycles on the roof. Heavily laden, it is not fast, but it will go anywhere and return about 24mpg with about 30mpg possible under lighter use. That is pretty good for a 2.2 ton vehicle. I don't drive it hard because it is pointless - it just drinks a lot more diesel.

Town/city work is possible but often height restrictions stop car park use. The power steering makes handling easy but beware the poor turning circle of such a large vehicle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th December, 2008

1994 Land Rover Defender 110 SW 2.5 200 TDi from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1994
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 2.5 200 TDi Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.4 / 10
Distance when acquired74000 miles
Most recent distance128000 miles
Previous carPeugeot 406

Summary:

Nothing else comes close

Faults:

Fuel lift pump needed replacing (replaced free of charge by the dealer).

Power steering pump developed a leak (actually a torrent rather than a leak). 200GBP.

Both rear shock absorbers have been replaced. 17GBP each.

Handle came off bonnet release cable. About 5GBP.

Rear section of silencer replaced. About 35GBP.

General Comments:

My defender has been remarkably trouble free (for a 13 year old vehicle). I'm sure this is mostly due to the previous owners (The Royal Air Force) having maintained it so well. It has only let me down once due to the lift pump failing, which was replaced by the dealer free of charge, as I had only owned the vehicle for a day.

It has an engine oil change approximately every 5000 miles, and I treated it to its 2nd timing belt change at 120000 miles (this was first changed, to my knowledge, by the supplying dealer at 74000 miles) and at a cost of 100GBP.

As can be seen from the prices I have given in the above section, parts prices are relatively cheap (in the UK at least) compared with a modern car (150GBP for a mid section of exhaust for a Peugeot 406 - was just a 2 foot section of pipe as it was a diesel, so no cat.)

I travel about 80 miles every day, to and from work, on the motorway and it is a pleasure to drive. It can generally be treated much like a modern estate car (albeit a slightly slower and noisier one), as long as multi-storey car parks and restricted height barriers are avoided, as they usually seem to have a height restriction of somewhere between 1.8 and 2 metres.

Where a Defender comes into its own is when you leave the tarmac behind. Although the only drawback behind this is first thing in the morning on a campsite, when it has been raining overnight. Everyone stuck in the mud in normal cars decide that you would love to be woken up to be able to have the chance to pull their car from the site ;)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th May, 2007

1994 Land Rover Defender 3.9 L V8 OHV EFI from North America

Year of manufacture1994
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 3.9 L V8 OHV EFI Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.6 / 10
Distance when acquired38000 miles
Most recent distance86000 miles
Previous carAlfa Romeo Milano

Summary:

Great truck when a Jeep is just too average

Faults:

Over the last four years, I have had the water pump go at 60k, heater fan at 80k, rear differential pinion bearing at 83k - which was really my fault, I did not check the level of gear oil and it was low..

General Comments:

A great truck as long as you stay on top of general maintenance, checking oil, fluids and repairing any problems as they come up. It will also go anywhere with no modifications, spend a few dollars and you have a truck that can go just about anywhere in the world and not leave you stranded.

Nice heavy frame under it, and a light weight aluminum upper body give it a low center of gravity which helps when you are wheeling.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th July, 2001

25th Mar 2005, 20:40

I am looking at a 94 D90. How would you rate it as an everyday driver? That is what i'll use it for, with some off roading.

I am a college student, and not looking to spend a lot on it.

14th Jul 2005, 05:51

If you are looking for an everyday car then I am sorry to say that this will not be the best choice for you :) it is a known fact that this car is built for "heavy duty" and, I speak for myself now, it is quite "big" to drive in the city and similar. It is made for off-road mainly. But it is a SUPERB car to go to the dirt with.

Average review marks: 6.4 / 10, based on 3 reviews