The Hard Top commercial version of Land Rover’s new Defender is now on sale in the UK with prices starting at £35,820 plus VAT. Offered in combination with both the short-wheelbase 90 and long-wheelbase 110 body shapes, the Hard Top treatment sees the Defender offer a two- or three-seat cabin and a larger rear load bay.
Every variant gets a full-height partition to separate passengers from the cargo area, and Land Rover says the bulkhead puts refinement on a par with the passenger-carrying versions, as well as providing safety and security. The partition includes four hanging hooks on the loadspace side, while 110 models complement that with two stowage nets on the cabin side.
Behind the bulkhead, the full-width load floor is completely flat, offering up to 1,355 litres of loadspace in the 90 and 2,059 litres of loadspace in the 110. That space also comes with up to six integrated lashing points, heavy-duty rubber mats and a set of lockable storage areas. Together, these cubby holes provide 58 litres of underfloor stowage for both the 90 and 110. However, the 110 gets an extra underfloor area where the footwells of the passenger model would normally be found, allowing for an extra 155 litres of hidden stowage.
The Hard Top’s cargo bay is accessed through the side-hinged rear door, but the back doors of the 110 remain in situ, providing access from the other end of the area. But although the doors look the same from the outside, they have slimline interior trim that maximises the internal space.
But although the luggage compartment has changed, the Hard Top’s underpinnings are identical to those of the standard Defender. That means you get the ability to pull up to 3.5 tonnes or wade through up to 90 cm deep, and you get a choice of diesel engines. As standard on the 90, you get the 197 bhp D200 engine, while the 110 comes with a choice of 245 bhp D250 and 296 bhp D300 engines – both of which use mild-hybrid technology for improved economy.
The 90 is also available in just one trim level – the entry-level ‘Defender’ guise – while the 110 gets a choice of S, SE and HSE trims. Basic vehicles get Ebony fabric seats, while the SE gets Taurus upholstery and the HSE comes with Windsor leather.
Every model comes with the option to add bespoke signage, thanks to the panel behind the front row of seats that runs to the rear of the vehicle. Consumers can also choose from a range of roof racks and accessories to help with load-carrying.
“Land Rover Defenders have always thrived in the harshest environments,” said Michael van der Sande, the managing director of Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations. “Whether for commercial or recreational use, the Defender Hard Top is a true no-nonsense vehicle that will take whatever is thrown at it, or in it.”
Prices for the new Defender Hard Top start at £35,820 plus VAT for the 90 and £43,012 plus VAT for the 110.