Used 1997 Land Rover Defender

1997 Land Rover Defender
List price range
1997 Land Rover Defender

Pros

  • Brute force off-road, rugged design

Cons

  • About as comfortable as acupuncture and luxurious as a Geo Metro

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

When launched as a 1994 model, the Defender was the only convertible-topped sport-utility vehicle with a V8 engine. Macho, go-anywhere looks aren't an illusion, as the off-road talents of this high-priced fantasy machine, operating with permanent four-wheel drive, rank among the finest. Occupants are surrounded by a "Safari" roll cage setup, over a spartan and uncomfortable interior. Don't try to roll down the soft-top's windows, which slide open for ventilation and can be removed if desired.

In late 1995, a limited production run of hardtop Defenders debuted, able to seat six passengers in slightly more sophisticated interior fittings. No 1996 models were produced, thanks to emissions regulations and the limited production nature of the Defender. With the transplantation of the powertrain from the Discovery, the Defender returns for an encore performance for 1997, in both convertible and hardtop body styles.

Long-travel coil springs front and rear help produce an acceptable ride over a variety of terrain. A removable fastback soft top is standard on the convertible. Optional configurations include a Bimini half-top and surrey-style roof -- or no top at all. Hardtops feature an aluminum roof and four center-facing rear jump seats. Convertibles come with a rear bench seat. A swing-away spare tire adds to interior space, and passengers ride on weather-resistant twill-effect upholstery.

Propulsion comes from a 4.0-liter aluminum V8 that yields 182 horsepower, driving a ZF four-speed automatic transmission. Riding a compact 92.9-inch wheelbase, the Defender wears aluminum body panels with minimal front and rear overhangs. Neither airbags nor antilock brakes are available, and the brief option list only includes a CD changer and special Beluga Black paint.

Land Rovers aren't known for silence or for sedate behavior, on or off the road. Gears are noisy, and road sounds are likely to assault passenger ears. Standing more than six-and-a-half feet tall, the sharply profiled body can't help but lean over when undertaking sharp curves and corners.

High price means the Defender cannot qualify as a value leader among sport-utilities, but you do get the heritage that comes from the company that built the first jungle-trotting Land Rovers, nearly half a century ago.

1997 Highlights

After a one-year hiatus, Defender returns in convertible and hardtop body styles. A 4.0-liter V8 engine is standard, mated to a ZF four-speed automatic transmission. A redesigned center console includes cupholders, and hardtops have new interior trim. Convertibles get improved top sealing, while all Defender 90s are treated to fresh paint colors.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Land Rover Defender.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Defender 90 (1997)
HaroldF,10/01/2002
This has been a great vehicle to own. It's one of the few vehicles that still looks good and attracts attention after five years on the road. It's not necessarly the most comfortable vehicle, but it's purpose is more utility than comfort. It's high ground clearance make it difficult (but not impossible) to get stuck.
D90
Karsten,08/13/2002
This is a real SUV. Not a jacked up minivan.
D90 the Real Sport Utility!
B1B,05/28/2002
I have owned this vehicle for the last four years. I primarily use it off road in Colorado. I do not beleive you could find a better all around off road machine.
An Excellent Truck
Ryan,03/17/2008
This is one amazing truck to own. Everywhere I go it turns heads. I couldn't have bought a better truck for my needs; I do a lot of off- roading and hauling back on my family farm and this truck does it all. It doesn't have many of the amenities found on other Land Rover vehicles, but then again it doesn't need them. Highly recommend this truck to those who want a real truck.
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Features & Specs

MPG
12 city / 14 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
182 hp @ 4750 rpm
MPG
12 city / 14 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
182 hp @ 4750 rpm
See all Used 1997 Land Rover Defender features & specs

Safety

IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    0

More about the 1997 Land Rover Defender
Used 1997 Land Rover Defender Overview

The Used 1997 Land Rover Defender is offered in the following submodels: Defender SUV. Available styles include 90 2dr SUV 4WD, and 90 2dr SUV 4WD w/Soft Top.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Land Rover Defender?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1997 Land Rover Defenders are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1997 Land Rover Defender for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1997 Land Rover Defender.

Can't find a used 1997 Land Rover Defenders you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Land Rover Defender for sale - 2 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $19,604.

Find a used Land Rover for sale - 9 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $18,716.

Find a used certified pre-owned Land Rover Defender for sale - 7 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $25,258.

Find a used certified pre-owned Land Rover for sale - 2 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $14,607.

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Should I lease or buy a 1997 Land Rover Defender?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Land Rover lease specials
Check out Land Rover Defender lease specials