Like many British things worth admiring, the original Land Rover — we're talking about the Defender, of course — was created to prove that Britons were better than the rest.
Jeep has proven its reliability during World War 2, so using a Jeep platform was the right call. The selling point for the British off-roader would be the car's sturdiness against nature's whim. Such a good selling point it was that the car survived until 2016 — 68 years after its debut.
In these almost seven decades, little has changed with the Defender, which confirmed once again that simplicity and practicality are two of the most important virtues in the car world.
However, Land Rover's plans also included a different path from the one the Defender took, and that's how the Range Rover sub-brand was born. While the Land Rover Defender and future models (such as the Discovery and Freelander) bet on practicality and accessibility, the Range has always been a vehicle for the elites. Range Rovers would always offer what the Land Rover didn't need: grandeur.
The 2000 ownership swap from BMW (after six years) to Ford marked a turning point for Land Rover, which was repeatedly lambasted for reliability issues in the following years. It was not the case for the Defender, of course, as that car is too simple to break down.
The trust issues that surfaced in the early 2000s cast their shadow on the British manufacturer for a long time, with India’s Tata Motors (Jaguar Land Rover's owner since 2008) trying to wash away this stain with increased quality management.