2004 LAND ROVER Defender TD5 XS

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2004 LAND ROVER Defender TD5 XS



Introduced in 1983 and only modestly revised over the years, the Land Rover Defender has earned its place as one of the most influential vehicles of the 21st century. Able to trace its lineage back to the very first post-war Land Rover - and not a lot of squinting is necessary to bridge the seventy-year gap ‘twixt old and new - the Defender might not be the last word in civility but, by heck, it’s a survivor.

With its permanent four-wheel-drive system, lockable centre differential, live axles, and long-travel coil suspension, the Defender is as good off the beaten track as it is misplaced on it. But no-one cares about its road manners because it has levers sprouting out of the floor, a big, bluff front, and only gets better with age; like a certain type of man, the Defender doesn’t age, it matures and any hard-won patina it gains simply adds to the legend.

Available from the factory as a pickup, van or station wagon, there are a vast array of companies out there who will turn yours into a motorhome, campervan, mobile crane, tray-back off-roader, or recovery truck. In fact, if you can imagine it, then someone will have built it.

And the latter-day prettification and domestication of what was once a strictly utilitarian truck means that there are plenty of folk out there who can turn yours into the off-road equivalent of a Singer Porsche; tuned engines, gearbox swaps, Bentley-esque interiors, concours-quality resprays, and a full suite of fitted walnut cabinetry for your weapons and booze are just the start; if you can imagine it, it will be on a spec sheet somewhere.

Or you can go stock. Like this.

The Vehicle

This Defender is an early 2000s model with a 90" wheelbase and the legendary – and legendarily durable - TD5 engine. Finished in Epsom Green Metallic and spec’d to the rare XS specification, it’s offered in an unusually good and original condition. The vendor tells us that it has always been garaged in both their and the previous owner's care, which goes a long way to explain why the bodywork has avoided the corrosion typically seen in these vehicles.

With three previous owners, we are told it still wears its original paintwork and sits on the factory chassis. With a full-service history, a recent service, and just under 127,000 miles on the clock, it’s just hitting its stride and should be good for many more years of faithful service as “it’s never worked hard”.

Only being sold by its Land Rover enthusiast owner because he’s changed jobs and now needs a full-size van, this is a stunning opportunity to get your hands on one of the nicest ones we’ve seen in a while.

On the Outside

Epsom Green Metallic is a great shade and one that suits the Defender’s chunky looks very well. Dial in some discreet protection, a smattering of factory chequerplate, and hefty tyres and you’ve got a very appealing mini SUV that’s going to be much easier to thread through city streets than the sort of behemoths everyone else is driving these days while still offering seating for five of your friends.

There are a few small dents and dinks on the body (i.e. #231) but a distinct lack of the catalytic corrosion you usually see and nothing more serious than a light and developing patina. Few vehicles wear their battle scars better than a Defender and there’s nothing here more serious than character.

The Epsom Green Metallic paintwork is in good order with nothing more than the odd stonechip and mark to mar the finish. It presents very well overall and the hue gives the Defender an ageless and classy look we love.

The 4x4 sits on five newly refurbished 16-inch alloy wheels and a full set of BF Goodrich tyres – the rears were new a couple of years ago - with masses of tread left on them.

We will never get tired of telling you that experience shows that matching high-quality tyres are an infallible sign of a caring and mechanically sympathetic owner who is prepared to spend the appropriate amount in maintaining their car properly. Their presence does not, of course, preclude the need for a thorough inspection - something the vendor would welcome, by the way – but it does perhaps give you a shortcut into their attitude towards maintenance.

It has LED lights all round plus four proper mudflaps, front and rear lamp protectors, a pair of hefty sidesteps, and an NAS-spec rear bumper/towbar.

If we’re being ultra-picky then the nearside mirror is a bit faded. Please see photo #110 - and note that it stands out a bit more than it otherwise might because the offside one has already been changed.

On the Inside

The six-seater interior is in a good overall condition. The half-leather front seats are lightly creased but no worse, and they’re separated by a very useful centre console to keep stuff handy and your coffee secure. They heat up as they should too, something the vendor has appreciated during the recent cold weather.

We sell a lot of Defenders and most are the van version, so the airiness that this one’s lighter upholstery and extensive glazing brings is a refreshing surprise. It’s a lovely place to be and free of the gloom you, like us, will be used to seeing in Solihull products.

The four individual rear seats can be folded up, so you can juggle loadspace with passenger seating easily. They do show some wear and tear but nothing that isn’t to be expected.

As a top-spec XS model this Defender wears its utility heritage lightly thanks to a (new a couple of years ago) heated windscreen, heated seats, electric windows, half leather trim, manufacturer checker plate, remote central locking, and (working) air-conditioning.

There’s a DAB, Bluetooth/hands free equipped, four-speaker Pioneer stereo system too, and the original Land Rover headunit has been retained and comes with the vehicle.

We are told that everything works as it should.

The rear door card is a bit scuffed (to be expected) and the headlining is a light clean away from appearing nearly-new. The only really weak part of the cabin is the Mota-Lita steering wheel, which has lost a lot of its colour (i.e. #116).

Replacing it would be easy if its condition bothers you, and buying a new one, or even having this one recovered, shouldn’t be too expensive.


As you can see, it ticks over and revs as it should and doesn’t make any nasty noises. There are no warning lights currently illuminated either and the seller tells us that it “drives perfectly” – but don’t just take his word for it, why not contact him to make an appointment to go and see it in person?

There are many receipts on file, including ones for work such as new swivels, new brakes, and new suspension components plus a recently replaced steering box and power steering pump.

There’s a new engine loom too, plus a Stage 2 remap by JE Engineering that, we are told, “improves driving and gives more power”, which sounds about right given the Land Rover now develops 195bhp and 310 lb.ft of torque. The re-map also improves fuel efficiency, the vendor tells us.

The seller describes the chassis as “totally solid and recently Waxoyled”. It has had some recent welding at the rear to repair a small hole under the fuel tank caused by mud accumulating. The rest was found to be solid, including the vulnerable rear crossmember.

It does look good under there and even the brackets for the sidesteps, which almost always rust through, are intact.

History Highlights

Last serviced in January 2023 at 126,381 miles by Lagjander (including a new injector loom), the previous service history is recorded in the service history booklet as follows:

· 17.01.2006 and 10,801 miles – service by Elliott Engineering, an independent Land Rover specialist

· 06.04.2007 and 23,621 miles – service by Elliott Engineering, an independent Land Rover specialist

· 12.06.2008 and 36,460 miles – service by Elliott Engineering, an independent Land Rover specialist

· 26.10.2009 and 50,839 miles – service by Elliott Engineering, an independent Land Rover specialist

· 25.08.2010 and 54,613 miles – service by Devon 4x4 Centre

· 21.05.2011 and 61,600 – new clutch fitted by Ray Hutchings

· 08.03.2012 and 69,100 miles – service by Ray Hutchings

· 05.10.2012 and miles - work to braking system by Ray Hutchings

· 06.06.2013 and 77,637 miles – service by Ray Hutchings

· 09.07.2014 and 84,070 miles – service by Thorn Park Garage of Brayford

· 27.05.2015 – new drag link by Thorn Park Garage of Brayford

· 26.08.2015 – new fuel pressure regulator by Thorn Park Garage of Brayford

· 24.05.2016 and 93,640 miles – service by Thorn Park Garage of Brayford

· 19.05.2017 and 98,230 miles – service by Thorn Park Garage of Brayford

· 28.06.2017 – new starter motor by Thorn Park Garage of Brayford

· 13.03.2019 and 109,556 miles – service by Thorn Park Garage of Brayford

· 20.03.2020 and 115,624 miles – service by Thorn Park Garage of Brayford

· 24.04.2020 and miles – new power steering pump by Matt Childs

· 29.09.2020 – two new rear tyres

· 15.07.2021 and 119,578 miles – service by Landkey Auto Services

· 23.07.2021 and 119,728 miles – air-conditioning system recharged by Barnstaple Autocare Solutions

· 26.11.2021 and 121,822 miles – service and miscellaneous MoT work by Lagjander, independent Land Rover specialists (#292, #293, and #294). There’s a lot here to absorb, so it’s well worth taking the time to read through the invoice.

There is also an invoice for miscellaneous work by Landkey Auto Services in the summer of 2021. At a cost of over £1,000 this included a new swivel, a brake caliper, and suspension bushes (#299).

The Defender’s MoT certificate is valid until November 2023.

The recent Vehicle History Check is clean and it comes with two sets of keys including working fobs for the alarm and remote central locking. It also comes with the book pack and wallet.

What We Think

The Defender is one of the most recognizable and cherished cars in the world. With its timeless body shape, rugged construction and go-anywhere capabilities, it's no surprise that this iconic car has been adored by generations of Land Rover fans from all walks of life.

The quintessential off-roader, it has taken people all over the world for adventure and exploration, roles where its legendary reliability, strength and phenomenal off-road capability made it the first choice for the sort of folk who shower in cold water, shave with a piece of sharpened flint, and use nettles instead of toilet roll.

And people like us, discerning enthusiasts who want a vehicle that can keep them mobile in all weathers while shifting humans and cargo with equal aplomb.

As for what it’s going to take to make it yours, we think the virtual hammer will fall somewhere between £19,000 and £24,000, which seems like good value to us for a vehicle that could continue to provide years of faithful service in stock condition or be used as a base for the creation of something more luxurious. The vendor will also meet the winning bidder in the Bristol area for 'hand-over', once full funds have of been received, of course.

Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with the vendor in Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom.

To arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

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All vehicles MUST BE COLLECTED WITHIN 7-DAYS of the auction end. Storage fees of £180 + VAT apply (per week) thereafter without exception.

If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage can offer you options, plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping both domestic and international.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we always encourage bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using basic cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen (Caveat Emptor) and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, a return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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  • Location: Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: 126500
  • Chassis Number: SALLDVB574A682406
  • Engine: 2500
  • Gearbox: Manual
  • Steering position: Right-hand drive
  • Colour: Epsom Green Metallic
  • Interior: Black
  • Estimated Price: £19,000 - £24,000

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