2020 Land Rover Defender 110 review: Tough guy’s got a softer side

It’s going to just take you just about wherever.

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“I in no way drove it on pavement.” Which is the initial matter Emme Hall informed me when she bought again from tests the 2020 Land Rover Defender in Africa before this yr — you know, again when traveling was even now a matter. Certainly, Emme’s weeklong safari by means of Namibia set the Defender’s outstanding off-highway chops in the spotlight. But as I found more than the study course of a number of days at home in Los Angeles, the Defender’s a damn fine SUV for city lifestyle, as well.


  • Unstoppable off-highway capacity
  • Common design with a modern touch
  • Loads of space for travellers and cargo
  • Punchy three.-liter delicate-hybrid I6

Will not Like

  • New infotainment tech is even now touch-and-go
  • Vague steering experience
  • Poor fuel financial state

Of study course, I’m printing that together with a bunch of photographs of a filthy Defender that ended up obviously shot at an off-highway park. But like, how could I not off-highway this matter? I am going to allow Emme’s initial drive overview get into the nitty-gritty facts about how Land Rover’s new SUV handles the rough stuff, although I will say the Defender had no difficulty handling the same challenging trails I just lately drove in a Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel, and all I had to do was increase the air suspension and shuffle by means of the numerous off-highway modes.

The initial round of Defenders to hit the US will be the 4-door a hundred and ten edition noticed here the two-door 90 arrives in the coming months, and it’s going to have a 2021 product yr designation. Individually, I’m all about the 90, typically for the reason that I have bought a gentle location for stubby, two-door SUVs. The a hundred and ten, in the meantime, is essentially larger than you may possibly feel. It has an imposing presence on the road and my initial thought upon climbing inside of is, wow, this is roomy.

The Defender receives Land Rover’s new Pivi Professional infotainment program, housed on a significant-resolution, 10-inch display screen atop the heart stack. You’ve bought obtain to all of the Defender’s off-highway options in here, as well as navigation, a Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile. Merged with the digital gauge cluster, the Defender’s tech sport is sturdy. But whilst the Pivi Professional program is commonly much easier to use and much more desirable than Land Rover’s outdated InControl tech, it even now suffers from the same laggy reaction moments and occasional refusal to realize my Iphone and load CarPlay.

My Defender SE exam car’s fabric-lined seats are tremendous-supportive and excellent for covering extended distances in consolation. General, the Defender’s inside is purposeful but properly appointed, with material-lined panels on the dashboard and challenging-looking exposed screws on the doorways. This tough appearance is a great matter I experience a ton superior about trekking mud inside of a Defender than I do a leather-wrapped Mercedes-Benz G-Course. The rubber-lined footwells and cargo area converse to this down-and-filthy nature, as well. Guaranteed, you can choice a Defender with nicer upholstery like Dinamica suede if you want, but I never, so there.

The cabin is handsomely styled, and Land Rover’s new Pivi Professional infotainment tech is housed on a 10-inch screen.

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You can get the Defender with three rows of seats, a thing Land Rover phone calls its “five-plus-two” choice. You drop a bit of cargo area if you go this route, but if you adhere to the five-passenger configuration, there’s a most of seventy eight.eight cubic feet of cargo area driving the initial row, although do be aware that the facet-hinged tailgate swings out to the facet, so be cautious when backing into parking spaces. Speaking of hauling, no matter of wheelbase duration or motor dimensions, the Defender can tow eight,200 kilos.

The Defender’s foundation motor is a 2.-liter turbo I4 with 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, but I have bought the upgraded three.-liter I6, which works by using turbocharging and delicate-hybrid electric powered aid to create 395 hp and 406 lb-ft. This MHEV I6 is the same one Land Rover gives in the Vary Rover Sport and it’s a actual peach of an motor, with a lot of very low-close torque and a refined prevent-begin program. Nevertheless, with EPA fuel financial state rankings of 17 miles for every gallon city, 22 mpg freeway and 19 mpg put together, even with delicate-hybrid aid, it’s not particularly a fuel-sipper.

Merged with a smooth-shifting, eight-velocity automatic transmission and complete-time all-wheel drive, Land Rover suggests the three.-liter Defender a hundred and ten can accelerate to 60 mph in five.eight seconds, which is pretty damn rapid for a five,000-pound SUV. You genuinely experience that punch from driving the wheel, as well. Lay into the throttle whilst heading up a freeway on-ramp and you may be well higher than the posted velocity restrict in advance of it’s even time to merge. Not that I might know something about that, natch.

Superior tires and a properly tuned air suspension hold the Defender rocking constant no subject the terrain.

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The common adaptive air suspension does a excellent work of soaking up pavement blemishes and keeps the big Defender from sensation tippy or wallowy at velocity. There is not a ton of front-close dive beneath challenging braking, and whilst I never genuinely recommend throwing one of these butch bois into a tight corner, the Defender is amazingly agile. It’s a nicer freeway cruiser than a G-Course, and 20 moments superior than a Jeep Wrangler. My only gripe is that the off-highway tires spec’d to this automobile as portion of the $1,345 Off-Road Pack are a small loud. Give and just take, I guess.

A full bunch of driver-assistance tech makes each day lifestyle with the Defender much easier. The mid-stage SE trim arrives common with a 3D encompass digital camera, blind-location checking, lane-retaining aid, visitors indication recognition and even nifty novelties like tech that’ll tell you if a automobile or pedestrian is approaching when you are parked so you never inadvertently open your door and result in a crash. Weirdly, complete-velocity adaptive cruise handle stays an choice, so be geared up to expend an further $1,020 if that’s on your would like list.

Pricing begins at $fifty one,250 (like $1,350 for spot) for a foundation a hundred and ten and can stretch into the mid-$90,000s for a totally loaded Defender X. The complete vary of shorter-wheelbase Defender 90 models will hit dealers soon, and a foundation, two-door product begins at $47,470 sent.

Good on-highway, excellent off-highway.

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Land Rover is well providing a lot of diverse insert-on offers that can make your Defender as high-class or as off-highway-all set as you want, and they’re available across the full lineup. As examined, my generously equipped 2020 Defender a hundred and ten SE costs $seventy two,one hundred eighty like spot. Thinking about you can choice a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon well higher than $60,000, that doesn’t strike me as as well undesirable of a deal. The Mercedes G-Course begins at much more than $a hundred thirty,000, although it’s much nicer inside of whilst being every bit as capable (perhaps much more) off-highway. The Ford Bronco will be a deserving adversary for the Defender, as well, but it’s even now a yr or so away from hitting dealers.

I have listened to people complain that the new Defender’s dropped some of the appeal of the outdated versions, but what they genuinely necessarily mean is, it’s not a loud, bouncy, suffering in the ass to are living with on the each day. The new Defender is every bit as capable as its predecessor, but eventually goes by means of ending school. Even if you in no way just take it off the crushed path, this new Land Rover is sure to impress.