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

It’s going to acquire you just about anywhere.

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“I by no means drove it on pavement.” That is the 1st matter Emme Hall advised me when she got back from screening the 2020 Land Rover Defender in Africa earlier this calendar year — you know, back when touring was continue to a matter. In fact, Emme’s weeklong safari by Namibia set the Defender’s remarkable off-highway chops in the spotlight. But as I found above the course of a number of times at home in Los Angeles, the Defender’s a damn good SUV for city existence, as well.


  • Unstoppable off-highway capacity
  • Basic design and style with a fashionable touch
  • Tons of room for travellers and cargo
  • Punchy 3.-liter gentle-hybrid I6

You should not Like

  • New infotainment tech is continue to touch-and-go
  • Imprecise steering really feel
  • Inadequate gas overall economy

Of course, I am printing that together with a bunch of pictures of a dirty Defender that were clearly shot at an off-highway park. But like, how could I not off-highway this matter? I will allow Emme’s 1st push overview get into the nitty-gritty aspects about how Land Rover’s new SUV handles the tough things, nevertheless I will say the Defender experienced no problems dealing with the similar tough trails I lately drove in a Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel, and all I experienced to do was increase the air suspension and shuffle by the a variety of off-highway modes.

The 1st round of Defenders to hit the US will be the 4-door 110 model witnessed in this article the two-door ninety comes in the coming months, and it’s going to have a 2021 product calendar year designation. Individually, I am all about the ninety, mainly mainly because I have got a gentle location for stubby, two-door SUVs. The 110, meanwhile, is essentially greater than you may possibly feel. It has an imposing presence on the road and my 1st thought on climbing inside is, wow, this is roomy.

The Defender gets Land Rover’s new Pivi Pro infotainment technique, housed on a higher-resolution, 10-inch show atop the middle stack. You have got entry to all of the Defender’s off-highway settings in in this article, as properly as navigation, a Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile. Put together with the digital gauge cluster, the Defender’s tech recreation is solid. But while the Pivi Pro technique is normally simpler to use and extra interesting than Land Rover’s previous InControl tech, it continue to suffers from the similar laggy response times and occasional refusal to acknowledge my Apple iphone and load CarPlay.

My Defender SE take a look at car’s cloth-lined seats are super-supportive and fantastic for masking very long distances in comfort and ease. In general, the Defender’s interior is purposeful but properly appointed, with fabric-lined panels on the dashboard and tricky-hunting exposed screws on the doorways. This strong overall look is a fantastic matter I really feel a great deal better about trekking mud inside a Defender than I do a leather-based-wrapped Mercedes-Benz G-Class. The rubber-lined footwells and cargo region discuss to this down-and-dirty nature, as well. Confident, you can solution a Defender with nicer upholstery like Dinamica suede if you want, but I will not, so there.

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

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You can get the Defender with three rows of seats, a little something Land Rover calls its “five-plus-two” solution. You drop a bit of cargo area if you go this route, but if you stick to the five-passenger configuration, there is certainly a utmost of seventy eight.eight cubic ft of cargo area driving the 1st row, nevertheless do observe that the aspect-hinged tailgate swings out to the aspect, so be cautious when backing into parking spaces. Speaking of hauling, irrespective of wheelbase duration or engine measurement, the Defender can tow eight,200 pounds.

The Defender’s foundation engine is a 2.-liter turbo I4 with 296 horsepower and 295 pound-ft of torque, but I have got the upgraded 3.-liter I6, which utilizes turbocharging and gentle-hybrid electric support to deliver 395 hp and 406 lb-ft. This MHEV I6 is the similar 1 Land Rover provides in the Selection Rover Sport and it really is a true peach of an engine, with loads of reduced-finish torque and a refined quit-start out technique. On the other hand, with EPA gas overall economy scores of 17 miles for every gallon city, 22 mpg freeway and 19 mpg put together, even with gentle-hybrid support, it really is not exactly a gas-sipper.

Put together with a clean-shifting, 8-pace computerized transmission and complete-time all-wheel push, Land Rover says the 3.-liter Defender 110 can speed up to 60 mph in five.eight seconds, which is very damn brief for a five,000-pound SUV. You really really feel that punch from driving the wheel, as well. Lay into the throttle while heading up a freeway on-ramp and you will be properly previously mentioned the posted pace limit just before it really is even time to merge. Not that I might know something about that, natch.

Good tires and a properly tuned air suspension hold the Defender rocking steady no subject the terrain.

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The standard adaptive air suspension does a fantastic work of soaking up pavement blemishes and retains the massive Defender from emotion tippy or wallowy at pace. You can find not a great deal of front-finish dive beneath challenging braking, and while I will not really propose throwing 1 of these butch bois into a limited corner, the Defender is shockingly agile. It’s a nicer freeway cruiser than a G-Class, and 20 times better than a Jeep Wrangler. My only gripe is that the off-highway tires spec’d to this motor vehicle as section of the $one,345 Off-Street Pack are a minimal loud. Give and acquire, I guess.

A entire bunch of driver-support tech tends to make each day existence with the Defender simpler. The mid-amount SE trim will come standard with a 3D surround camera, blind-location checking, lane-maintaining support, targeted traffic indicator recognition and even nifty novelties like tech that’ll tell you if a motor vehicle or pedestrian is approaching when you’re parked so you will not inadvertently open your door and bring about a crash. Weirdly, complete-pace adaptive cruise manage continues to be an solution, so be organized to commit an additional $one,020 if which is on your would like record.

Pricing commences at $fifty one,250 (such as $one,350 for location) for a foundation 110 and can extend into the mid-$ninety,000s for a fully loaded Defender X. The complete variety of shorter-wheelbase Defender ninety models will hit dealers before long, and a foundation, two-door product commences at $47,470 sent.

Good on-highway, fantastic off-highway.

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Land Rover is neatly giving loads of different insert-on packages that can make your Defender as luxurious or as off-highway-ready as you want, and they are obtainable throughout the entire lineup. As tested, my generously geared up 2020 Defender 110 SE prices $seventy two,a hundred and eighty such as location. Taking into consideration you can solution a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon properly previously mentioned $60,000, that will not strike me as as well poor of a offer. The Mercedes G-Class commences at extra than $one hundred thirty,000, nevertheless it really is a great deal nicer inside while remaining just about every bit as able (possibly extra) off-highway. The Ford Bronco will be a worthy adversary for the Defender, as well, but it really is continue to a calendar year or so away from hitting dealers.

I have listened to folks complain that the new Defender’s misplaced some of the attraction of the previous versions, but what they really suggest is, it really is not a loud, bouncy, discomfort in the ass to dwell with on the each day. The new Defender is just about every bit as able as its predecessor, but eventually goes by finishing college. Even if you by no means acquire it off the crushed route, this new Land Rover is sure to impress.