Land Rover Defender (L663) Review Rundown
Land Rover | Published on 21 Mar 2021 | Last Edited on 22 Mar 2021 | Written by Dr Jiulin Teng w/ Neosummarizer
The new Land Rover Defender has been one of the biggest car launches of the past 12 months. It is a completely redesigned offroad SUV that carries on the legend of the original L316 model that has been in continuous production since 1983. Land Rover opts for an aluminum unibody frame rather than the body-on-frame design of its predecessor, reflecting the change in role that modern SUVs need to adopt.
This rundown provides our analysis on 8 third-party reviews. The sentiment scores, summaries, and key takeaways that we select are based on these reviews and may differ from the original publication.
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The new Defender arrives in five-door ‘110’ form first, with the short-wheelbase 90 to follow. Both are based on the most rugged derivative to date of Land Rover's longitudinal-engined architecture. This largely aluminium car comes with 2.0-litre diesel and 2.4-litres petrol engines. It can tow 3500kg, and on air springs (steel coils come later) wades 900mm of water.
The new Defender is the most difficult vehicle to replace since Volkswagen tried to reinvent the Beetle. Land Rover would like you to think this is the real deal, a Land Rover like no other. While the old Defender was as narrow as a Ford Fiesta, this new model is 2105mm wide across its mirrors and 5018mm long.
The P400 3.0-litre straight-six petrol twin-turbo engine makes it the most powerful and fastest-accelerating production Defender available. It turns in a 0-62mph time of 6.0sec, with an accompanying top speed of 120mph. A shorter model weighs only 65kg less than a similar-spec 110, although that advantage nearly doubles (to 120kg) if your 110 is equipped with third-row seating.
The new Defender is a modern take on the iconic 4x4 that began life over 70 years ago. Customers can be reassured that, alongside the Defender's core attributes, there's a level of refinement that will make tackling the urban jungle just as effortless as the steepest of slopes. Off-road rivals such as the Jeep Wrangler and Mercedes G-Class have been around for quite a while, but come from opposite ends of the price spectrum.
The new Land Rover Defender is a sensational vehicle. We've been living with the looks of the car since its unveiling at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show. It's the sort of design that grows on you, especially as your eyes linger on the car's shoulders. The Defender's tech can match the US giant's, with the slickest touchscreen we've yet seen from JLR.
The all-new six-cylinder petrol engine gets mild-hybrid tech to boost response, power and efficiency – slightly. Power tops out at 395bhp with a tasty 550Nm of torque. The monocoque body is incredibly stiff, enabling engineers to tune the car-like double-wishbone front and integral link rear suspension.
Mild-hybrid power comes with a hefty price premium in the Defender 90. Any tick-every-box customers will love the X edition, its extensive equipment list and its scope for further personalisation. Cheaper versions should be easier to recommend, nevertheless. The shorter Defender feels every bit as special as its 110 stablemate.
This Defender has a 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ingenium engine producing 296bhp and 400Nm of torque. It gets the same eight-speed automatic gearbox as the rest of the range and can manage 0-60mph in 6.7 seconds. The most basic principles of the car are roughly the same as those of the forthcoming X-Dynamic.
With 246bhp and 570Nm of torque, the big diesel unit is smooth and powerful. It's a much more satisfying engine to work and listen to than the four-cylinder diesel Defenders we've tried up to now. The 0-60mph sprint takes 7.6 seconds, but you never drive the Defender like this anyway. At £200 in SE trim, the Defender 90 is still pricey.
Reviewers from Carmagazine have found the following[***]:
First UK drives of the Land Rover Defender 90 and 110. Highly capable 4x4s are brilliant on- and off-road. Wading depth is up to 900mm deep, compared with 500mm for the old Defender. The new Defender mixes elements of the original's functionality with the tech and equipment you expect of a modern car.
Reviewers from Cnet have found the following[***]:
Land Rover's new Defender SUV has impressive off-road chops. But it's a damn fine SUV for urban life, too. The first round of Defenders to hit the US will be the four-door 110 version. You can get the Defender with three rows of seats, something Land Rover calls "five-plus-two"
Reviewers from Cnet have found the following[***]:
The new Land Rover Defender 110 is just as capable as the old one. It's the first vehicle to get Land Rover's new Pivi Pro infotainment system. Even with the tires set to street pressure, the Defender handles it with ease. The Defender is available with a very cool All-Terrain Progress Control.
Reviewers from Digitaltrends have found the following[***]:
The 2021 Land Rover Defender is to the original what the J.J. Abrams-helmed Star Trek movies are to the 1960s Star Trek television show. It's a remix of memorable elements from the original aimed at a more mainstream audience. The Defender 110 is pricier and more luxurious than a Jeep Wrangler, but less expensive and simpler than a Mercedes-Benz G-Class.
- 1. ^ Land Rover Defender 110 D240 S 2020 UK review. Autocar. 2020-05-14. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
- 2. ^ Land Rover Defender 110 S 2020 review. Autocar. 2020-03-25. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
- 3. ^ Land Rover Defender 90 P400 X 2020 UK review. Autocar. 2020-10-28. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
- 4. ^ Land Rover Defender review. Autoexpress. 2020-10-13. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
- 5. ^ New Land Rover Defender 2020 review. Autoexpress. 2020-03-26. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
- 6. ^ New Land Rover Defender P400 2020 review. Autoexpress. 2020-05-14. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
- 7. ^ New Land Rover Defender 90 P400 2020 review. Autoexpress. 2020-10-28. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
- 8. ^ New Land Rover Defender 90 P300 2020 review. Autoexpress. 2020-10-28. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
- 9. ^ New Land Rover Defender 90 D250 2021 review. Autoexpress. 2021-03-19. Retrieved 2021-03-22.
- 10. ^ Land Rover Defender review: 90 and 110 models driven. Carmagazine. 2020-10-28. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
- 11. ^ 2020 Land Rover Defender 110 review: Tough guy's got a softer side. Cnet. 2020-10-09. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
- 12. ^ 2020 Land Rover Defender first drive review: The real deal. Cnet. 2020-03-25. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
- 13. ^ 2020 Land Rover Defender 110 first drive review: Off-rad chops meets modern tech. Digitaltrends. 2020-10-04. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
- *. Neoscore is our sentiment analyzer based on natural language processing (NLP). Scaled in the range of 0 to 100, Neoscore eliminates scoring biases from each publisher; it likely differs from the publisher's own rating, if available, as a result.
- **. Neoanalyzer is our summarizer based on NLP. It identifies key takeaways from each third-party review. The takeaways that it produces likely differ from the publisher's own bullets points, if available, as a result.
- ***. Neosummarizer is based on NLP. It extracts summaries from third-party reviews. It likely that these summaries differ from the publisher's own, if available.