Review: Land Rover Defender (2020)
Long awaited replacement for the legendary Defender.
On sale 2020.
Land Rover Defender (2020): At A Glance
Orders now open for the new Land Rover Defender with prices starting at £45,240.
The rugged off-roader will initially be launched as a long-wheelbase 110 model with up to seven seats. It’ll be offered with four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, as well as a six-cylinder petrol mild hybrid. A short-wheelbase 90 model will follow in the near future, while Commercial variants of each are expected in 2020.
In typical Defender fashion, Land Rover promises the latest model will be unstoppable off road - thanks to 291mm of ground clearance and a new Wade programme in the configurable Terrain Response system which allows it to tackle up to 900mm of water. Short front and rear overhangs mean it’ll be able to tackle steep hills, while ClearView Ground View technology - as used in the new Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport - allow drivers to see the area usually hidden by the bonnet.
This image is displayed on a new 10-inch infotainment screen, which also provides access to the in-built navigation system as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. An additional 12.3-inch interactive driver display sits behind the steering wheel, allowing the driver to switch between navigation and conventional dials or a combination of the two.
Drivers will be able to keep tabs on their Defender using Land Rover’s app, which lets them remotely turn on the climate control, lock the vehicle and check the fuel level. The new Defender will be able to receive over-the-air updates while an embedded diagnostics system will alert owners to potential faults.
Other technological highlights include a 3D surround camera, capable of providing an augmented visualisation when wading deep water or reversing a trailer. A Driver Assist Pack includes adaptive cruise control, while a rear pre-collision monitor will flash the hazard lights when it detects following drivers who are failing to slow down sufficiently.
Customers can also specify a second-generation activity key - a wearable, water-resistant device which can be used instead of a conventional key for accessing and starting the vehicle.
At launch, the Defender’s diesel engine range is made up of four-cylinder engines producing 200 or 240PS, badged the D200 and D240 respectively. Both are paired with an eight-speed automatic gearbox, and each produce 430Nm of torque. This takes the D200 to 62mph in 10.3 seconds, while the D240 takes 9.1 seconds. Official WLTP fuel economy figures for the diesels range from 31.4 to 31.7mpg depending on specification.
A 2.0-litre petrol is also available, producing 300PS and 400Nm, covering 0 to 62mph in 8.1 seconds. Officially the four-cylinder P300 engine will return between 24.4 and 24.7mpg.
Topping the range is a straight-six P400 petrol engine featuring mild hybrid technology. This 3.0-litre engine will take the Defender to 62mph in 6.4 seconds, while top speed is quoted as 129mph when combined with 22-inch alloy wheels. A 48-volt lithium-ion battery stores energy captured during braking, meaning the P400 returns up to 25.2mpg.
Although details are yet to be announced, Land Rover says a plug-in hybrid model will follow in 2020.
In a bid to cater for a wide range of buyers, the new Defender will be offered in a wide range of configurations. The initial 110 model will be available with five, six or seven seats, while the 90 will have up to six seats. Trim levels will be made up of Defender, S, SE, HSE, First Edition and top-spec X models, while customers will also be able to choose from Explorer, Adventure, Country and Urban packs.
Land Rover is also offering 170 individual accessories ranging from an exterior side-mounted gear carrier to an electric winch and rooftop tent.
Prices for the Defender 110 start at £45,240 for the entry-level D200 model, ranging up to £78,800 for the top-spec P400 X. The Defender 90 will start at around £40,000 when it arrives later in the year, while Commercial models will be priced from around £35,000 (plus VAT).