The new defender is exquisite but too expensive to scratch off-road
The new Land Rover Defender is the Christian Grey of cars: All business with an adventurous side. But is it any good? I battled stormy weather and floods in the Defender 110 to find out!
Is the new Land Rover Defender any good?
The original defender is a true icon. It was the vehicle of choice for many emergency services. In fact, the name Defender was given to it because of it's service to the armed forces. The new 2020 Defender is a different story altogether. It is much more spacious, much more luxurious and it has more modern technology. It's too early to comment on reliability, as the new Land Rover Defender hasn't been out long enough yet but a survey by CarBuyer.co.uk placed Land Rovers 25th out of 30 for reliability, with a third of owners experiencing a fault within the first year of ownership.
How is it to drive?
The new defender feels ready for anything. My time with it was greeted by Storm Francis, so I got to try it in torrential rain and floods - which was fun! The Defender swam through the flooded roads effortlessly. It made the floods seem like shallow puddles! It didn't even tug the steering as you would normally expect if you aquaplane. I think this is helped by the weight and the new chassis, which will be used in new Range Rovers going forward. It is 95% new and is said to be the stiffest platform yet. So far, the new Defender is only available as an automatic.
The ride is incredible. The new Defender is fitted with air suspension for adjusting the ride height when navigating different terrains. This makes it super soft when just driving on regular roads. The only issue I did have with the drive was the power. I could hear the power and I could feel the power under my foot when pressing the accelerator but the heavy 3.2-tonne body struggles to get going. The square design of the body, which is ideal for knowing exactly where it ends for off-roading, does no favours for aerodynamics either. So getting to 60mph is slow but then you'll struggle to gain more speed after that.
How much is the new Defender?
The starting price of the new defender is £40,330 for a Defender 90 but you'll likely spend more than that. There are 4 packs available, each with various optional extras to fit your lifestyle. These are Explorer pack, Adventure pack, Country pack and Urban pack. The Urban pack is the cheapest of them but is still a whopping £1,211! Major dealers are offering great PCP finance deals. If you want to know more about how PCP finance works, visit my website: www.dylanscarreviews.com
Would I buy one?
The new Land Rover Defender is definitely a versatile piece of kit. The new tech is pretty cool and the air suspension makes a great ride but I don't fancy spending around £50k on a car then scratching it! So, based on that, I would not purchase one. However, if you plan to use it as a true defender - a workhorse - then it's worth the money if you don't mind getting it a bit dirty.
The car is definitely built to handle anything. The air suspension is incredibly smooth on road.
The only reason this isn't a 10 is due to the power. While there is a lot of it, there's also a lot of weight. The car is slow.
Based on previously land rover reliability and the low MPG on the new Land Rover Defender
This is definitely a personal opinion. I think this car is ugly! However, I do appreciate the iconic designs being carried over from the old defender.
I cannot fault the new infotainment system. It's very clean looking and easy to use. And all the off-road technology is fantastic.
You really should consider what you would use it for. If it's for the school run, then yes. If it's for towing your horse then yes. If it's to have fun with your friends off-road... do you want to pay 50 grand to do that?