The long wait for the much-anticipated new Land Rover Defender is finally over.
It’s been around three years of development and no doubt sleepless nights for the designers at Land Rover, concerned that what they might eventually reveal to the world needed to live up to the legendary status of the original Defender.
The old box-like Land Rover Defender ended its long run in 2016, causing a mixture of anger and upset among the 4×4 vehicle’s dedicated followers. It’s no surprise then that the boffins at Land Rover were desperate to get this new Defender right. So, have they pulled it off?
Land Rover says that the new Defender will widen the appeal of the utility vehicle; adding improved day-to-day usability and refinement as well as better off-road ability. It’s a chassis up redesign, with the ‘95 per cent new’ aluminium D7x chassis forming the basis – and Land Rover claim improved stiffness with this design too – something that will have a knock-on effect with the way that the manufacturer will have needed to address suspension. The new suspension will be via air or coil springs, and the 110 will arrive with air suspension as standard, while the 90 will get coil springs with air shocks as optional.
The new Defender will be available in 90 and 110 formats. The 5-door 110 long-wheelbase, available with a choice of 5, 6 or 7 seats, will be the model that is available initially. The off-road figures for the 110 compares favourably to one of the Defender’s major rivals, the purposeful Wrangler Jeep Rubicon, with a ground clearance of 291mm compared to the Rubicon’s 270mm. The Defender also has a wading depth of 900mm (about 3ft). The 3-door 90 short-wheelbase will become available by the end of 2019. Rumours that an extra-long-wheelbase 130 is a work-in-progress for future production are still just that, rumours.
As for that day-to-day usability, Land Rover has attempted to keep both the tarmac drivers and off-roaders equally happy with the company’s new Configurable Terrain Response system. This system offers multiple settings for the throttle response, differentials, traction control and steering, with Intelligent Auto mode to take the thought process out of the set-up. Wade Sensing will offer up the depth of the surrounding water and also slightly apply the brakes on exit to maintain full functionality. Incidentally, wading departure angles come in at 40 degrees with an approach of 38 degrees.
An 8-speed auto gearbox and twin-speed transfer box will come as standard; the latter allowing a range of lower ratios for the likes of towing caravans and those extreme moments off-road. Interestingly, with the shifter being dash-mounted, this allows for the possibility of a second passenger seat (optional) upfront.
Inside, we can expect modern infotainment as well as the required durability that is essential for an off-road vehicle – it’s a fine line that Land Rover is treading and you begin to realise why this has been such a long process for the company, as they attempt to navigate these tricky dual functionality waters without too much compromise in either direction. As an example, while the new luxurious Pivi Pro infotainment touchscreen is a full 10-incher, this is somewhat offset by the rubber floor reminding you not to forget the capabilities of the vehicle you are driving. You can, of course, opt for standard carpet throughout if off-roading isn’t your thing.
The 110 will come in at £45,240 for the D200 and goes all the way up to £78,800 for the 110 P400 X trimmed petrol version. The forthcoming 90 will likely come in at around £40,000, while commercial versions should come in at around £35,000 from 2020.
However, if you were to lease the new Land Rover Defender, it would set you back approximately £465.18 a month*. If you are interested in this deal provided by our sponsor Best Car Finder, then please click here to find out more.
The base model gets 18-inch steel wheels, LED lights all around, plus partially powered and heated seats and a ClearSight Ground View camera, cruise control and dual-zone climate control. The series of trim level options range from an S, SE, HSE to X to further fine-tune your ride.
Add to these options the choice of Explorer, Adventure, Country and Urban accessory packs and you should be covered for every eventuality. The Adventure pack, for example, includes a 6.5-litre water reservoir (pressurised) as well as a boot-mounted air compressor.
Jump to S level and your wheels become 19-inch alloys with leather front seats, while SE level gives you 20-inch alloys. Range-topping HSE gives you a panoramic sunroof and front-seat cooling among other things. The X trim level takes this a step further, with heated rear seats, contrasting roof colour, illuminated entry lighting by the door bottoms – but the X trim is only available with the P400 petrol version though.
All in all, the range of options is quite mind-boggling and there should be something to satisfy everyone. 7 different paint colour choices will be also available, and a choice of 12 different wheels, from the basic 18-inch steels up to top-of-the-range 22-inch alloys. The Defender comes with the option of around 170 accessories in total.
Engine wise, the new Defender will come equipped with 4-cylinder 2 diesel options; D200 with 197bhp and a 0-62mph of 9.9 seconds, and D240 with a meatier 237bhp and 0-62mph of 9.1 seconds. CO2 emissions for both are 199g/km with (presumably combined) fuel economy of 37.2mpg – all figures depend to a certain degree on specs. Alternatively, the P400 is the supercharged 395bhp petrol version with a 0-62mph of 6.4 seconds and CO2 emissions of 220g/km.
What do you think of the new Land Rover Defender? Let us know in the comments!
*Estimated lease costs for the new Land Rover Defender
These are based on figures provided by Motor-Vision sponsor Best Car Finder. Click here for more information.
The estimated cost is based on the following factors:
Model: Land Rover Defender Diesel Estate 2.0 D200 110 5dr Auto 5 Seat. Upfront cost: £900. Lease period: 48 months. Miles-per-annum: 5000. Other: Non-maintained. Approximate Price: £465.18 plus VAT.
Small print: All offers are subject to change at any time, you must be 18 or over and finance is subject to status, vehicle availability and terms and conditions apply. Best Car Finder can introduce you to a limited number of finance companies, a commission may be received. Failure to maintain payments may result in termination of your agreement and the vehicle being returned, this could affect your credit rating and make it more difficult to obtain credit in the future. All prices correct at time of publication. Further details are available here.
If the vehicle exceeds the contract mileage an excess mileage charge will apply. These will be specified on your quotation. You should try and estimate the distance you will travel as accurately as possible to try and avoid excess mileage charges at the end of your contract.
VAT at 20% may be payable.
All vehicle images and car descriptions on Motor-Vision and Best Car Finder’s website are for illustration and reference purposes only and are not necessarily an accurate representation of the vehicle on offer.
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