2022 Land Rover Defender

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2022 Land Rover Defender V8 Test Drive Review: The British G

by Adam Lynton

Are you going to stick a V8 in it? Time and again, that was the question JLR had to swat away during the new Land Rover Defender 90 and 110 events this time last year. And now we have our answer. All five liters, eight cylinders and 518 horsepower of it. JLR's ubiquitous supercharged powerplant has enabled the Defender to take the fight straight to the Mercedes-AMG G63. With unrivaled offroad chops, the Defender has added further strings to its bow with a burbly V8 soundtrack and the ability to sprint to 62 mph in a tad over five seconds. With a set of 22-inch wheels and up-rated rubber as standard, top speed increases from 119 to 149 mph too.

For those with less of an appetite for destruction, the six-cylinder 395-hp P400 is powerful enough, and even the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-pot does the job. But the additional 123 horses that come with the Defender V8 obligated Land Rover to tune the chassis and air suspension, upgrade the electronic rear diff, and fit 15-inch brake discs. Visually, the differences are subtle; blink-and-you'll-miss-them blue brake calipers and a quartet of exhausts are the biggest giveaways. But given the Defender is one of the most imposing, handsome SUVs around anyway, Land Rover did well to cloak the V8's superiority. The six-figure price tag is harder to ignore.

Land Rover didn't need to make this car, but after two joyous weeks getting intimate with the unpretentious British G, we're glad that it did.

2022 Land Rover Defender Changes: πŸš™What’s the difference vs 2021 Land Rover Defender?

Land Rover's Defender has been on sale long enough for the British manufacturer to notice specific buying trends. As a result, the Defender is now available in XS trim, which includes all must-have features bundled into one model. A more extensive 11.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system is also available.

The big news is the all-new Defender V8, available in the 90 and 110. The introduction of the 518-hp supercharged 5.0-liter V8 also brings a new halo model, called the Carpathian Edition.

Pros and Cons

  • Extensive line-up
  • Excellent off-roader
  • Refined SUV road manners
  • Seats up to seven
  • Spacious and rugged cabin
  • Loads of customization options
  • Glorious V8 engine
  • Killer good looks
  • Cargo space is limited in 90 model
  • The V8 is thirsty
  • Six-cylinder turbo lag
  • Pricey at the top end

Best Deals on Defender

2022 Land Rover Defender Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
90
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Four-Wheel Drive
$48,700
110
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Four-Wheel Drive
$51,500
90 S
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Four-Wheel Drive
$52,100
110 S
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Four-Wheel Drive
$55,100
90 X-Dynamic S
3.0L Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Four-Wheel Drive
$60,700

Defender Exterior

The Land Rover Defender is retro done right. Yes, it's not as iconic as the old Defender, but - sit back in your chairs for this one old-school Land Rover fans - the senior Defender was an ergonomic mess. Land Rover kept the blocky design but rounded off the edges so occupants wouldn't be driven mad by wind noise. Thankfully, there are enough design elements that hark back to the original.

Available in various specs and sizes, it's fairly tricky deciding which is the most handsome. The entry-level model with its 18-inch steelies is adorable, but there's something to be said for the V8 with its Satin Grey 22-inch alloys housing Xenon-blue Brembos. Whichever model you opt for, there are several customization options available to make the car your own.

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Dimensions

The 2022 Defender is available in two configurations: 90 or 110, otherwise known as short- and long-wheelbase versions. The shorty has a 101.9-inch wheelbase and is 170.2 inches long (180.4 with a tailgate-mounted spare wheel), 82.9 inches wide, and 77.7 inches tall on the standard coil suspension. With the air suspension equipped, it sits 77.5 inches off the ground.

The 110 has a 118.9-inch wheelbase and an overall length of 187.4 inches without a spare wheel. With it, it spans a substantial 197.6 inches. It's also 82.9 inches wide, and the standard fitment of air suspension means all models are 77.4 inches tall.

Curb weight varies depending on configurations, powertrain, and specification levels, but the Defender maxes out in the V8-powered 110 specification at 5,735 pounds. At the other end of the spectrum, the lightest Defender is the 90 with the entry-level turbocharged four-pot at 4,550 lbs.

When it comes to off-roading, the 90 is the most capable. While standard ground clearance varies between 8.5 and 8.9 inches on air and steel spring suspension, the approach, breakover, and departure angles are 31, 25, and 37.9 degrees, respectively on the fixed spring suspension. While the air setup rides lower and decreases these in road-oriented modes, it can change at the flip of a switch to various off-road modes, which increases the ground clearance to a lifted maximum of 11.5 inches. In this mode, the approach, breakover, and departure angles increase to 38, 31, and 40 degrees. The 110 mimics most of these figures, but has a lower breakover angle of 28 degrees.

  • Length 180.4 in
  • Wheelbase 101.9 in
  • Height 77.7 in
  • Max Width 79.1 in
  • Front Width 67.1 in
  • Rear Width 66.9 in
  • Curb Weight 4,550.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

Land Rover makes it extremely easy to build a Defender that's unique to you. In addition to an extensive color palette (even on the most basic P300), you can add signature graphics and a contrasting roof. Fuji White is the only no-cost color, and metallic paints retail for $710. Available colors include Pangea Green, Gondwana Stone, Eiger Grey, Tasman Blue, Santorini Black, Hakuba Silver, and Yulong White. Access to the Premium Metallic Paint costs $1,750. On the base model, you can choose between Carpathian Grey and Silicon Silver. On high-end models like the Defender X, the standard metallic colors are no-cost options.

The V8 model is limited to three color options: Santorini Black, Yulong White, and Carpathian Grey ($1,050). The new Carpathian Edition is only available in the latter with 22-inch gloss black wheels.

We were hoping our tester would come all blacked-out, but the Yulong White example didn't take long to grow on us. The floating black roof, black pillars, fenders and rocker panels combine for a modern monochromatic look that turned heads everywhere we went.

  • Tasman Blue Metallic
  • Eiger Grey Metallic
  • Pangea Green Metallic
  • Gondwana Stone Metallic
  • Hakuba Silver Metallic
  • Yulong White Metallic
  • Santorini Black Metallic
  • Carpathian Grey Premium Metallic
  • Silicon Silver Premium Metallic
  • Fuji White

Defender Performance

Three engine options are available for the Defender, all of which come mated to an eight-speed automatic, sending power to a full-time four-wheel-drive system.

At the bottom end, there's a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-pot dubbed the P300 indicative of its metric horsepower rating. In the middle, you have access to a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six with mild-hybrid assist named the P400, and at the top, you'll find the 5.0-liter supercharged P525 V8. The latter, which we sampled, is the same snarling, popping and whining powerhouse of an engine used in the Range Rover Sport SVR. Land Rover detunes it slightly for the Defender, but it still produces 518 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque. Has this new engine turned the Defender into a hyper hatch hunter of note? Erm, no. Land Rover claims a 0-60 mph time of 4.9 seconds for the 90 and 5.1 seconds for the 110. Top speed is limited to 149 mph in both models.

It provides spirited performance, but the 395-hp P400 i6 MHEV is already capable of getting to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. Even the base turbocharged four-pot gets there in seven seconds flat. The Defender wasn't lacking in the performance department before, but that doesn't mean the V8 is irrelevant. Far from it.

When it comes to towing capacity, the i6 P400 MHEV is still the champion. It can tow up to 8,201 lbs in the correct configuration. The V8 can only manage 7,716 lbs, primarily due to the additional weight of the supercharged V8 under the hood. Still, it is enough to beat the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, in both regular and AMG guise, which can only tow 7,000 lbs.

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Engine and Transmission

The newest Defender remains a hardcore off-roader. That's why it still has a full-time four-wheel-drive system. Unlike the old Defender, the new car does all its shifting via an eight-speed ZF-sourced automatic transmission.

Power comes from three different engines, two of which are more traditional than the other. The base turbocharged four-cylinder (P300) delivers 296 hp at 5,500 rpm and 295 lb-ft of torque from 1,500 rpm. The supercharged V8 we drove, badged the P525, produces 518 hp at 6,000 rpm and 461 lb-ft at 2,500 rpm.

Land Rover's i6 MHEV (P400) is the most advanced engine available, albeit not the most powerful. It has a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine under the hood and a small electric motor housed within the gearbox. The electric motor is powered by a small 48-volt system that can harvest power under braking and deploy it when necessary. The combined output is 395 hp and 406 lb-ft from just 2,000 rpm.

  • Engines
    2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas, 3.0L Turbo Inline-6 Gas, 5.0L Supercharged V8 Gas
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain
    4X4

Handling and Driving Impressions

We've been privileged enough to experience the Defender on three continents. It handled the muddy marshes of the UK, the rockier sections of South Carolina in the US, and the world-famous Namib dunes in Namibia. We've yet to come across a surface that perplexes the Defender, proving once and for all that a ladder-frame chassis is no longer a requirement when it comes to rugged off-roading.

Having briefly tested an assortment of 2020 Defender trims last year - from the base 90 to the 110 stunt car used in the latest James Bond flick No Time To Die - I spent a fortnight with the 2021 Defender V8 lugging a family of five around the UK over the summer. There wasn't much call for offroading but that's not an area the Defender needs to prove itself. It will, quite literally, conquer any terrain you can throw at it. But what's it like on the road?

Well, it's massive, and looks down on almost any other road user (and we don't mean figuratively, although it does that too). It's also got a fun side, with a Dynamic mode that's exclusive to the V8 that launches the 2.5-ton brute even harder than usual, and adds more weight to the steering rack that offers a pleasantly surprising level of communication. It pulls hard to 6,750 rpm and every burst of acceleration is matched with that inimitable V8 sound. It's not as noisy as we'd like but there's enough of a rumble to remind you what's under the hood.

While it lacks the dynamism of a Porsche Cayenne or Lamborghini Urus, quick cornering never phases the Defender V8 courtesy of the electronic limited-slip rear diff while the 22-inch Continental tires provide superb grip. But it's best to drive at the limit on solo missions as the inevitable body roll sends rear occupants sliding along the bench while the huge Brembo brakes stop the car with a serious kick. The initial few yelps of delight coming from behind my seat became moans of discontent after a couple of days of driving like a hooligan. Drive the Defender with a degree of constraint, however, and everyone's happy.

In Comfort mode, the adaptive dampers soften things up and there's a more laid back response to driver inputs. Cruising around town, sitting in busy traffic, or motoring down the highway, the Defender V8 is a relaxing place to be. It's massively overqualified for such mundane jobs but does them without complaint.

Defender Gas Mileage

Land Rover desperately needs a plug-in hybrid to make the Defender more appealing to individuals who want to tread lightly. Fortunately, our sources indicate the PHEV will make it to the US sooner rather than later. Out of all the engines currently available, though, there isn't one that gets better gas mileage than 19 mpg on the combined cycle.

The 90 with the turbocharged four-pot comes with EPA-estimated figures of 18/21/19 mpg city/highway/combined. The benefits of a hybrid system become apparent when the short-wheelbase with the P400 motor achieves the same combined figure, albeit with slightly different 17/22 mpg city/highway figures. As for the V8, you can expect 15/19/16 mpg in 90 configuration.

The 110 with the four-pot is capable of 17/20/18 mpg. When equipped with the i6 engine, it's more efficient, with EPA-estimated figures of 17/22/19 mpg. The turbocharged four-pot struggles a little with the 110's bulk, which means you have to work it slightly harder. As for the V8, the EPA reckons it can do 14/19/16 mpg, which is pretty much what we managed over 600 miles of mixed driving.

The Defender models have different gas tank sizes, but each has a tank at least 23 gallons big. Most of the models will do around 430 miles on the combined cycle, while the V8 models can manage about 370 miles between refills.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    23.4 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 18/21 mpg
* 2022 Land Rover Defender 90 AWD

Defender Interior

The interior of the Defender is best described as utilitarian chic. There are no fancy curved displays or petrified wooden inlays. In fact, in base trim, it feels a lot like a modern van interior. The primary controls are housed within a single ergonomic center cluster with a 10-inch touchscreen and separate controls for climate control, air suspension, traction and stability control, and hill descent control. It's a logical interior, which is exactly what you want when tackling rugged terrain.

Higher up in the range, the Defender boasts more luxurious adornments such as an Alcantara steering wheel and nicer trimmed seats, elevating the overall ambiance to a degree. Mostly, it just comes across as a no-nonsense SUV with little distractions. Both short- and long-wheelbase models have loads of head and legroom. Getting into the rear of the 90 is a bit of a hassle, but that's a small price to pay if having the most capable off-roader is your main mission.

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Seating and Interior Space

Once seated, the Defender is comfortable, providing a roomy yet cocooned space with a wonderful, elevated view of the road that allows you to wave at bus drivers and delivery men on the same horizontal axis. The seats in the Defender V8 are wrapped in leather with touches of suede, there are cubby holes everywhere, from the doors to behind the central touchscreen on a long shelf that extends from the Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel to the passenger door. Egress and ingress is a pleasure for six-footers. Those closer to five feet tall will need a running jump to get into Defender and a love of heights when exiting. This is a tall car, so make sure to go size one up before placing an order. A family of five will appreciate the ample space for themselves and their stuff behind the second row. There's also a seven-seater if needed, but the third row is predictably cramped, as indicated by even Land Rover classifying it as a 5+2 rather than a full seven-seater.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 39.0 in
  • Front Head Room 40.6 in
  • Rear Leg Room 36.6 in
  • Rear Head Room 40.4 in

Interior Colors and Materials

The Defender range is comprehensive, with the high-end V8 costing more than twice as much as the entry-level derivative. Interior-wise, the differences are vast. The base Defender gets Ebony fabric seats with Ebony interior trim. X-Dynamic trims add Ebony grained leather and Robustec seat facings.

From the X trim upwards, we can see some proper luxury emerging. It gets Windsor leather and Steel Cut Premium Textile seats, available in Vintage Tan and Ebony. The V8 gets an extended leather upgrade, adding leather trim to more interior surfaces. The top-spec Carpathian Edition gets Ebony Windsor leather, Dinamica suedecloth, and Robustec seats.

The interior trim on the Defender and X-Dynamic is hard-wearing yet pleasing to look at. X trim gets rough-cut Walnut veneer, while the V8 gets a set of bright metal pedals to add that sporty feel. Carpathian Editions include satin chrome paddle shifters, illuminated metal treadplates, premium cabin lighting, and a leather shifter.

Defender Trunk and Cargo Space

The two-door 90 has 15.6 cubic feet located behind the second-row seats. It's not exactly spectacular, but it is more usable than the 12.9 cubes offered by the two-door Wrangler. Still not as good as the two-door Ford Bronco and its relatively healthy 22.4 cubes. Treat it like a two-seater, and you get a colossal 58.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded forward. That's more than enough for an extended camping trip for two people.

In seven-seat configuration, the four-door 110 has 10.7 cubes behind the third-row and 34.6 cubes of space behind the second row. Curiously, the five-seater only has 34 cubic feet. The roles are reversed when it comes to maximum volume, and with all seats folded, the two-row 110 will swallow 78.8 cubes to the 5+2's 69 cubes.

Since practicality takes precedence over design, the Landy's interior has multiple storage spaces, cupholders, and a large center console.

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Defender Infotainment and Features

Features

The Land Rover Defender starts at roughly $50,000, so you'd expect a decent amount of standard kit. Thankfully, Land Rover adds many practical features like LED headlights, puddle lights, heated side mirrors, and a full-size spare wheel. On the inside, it has a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, dual-zone climate control, eight-way semi-powered heated seats, keyless entry with a push-button start, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and wireless charging. Higher up in the range, Land Rover adds 14-way heated and ventilated power-adjustable seats, leather upholstery, a domestic plug socket, the ClearSight rearview mirror, head-up display, and a digital instrument cluster.

From the base specification, Land Rover includes an impressive host of driver assistance features. Each Defender has automatic emergency braking, blind-spot assist, a 3D surround camera, clear exit monitor, lane-keep assist, rear traffic monitor, wade sensing, and traffic sign recognition with an adaptive speed monitor.

Infotainment

We continue to be impressed with Land Rover's new Pivi Pro system. The $140 upgrade from 10 to 11.4 inches is a no-brainer. Extending to the height of the horizontal shelf on the dash, sitting snugly beneath the vents, it's an excellent, intuitive system to use. The navigation system is sharp and provides all the necessary prompts to stay on course, while a simplified menu structure makes accessing the most common tasks - making a call, finding a radio station - a doddle. It provides Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and over-the-air software updates will keep it fresh for years to come. This system is a huge step forward for Land Rover and brand loyalists will appreciate a system that is now on par with the best in the business.

As for speakers, a Meridian 10-speaker system is the default, but a 14-speaker with 700 watts is available from the mid-spec models.

Defender Problems and Reliability

The 2022 Land Rover Defender already has one recall against its name, and it's for a rear taillight assembly that may fail. Some 2021 models were also recalled for the same problem, as well as incorrect child restraint information, and a faulty powertrain control module. Not exactly a clear record, but far from the 11 recalls issued for the Jeep Wrangler during its first year on sale. Each Defender is sold with a four-year/50,000-mile limited and powertrain warranty.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    6 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles

Defender Safety

Neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS has a thorough review of the 2022 Land Rover Defender. The folks at Euro NCAP gave the 2022 Defender SUV a total five-star rating, and it scored 85% for both adult and child occupants. Euro NCAP's safety tests aren't as comprehensive as US-based reviews, but it at least provides some idea of how strong the Defender is.

Key Safety Features

All models get traction and stability control, LED headlights, ABS, tire pressure monitoring, and six airbags. Land Rover also makes off-roading safe by including hill descent control, hill launch assist, Terrain Response, and a full 360-degree camera system. The driver assistance systems include automatic emergency braking, blind-spot assist, a 3D surround camera, clear exit monitor, lane-keep assist, rear traffic monitor, wade sensing, and traffic sign recognition with an adaptive speed monitor. On the higher-spec versions, Land Rover adds a head-up display and adaptive cruise control.

Verdict: 🏁Is the New Land Rover Defender a good SUV?

The new Defender oozes personality, its go-anywhere nature firmly intact while adding modern features and just enough luxury to make it palatable to 21st-century car buyers. From a design perspective, there's a level of sophistication to match it's lofty price tag, and with a refined ride on road and an explosive nature off it, being behind the wheel is always a pleasure.

It may lack the dynamism of the Audi SQ8 or Porsche Cayenne Turbo but in V8 trim and with the Dynamic mode engaged, spirited driving at the limit is not only possible but is buckets of fun.

Buyers will pay $100,000+ for the privilege of owning a Defender V8. But that's easily on par with the Germans and significantly less than the Mercedes-AMG G63. And this will almost certainly be the last time you'll be able to buy a Defender with a V8 engine.

Alternatively, the less potent Defenders still have the looks, off-road prowess and on-road manners. So if budget and running costs are a concern, there are trims below the V8 that are well worth looking at.

🚘What's the Price of the 2022 Defender?

Land Rover gives you so many Defender configurations that you need both hands and feet to count them all and a nearly $60,000 variance between the cheapest and most expensive. Rather than listing off various codes, configurations, engines, and the likes, we'll try to keep it simple and break it down by body configuration and trim. The Defender 90 starts at $47,700 while stepping up to the S version costs $51,100. The cost of the Land Rover Defender X-Dynamic, which starts in S form, is $59,900 with SE and HSE variants increasing in price to $69,600. A Defender 90 X has an MSRP of $83,500 while the price of the Land Rover Defender 90 V8 starts at $97,200 and the Carpathian Edition starts at $104,000.

In long-wheelbase 110 guise, the Defender starts at $50,500, but the 110 base has both S and SE specification levels for up to $65,100. The X-Dynamic starts at $68,000 in SE spec with the HSE adding $4,500. A Defender 110 XS Edition is priced at $71,900 while the Defender 110 X has a heavy asking price of $86,000. The V8 and V8 Carpathian are priced at $100,400 and $107,200 respectively.

These prices exclude the destination charge of $1,350.

2022 Land Rover Defender SUV Models

There are multiple Defenders to choose from, starting with what size you want. You can either go for the short-wheelbase 90 or the longer wheelbase 110. You then have the choice of base, X-Dynamic, X, V8, or Carpathian Edition and the 110 has a special XS Edition. Then you have sub-trims including base, S, SE, or HSE. Not all sub-trims can be mixed with all main trims, and in total there are a whopping 17 configurations. All models come with full-time 4WD with a transfer case for high and low range. An eight-speed automatic transmission is also standard.

The base model is simply called Defender. It's only available with the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-pot producing 296 hp and 295 lb-ft unless you go for the 110, in which case the six-cylinder engine is available with one of the sub-trims. Base models come standard with LED headlights, heated front seats, keyless entry with a push-button start, wireless charging, and a ten-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Safety-wise, it comes as standard with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot assist, a 3D surround camera, clear exit monitor, lane-keep assist, rear traffic monitor, wade sensing, and traffic sign recognition with an adaptive speed monitor.

X-Dynamic trim upgrades to the six-cylinder mild-hybrid powertrain with 395 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. This trim adds features like auto high beams, Satin Silver exterior decals, 19-inch alloy wheels, 12-way power-adjustable heated front seats, leather interior, a digital instrument cluster, and a ten-speaker Meridian sound system.

X trim adds the air suspension as standard, the more advanced Terrain Response 2, and an electronic active differential. It also gets Premium LED headlights with signature daytime running lights, a black contrast roof, orange brake calipers, fog lights, darkened taillights, and 20-inch alloy wheels. Interior highlights include a fancier leather steering wheel, upmarket interior trim, bright metal pedals, premium cabin lighting, and rough-cut Walnut veneer. The seats are upgraded to 14-way power-adjustable heated and ventilated front seats with memory, vintage Windsor leather, an extended leather upgrade package, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, head-up display, and a 14-speaker Meridian surround-sound system.

The V8 model comes with Terrain Response 2 but with an additional dynamic driving mode. On the outside, you can tell it apart thanks to the quad exhaust pipes, gloss exterior finishes, and the 22-inch Satin Dark Grey alloy wheels housing blue brake calipers. Land Rover also includes the activity key as standard.

The new Carpathian Edition is a luxury model. You can tell it apart thanks to blue brake calipers and headlight washers. As standard, it has tri-zone climate control, Satin Black Powder interior inserts, Satin Chrome gearshift paddles, suedecloth steering wheel, Ebony Windsor leather with suedecloth inserts, advanced tow assist, and a fridge in the center console.

The XS is a new trim in the 110 range. It comes standard with the six-cylinder mild-hybrid engine, 20-inch alloy wheels, heated steering wheel, tri-zone climate control, premium cabin lighting, 14-way power-adjustable heated and ventilated front seats with memory, Ebony Windsor leather seats and interior, ClearSight rearview mirror, a domestic plug socket, and a digital instrument cluster. It's a best-of album, including the most wanted features.

See All 2022 Land Rover Defender Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

You can add a few of the more advanced off-roading features on base models like the Adaptive Air Suspension and Terrain Response 2. These features are bundled with packages like the Advanced Off-Road Capability Pack ($750) and the Towing Pack ($ 1850). On high-end models like the X, you can order the $1,100 Towing Pack, including Advanced Tow Assist and a tow hitch receiver. The $1,967 Country Pack is a must if you're going off-road like a boss. It adds front and rear mudflaps, a full-height cargo space partition, a portable rinse system, bright rear scuff plate, and wheel arch protection.

Land Rover also has multiple lifestyle accessories like the Inflatable Waterproof Awning for $776 and the $3,526 Remote Control Electric Winch.

πŸš—What Land Rover Defender Model Should I Buy?

The old adage of horses for courses rings true in the case of the new Defender. With 17 configurations on offer, you could spend hours trying to choose a model and come away more confused than informed. Has Land Rover given us too much choice? Perhaps. But, if you know what you're looking for, you can narrow things down a lot. Want superior off-road ability? Get the short-wheelbase Defender 90. Need more space for the kids and equipment when going off the beaten track? Get the 110. All models come with 4WD and an eight-speed gearbox, but the choice is yours as to which engine you choose. We'd steer clear of the base four-cylinder, especially in the larger 110, leaving a mild-hybrid inline-six and the big-daddy V8. The V8 is sublime, characterful, and has performance in spades, but the six-pot is smooth, powerful enough for all applications, and is as frugal as the base four-cylinder. For most buyers, it's the right engine, but we can't fault anyone for wanting the V8.

As for trims and subtrims, you really can pick what suits you, whether it's style, extreme off-roading, luxury, or anything in between. There's so much choice here that you can find the right Defender for you and it'll be completely different to what someone else might choose. There is no right or wrong answer.

2022 Land Rover Defender Comparisons

Ford Bronco CarBuzz
Jeep Wrangler Jeep
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Land Rover Defender296 hp18/21 mpg$46,100
Ford Bronco 270 hp20/22 mpg$28,500
Jeep Wrangler 285 hp17/25 mpg$29,995

2022 Land Rover Defender vs Ford Bronco

The Bronco is the car of 2021. You're nobody unless you own one, which is particularly tricky, or at least it was at the time of writing. The First Edition models are sold out, and the rest of the USA is scrambling to get hold of models. Dealers were placing hefty markups on available cars, and Bronco owners were offered cash on the spot. In many ways, this battle has already been won if you just look at the sales figures.

There's a good reason for this. A top-spec Bronco with the Sasquatch Package retails for just under $50,000. That's more or less where the Defender range starts, and base Defender models only have the 2.0-liter four cylinder, basic steel suspension and entry-level version of Terrain Response.

The Bronco's 2.7-liter turbocharged V6 only produces 310 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque, which is down on power compared to the Defender's 395-hp and 406-lb-ft mild-hybrid six-cylinder. But the high-end Bronco competes with the entry-level level four-pot Defender, which only produces 296 hp.

When it comes to off-roading, the Bronco has it licked. The Defender may have advanced electronics, but the Bronco has the mechanical advantage. With the Sasquatch Package, the approach, breakover, and departure angles are 43.2/29/37.2 degrees. The Defender Shorty with an air suspension claims 38, 31, and 40 degrees. And it's not like the Bronco is without fancy driving modes. It has the GOAT system, with Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery, Sand, Baja, Mud/Ruts, and Rock Crawl modes.

We've driven both off-road and both are great, but the Bronco is superior. However, a Defender is more luxurious in many ways, and on-road is vastly superior. If you're sharing duties between regular life and off-road, the Defender is better, but if you only spend time on tarmac to get between off-road trails, the Bronco is unbeatable.

See Ford Bronco Review

2022 Land Rover Defender vs Jeep Wrangler

We kind of feel sorry for Jeep because both Ford and Land Rover took a massive elephant-like dump right on Jeep's front porch. Then again, Jeep had more than enough time to build a Wrangler that could stand toe-to-toe with the new Bronco and Defender.

We still maintain the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is the best stock standard 4x4 vehicle there is. The solid axles, disconnecting sway bar, and three locking differentials make it nigh unstoppable. Unfortunately, those same things make it extremely difficult to live with. You haven't known fear until you've experienced the infamous Death Wobble at high speed. The Bronco and Defender can easily do around 90% of what the Wrangler is capable of. But the Wrangler can't do half of what they can on the road. The recent addition of a V8 engine has made the Wrangler more interesting, and as far as off-road experiences go, it's something special. As in the Bronco's case, if you're a hardcore off-roader, the Wrangler has the upper hand, but for anyone who spends any time on-road, the Defender is a superior vehicle.

See Jeep Wrangler Review

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