Driving report Land Rover Defender 2020
Edgy, but also iconic? New Defender on and off-road
Land Rover Defender 110 D240: Hard core
Site editor Sebastian Viehmann (Langenaltheim)
The Land Rover Defender is more than an SUV – it’s more of a legend car. The Daktari image is always there, even if the car now offers real SUV comfort. The biggest difference to the predecessor is experienced on the road.
When this door slams shut, it’s like pulling up the drawbridge on a knight’s castle. Whatever is bothering you – bad weather, noise, pushy cyclists – it’s outside now. A push of the start button awakens the two-turbocharged diesel engine with 240 hp, and off you go. To where? Does not matter where! We are not dependent on roads in the Land Rover Defender.
Land Rover’s off-road legend is back
To get straight to the point: Even if the Defender is still a real off-roader with its all-wheel drive system (two-stage transfer case, lockable center differential, active rear limited-slip differential), it no longer has much in common with the old Defender. It was, you have to say it so hard, apart from its purpose (tough off-road use) but also pretty bad: terrible road holding, cheap workmanship in the interior, uncomfortable seating position for tall people, drag coefficient like an Ikea cabinet from the 1970s. The author of these lines remembers an adventure tour in the Defender through Bolivia, on which the Landy grew on you as a crisis-proof companion even in life-threatening situations, but the interior began to disintegrate after just a week. In short: the old Defender was only for fans, at least as an everyday car.
land rover In addition to the five-door, there is a three-door and, in the future, a long-wheelbase version
The Defender is also available in China for the first time
That’s over with the new edition. The Defender is not only larger and more comfortable with over five meters and an XXL interior, but also – despite the unmistakable body – rounder, more pleasing. If you want to provoke your eco-neighbors with their Toyota Prius with a black-painted Defender with petrol cans and ladders on the roof, you’d better stay with the old model. Incidentally, the new Defender is the first to be offered on the Chinese market. There, the image of the brand should count significantly more than its off-road properties.
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The heavy all-wheel drive vehicle demonstrates this on off-road terrain: Steep mountain rides – the Land Rover’s climbing ability is 100 percent, so it tackles a 45-degree steep hill – the Defender masters deep river crossings (wading depth 90 centimeters without snorkel) and adventurous entanglements as usual. With air suspension on board, you can raise the car to off-road level, then it has more ground clearance.
land rover There is a spare wheel in the back
The turning circle is surprisingly small for such a large vehicle, but the Defender is handicapped by its width when space is tight. And the 2.3 ton weight is not always advantageous.
On the road: another world
On the road, however, the Land Rover is also able to hide its weight well thanks to the air suspension. In any case, the biggest difference to the predecessor, which had a bad road holding, is there. Aside from the somewhat numb steering, the new Defender drives like a regular SUV, barely rocking in corners, barely rocking. The noise insulation is good, although wind noise can definitely be heard at higher speeds. On the other hand, little is heard of the rumbling diesel engine under the bow.
land rover The interior is robustly furnished
Depending on the version, the two-liter unit has 147 kW / 200 hp or 177 kW / 240 hp, although the more powerful version can’t hurt because of the small displacement. Not particularly fast, but extremely powerful, the diesel pushes the fat Briton forward. Both versions have a torque of 430 Newton meters. Also because of the cW value of 0.38, which is impressive for such a machine, consumption is an average of 7.7 liters of diesel; in practice, it should be one to two liters more.
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The Defender is also available with a four-cylinder or six-cylinder petrol engine (300 or 400 hp), which should be the engine of choice, especially in the USA. While in Europe there is no alternative to diesel for frequent drivers, the other alternative to petrol is still in the works: the Defender will also be available with a plug-in hybrid drive for the first time. It is particularly interesting because it is tax-efficient to drive with.
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The cockpit does not offer the exuberant luxury of a Range Rover, but the infotainment with the 12.3-inch touchscreen and the virtual cockpit instrument is contemporary. Even a head-up display is available on request. When operating the display "hook" the virtual keys sometimes, so they don’t react quickly enough. Off-road, various cameras send their images to the monitor, so that you can see the crest of the hill on steep ascents, for example, while you can only see the sky over the bonnet in front.
Lush off-road living room
There is plenty of space in the Defender. At the front there is an optional third seat in the middle ("jump seat"), otherwise you will be happy about the XXL shelves with all kinds of USB, 12 volt or even 230 volt sockets. Thanks to the ample space in the rear, the Defender becomes a mobile off-road office when needed. In the long version there are again the small side skylights. However: The many windows and hatches are nested in such a way that when changing lanes you always stare at some strut and enjoy a rather poor overview to the rear.
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If you want, you can also accommodate seven people in the 5.02 meter long Defender 110. If three doors are enough, you should wait until late autumn, then the Defender 90 with prices from 49.700 euros can be ordered. If you want the 110 variant, place at least 55.600 euros.
land rover The appearance is based on the original
Extras without end
But it will rarely stay that way, because Land Rover exploits everything that is in it and costs extra in its famous model. Four equipment lines (Urban, Country Adventure, Explorer) adapt the car functionally and visually to its preferred area, be it Munich-Schwabing or the Rubicon Trail. There are also 170 accessories, including a winch, an on-board compressor and a refrigerator. Provided you have the necessary funds, you can make the Defender your very own crisis-proof escape vehicle from everyday life.
The new Defender remains absolutely off-road capable, but has definitely undergone a transformation. Away from the only angular, brittle, uncompromising individualists to a rolling luxury stronghold, which is still far enough away from all the soft-washed SUVs. More than ever, the British are now competing with the G model from Mercedes or the Land Cruiser from Toyota. Whereby the cult bonus at Land Rover is probably the greatest, but the price is significantly lower.
land rover All-wheel drive is of course standard
In any case, the level of awareness among the British is greater. The film industry knows that too. Actually, the Defender would have due to its spectacular appearance in the new James Bond film "No time to die" should make a huge PR impact. But because of the corona measures, the film premiere was postponed. After all: For the Defender, the time to die has definitely not come. SUV haters will of course get heat rash at the sight of him; but they already do that with a Kia Sportage. The Defender is one of the last individualists and a real escape vehicle from everyday life. This is exactly what should guarantee his success for a long time to come.
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|Type||Land Rover Defender 110 D240|
|engine||Four-cylinder diesel engine|
|Power in hp (KW) at rpm||240 (177) at 4000|
|Max. Torque (Nm) at rpm||430 Nm at 1400 rpm|
|Acceleration 0-100 km/h (sec.)||9.1|
|drive||Permanent four-wheel drive with off-road reduction and differential locks (center / rear)|
|type of fuel||diesel|
|Consumption EU third mix (l/100 km)||7.6|
|CO2 emissions (g/km)||204|
|emission standard||Euro 6 d temp|
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