by KBB.com

2023 Land Rover Defender 110The Land Rover Defender recently returned to the U.S. market as an all-new model after a long hiatus. The Defender retains its reputation as an exceptional off-road SUV while being a thoroughly modern and high-tech midsize luxury SUV.

 

With three body styles, three engine choices, and several trims and option packages available, the Defender is a highly customizable SUV. Land Rover lets you option your Defender precisely to your liking and prioritize luxury, off-road capability, or any combination you’d like of the two natures of the Defender.

 

The Land Rover Defender has few direct rivals. You could say it competes with the other big names in off-road royalty: the Jeep Wrangler and Ford Bronco. However, the Defender is bigger, more luxurious, and more expensive than those SUVs. The closest competitor to the Defender in the world of luxury SUVs outside of Land Rover’s own lineup would be the Lexus GX, which is a robust off-roader.

 

The big news for 2023 is the late-summer arrival of the new Defender 130, with a body extended in length by 13.4 inches. This adds to the vehicle’s load capacity and makes for three rows of adult-size seating in a 2/3/3 configuration.

 

Available as an S, SE, X-Dynamic SE, X, or First Edition model, the new Defender 130 is powered by a turbocharged 296-horsepower mild-hybrid inline-6 or another 3.0-liter 6-cylinder that puts out 395 horsepower. While we expected the new 130 to be equipped with a V8, both available 6-cylinder engines produce good torque at low rpm.

 

2023 Land Rover Defender 110 Pricing

For the 2-door Land Rover 90, pricing starts at $54,000 for S, $64,000 for SE, $69,000 for X-Dynamic SE, $75,000 for the 30th Anniversary Edition, $88,300 for X, $107,900 for V8, and $115,000 for Carpathian.

 

The 4-door Land Rover Defender 110 has a starting MSRP of $53,400 for the Standard trim, $55,300 for S, $66,900 for SE, $72,200 for X-Dynamic SE, $90,800 for X, $111,300 for V8, and $118,400 for Carpathian.

 

As a longer Defender 130 model, the P300 S starts at $68,000, which is followed by the P400 SE at $78,300. Moving up, the next Defender 130 is the P400 X Dynamic SE, which begins at $81,400, and the P400 First Edition, which starts at $84,700. The priciest Defender 130, the P400X, lists at $99,900.

 

The starting price of the Land Rover Defender is pretty similar to the Lexus GX and Land Rover Discovery. Consider the Jeep Wrangler or Ford Bronco if you’re looking for something more affordable with incredible off-road capabilities. Even the more premium trims of those SUVs are cheaper than the cheapest Defender.

 

Driving The 2023 Land Rover Defender 110

The Land Rover Defender is a poised and comfortable SUV on the street for a vehicle that’s primarily an off-roader. It’s an off-road SUV that doesn’t forget that it’s also a luxury SUV. The ride is smooth, the handling is composed, and the steering is responsive. It’s even comfier if you opt for the available Air Suspension Pack.

 

The base turbocharged 4-cylinder engine delivers adequate performance for everyday driving. The more muscular 6-cylinder and V8 engine options make the Defender a more muscular SUV if you have an appetite for performance.

 

Off-road is where the Defender shines. Simply put, the Land Rover Defender is one of the most capable off-road SUVs money can buy. The Defender can tackle almost any terrain you’ll encounter, even in its base form with standard 4-wheel drive, twin-speed transfer box, and Terrain Response drive modes.

 

The available Off-Road Pack and Advanced Off-Road Capability Pack (which requires air suspension) make the Defender an even better off-roader. They add features like an electronic active differential, off-road tires, and All Terrain Progress Control, which is like cruise control for off-roading.

 

Interior Comfort

The interior of the Land Rover Defender uses a similar design ethos as the exterior. It has a simple design that looks rugged, but it’s full of tech features you’d expect in a luxury SUV. Some interior materials feel a little sub-par for a luxury vehicle. Still, this interior is much more luxurious than other off-road all-stars, namely the Jeep Wrangler and the Ford Bronco.

 

The boxy profile of the Defender yields a pretty roomy interior. Seating space is generous in the front, and the back seats and cargo area of the 4-door Defender 110 are very spacious. The 2-door Defender has less room than its 4-door counterpart, but it’s still reasonably roomy for a 2-door SUV. This is also among the few modern vehicles that has the option of a passenger-across front-row bench, which offers a small seat between the driver and passenger.

 

The Defender 130 has 13.7 cubic feet of cargo when the rearmost seats are in use. That compares to 18.3 cubic feet in a Lincoln Aviator. When the Defender 130’s split 40/20/40 rearmost seats are folded, the cargo area increases to a handy 43.5 cubic feet. The maximum load capacity hits 80.9 cubic feet with both rows folded, which is more room than the Aviator’s max capacity.

 

Exterior Styling

The boxy styling of the Defender hints at its nameplate’s heritage while looking thoroughly modern. It combines design cues from past Defender models and the current Land Rover design language to create a premium yet decidedly rugged aesthetic.

 

Like the Jeep Wrangler and the Ford Bronco, the Land Rover Defender is available in 2-door and 4-door body styles. The 2-door Defender 90 is capable of more technical off-roading thanks to its shorter wheelbase and reduced overall length. The 4-door Defender 110 is the more practical and family-friendly choice, and it’s still a stellar off-roader.

 

The Defender is bigger than the aforementioned Wrangler and Bronco. Within the Land Rover lineup, the 2-door Defender is roughly the size of the Discovery Sport, and the 4-door model is about the size of the Discovery.

 

At 211 inches, the new Defender 130 is about the same overall length as a Chevrolet Tahoe or GMC Yukon. Also notable: Because the extra 13.4 inches are all aft of the rear axle, this Defender’s overall proportions are improved without compromising off-road departure angles too much. (A mild boattail-style rear uplift helps keep the departure angle of the Defender 130 at a respectable 28.5 degrees.)

 

Sedona Red is a paint exclusive to the Defender 130, which also benefits from a standard extra sunroof above the third row.

 

Favorite Features

OFF-ROAD PACK
The available Off-Road Pack improves the Defender’s capability by adding off-road tires, a domestic power socket, and an electronic active differential with torque vectoring by braking.

 

PIVI PRO INFOTAINMENT SYSTEM
The standard Pivi Pro system has an 11.4-inch touchscreen loaded with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, navigation, and more.

 

Standard Features

The base powertrain in the Standard trim of the Defender is a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with an 8-speed automatic transmission and 4-wheel drive. Standard features in the base trim include a twin-speed transfer box, Terrain Response with off-road drive modes, LED headlights and taillights, rear fog lights, rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, wireless charging, two USB ports, and two 12V power sockets.

 

The standard infotainment system in the Defender is the Pivi Pro system with an 11.4-inch touchscreen loaded with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, SiriusXM, HD Radio, and navigation.

Standard safety features in the Defender include a driver condition monitor, emergency braking, a 360-degree camera (which is nice to have off-road), traffic sign recognition, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, wade-sensing, and more.

 

In addition to the extended-length body, the new Defender 130 has standard air suspension, 4-zone climate control, and the larger 11.4-inch Pivi Pro infotainment screen. It also is equipped with what3words navigation, which means the Defender 130 can find and navigate its way to any 3-meter square on earth without need for a phone signal.

 

Factory Options

The S trim adds some excellent features to the Defender while retaining the base powertrain. It adds automatic high beams, 12-way power front seats with lumbar, grained leather and woven textile seating, a rear center armrest, An 11-speaker Meridian sound system, and a digital gauge cluster.

 

Land Rover purists will appreciate the throwback design details of the 30th Anniversary Edition. Based on the 4-door P300 S, it comes in Fuji White paint with white-painted steel wheels. In addition to being equipped with the optional Tow Pack, Off-Road Pack, and Cold Climate Pack, the 30th Anniversary Edition is easily identified thanks to its wider wheel arches, roof rack, A-frame, deployable ladder, and mud flaps at the front and rear. A total of only 500 examples of this limited-edition model will be built.

 

The SE trim is where the mild hybrid, twin-charged 6-cylinder engine becomes standard. It also adds a panoramic moonroof, front fog lights, upgraded LED headlights, 14-way power front seats with a memory driver’s seat, cooled front seats, and a 15-speaker Meridian audio system. The X-Dynamic SE trim is similar to the SE model but adds a rugged appearance package with satin and gloss black exterior trim.

 

The X model has the most off-road-oriented personality in the Defender lineup. It comes standard with air suspension and an electronic active differential plus the contents of the Advanced Off-Road Capability Pack, which includes All Terrain Progress Control, Terrain Response 2, and Configurable Terrain Response. It also has an appearance package similar to the X-Dynamic SE model. Further, it adds Windsor leather, heated rear seats, and bright metal pedals to the interior.

 

The V8 model is obviously the introduction to the available supercharged V8 engine. It also has some perks for towing like a tow hitch receiver and Advanced Tow Assist plus a more luxurious interior with Ebony Windsor leather, Dinamica suede upholstery and Robustec seating, a heated steering wheel, 3-zone climate control, and satin chrome paddle shifters. It also comes with Terrain Response 2 with Dynamic Program.

 

The top Carpathian Edition is equipped similarly to the V8 trim but has an appearance package with a black contrast tailgate, a Graphite exterior pack, satin protective film, and Carpathian Grey premium metallic paint.

 

A few options packages and individual options allow you to customize your Defender however you’d like. For example, an Off-Road Pack improves off-road capabilities further, while a Premium Upgrade Interior Pack makes it more luxurious. An available Family Pack adds a third row of seats and 3-zone climate control to the 4-door Defender 110.

 

The Defender 130 is available with the Extended Bright Pack. With this package, the 130’s lower body panels are finished in satin silver, but only on models painted Hakuba Silver, Fuji White, and Yulong White. The package also includes silver detailing on the hood louvers and fenders, plus 20-inch Luna alloy wheels finished in bright silver.

 

Engine & Transmission

There are three engines available under the hood of the Land Rover Defender. The turbocharged 4-cylinder P300 powertrain powers the Standard and S trims, along with the newly added 30th Anniversary Edition. A stronger 6-cylinder with a turbocharger, electric supercharger, and mild-hybrid system powers the SE, X-Dynamic SE, and X models. Finally, the V8 and Carpathian trims use a mighty supercharged V8 producing a whopping 518 horsepower.

 

The Defender’s fuel economy ratings are not impressive. Even with the base 4-cylinder and mild-hybrid 6-cylinder engines, the Defender is among the most inefficient SUVs in its class. Unsurprisingly, the supercharged V8 is pretty thirsty for fuel, and it can’t even achieve 20 mpg on the highway.

In Defender 130 form, this Land Rover is equipped exclusively with the 6-cylinder engines, surprisingly no V8.

 

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (P300)
296 horsepower @ 4,000 rpm
295 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/21 mpg (90), 17/20 mpg (110)

 

3.0-liter turbocharged (& electric supercharged) inline-6 w/mild hybrid (P400)
395 horsepower @ 5,000 rpm
406 lb-ft @ 2,000-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/22 mpg (90 & 110), 17/21 mpg (130)

 

5.0-liter supercharged V8 (V8)
518 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
461 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/19 mpg (90), 14/19 mpg (110)

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