Land Rover Defender review - Interior, design and technology

Impressively designed, well-equipped and with the latest on-board tech, the Defender is a thoroughly modern 4x4.

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Interior, design and technology Rating

4.2 out of 5

  • Off-road ability
  • Still supremely practical
  • Plug-in hybrid version
  • Expensive to buy
  • Some wind noise at higher speeds
  • Running costs

Land Rover has done a great job in bringing the Defender into the 21st century. There’s a little nod to the previous model in terms of the overall look, but make no mistake - this new 4x4 is most definitely at the cutting edge in terms of off-road ability and on-board tech.

The proportions are clearly Defender-like, but everything is bigger, chunkier and designed with function clearly in mind. Inside, there are exposed screw heads, powder-coated aluminium surfaces, a magnesium bulkhead and even strips of body-coloured metal. While it’s not the usual Land Rover level of luxury, it brings a unique and refined rawness to the cabin that is as cool as anything else on sale.

Standard equipment across the range includes 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, heated seats and power-folding door mirrors. Stepping up to S trim adds 19-inch wheels and upgraded upholstery, while SE and HSE cars feature luxuries such as a premium 400w Meridian audio system with ten speakers, additional leather trim in the cabin and a sliding panoramic roof. 

The top-spec X equipment line stands out from the crowd by offering a black-coloured roof and bonnet, Windsor leather seats, a 700w version of the Meridian sound system with an additional four speakers and a head-up display.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The 10-inch touchscreen is the slickest we’ve yet seen from JLR. The new Pivi Pro system allows over-the-air software updates and the latest Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. 

In addition to the infotainment set-up, entry-level Defenders feature Land Rover’s Connected Navigation Pro, a 180W audio system with six speakers and an online pack with data plan.

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