Land Rover Defender review - Reliability and safety

We’d expect Land Rover’s toughest 4x4 to be supremely reliable, while safety shouldn’t be an issue.

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Reliability and safety 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

From just looking at the chunky, robust design, you could easily draw the conclusion that the Defender is virtually unbreakable. And, to live up to its name, it has to show excellent reliability in all conditions. It’s too early to draw definite conclusions in this area, but customers will expect a 4x4 they can depend on.

Customer feedback from our latest Driver Power survey delivers a mixed bag of results. Land Rover finished in 25th place out of 30 manufacturers, with owners praising the brand’s styling, practicality and safety credentials. The downside is overall reliability, with over a third of customers experiencing a fault with their vehicle in the past year. The Defender cannot afford to fail in this vitally important area.

The Defender comes with a host of safety kit and active systems designed to help avoid a collision. Land Rover has clearly got this vitally important area well sorted, as Euro NCAP awarded the Defender a full five-star rating. 

Standard equipment includes a 3D surround camera, cruise control, Lane Keep Assist, Auto Emergency Braking and Traffic Sign Recognition. Higher-spec models include a blind-spot warning and a rear-traffic monitoring function.


Land Rover offers a three-year/unlimited mileage warranty, with the option to extend cover, at extra cost, for up to ten years and 100,000 miles.


Land Rover offers individual fixed-price Service Plans. You can either pay monthly or as a one-off payment and, if you decide to sell your vehicle, any remaining Service Plan balance can be transferred to a new model or refunded.

Most Popular

New Dacia Bigster concept previews future SUV
Dacia Bigster - front

New Dacia Bigster concept previews future SUV

New concept gives us a glimpse at an all-new flagship Dacia Bigster model that has value at its core
14 Jan 2021
BMW X2 M Mesh Edition on sale now priced from £34,510
BMW X2 M Mesh Edition - front

BMW X2 M Mesh Edition on sale now priced from £34,510

The BMW X2 M Mesh Edition features unique decals and upholstery, as well as – you guessed it – a mesh radiator grille
15 Jan 2021
New Nissan Qashqai to gain e-Power hybrid setup
Nissan Qashqai - exclusive image front
Nissan Qashqai

New Nissan Qashqai to gain e-Power hybrid setup

Nissan has revealed specs of the next-gen Qashqai’s e-Power electrified powertrains ahead of the car’s full reveal early this year
15 Jan 2021