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.
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 20-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, heated seats and power-folding door mirrors. Stepping up to X-Dynamic trim adds privacy glass and a black contrasting roof, along with silver exterior trim, while X models feature additional trim upgrades in the cabin, a heated steering wheel and a sliding panoramic roof, along with 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, and grows to 11.4-inches in higher-end models, while the bigger screen is standard for the Defender 130.
In addition to the infotainment set-up, entry-level Defenders feature Land Rover’s Connected Navigation Pro, a 400W Meridian audio system with 10 speakers and an online pack with data plan.
In this review
- 1VerdictLand Rover has aced the latest Defender, which combines rugged go-anywhere ability with new levels of civility
- 2Engines, performance and driveLand Rover has equipped the Defender with a strong range of petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid engines.
- 3MPG, CO2 and running costsNew powertrains and modern tech do their best, but the Defender isn’t the greenest machine and will cost a lot to run.
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingImpressively designed, well-equipped and with the latest on-board tech, the Defender is a thoroughly modern 4x4.
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe new Defender is arguably the ultimate 4x4, with comfort and refinement now on a different level.
- 6Reliability and safetyWe’d expect Land Rover’s toughest 4x4 to be supremely reliable, while safety shouldn’t be an issue.