In-depth reviews

Land Rover Defender review - MPG, CO2 and running costs

New powertrains and modern tech do their best, but the Defender isn’t the greenest machine and will cost a lot to run.

With such a bluff, upright profile and overall weight on the wrong side of two tonnes, the Defender isn’t going to be crossing continents on a single tank of fuel. Land Rover has included mild-hybrid tech with its 3.0-litre diesel engines to help improve efficiency, while there’s also the petrol plug-in hybrid to consider - although the high list price for that model may well deter some.

The petrol P400 model averages around 24mpg on the combined cycle, with CO2 emissions starting from around 260g/km. If you can afford the step-up to the plug-in hybrid version, you’ll benefit from up to 27 miles of pure electric drive, while keeping the battery regularly topped up will push overall economy towards a claimed 75mpg. CO2 emissions are low, too, starting from 75g/km and rising to 80g/km depending on your chosen trim level.

Choose any of the diesel-engined variants and the average economy sits at around 32mpg. Emissions are still relatively high, however, ranging from 230g/km to 238g/km. The eight-seat D130 in D300 diesel guise can return up to 34.4mpg and emits 216g/km. 

Insurance groups

Premiums are going to be expensive for the Defender. The (now discontinued) three-door 90 D200 diesel is in group 28, while the more powerful D250 in HSE trim moves up to group 38. The 296bhp D300 is only available in combination with the top X trim and sits in group 42.

Customers choosing the top-spec petrol P400 will see insurance groups of 42-44, depending on bodystyle. 


On the plus side, Defender owners will benefit from good residual values when the time comes to sell. Data suggests that the 90 model will hold onto an average of 60% of its original list price after three-years and 36,000 miles, with the 110 range retaining around 64%.

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