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In-depth reviews

Land Rover Defender - Reliability and safety

Safety isn’t an issue for the Land Rover Defender; the brand is improving in reliability rankings

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Reliability and safety Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£48,695 to £117,215
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From just looking at the Land Rover Discovery, you’d think its chunky and robust design would mean it is virtually unbreakable. It’s too early to draw definite conclusions about what this model’s like to live with over an extended period of time, because the current Defender hasn’t appeared in the latest 2023 Driver Power survey. Owners' feedback about the brand is showing signs of improvement, moving up from 22nd position (out of 29 brands) in 2021 to 14th spot in 2022 and the same spot in 2023 – ahead of premium automakers such as BMW, Audi and Mercedes.

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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 adaptive cruise control to keep you a safe distance from the vehicle ahead, and a Lane Keep Assist system to keep you within your lane on the motorway. In town, there’s an Auto Emergency Braking to mitigate or avoid low-speed collisions with other vehicles and road users, along with a Traffic Sign Recognition to warn you of speed limit changes. Being such a large car, blind-spot warning is standard to let you know of other vehicles alongside you if you go to change lanes, plus there’s a rear-cross traffic monitoring system to warn you of vehicles crossing from behind when you got to reverse out on to a main road.

Warranty

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. There’s also three years’ free roadside recovery.

Both of these are very similar to what you’ll find from BMW, but is quite a bit shorter than the up to 10 years or 100,000 miles of cover you can get with a Toyota or Lexus.

Servicing

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.

The Defender has long service intervals for most of its engines. The D250, D300, P300, P400, and P400e only need routine maintenance every two years or 21,000 miles for servicing. The P500 and P525 V8 models have shorter annual service periods, or every 16,000 miles.

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