Land Rover Defender review - Reliability and safety
Land Rover’s toughest 4x4 has to deliver supreme reliability, while safety shouldn’t be an issue
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.
Owners' feedback from our Driver Power surveys often delivers a mixed bag of results for Land Rover, but the manufacturer will be pleased to see some improvement in our best car brands rankings, 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. There have been concerns over Land Rover reliability, although 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.
In this review
- 1Land Rover Defender reviewLand 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 technologyImpressively 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 safety - currently readingLand Rover’s toughest 4x4 has to deliver supreme reliability, while safety shouldn’t be an issue