The Land Rover Defender (Review)

 The legendary Land Rover Defender is one of the most awaited cars to come to South Africa, a friend of mine, Kholofelo, had a defender and to be honest I really didn’t get the hype around the car, he had the short wheel base version. When I would drive with him in the car though, he would greet other Defender drivers with a hand gesture, apparently this is known to every Defender driver. Fast forward to 2021, the people of Land Rover dropped off the latest Land Rover Defender for me to test drive, so this will be my first experience driving the legendary Defender.

The first thing you notice is the size of the car – it’s huge and elevated as well which makes sense because it’s an off-road utility vehicle. When you step inside you notice how spacious the car is, I mean there is space everywhere from the front, middle seats and the back as well. I was more impressed with the middle seats space, you really can sit there and have more space than you can imagine. The practical interior of the Defender at first doesn’t seem to make sense, but once you really think about what the car is made for, you get over it. There is a lot of rubber material with regards to the interior which makes easier to clean. The design is simple and straight to the point, I was glad that they didn’t do a copy and paste from the previous Land Rover cars. Your are met with 11.4-inch Pivi Pro infotainment touchscreen, with the gear just below the screen with climate controls next to the gear. The design is very different to the rest of the Land Rover and Range Rover models and so far, just unique to the Defender. The system offers you Apple play and you are able to access everything about the car through the infotainment screen. The new Defender 110 in D240 HSE specification was deemed the best Premium SUV by the judging panel of Cars Awards and owners of the most capable Land Rover ever created. The Premium SUV category is open to all large SUVs on sale priced between R1,000,000 and R1,500,000 which offer all-wheel drive as standard equipment. It makes sense why the Land Rover Defender 110 D240 HSE drove away winner of the Premium SUV category at the annual Consumer Awards – powered by WesBank in 2021.

One thing about the Defender and its features is that it’s beautifully designed and very practical, you can cross the river with this car by lifting its suspension, also the car will tell you how deep inside the water you are. Air suspension provides an off-road ride height lift of 75mm and supreme ride comfort across all surfaces. An additional 70mm of lift means the air system can raise the body by a maximum of 145mm when needed, while Elegant Arrival automatically lowers the body by 50mm to aid access. With a maximum suspension articulation of 500mm, the Defender can tackle 45-degree side slopes and inclines of 45 degrees with customary composure, but the biggest transformation comes on the road, where the new Defender is engaging and agile. Also, I love how big and durable the wheels are, the only way to make them stylish is to make them all black including the rims.

South Africa launched the 110 line-up which includes a flagship 3.0-litre straight six-cylinder P400 featuring efficient Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle technology with outputs of 294kW and 550Nm. Alternatively, customers can choose between two 2.0-litre variants, with a P300 turbocharged petrol offering 221kW and 400Nm, and a D240 twin turbocharged diesel producing 177kW and 430Nm. A comprehensive model range is available, with four specification packs including base Defender, S, SE and HSE models. Standard features in all versions include permanent all-wheel drive with a high- and low-range transfer box, air suspension, Terrain Response, LED headlights, Connected Navigation, 3D Surround Cameras just name a few features.

Defender 110 177kW D240                            R1,050,100
Defender 110 177kW D240 S                         R1,096,100
Defender 110 177kW D240 SE                       R1,155,600
Defender 110 177kW D240 HSE                    R1,259,800
Defender 110 177kW D240 First Edition        R1,260,600
Defender 110 221kW P300 Standard             R1,050,100
Defender 110 221kW P300 S                         R1,096,100
Defender 110 221kW P300 SE                       R1,155,600
Defender 110 221kW P300 HSE                     R1,259,800
Defender 110 294kW P400                            R1,187,000
Defender 110 294kW P400 S                         R1,224,200
Defender 110 294kW P400 SE                       R1,286,700
Defender 110 294kW P400 HSE                     R1,387,900
Defender 110 294kW P400 First Edition        R1,377,100
Defender 110 294kW P400 X                         R1,574,500

  • Including VAT, excluding CO2