Land Rover Defender an off-road champ
Venture practically anywhere…in comfort
ROSEVILLE, Calif. — If off-road driving tops your list of attractions, take note by 2023. Land Rover Defender It is considered one of the best off-road vehicles available today.
Also worth noting is the price that comes with this luxury Land Rover. It starts modestly at around $51,800, but with a lot of extras added it can climb to nearly $114,700.
What we found interesting about the Land Rover Defender is its dual personality. It can serve as a highly capable off-road vehicle and also makes a solid case for being a suitable everyday vehicle.
Look for challenging terrain and the Defender will likely be able to conquer it. It comes standard with powerful all-wheel drive, hill-descent control and a two-speed transfer case.
The Defender also has a standard Terrain Response system, allowing the driver to use one of the following modes – Mud and Rucks; sand; herb; gravel. the snow. Rock Crawl Wade. There is an optional Terrain Response 2 setting that automatically selects the mode best suited to any driving situation. The Defender has a maximum of 11.4 inches of ground clearance and can reach a water depth of 35.4 inches.
Every version of the Defender comes standard with all-wheel drive, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and a two-speed transfer case that offers low-range gears. The luxury SUV has a choice of three engines. The Defender weighs between 4,550 and 5,735 pounds and when properly equipped can tow up to 8,200 pounds.
The mid-size luxury SUV is equipped as standard with two rows and seats five, however a third row can be added for two more passengers. It is also offered as a two-door (Defender 90) and a four-door, called the Defender 110. In this review, we will focus primarily on the four-door Defender.
Besides the two- or four-door option, one can also go in another direction, opting for the Land Rover Discovery. For people who prefer a more sophisticated SUV, the family-friendly Discovery offers three-row standard seating, a more luxurious cabin and more cargo space. Defender 130 joins the 2023 lineup this year. Its body has been extended to accommodate the third row of seats, allowing for eight passengers.
What the Discovery doesn’t have is the Defender’s ability for more adventurous off-road excursions. The Defender starts about $6,000 less than the base Discovery.
The Defender’s base engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The most powerful engine is a turbocharged 3.0-liter, V6 that produces 395 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. The third is the supercharged 5.0-liter V8, which is blazingly quick with 518 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque. Land Rover says it can go from 0 to 60 mph in less than 5.0 seconds.
In normal driving situations, the Defender handles well as a heavy SUV. It delivers a smooth ride and solid accuracy. All Defenders have the following co-driver safety features: Automatic Emergency Braking; frontal collision mitigation; lane keeping assistance; traffic sign recognition; blind spot monitoring; front and rear parking sensors; rain-sensing windshield wipers; and a 360-degree camera system.
AT A GLANCE – 2023 Land Rover Defender
- Performance: 2.0-liter turbo, four-cylinder, 296 hp, 3.0-liter turbo, V6, 395 hp, supercharged 5.0-liter. V8 engine with 518 hp
- Mileage estimate: 17-22 mpg; 18-21 mpg, 15-19 mpg
- Estimated price: $51,800 to $114,700
- Warranty: Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles; Drivetrain: 4 years/50,000 miles; Roadside assistance: 4 years/50,000; Corrosion: 6 years / unlimited
What contributes to its luxurious appeal is the comfortable interior design with powerful technology. The Defender is attractive with new faux leather and wood grain upholstery. The driver’s seat has a range of adjustments that provide comfort and the giant second row is roomy for even three adults.
Cargo space is 34 cubic feet and expands to 78.8 cubes with the second row folded down. We didn’t like the uncomfortable and heavy swing-out tailgate, thanks to the mounted spare tire.
There is a 10 inch touch screen which can be very challenging to master. Even getting the right temperature was crucial. The Defender comes standard with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, wireless device charging, a speaker stereo, and satellite radio.
For off-road enthusiasts who want a luxury SUV for their adventures, the 2023 Land Rover Defender ideal. It can go practically anywhere and do so while providing a spacious and comfortable cabin.
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