New 2020 Land Rover Defender: specs, prices and performance

The old Land Rover Defender was boxy, great off-road but poor on it. The new model promises to retain the first two traits and fix the third

James Wilson
Sep 16, 2019

The new Land Rover Defender replaces a model that was on sale in numerous different guises for the best part of 70 years. While the new model shares that car's boxy stance, it promises far greater refinement and in-car tech and is available to order now in long wheelbase 110 form with prices starting at £45,240.

A shorter three-door Defender 90 will follow later in 2020 as will commercial versions of both the 110 and 90. There is a choice of petrol, diesel and mild-hybrid powertrains, but all models come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and permanent four-wheel drive.

If there was ever a relatively modern car that encapsulated the British people, it would be the old Land Rover Defender – excellent in many ways, but also a bit flawed. The old model grew to become an icon, changing little in terms of looks during its lifetime but slowly evolving underneath as the decades rolled by.

Quick facts

  • Defender 110 prices start at £45,240
  • Smaller 90 model to follow in 2020
  • A range of powertrains available
  • Plug-in electric hybrid coming in 2020
  • Up to seven seats available
  • Sophisticated off-road tech

Land Rover’s new model marks a significant turn in the design and image of the Defender. Hallmarks such as the agricultural interior, basic ventilation system and heavy manual gearbox have all fallen by the wayside and ushered in in their place is a well-appointed interior, enough technology to put PC World to shame and the option of hybrid power.

Don’t think the new Defender has gone all soft though. Land Rover has developed a new platform specifically tailored to making sure drivers will be able to get to the farthest flung corners of the world with ease - road or no road. After all, it is not by chance that the Defender is a long-term transportation partner of the Red Cross.

Read on for a full breakdown of the new 2020 Land Rover Defender’s prices, enginesoff-road credentials and more.

 

New Land Rover Defender prices and model range

In terms of regular model trims there are five: Defender, S, SE, HSE and X – the first seemingly so entry-level it doesn’t even get any extra letters in its name… There is also a limited run (available for the first year of production only) First Edition model. By all accounts, the entire range comes very well equipped – especially when compared to the old Defender. However, high prices reflect this.

Entry-level “Defender” spec starts at £45,240 when buyers opt for the lower-powered diesel engine. Standard equipment includes a heated front windscreen, automatic headlights and wipers, 18-inch steel wheels (along with an 18-inch full-size spare), all-season tyres, electric heated front seats, climate control, DAB Radio, 10-inch central media unit (which is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible) and cruise control with speed limiter.

Move up to S trim, which starts at £48,695 (again with the lower-powered diesel engine) and you get 19-inch alloy wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, armrest/centre console and a digital dash cluster which replaces traditional analogue dials.

SE models above this will set you back at least £52,625, and again, that is when specced with the lower-powered diesel engine. SE trim adds front fog lights, 20-inch alloy wheels, electronically adjustable steering column, front passenger Isofix point (only on 110 models), groovy ClearSight review mirror (more on that in the technology section below), keyless entry and blind spot assist.

Sitting second from the top for regular trims is HSE spec, which costs from £60,505 and is only available with the more powerful diesel engine. HSE brings extra goodies such as matrix headlights - which ensure a greater view of the road ahead when approaching other vehicles, without dazzling them - heated and cooled front seats, heated steering wheel and adaptive cruise control, which maintains a safe distance behind the car in front, whether they speed up or slow down. HSE also boasts a folding fabric roof on 90 models or a sliding panoramic roof on 110 models.

Proudly lording itself over all the lesser trims below it is X spec. This is only available with the mild-hybrid petrol powertrain and costs from £78,800 – aka, a lot of money. Over the rest of the range, X trim brings heated rear seats, a head up display that beams driving information onto the windscreen, uprated sound system, air suspension and a new Terrain Response 2 system – more on the latter in the off-road section below.

The final spec currently available is First Edition. Standout features over the entry-level Defender model include matrix headlights, a sliding panoramic roof and the same Terrain Response 2 off-roading system included on X models.

For a breakdown of which trims are available with which engines and at what price, please see the table below.

EngineSpecification
DefenderSSEHSEXFirst Edition
Diesel - 200hp£45,240£48,695£52,625--
Diesel - 240hp-£51,750£55,680£60,505-£58,860

 

On top of the designated trims, there are a handful of accessory packs. These are called Explorer, Adventure, Country and Urban. Each one offers a different combination of accessories aimed at bringing out the adventurer - or explorer, country person.... - in you. Example equipment includes a snorkel to help the engine cope with wading through deep water, an on-board air compressor, a full-height rear partition and a heavy-duty roof rack.

Land Rover is yet to announce pricing for smaller 90 models, but has said the range will kick off at around £40,000. As for the commercial models due next year, prices are expected to start around £35,000 plus VAT. Commercial models are normally pretty basic as they are bought to do a job and will get used and abused, with buyers focusing on value and functionality over the sharpest design or newest tech.

New Land Rover Defender engine range

Land Rover is offering the new Defender with a total of four engines: two diesels, one petrol and one petrol-hybrid, albeit a mild hybrid. A plug-in electric version of the Defender is expected next year, meaning for the first time a production Defender will be able to drive under battery power alone.

While there is a choice of fuel type, all Defenders come with permanent four-wheel drive and feed power from their engines through an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

New Land Rover Defender diesel engines

Both diesel units are 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engines however they differ in power output. Surprisingly, both the lower-powered D200 and higher-powered D240 are claimed to be capable of the same economy and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions – 37.2mpg and 199g/km. That means they're by no means the most frugal off-roaders, though you can expect much lower fuel consumption than with the old-fashioned previous model.

As for power and torque - that's low-engine-speed muscle - the D200 comes with 200hp and 430Nm of torque, while the D240 comes with 240hp and the same 430Nm of torque. These figures translate to a 0-60mph time of 9.9 seconds for the D200 and 8.7 seconds for the D240.

New Land Rover Defender petrol engine

The only standalone petrol engine in the range is called the P300 and is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit. Land Rover is yet to announce official economy figures, but emissions are claimed to be 227g/km, so expect it to use notably more fuel than the diesel models. Power comes in at 300hp while torque is yet to be confirmed. Land Rover claims that P300-equipped Defenders will accelerate from 0 to 60mph in 7.7 seconds.

New Land Rover Defender petrol-hybrid

From launch Land Rover is offering a 48-volt mild-hybrid powertrain badged as the P400. The hybrid system uses a 3.0-litre, six-cylinder petrol engine, lithium-ion battery and a starter motor which can also provide a power boost to the engine.

Power and torque sit at 400hp and 550Nm respectively. These figures are claimed to result in a 0 to 60mph sprint time of 6.1 seconds, fuel consumption of 29.6mpg and CO2 emissions of 220g/km.

One slight downside to the economy and emission figures Land Rover has provided is that they are calculated using the older and less realistic NEDC test. Many manufacturers now quote figures through the newer, more representative WLTP test. This means you're unlikely to get close to the official economy figures unless you drive very gingerly on flat, traffic-free roads.

New Land Rover Defender off-roading

The Land Rover Defender is synonymous with off-roading, so for the new model to succeed it needs to be able to conquer the roughest of rough terrain. To ensure it can, Land Rover offers the new Defender as standard with an impressive selection of off-road gear.

Starting with the more traditional kit, there is a twin-speed transfer box allowing drivers to select high and low ratio gears – the latter is perfect for off-roading and negotiating particularly steep slopes while retaining good control. Similarly, there are two locking differentials, one in the centre and one at the rear – these ensure multiple wheels keep turning even on slippery surfaces.

On the subject of wheels, the new Defender is offered with either 18-, 19-, 20- and 22-inch wheels which range from simple steel items (perfect for those who know their Defender will be scrambling over large rocks) to polished black alloy wheels for those wanting on-road style instead. Buyers have the option of all-season or off-road tyres, too.

Unlike previous Defenders, the latest generation uses a 'monocoque' body. This, Land Rover claims, has resulted in the stiffest body structure it has ever made, improving how the car drives, whatever the surface. As standard, the Defender 90 uses fully independent coil sprung suspension but there is the option of air suspension – the latter is standard on 110 models.

Adding a pneumatic suspension system allows for variable ride height, offering a 75mm lift advantage when driving off road plus an additional 70mm for extreme situations. To make sure you can actually get out of your Defender post-off-roading, there is a feature which will lower it closer to the ground when your journey ends. As standard, ground clearance is a substantial 291mm. This is already twice as much as some road-biased 'off-roaders'.

Land Rover has also used the latest Defender to launch its new Terrain Response 2 intelligent off-road system, which is only available as standard on top of the line X models. Terrain Response 2 not only includes a new wade programme (which gauge how deep water you're wading through is - with the car capable of crossing water up to 900mm deep) but it also includes a level of customisation, allowing drivers to tailor throttle, gearbox, steering and traction control response to their personal preference.

On top of the above, Land Rover is offering something it calls ClearSight Ground View. Similar systems have been seen on other Land Rover and Range Rover models, where video feeds from areas the driver will struggle to see when behind the wheel (such as that directly ahead of the front tyres) are pulled through to the car’s central media screen.

Thanks to short overhangs at the front and back of the Defender, approach, breakover and departure angles come in at 38, 28 and 40 degrees respectively, when driving in off-road mode. This means you're very unlikely to scrape either end of the car - or the underside - when hitting steep inclines.

There are a handful of low-tech features as well. Such as rubberised flooring, which is designed to make cleaning the cabin a doddle (carpet inserts are available). Plus, there is a lockable security box, which is large enough to hold tablets and laptops.

New Land Rover Defender technology

Big news for the latest Defender is the addition of Jaguar Land Rover’s latest in-car media system, Pivi Pro. It is claimed to be faster and more intuitive than any of its predecessors.

As a by-product of Pivi Pro, the Defender is capable of receiving updates over the air which will help keep its software up to date as time passes. Pivi’s graphics are displayed on a 10-inch central touchscreen which is both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Compatible. There is also a 12.3-inch digital dashboard available, which replaces the main dials and can display 3D mapping straight in front of the driver. Potentially complementing this is the optional head up display.

Like many other carmakers, Land Rover now offers a smartphone app for its owners. In the case of the Defender, the app allows buyers to remotely heat or cool their cabin, check the location of their car and also check how much fuel is in the tank. Land Rover is also offering an Online Pack, which provides unlimited data for motorists to receive up to date weather forecasts, stream music and access calendar information on the move.

For those who will be towing, Land Rover provides a nifty bit of kit which allows you to steer trailers into spaces using a rotary controller rather than wrestling with the steering wheel. There is also a waterproof and wearable active key (meaning you can leave the regular key at home) for unlocking/locking and starting the car. The active key also includes an LCD watch face.

On 110 models there are a total of five 12V sockets, three USB sockets and the option of a 230V three-pin plug. There is also a wireless phone charging pad, should your phone be compatible, plus the ability to connect two devices via Bluetooth at any one time. Plus, there are click and go tablet holders for the second row passengers.

For those Defenders specced with a middle seat in the front aka a jump seat, Land Rover provides something it calls a ClearSight rearview mirror. The mirror can double as a screen which shows camera feeds from the rear of the car, effectively making it as though there isn’t a passenger obscuring the driver’s view.

Finally, there is the choice of three sound systems which come with outputs of 180W, 400W or 700W – the two more powerful units being Meridian systems.

New Land Rover Defender safety tech

Defenders of old were not blessed with oodles of safety equipment but the new generation is positively brimming with reassuring tech. Land Rover offers automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, driver condition monitoring (to make sure you aren’t losing your concentration on long journeys) and a comprehensive parking assistance system.

On top of this, there is a driver assist package, which includes adaptive cruise control and rear pre-collision monitor (which will automatically put on your hazard lights if the driver behind you isn’t slowing down when approaching) and blind spot assist.

New Land Rover Defender exterior

Regardless of whether you like the looks or not, Land Rover is offering buyers an optional protective wrap, which is designed to protect bodywork from troublesome branches sticking out ready to scratch your paintwork. The wrap is available in three colours: Indus Silver, Gondwana Stone and Pangea Green, and are all solvent-free and fully recyclable.

Albeit subtly impacting styling, 110 models are offered with the option of a retractable sunroof while 90 models will be offered with a retractable canvas roof when launched next year. Finally, the underbody of the new Defender has been designed to be completely flat, which should improve aerodynamics reducing fuel use and reduce the chance of catching any bits that stick out when off-roading.

New Land Rover Defender dimensions

Defenders are not small cars, especially the 110 models. Testament to this are dimensions of 5,018mm for length (4,758mm excluding the rear wheel), 2,008mm for width (with the wing mirrors folded in) and 1,967mm for height. The turning circle is equally large at 12.84 metres. Land Rover is yet to announce dimensions for the 90, but this should be the same width and height as the 110, though its shorter length should make it far easier to park.

As for boot space, it is largely dependent on which seating arrangement you opt for. For 110 models, buyers can choose between five, six or 'five plus two' seating arrangements - with two additional seats for children. The first option is a traditional two up front, three in the middle layout, while the second option comes with a middle seat in the front row which is only really suitable for children.

The final five plus two layout comes with two seats up front, three in the middle and two in the boot. The rearmost seats are again best suited to transporting children. Figures are yet to be released for boot capacity in the 90.

A 110 with five or six seats has a luggage capacity of 1,075 litres when loading to the roof with the rear seats up and 2,380 litres with them down. Models with five plus two seats come with 916 litres with the middle seats up (and rear seats down) and 2,233 litres with both second and third row seats folded down. It is worth noting that the second row of seats in the new Defender splits 40:20:40.

When it comes to towing, Land Rover’s latest Defender is up there with the best – it has a maximum braked towing capacity of 3,500kg. The new Defender also has a maximum payload of 900kg for people and gear being lugged inside the vehicle and a maximum roof load of 168kg. The roof load is higher when the vehicle is not moving, however, and comes in at 300kg – which is ideal for those using the top of the car to pitch a roof tent overnight.

There are a handful of tow bar options, too. Simple detachable and multiple height tow bars are on offer, as is an electronic unit. There is also a panel on the inside of the rear door which allows motorists to adjust the height of their Defender (assuming air suspension is fitted) to help with the hitching of trailers.

New Land Rover Defender review

We are yet to test the new 2020 Land Rover Defender, however when we do it is fair to say there will be more to assess than your typical new car. Not in the least thanks to the size of a Defender, but because of its wide range of abilities.

For starters, its off-road credentials will need to be put through their paces, as will its on road capabilities. Then there is Jaguar Land Rover’s latest media system, which needs to be on its game to measure up to rival systems from Audi and Mercedes. Finally, all the powertrains will need assessing, especially the mild-hybrid. To find out how the Defender rates, be sure to keep checking back on the BuyaCar website.

 

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