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2023 Land Rover Defender Review: Specs and Pricing

Updated: Mar 2


Land Rover Defender

OVERVIEW


The Land Rover Defender has long been the rugged Jeeps of America's British counterpart, but with the most recent model, the luxury brand has added extra comfort to go with the off-global roader's mobility. Both two- and four-door body types with contemporary infotainment and tech amenities, as well as a trademark design that harkens back to the admired Defenders of yore, are available.


All Defenders come standard with all-wheel drive, although stronger inline-six and V-8 engines are also available. A turbocharged four-cylinder is the basic engine. Then, a variety of cutting-edge off-roading accessories are made available to consumers, such as locking differentials, height-adjustable air suspensions, and a unique mode for wading through deep water.


However, the current generation Defender's configuration is most advantageous because of its improved on-road driving manner, which gives it a level of refinement that competitors like the Jeep Wrangler and Lexus GX can't match.


What Has Changed For 2023?


This year, a Defender 130 version is added to the roster. Its body has been enlarged to accommodate the third row of seats, bringing the total number of passengers to eight. The new 130 model has a special exterior color option of Sedona Red and includes desirable amenities as standard equipment that are optional on the 90 and 110 versions, such as the larger 11.4-inch infotainment display.


Other than that, the Defender remains substantially identical in 2023, with the exception that its Pivi Pro infotainment system now includes Amazon Alexa connectivity as standard. A 30th Anniversary Edition model will also be available in a small number of units.


Only 500 of these will be produced; they are based on the four-door 110 model and powered by a 4-cylinder turbocharged engine with 296 horsepower. They have steel wheels and are dressed in white. The 75th anniversary of the Land Rover brand is commemorated by a second-anniversary edition.


The so-called 75th Limited Edition is equipped with the P400 six-cylinder engine, 20-inch aluminum wheels, Grasmere Green color, and a fabric sunroof. For the 2023 model year, the Trophy Edition model is back and is based on the two-door Defender 90. There will only be 250 made, and each one will have the chance to compete in land-based events.


2023 Land Rover Defender: Engine And Performance


A standard four-cylinder turbocharged engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission power the Defender. Naturally, all models include locking differentials and four-wheel drive for negotiating difficult terrain. A 3.0-liter inline-six powered by an electric supercharger and 48-volt hybrid system is also an option for the Defender.


If buyers want more power, they can get the 518-hp supercharged V-8, which in our tests accelerated the Defender 90 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. The Defender is built with a unibody rather than a body-on-frame system and swaps out the old solid axles for a fully independent suspension.


Coil springs are used in the standard suspension, but air springs can be added to permit ride height adjustment. The Jeep Wrangler's maximum clearance and wading capacity are both exceeded by the 11.5-inch ground clearance and 35-inch water-fording capacity of the Land Rover Defender.



2023 Land Rover Defender: Interior And Comfort


The Defender's interior straddles the line between luxurious and practical, borrowing just enough styling cues from the rest of the Land Rover lineup to appeal to brand loyalists. The door panels' exposed rivets give them a rougher appearance, while a magnesium beam that spans the entire width of the dashboard serves both structural and decorative purposes. 


A trapezoidal expansion of the dashboard beneath the infotainment screen houses the controls for the climate system and driving mode. Instead of the center console, the shifter and ignition switch are positioned on this center stack.

The center console can be flipped back in select versions to form a jump seat between the driver and passenger, comparable to a three-across bench in certain full-size pickup trucks.


The 90 and 110 models' limited cargo space behind the rear seat is comparable to that of rival off-road vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler.

The rear seats can be folded down to create a much larger cargo area, but those looking to transport people and cargo may want to consider the larger Land Rover Discovery or purchase a roof-top cargo carrier. When the third row is folded down, the longer 130 model has more cargo storage, but there isn't much place for goods when it's folded forward.


Connectivity


A larger 11.4-inch display is an option. The Defender's dashboard is equipped with a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system that runs a new Land Rover interface called Pivi Pro. The Touch Pro Duo interface used by the rest of the Land Rover lineup has two touchscreens, while the Defender's system only has one, responds more quickly, and supports over-the-air software updates for upcoming models.

Along with an in-dash navigation system, a six-speaker radio, and an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot, standard features include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Higher-end Defender customers also receive a digital gauge cluster and a head-up display, and Meridian sound systems with 10 or 14 speakers are offered.


2023 Land Rover Defender: Pricing


Prices for the four-door Defender 110 model start at $53,400, while the two-door, short-wheelbase Defender 90 starts at $54,000. The two-door Defender X costs $88,300, and the four-door Defender X costs $90,800. Costlier Defender V8 models: The starting price for a two-door variant is between $107,900 and $115,000, while the four-door model is between $111,300 and $118,400.



What Has Changed For 2023?


Even while we enjoy the way the two-door 90 model looks, most consumers will find the four-door 110 and 130 models to be more useful. We recommend sticking with the base P300 motor, a 296-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, for daily driving; but, individuals who intend to tackle challenging off-road tracks might find the optional six-cylinder or V-8 engines to be preferable.

The SE trim adds several desirable options to the Defender's feature list, such as 19-inch aluminum wheels, automatic high-beam headlamps, 12-way power-adjustable front seats, and a digital gauge display. For these reasons, we advise choosing this trim level. Several accessory packages are available from Land Rover, and each one equips the Defender with characteristics that are unique to that theme.

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