The latest all-new generation of the venerable Land Rover Defender makes a fine road-trip vehicle, but it shines brightest when you leave the pavement behind.
That’s true because the Defender’s ruggedly handsome sheet metal wraps advanced mechanicals and electronics that make it quite possibly the most off-road-capable model on the market today. Simply put, if this thing can’t get you to your chosen remote destination, you ought to reconsider even going there.
The four-door Defender 110 we tested (a two-door Defender 90 is also available) came propelled by an available 395-horsepower inline-six that gave it surprisingly satisfying acceleration. The downside is poor fuel economy.
Ride quality and handling on pavement are much better than you’d expect from a tall four-wheel-drive vehicle. Add a comfortable, upscale interior with gobs of high tech, and you have an SUV that will help you leave your everyday concerns behind.
- The sheer volume of advanced technology can be overwhelming.
- Capability and luxury class make it more than a tad pricey.
- If your road trip involves muddy trails or rocky slopes, here’s your SUV.
- Base Price: $46,100
- As Tested: $70,830
- NHTSA: Not yet tested.
- 18/21 (2.0L Turbo I-4/4WD)
- 17/22 (3.0L Turbo I-6/4WD)