The all-new 2023 land rover defender is finally here, and it was worth the wait. The new Defender is everything that we loved about the original, but with a modern twist. It’s stylish, it’s capable, and it’s comfortable. We can’t wait to get our hands on one.
The All-New Land Rover Defender: Everything You Need to Know
The new Land Rover Defender is an off-road vehicle that has been completely redesigned for the 2023 model year. The Defender is now available in both a 90 and 110 body style, with the 110 being the longer of the two.
The new Defender is powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six engine that produces 395 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. The engine is paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission and a four-wheel drive system.
Land Rover Defender Expert Review
The 2023 Land Rover Defender covers many bases. It’s improved on off-road where the road is unstoppable with a pleasing design inside and out. Unless you need a third row, often the Defender has little to complain about.
- Streamlined trim lineup
- 11.4-inch touchscreen with wireless charging now standard
- New three-row Defender, 130
What We Think
The Land Rover Defender won our coveted SUV of the Year title in 2021, and it’s held on to its appeal ever since. A little infotainment system updates and a simplified lineup give Land Rover’s revitalized classic feel a new look.
Most off-road SUVs have relatively poor power on the pavement (look at your Wrangler). The Defender bucks the trend with great body control and compliant suspension. Far from civilization, the Defender once again combines comfort with extraordinary capability.
Land rover defender review
We had some concerns about the build quality inside the early-build Defenders, but it’s a pleasing design that now includes a generous 11.4-inch touchscreen. As long as you don’t need to carry more than five passengers, there’s no shortage of luxury. The look is still one of ours Favorite rendition of the retro boxy cool.
It’s hard to blame the Defender other than a blatant disregard for fuel economy. As we wrote in our first test, few vehicles make the crew smile like the 2020 Land Rover Defender.
Performance and Fuel Economy
The 2023 Defender retains the three engine lineup Land Rover has designated with an alphanumeric code: the P300, P400 and P525. All three send power to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The base P300 is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet. Land Rover claims the four-door Defender P300 will do 0-60 mph in 6.6 seconds, which is impressive for an SUV of this size. No Defender is effective, bump the two-door P300 is the best at 18/21 MPG city/highway.
We tested it on the Defender P400, which adds a turbo and electric supercharger to the 3.0-liter inline-six for a combined 395 hp and 406 lb-ft. Land Rover says the P400 should be good for a 5.8-second 0-60 sprint, but it took 6.5 seconds on our drag strip. Efficiency is about the same, Equivalent to the P300, at 17/22 MPG.
The most powerful option is the supercharged V-8 under the hood of the P525 model. Maximum output is 518 hp and 461 lb-ft. The estimated 0-60 time drops to 4.9 seconds, and fuel economy drops to an abysmal 14/19 MPG for the four-door Defender. Buyers should be ready to pay at the pump front—V-8 Defenders start at about $105,000.
The Off-Road Spectrum
In the world of off-road SUVs, the Defender occupies the luxury middle ground. Both the Ford Bronco and Jeep Wrangler start cheaper than the Defender offer a two-door body style with the added bonus of a removable roof and doors.
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is a unique blend of luxury and performance. But the $130,000 G-Wagen also falls into its own price range.
The Defender may not be quite the same as the status symbol, but it offers most of the luxury for half the price (at least the start).
The Defender’s most direct competitor comes from the Lexus GX. While it’s an excellent off-road performer, the GX rides on an aging platform and doesn’t drive either.
Safety Ratings and Features
The Defender comes with a full suite of active safety tech, including a 360-degree camera system lane-keep assist automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitors.
All that’s left is automatic high beams and adaptive cruise control.
Neither IIHS nor NHTSA tested the Defender’s crash worthiness.
Cargo Space and Interior Room
The Defender is available in two- or four-door form coded 90 and 110 respectively. The 110 leads in passenger and cargo space, but buyers will need to pay an extra $3,000 on most trims. The 110 also offers an optional two-seat third row, but we recommend skipping it. If You’re looking for a Defender with proper three-row seating, check out the new Defender 130.
- Compared to the Lexus GX the Defender 110 leads in cargo capacity and rear legroom.
- Cargo space (behind first/second rows):
- 2023 Land Rover Defender: 58.3/15.6 cu ft (two doors) 78.8/36.2 cu ft (four doors)
- 2022 Lexus GX: 64.7/46.7/11.6 cubic feet
- Legroom (first/second rows):
- 2022 Land Rover Defender: 39.0/36.6 inches (two doors) 39.1/39.1 inches (four doors)
- 2022 Lexus GX: 41.7/34.1 inches
Land Rover’s 11.4-inch infotainment touchscreen comes standard in 2023. Wireless charging smartphone compatibility and navigation are all integrated. The remaining options include a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster Wi-Fi hotspot head-up display and a Meridian sound system of 10 or 14 speakers.
Defender makes sense at multiple price points. For most buyers, the base P300 powertrain has a lot of grunts.
The two-door Defender 90 will be the enthusiast’s first choice because of its excellent approach and departure angles, but the four-door is the practical option. S trim adds some welcome creatures Comfort is $3600. Our top pick: the Defender 110 S around $57,000.
For a more luxurious experience, use the six-cylinder engine in SE trim. The optional air suspension improves the Defender’s already solid road manners –
Driving comfortably regardless of the surface below. The Defender 110 SE has a total price of around $70,000 and can be used anywhere machine.