2020 land rover defender x review rugged and refined in

2020 Land Rover Defender X review: Rugged and refined in equal measure

Man this is it Fast.

Andrew Croke / Roadshow

Sometimes, Mother Nature brings an off-road park to your door. A deep nest is built under a foot of snow in my corner of Michigan, and with the lack of snow-plow infrastructure in the neighborhood that does not exist simultaneously, the outdoors becomes a Capital-A adventure. Thankfully, I have a Land Rover Defender X in my driveway, which through a combination of luxury appointments and outright off-road capability transforms this stark-white hellscape back into a winter wonderland.

like

  • Looks like a crook.
  • Can drive from almost anything.
  • The lighter-hybrid I6 can push.

do not like it

  • Touching break
  • Big boy big thirsty
  • Infotainment better, yet not great

Out of the usual newness or the fact that a defender has not caught our waves of grain in two decades, this SUV is indeed a staple. Part of it comes from its stunning dimensions. It looks very small in the pictures, but lands right on this thing and looks like you’re staring at a building. Its 119-inch wheelbase dwarfs both a Range Rover and a Mercedes-Benz G550. The body is either small overall, but is not a compact utility vehicle.

The styling of the defender is also reflective of being big and in charge. It is loyal to defenders of both old and still future defenders, with elements like mounting round headlights and diamonds on the hood and adapting them to a sleeker, more modern design. It lacks the aggressive military rigor of the Mercedes G-Class, but it is not far off. My range-topping X tester zuches with a black contrast roof and hood, satin chrome trim and fleshy 255 / 60R20 Goodyear Wrangler all-terrain tires ($ 350). Throw in a rear-mounted spare and you get a holey look.

The interior further exemplifies the entire safari-chic theme. Cover the badge on the steering wheel of the Defender X and you will find it difficult to say that it is not a Range Rover. Then with a starting price of $ 82,250 including destination, it would be better. Leather abds add a lot of impact to the center console and door panels with rough-cut walnut trim. Plasticine has a thicker finish to them which speaks more for durability than versatility. Considering the exterior dimensions, it is no surprise that there are headroom and legroom oodles for all passengers, and the seats themselves can be comfortable. Visibility is over the top, however, rear-mounted spare tires can eat into the rear views; Thankfully, my testers sport a rearview mirror that displays a feed from the backup camera mounted above the spares.

The function runs hand-in-hand with the form inside Defender X. Almost the entire middle of the dashboard serves as a tray to map, mask, stretch the phone. You name it – heck, there’s also a pass-through behind the infotainment screen. The center console, in addition to a small QB under the armrest, provides two levels of storage. Opening the tailgate (be careful if you park too close to a wall or other cars) and 38 cubic feet more cargo space than the Mercedes G550, more than half a cube and you get about 150% in the Range Rover.

while There is not a V8 under the hood (yet), It almost feels like there is. Instead, the Defender X uses a 3.0-liter straight-6 gas engine mated to a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. This powertrain gives 395 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. Given its 5,200-plus-pound weight, Land Rover’s ingenium engine can tell the defender an impressive amount of haste, with its eight-speed automatic rattling smooth shifts in the background whether I’m gaining or speeding up Have been It sounds great in the process, too. The mild-hybrid is available on trims less than a 2.0-liter gas engine, offering an EPA-estimated 17 miles per gallon city and 22 mpg highway – not a large number by any stretch, but ahead of the V8 on the 3 mpg freeway. The G550 is powered. Those figures are relatively easy to complete, but very difficult to beat. It is thirsty.

The focus on smoothness extends to the rest of the ride of the Defender X. Equipped with those thicc off-road tires and a standard air suspension, the soft ride of this unibody SUV feels a bit more camouflaged than the Mercedes G550, but some truck-ish vibes are still being revealed, In which the fast-paced expansion joints translate some shudders onto a small soaring pavement of the cabin and wall. Throw in steering that is on the light side, and don’t forget the mass of something in daily operation. The brake, which for some reason on my tester features red calipers, is more than capable of stopping in a hurry, although the paddle is more tactile than I would have liked, requiring a little more finesse for smooth stops it occurs. If you need some extra ground clearance, the air suspension can raise the body to offer 11.5 inches of space between the defender and the dirt.

The interior of the defender is not just attractive, it is also quite versatile.

Andrew Croke / Roadshow

Speaking of Dirt, Roadshow’s social media editor, Daniel Golson, had a different Land Rover defender, which he took through some serious paces at a local off-road park, and he called it “the most pointless animal ever.” Said. Terrain makes it quick and easy to set up the car with Terrain Response Driving Mode. “They didn’t need to reach a great time from one of Defender’s many off-road options, either, but the locking differential, 360 -With degrees camera and hill-descent control, Defender is able to deal with some serious stuff.

My time in the shin-deep snow could not be easier. I did not need to use Defender’s multiple methods; Allows standard four-wheel-drive to start and stop every time its job is done slip-free. Sure, it might be like bringing a tactical nuclear device to a knife fight, but it is good to overlap for once.

Defender’s new infotainment system is good, but Jaguar Land Rover’s latest still suffers from similar issues that have redeemed its iterations for years.

Andrew Croke / Roadshow

All Land Rover Defenders come standard with the automaker’s new Pivi Pro infotainment system, which rests in the dashboard with a 10-inch touchscreen. It’s about everything you need, whether it’s off-road settings, navigation, Apple carplay or Android Auto, And what is not shown is clearly displayed on both the configurable gauge display or the head-up display of the X-trim. The Pivi Pro is slightly weaker, however; While I appreciate the new skin and its improved responsiveness, it remains dull when the cold and overall reaction can still be dull. This is getting used to the way some menus and options are organized.

In terms of safety equipment, all guards include automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, a surround-view camera system, lane-keeping assist and parking sensors. The Defender X also offers a standard driver assistance pack, which is optional on lower trims, including adaptive cruise control, active blind spot assist and rear cross-traffic alerts.

You’ll be glad to have a rearview camera-mirror available, as this punk increases rear view visibility.

Andrew Croke / Roadshow

The Land Rover Defender is not a cheap offer, but it is thankfully nowhere near the MSRP excesses of the Mercedes G550, which will not leave a dealer’s lot for $ 125,000 or less. The four-door Defender 110 models start at $ 51,250, including the destination, while the My Defender X is present in the upper half of $ 85,750, as it includes just about everything the automaker can include. This is an absolute steal compared to its rival, though, even if you don’t get a badge cachet or V8 under the hood. The G550 may be more luxurious, but I’m not sure it’s over tens of thousands of dollars, given how similar the two are in terms of off-road capability.

Despite external factors, however, Land Rover Defender rocks. This brings luxury-level layoffs to a vehicle that can practically drive through unpublished. It is more comfortable than adequate in daily use and will serve as the ruler of a powerful family, even though it does not see so much as an inch of soil, and for away Less than its primary competitor. The 20-year wait was worth it.

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