2020 Land Rover Defender Launch Review

2020 Land Rover Defender P400 Road Test Review

Land Rover Defender, an iconic British 4WD from 1948 to 2016. Fast forward to 2020 and the all new Defender has been launched and while the all new Defender retains definite design homage to the original, it’s completely different. And that is a good thing.

We first let you know some details in September 2109. We also have a longer review at OzRoamer.

We drove the P400 S and SE version on the launch and our comments are mostly reflecting those vehicles.

Land Rover Defender profile

Defender Exterior

It actually looks pretty good. There are old school design clues but overall this respect to a long and proud heritage is blended with a modern stylish 4WD.

It has a long wheelbase and from the side you can see the wheels are at each corner, a clever way to improve off road ability.

The grill is both stylish and practical and exudes character. It looks like a big kid with droopy eyelids. The sides are quite flat without being slab sided, allowing good side visibility.

Tyres are 18 inch to 22 inch alloy rims with “255/70R18 through to 275/45R22”       all terrain tyres. Australian spec vehicles run all terrains at all times.

Land Rover Defender interior

Defender interior

Chalk and cheese to the old Defender. This one is spacious and comfortable and full of modern features as you would expect.

You step up into the cabin and immediately notice the overall feeling of space. Something totally lacking on the previous model.

The driver’s seat is supportive and varies between fabrics with semi auto/manual adjustments through to leather with electric adjust everything. But the base seat is comfortable both on and off road.

A four spoke height and reach adjustable steering wheel has the usual series of controls that work well and the stalks sit up above the spokes for easy visibility.

Land Rover Defender instruments

Instruments are twin large outer white on black dials with a configurable central MFD. Typical Land Rover. Clear as well as easy to use and read.

Sitting in the driver’s seat there is good seat slide for longer legs and more than enough head room.

One thing I loved is the central console, stack relationship. First is the clever console bin with variations that include a chiller box and phone charging tray.

There is something special about the dash mounted transmission lever with all the controls for 4WD, A/C and more surrounding it. I love it. There is of course a 10 inch touch screen above that as well.

Land Rover Defender transmission

Along the dash there are clever and practical trays for storage as well as below the transmission lever. Large twin bottle door pockets and USB ports.

It’s all well laid out and in a complete surprise for a Defender, the driver ergonomics are first class.

Rear seat passengers get good room and comfortable seats. More focused on the outer two. There is also air vents, grab handles to help with getting in and USB and 12V ports. Overall visibility is good with large windows and the iconic rear sky glass.

Boot area is large and practical. I didn’t check out the seven seats that will be next time.

Land Rover Defender SCREEN

Defender Features

Surprisingly the entry level 110 model is well equipped with

Exterior Features

  • Body-coloured roof
  • LED headlights,
  • Heated, electric, power fold door mirrors with approach lights &
  • auto-dimming Keyless Entry
  • Wheels and Tyres 18″ Style 5093,
  • Gloss White, Steel* Off-Road tyres

*Available Q4 2020, 19” 6-spoke, Gloss Sparkle Silver standard rim in the interim


  • All Wheel Drive
  • Twin-speed Transfer Box,
  • Electronic Air Suspension with Adaptive Dynamics
  • Terrain Response

Land Rover Defender 4wd info

Interior Features

  • Cross car beam in Light Grey Powder Coat Brushed finish
  • Cabin walk-through
  • Auto-dimming interior rear view mirror
  • Carpet mats
  • Seating and Interior Trim Fabric
  • 8-way heated semi-powered front seats


  • 10″ Pivi Pro Smartphone Pack (Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™)
  • Connected Navigation Pro
  • Sound System 180W with 6 speakers
  • Online pack with Data Plan Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB) radio

Driver Assistance

  • 3D Surround Camera
  • 360° Parking Aid
  • Wade Sensing
  • Cruise Control & Speed Limiter
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Emergency Braking
  • Traffic Sign Recognition & Adaptive Speed Limiter

The model walk and option packs, options list and accessories all add to the features and of course price.

Land Rover Defender engine

What are the engine and drivetrain options?

Well there are three engines, two diesels and one MHEV Petrol. The image above is the best summary.

Currently there is only the P400 inline six cylinder engine available. The diesels will be arriving early next year, hopefully sooner.

The P500 MHEV produces power of 294kW @ 5,500 rpm and Torque of 550 Nm @ 2,000 – 5,000 rpm

Future diesels engines are a choice of four-cylinder D200 (147kW) or D240 (177kW) engines, with sequential twin turbo technology providing 430Nm of torque to optimise performance and economy.

The D200 delivers fuel economy of 7.6 l/100km and 0-100km/h in 10.3 seconds, while the more powerful D240 matches the D200 for efficiency while accelerating from 0-100km/h in 9.1 seconds

LR Defender terrain response

All engines drive through a smooth and responsive eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox and twin-speed transmission, and Terrain Response 2 to provide a set of low-range ratios essential for towing or off-road driving when more control is required

The New Land Rover Defender is based on the new D7x monocoque architecture. An extreme version of the platform used on Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Discovery.

On road, this big beast rides better than most prestige AWD SUV’s and will surprise many. It’s quiet, responsive and smooth.

There was virtually no road or tyre noise from the all terrains and the dynamics were excellent.

Off road it’s simply stunning how good the Defender is.

Land Rover Defender camera mirror

Defender Safety Features

Defender doesn’t have an ANCAP safety rating yet, it’s coming, but it’s packed with all the goodies you would expect.

Driver Assist Pack includes:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control (selectable thankfully) and
  • Rear Pre-Collision Monitor, which alerts following drivers who are failing to slow down by automatically flashing the hazard lights, as well as
  • Blind Spot Assist,
  • Rear Traffic Monitor and
  • Clear Exit Monitor.
  • ClearSight Rear View technology
  • Emergency Braking,
  • Lane Keep Assist,
  • Traffic Sign Recognition,
  • Cruise Control and Speed Limiter functions,
  • Driver Condition Monitor and
  • front and rear Parking Aids.

Land Rover Defender wading

What is good!

  • Stunning off road capability
  • On road dynamics will put many prestige AWD SUVs to shame
  • Interior ambience (never thought I would say that about a LR Defender)

What is not good!

  • Some restrictions for taller drivers
  • Would like a big powerful diesel
  • 170 individual options and accessories does my head in

Land Rover Defender 4wdriving

Defender Conclusion

It’s bloody good both on and off road.

There will be a few established 4WDs looking over their shoulders now. Throw in more than a few prestige AWD SUV manufacturers as well.

There will be the negative nellies that will mention past indiscretions with electrics for the Discovery. True of the past not now though.

This is a car that you really have to drive to appreciate it.

Land Rover Defender rear

 Also look at

Facts and Figures: Land Rover Defender P400 SE

  • Engine: 3.0L Inline six cylinder MHEV producing 294kW/ 550 Nm.
  • Transmission: Eight -speed ZF auto with Terrain Response 2 all-wheel drive
  • Warranty: 3 years with 100,000km
  • Safety: TBA
  • Origin: Slovakia
  • Price: from $69,626 MLP*

*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.

Land Rover Defender


It’s bloody good both on and off road.

There will be a few established 4WDs looking over their shoulders now. Throw in more than a few prestige AWD SUV manufacturers as well.

There will be the negative nellies that will mention past indiscretions with electrics for the Discovery. True of the past not now though.

This is a car that you really have to drive to appreciate it.

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