The Land Rover Defender faced off against two rivals to claim the coveted 2023 Drive Car of the Year Best Off-Road SUV. Blending modern refinement with capability, this contemporary remake of an icon continues to impress, particularly off-road where this toughest of vehicles really shines. 

Defender Off-Road

The judges found a lot to love about the Defender. The aluminium platform with independent suspension and adjustable air suspension “gives loads of clearance overall, allowing the Defender to overcome obstacles other vehicles cannot even attempt”. The range of powertrain options was highlighted as “great, going from a bright and punchy four-cylinder turbo petrol (P300) through smooth six-cylinder diesel and petrol options to a stonking supercharged V8”. Each powertrain offers admirable driving both on and off-road, and is “matched by suspension tunes that offer an impressively wide bandwidth of performance”.

Defender near mountain

As comfortable as it is “dispatching corrugated dirt with aplomb”, the Defender is also “impressively refined on the blacktop and around town”. In awarding the Defender, Drive ultimately concluded that this capable vehicle is “unrivalled off-road yet luxurious and refined on-road”. 

Designed to handle extreme terrains and perform confidently and comfortably under all conditions, Defender delivers optimum durability. Combined with our most intuitive technologies yet, the Defender is fully equipped to tackle any adventure with ease. 

Defender Landrover

Discover more about the Defender and why it was crowned 2023 Drive Car of the Year Best Off-Road SUV.