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CarAdvice has reviewed the 2021 Land Rover Defender’s off-road capabilities and concluded that, as expected, it well and truly has what it takes to effortlessly handle the toughest of conditions. Now Trent Nikolic, Managing Editor of CarAdvice, is back behind the wheel to find out how the Defender performs on-road around town.

Testing the 110 P400 S variant, Nikolic says “the face value level of build quality and design indicates that there’s plenty of street cred in owning one as a city dweller that never sees dirt”. Turning his attention to visibility, he notes the “upright, high seating position delivers expansive and commanding views of the road ahead - and behind for that matter...the broad visibility makes parking a breeze, and ensures that you always feel like you have the best possible view around town”. The 360-degree camera also lends a valuable helping hand with the parking experience.


It’s the luxury of the cabin that impresses Nikolic the most. Explaining that from the outset Land Rover was adamant the Defender needed to deliver luxury well beyond a typical off-roader, he says that’s exactly what they’ve done. He finds the Defender “quiet, comfortable, roomy and airy, and well specified”. The driver display, 10-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and switchgear are all neatly laid out and user friendly. An excellent audio system, wireless charging, plenty of options for USB cable charging, along with great storage, all add to the well-equipped package.


Under the bonnet, the Defender features a 3.0-litre turbocharged inline six-cylinder, which is “smooth and responsive”, generates 294kW at 6500rpm, and is also working with a 48V mild hybrid system. The engine and the gearbox “are a properly enjoyable and useful combination…and the Defender gets up and moving without any unnecessary lag”. Under all driving conditions, the “gearbox is smooth, fast and precise” and the air suspension is “sublime”. Nikolic says the ride comfort is what you’d expect in a luxury SUV, with little road noise and a quiet and calm cabin. The steering and brakes are excellent, and despite its size, the Defender never feels unwieldy but is “nicely tied down and solid when you’re driving”. The mark of a good SUV, Nikolic says, is that it feels like a much smaller car when you’re driving “and the steering precision in the Defender delivers that sensation”.

While Nikolic acknowledges that the new Defender has a serious street presence, attracting onlookers wherever it goes, its appeal runs deeper. He concludes his overwhelmingly positive on-road review by saying it’s “way more luxurious than the old Defender ever could be, while outperforming it off-road. In short, it’s an excellent, comfortable, and high-quality daily drive around town”.

Discover more about the Land Rover Defender and why it earned CarAdvice’s glowing review.


Jaguar Land Rover Limited: Registered office: Abbey Road, Whitley, Coventry CV3 4LF. Registered in England No: 1672070

Smart settings available from mid-2021.

Important note on imagery & specification. We are living through exceptional times. Due to the Covid pandemic we have been prevented or delayed in the creation of new images of current model years. Now the global impact of micro-chip shortages is further affecting build specifications, options and launch timings. Until this unique event settles, please note that many images cannot be updated to 22 model year specifications. Features, options, trim and colour schemes will differ from many images. Customers are urged to consult your local Retailer for detailed 22 model year specifications and do not base an order on marketing imagery and specification alone.

Jaguar Land Rover Limited is constantly seeking ways to improve the specification, design and production of its vehicles, parts and accessories and alterations take place continually, and we reserve the right to change without notice. Some features may vary between optional and standard for different model years. The information, specification, engines and colours on this website are based on European specification and may vary from market to market and are subject to change without notice. Some vehicles are shown with optional equipment and retailer-fit accessories that may not be available in all markets. Please contact your local retailer for local availability and prices.

‡‡Price shown is the manufacturers recommended drive-away prices (MRDP) which applies to the vehicle model and optional features selected in the vehicle configurator and as described in the configuration summary. The MRDP is an estimated price which includes the manufacturer's recommended list price, any associated registration fees, applicable taxes (including GST), levies and CTP insurances at the time of publishing in accordance with the applicable state / territory legislation where the Retailer is located for a 12 month period. The MRDP may vary as a result of differences in price components such as location, stamp duty or registration fees. CTP rate is based on a private owner aged 40 with 0 demerit points, no accidents or driving convictions and the vehicle being garaged in the postcode entered. Some information presented or used in the MRDP calculation is sourced from third parties. Jaguar Land Rover Australia has made every effort to ensure accuracy, however please contact your preferred Jaguar Land Rover Retailer to confirm your actual drive-away price which may vary according to your individual circumstances, including any trade-in value agreed between you and the Retailer. Excludes fleet, government, rental buyers, hire car and chauffeur companies.