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Car Expert’s James Wong recently reviewed the 2022 Land Rover Defender 110. His believes Defender is “one of the automotive legends, an OG. Its mere existence in 2021, even if it’s a very modernised take, is a miracle”.
He appreciates that while Land Rover brought the vehicle into the 21st Century, it’s done a lot to respect its heritage and character. He asks; “can the modernised Defender cut it as a daily driver, with the added bonus of rugged off-road ability for the weekend escape?” Let’s find out.
SILKY SMOOTH PERFORMANCE
The Defender D250 is powered by a 3.0-litre inline six twin-turbo diesel with 48V mild-hybrid assistance. Wong notes, “If you’re expecting the drive experience of the new Defender to be a throwback like much of the aesthetics, boy are you in for a surprise. Within a few hundred metres of wheel time after picking it up, I was so pleasantly surprised at how much the Defender drives more like a Range Rover”. He found the 3.0 litre turbo-diesel inline six to be silky smooth and effortless in delivery, working well with the smart-shifting eight-speed auto. The suspension was cushy and the car delivered “a wafty ride that puts many luxury SUVs to shame”.
IMPRESSIVE AT ALL SPEEDS
Potholes, tram lines and road joints could barely be felt by Wong in the cabin, and when he pushed the Defender to higher speeds the “broken surfaces and undulations were handled with ease”. The steering felt light yet accurate and refinement of the Defender was impressive at all speeds. Wind and road noise was kept to a minimum, and it never got too loud or unrefined under hard acceleration. Although Wong didn’t take the Defender off-road this time, he said the team had sampled both the 90 and 110 versions “off the beaten track and determined it’s more than capable of tackling what most owners could ever throw at it”.
Wong wrapped up his review by saying that the Defender is unquestionably an icon and the modern interpretation of the vehicle is “an excellent blend of old- and new-school. It’s comfortable, refined, tech-laden, and looks the goods”. He doesn’t believe there’s much else in the market that can compete. So to answer his question, “does the Defender cut it as a daily driver with weekend adventure capability?” You bet!