Seeing the production model, the wait for this new Defender has been absolutely worth it

Many automakers today are reviving old monikers, and Land Rover is one of them too. The automaker is finally bringing back the Defender as a 2020 model. The rugged SUV was in production from 1983 to 2016, after which it went on a short exile for a few years. The company teased it a few times and it was even seen in a documentary and on a movie set. But, finally, the wait was over and the SUV made its public debut at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. Does it still feel as hardcore as the previous iterations?

It Doesn’t Look As Rugged and Macho As The Previous Iteration

The 2020 Land Rover Defender Has Arrived with New Tricks and Old-School Looks Exterior
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Before we delve further, the main idea of the new Defender is to retain its off-roading prowess while also taking up the role of a daily driver. It has succeeded to an extent, but does not look as tough and retro-styled as expected. On the outside, the new Defender will surely draw polarizing opinions. It is busy all around and not as, say, boxy as the previous iterations. It is very similar to the new line of Land Rovers. Up front, it wears the classic ‘circles in square’ headlights. Even the taillights have a very funky design and look quite good in action. As is the norm with almost all the off-roaders these days, the Defender also comes with a long accessory list. You can add stuff like air intakes that extend all the way up to the A-pillars like snorkels and wraps to safeguard the original paint on the body.

There’s also stuff like the Alpine windows on the roof and spare tire hinged on the tailgate.

At launch, the Defender will be available in the long-wheelbase 110 avatar, and later, even the shorter Defender 90 will be offered.

The 110 can be had in either a five-seat, or seven-seat iteration. However, it looks like Land Rover wants to cover all bases with the new 2020 Defender. A few leaked documents revealed that the automaker is planning for a Defender 130 as well. This will most likely be a seven-seater only. The other features on the outside include a body-colored roof, heated windscreen, heated electric power-fold door mirrors with approach lights and auto-dimming, automatic headlights and rain-sensing wipers, LED headlights and taillights, 18-inch steel wheels, all-weather tires, and puddle lights just to name a few.

The Interior Sees The Biggest Improvement

The 2020 Land Rover Defender Has Arrived with New Tricks and Old-School Looks Interior
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On the inside, the Defender is a new vehicle altogether. There is a lot of modern tech that will keep the new generation of buyers interested. The SUV comes with the automaker’s latest Pivi Pro infotainment system. This system overcomes all the flaws the SUV was known for previously.

The 10.1-inch touchscreen is apparently more responsive and it supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Behind the steering wheel is a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. The best part about this cluster is that all the trims will be offered with this. The inside rearview electro-chromatic mirror can display either the rearview camera feed or the standard mirror view with the flip of a switch. It will prove to be extremely helpful for people who take it off-road often. Even the entry-level trim comes with stuff like:

  • Eight-Way Adjustable Heated Front Seat
  • Cross Car Beam In Light Grey Power Coat
  • Manually Adjustable Steering Column
  • Light Oyster Morzine
  • Headlining
  • Sun Visors With Illuminated Vanity Mirrors
  • Auto-Dimming Interior Rear View Mirror
  • Two-Zone Climate Control
  • Load Space Cover
  • Rear ISOFIX
  • Twin Front Cup Holders
The 2020 Land Rover Defender Has Arrived with New Tricks and Old-School Looks Interior
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In terms of space, the Defender 110’s five-seat layout offers a space of 38 cubic feet with the second row in place, and over 81 cubic feet with the second row folded.

If you opt for the seven-seat layout, you have 8.1 cubic feet of space with all the seats in place, 31.8 cubic feet with third-row flipped down, and 78.5 cubic feet with the second and third-row folded down.

For off-road enthusiasts, Land Rover is also offering the second-gen activity key. This is basically a wristwatch of sorts that allows you to leave the main key inside the car - otherwise, it could get damaged during various outdoor activities. This version comes with an LCD screen and is also water resistant. This watch is available with the Range Rover Sport as well.

How Many Of These Mills Will The U.S. Market Receive?

The 2020 Land Rover Defender Has Arrived with New Tricks and Old-School Looks Exterior
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Coming to the drivetrains, the new Land Rover Defender will be offered with four engine options to choose from. There is a diesel mill offered in two different states of tune. It is a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder mill that makes 200 horsepower in one tune, and 240 ponies in the other power state. The former takes 9.9 seconds to hit 62 mph from a standstill, whereas the more powerful one takes 9.1 seconds to hit the same mark. All the mills are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The other two mills are gasoline units.

The smaller one is a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged mill that makes 300 ponies and takes 8.1 seconds to sprint to 62 mph.

The most powerful of the lot, known as P400, is a six-cylinder, turbocharged and supercharged mill that makes 400 horses. It is a mild-hybrid unit that comes with a belt-integrated starter motor and a 48-volt lithium-ion battery. With this engine, the Defender takes merely 6.4 seconds. Thanks to the battery, this engine delivers 29.4 miles per gallon despite being a performance-heavy mill. A plug-in hybrid mill will also be offered in the future, while towing capacity is rated at around 7,000 pounds.

There’s A Lot More Than What Meets The Eye

The 2020 Land Rover Defender Has Arrived with New Tricks and Old-School Looks Exterior
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Land Rover says that the new Defender is a lot more off-road-friendly when compared to the previous models. It comes with the company’s new configurable Terrain Response 2 system that allows drivers to configure their SUVs depending on the road and weather conditions. Since Land Rovers are known to be the wading kings, the automaker has installed a new program in there that increases the car’s ride height via the air suspension, closes the air vents for recirculation to minimize the moisture entering the cabin, and keeps the brakes lightly engaged after wading to keep the discs and pads in better condition.

The Defender 110 boasts strong specs as well. It comes with an approach angle of 38 degrees, breakover angle of 28 degrees, and a departure angle of 40 degrees.

The maximum wading depth is rated at 35.4 inches; 15.7 inches more than the previous generation. To put things into perspective, the Defender beats the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon as well in most of the parameters.

You Will Be Left Spoilt For Choices

The 2020 Land Rover Defender Has Arrived with New Tricks and Old-School Looks Exterior
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The new Defender will be available in four trims, primarily - S, SE, HSE, X, and First Edition. Apart from this, Land Rover will also offer four themed accessory packs - Adventure, Country, Explorer, and Urban – that will bring in different features and exterior tweaks depending on the pack you choose.

The Adventure pack comes with a side-mounted gear carrier, an integrated air compressor, mud flaps, and a portable rinse system with a pressurized water reservoir. The Country pack offers wheel arch protection and a full-height load space partition. Explorer comes with a raised air intake that’s helpful in deep wading situations, a 57-pound roof rack, and a matte black bonnet decal.

The Urban package is offered with bright-metal pedals, a spare wheel cover, a front skid plate, and a bright rear scuff plate. You can also equip 22-inch, five-spoke wheels when you opt for this pack. Apart from this, the Defender will also be launched with 170 different accessories to choose from.

Pricing

The 2020 Land Rover Defender Has Arrived with New Tricks and Old-School Looks Exterior
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The new Defender is a pricey model. Prices for the new Defender range will start at £45,240, which is approximately $56,000, and then go all the way up to a hefty £78,800 ($98,000) for the X trim with the P400 engine. These are the prices for the European Defender 110.

In the U.S., the starting price will be $49,900 for the entry-level trim with the P300 engine.

Land Rover has yet to confirm full pricing for the smaller 90, although we do know that its line-up should start at around £40,000 ($49,500 approximately). Land Rover also plans to launch commercial editions of the Defender in 2020, which should begin at around £35,000 ($43,400 approximately). The U.S. prices for the Defender 110 will be as follows:

2020 Land Rover Defender prices
S P400 $53,350
SE P400 $62,250
HSE P400 $68,350
First Edition $68,650
X P400 $80,000

Final Thoughts

The 2020 Land Rover Defender Has Arrived with New Tricks and Old-School Looks Exterior
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The new Land Rover Defender will make its debut in Spring 2020 in the U.S. It looks like an exciting proposition and it is destined to be a hit, given its all-around capabilities. But will the purists be ever-so-happy seeing so much tech in what’s supposed to be a hardcore off-roader? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Further Reading

Land Rover Is Working on a Defender SVR and Here's the Proof
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Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Land Rover Defender SVR.

2007 Land Rover Defender
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Read our full review on the Land Rover Defender.

The 2020 Land Rover Defender is Aimed at the Heart of North America
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All-New Land Rover Defender Debuts This September, Goes On Sale In 2020

2011 Land Rover DC100 Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2011 Land Rover DC100 Concept.

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