JLR Defender 110 P400

From Spartan workhorse to sophisticated SUV

(Photos: Land Rover)
Launched in 2019, the latest generation Defender is the most radical departure from Land Rover’s most defining, formerly eponymous model. Thoroughly modernized, highly stylized, and far more luxurious, it might alienate some of its Spartan predecessor’s old-guard devotees. However, its emphasis on comfort, technology, and branding appeals to a broader base of new clients. Conceptually similar to the old Discovery model — which now moves to more family-oriented territory — the new Defender is heavily emphasized as a more up-market lifestyle product for an image-conscious new generation and has even recently been designated a standalone sub-brand.اضافة اعلان

The first of its lineage to use a car-like monocoque rather than rugged traditional body-on-chassis construction, the new Defender is a more ‘precious’ up-market SUV than the ruggedly uncomplicated workhorse off-roaders that it predecessors were. However, that is not to doubt its genuine off-road ability. The difference is that the new Defender’s capabilities are heavily managed and honed by sophisticated electronic and assistance systems, and that off-road scrapes would be pricier, less palatable, and more likely, given its bigger alloy wheels, integrated bumpers, and lower body panels.

Concept car-like with its highly stylized take on Land Rover’s uncomplicatedly iconic design ethos, short overhangs, and upright cabin, the new Defender, however, features flush surfaces, rounded edges, and a higher waistline. With its long wheelbase to rear overhang ratio, the driven five-door 110 may not be as proportionally tidy as the three-door 90 variant. However, both have pleasant near equal width to height proportions and great off-road clearances including 38° approach, 40° departure, 28° break-over and 45° side slope angles for the 110.

Rugged refinement
Driven in second-to-range-topping P400 guise, the Defender 110’s new JLR-developed turbocharged 3-liter in-line 6-cylinder engine provides plenty of power and pull. It develops 400HP at 5,500rpm and 550Nm throughout a wide 2,000-5,000rpm range, which propels its 2,343kg mass through 0-100km/h in 6.1 seconds and onto a 191km/h top speed. Meanwhile, This is supplemented by a mild hybrid system, which helps return a relatively moderate 11.3l/100km combined fuel consumption by scavenging braking energy to operate electric systems and discretely assist the combustion engine when needed.

Powering all four wheels through a slick-shifting 8-speed automatic gearbox, the Defender 110 P400’s naturally balanced "straight six" engine is silky smooth and is more refined than JLR’s outgoing supercharged V6 engine. It is responsive, launching from a standstill as its turbo spools up swiftly. Confident and quick through revs, it rides a rich, flexible, broad, mid-range torque sweet spot that is accessible and versatile when overtaking or on inclines. Despite peak power arriving at a relatively low engine speed, the Defender remains eager to redline.

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With rigid monocoque construction and all-independent suspension, the new Defender is a significantly smoother and more refined ride than its predecessor. It is relaxed, reassuring, and confidently stable at speed. It is comfortable and well-cushioned but vertically settled in most circumstances, dispatching poorly paved and dirt roads in its stride. Adjustable air suspension can also be raised for 291mm ground clearance, 900mm water fording, and 500mm off-road wheel articulation. Its four-wheel drive meanwhile provides excellent road-holding and features a low gear ratio for more demanding off-road conditions.

Confident composureModulating power and traction as necessary for off-road conditions, the Defender’s four-wheel-drive is complemented by its Terrain Response system, which leverages electronic and mechanical off-road features and is accessed through the infotainment screen. During a brief off-road test drive, the Defender dispatched short but steep, narrow loose surface climbs over uneven ground with ease, only requiring the driver to select the right driving mode beforehand. A longer prior on-road test drive, however, revealed the Defender to be more agile, maneuverable, and tidier turning than expected for such a high-riding SUV.

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A cocooned and well-insulated experience rather than raw and visceral, the Defender 110 is nevertheless confident, composed, and quick through sprawling switchbacks. It is well-controlled for its class — with some expected lean — but plenty of grips. Pushed near its limits through tighter corners, its instinct is for under-steer, while weight transfers to the outside front, as the inside front wheel lightens when coming off a mid-corner dip. That said, its cornering line tightened by slightly easing off the throttle or electronic stability control management.

Stylized inside with a combination of versatile utility and premium textures, the Defender features easily cleaned surfaces, chunky controls, a large dash shelf, and plenty of comfort, safety, and infotainment equipment. Ergonomic in layout, its high, upright driving position is comfortable and supportive, with good visibility, aided by 360° and 3D cameras to help views and maneuverability around its thick pillars. With a generous front two-row passenger room, the Defender’s optional flat-folding third row and folding, sliding middle row allow one to configure cabin space as needed.

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Specifications: Land Rover Defender 110 P400 (7-Seat)Author’s rating: 7.5/10
Good: Engine, off-road ability, comfort
Bad: ‘Precious’, pricey, too stylized
Body type: Five-door SUV
Engine: 3-litre, turbocharged, in-line 6-cylinders, 48V mild hybrid
Gearbox: 8-speed automatic, four-wheel-drive, low gear transfer case, differential lock

Performance:Power, HP (PS): 400 @ 5,500rpm
Torque, Nm: 550 @ 2,000-5,000rpm
0-100km/h: 6.1-seconds
80-120km/h: 3.7-seconds
Top speed: 191km/h
Fuel economy, combined: 11.3-liters/100km

Dimensions:Length: 4,758mm (without spare wheel)
Width: 1,996mm
Height: 1,967mm
Wheelbase: 3,022mm
Weight: 2,343kg (7-seat)

Cabin space:Seating capacity: 5/7
Headroom, F/M/R: 1,032/1,025/1,033mm
Legroom, F/M/R: 933/975/520mm
Shoulder room, F/M/R: 1,545/1,503/1,227mm
Luggage volume, min/max: 231-/2,233-litres

Off-road capability:Approach / departure / break-over angles: 30.1-38°/37.7-40°/22-28°
Ground clearance: 218-291mm
Articulation: 500mm
Wading depth: 900mm
Side slop gradient: 45°
Towing, braked / unbraked: 3,500/750kg

Chassis:Suspension, F/R: Double wishbones / integral link, adaptive air suspension
Steering: Electric-assisted rack & pinion
Turning circle: 12.84-meters
Brakes, F/R: Ventilated discs, 363/350mm
Tyres: 255/60R20

Price: starting from JD105,000, on the road (without insurance)

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