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2022 Land Rover Defender might look reminiscent of the 1950s original, but in reality, it is a completely modern, high-tech off-roader with unique curb appeal.
A trio of engines is offered—a turbocharged four-cylinder, a turbo-and-supercharged six-cylinder, and a supercharged V-8—and all come standard with four-wheel drive
ENGINE AND IMPLEMENTATION
The 2022 Land Rover Defender is powered by a standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Of course, every model features four-wheel drive and locking differentials for navigating treacherous terrain.
The 2022 Land Rover Defender is also available with a 3.0-liter inline-six which utilizes an electric supercharger and 48-volt hybrid system. Buyers looking for additional performance can opt for the 518-hp supercharged V-8, which Land Rover claims can hustle the Defender to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds. Unlike its predecessor, the Defender has a unibody construction versus a body-on-frame setup, and it replaces the old solid axles with a fully independent suspension. The base suspension utilizes coil springs, but it can be upgraded with an air springs that enable adjustable ride height.
The Defender has 11.5 inches of ground clearance and the ability to ford through 35 inches of water, which exceeds both the Jeep Wrangler‘s maximum clearance and its wading ability.
ENERGY AND REAL-WORLD MPG
The EPA’s fuel economy ratings for the various Defender models are fairly similar regardless of what’s under the hood. The 90 model with the four-cylinder receives ratings of 18 mpg city and 21 highway.
Step up to the six-cylinder engine and the 90’s city rating drops to 17 mpg but the highway rating goes up to 22.The 110 model with the six-cylinder engine has the same estimates as the six-cylinder 90. The EPA hasn’t yet released fuel economy numbers for the new V-8 variant.
On our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, a Defender 110X with the optional six-cylinder powertrain delivered a disappointing 18 mpg. For more information about the Defender’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
INTERIOR, CONVENIENCE, AND BOOTH
The 2022 Land Rover Defender‘s cabin walks the line between premium and utilitarian, with just enough design cues from the rest of the Land Rover lineup to make those familiar with the brand feel right at home. Exposed rivets in the door panels add a particularly rugged appearance, and a magnesium beam that runs the full width of the dashboard isn’t entirely cosmetic—it’s also structural. Under the infotainment display, a trapezoidal extension of the dashboard provides a place for buttons and switches for the climate-control system and driving mode.
The shift lever and ignition switch are also mounted on this center stack rather than the center console. In some models, the center console can be flipped back to create a jump seat between the driver and passenger, similar to a three-across bench in some full-size pickup trucks. Cargo space behind the rear seat is somewhat limited, but on par with rival off-roaders such as the Jeep Wrangler; the rear seats can be folded to open up a much larger cargo bay, but those seeking to haul people and gear may want to look at the larger Land Rover Discovery or invest in a roof-top cargo carrier.
IN-VEHICLE INFOTAINMENT AND INTERCONNECTIONS
Among the slew of available driver-assistance technology, the Rover has several unique systems tailored for off-roading and towing. For more information about the Defender’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include: