2024 Land Rover Defender Is Still Our Fav

When Land Rover announced the return of the Defender and then unveiled what it would be, we were relieved that it was not going to be some kind of nameplate shift to something unrelated to its history. The 2020 Land Rover Defender was everything we could ask for in a Defender comeback.

Now for the 2024 model year, the Defender gets several changes in a midcycle refresh. A new Outbound trim and County appearance package (which we drove) appear. A lot of previously optional features are now standard, and a new V8 engine debuts for a couple of models. Plus a few exterior tweaks for the front fascia.

In all, these changes are good. Despite Jaguar Land Rover planning to go all-electric (and very publicly stating that), it’s interesting to see the 130 and 110 models getting a beefy V8 engine option. Which is listed as its own trim level, aptly named the V8.

There are three body styles for the small, but not compact, Land Rover Defender. The 90 is a two-door, two-row model, the 110 is a four-door, two-row, and the 130 is a longer wheelbase, three-row setup.

The new Outbound model for the 130 removes the third row and focuses on cargo and on-road gear. It comes with a V8 engine (P500), nixes the off-road features from the previous trim level.

The V8 trim level has a more powerful V8 (the P525) for the 90 and 100 models and retains the P500 for the 130. A lot of luxury features become standard, as do larger wheels and some more aggressive exterior accents.

We drove the 2024 Land Rover Defender 110 S County with several added options with two off-road packs, air suspension, and more. Ringing in at $67,900 in all. Considering the well-done off-road chops and wonderful on-road drive and interior comfort, this base model was a great setup. The three-liter six (P400) was more than enough to motivate this SUV on or off the pavement.

Probably the best part about the Land Rover Defender is its look and feel. It looks like a Land Rover, with all of the British quirks you’d expect (like a rear hatch that opens the wrong direction for us right-hand lane folks) and the comfort expected of Land Rover. It’s very off-road capable and looks good while bouncing through the wilderness too.

The long list of standard safety equipment is impressive and includes gems like a water depth sensor (showing depth of water while fording), a 360-degree camera, and trailer sway damping. Not the kind of things often found on base model rigs. Even in the luxury realm.

Plus the Defender is just.. well.. British. In every way but the leaking oil cliché. It’s enjoyable and well-made. A clear favorite in the off-road-ready, smaller luxury sport utility market.

This review originally appeared on CarNewsCafe.com.

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