Later on, the Defender went on to write a success story of its own. After decades of selling the Defender with little to no changes, it finally went under in 2015. Land Rover revived the nameplate for 2020, and now, for 2023, there are some pretty major changes to this excellent SUV.
- New station wagon body style
- Updated tech
- Model: Defender
- Engine/Motor: 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder / 3.0-liter turbo six-cylinder / 5.0-liter supercharged V8
- Horsepower: 300-518 hp
- Torque: 295-461 lb/ft
- Drivetrain: 4WD
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic
- Amazing both on and off-road
- Looks fantastic
- Luxurious and well-equipped
- Most of the powertrains aren’t very frugal
- 130 looks won’t be to everyone’s taste
- Land Rover reliability
Overview Of The 2023 Defender
Land Rover first introduced the L663 Defender towards the end of 2019, as a 2020 model year vehicle. While the similarities with the preceding Defender are pretty clear, this is not a tribute band, but rather a completely new car. A modern luxury SUV that Land Rover styled after the original Defender. This is quite a controversial point about the new Defender, with a lot of self-proclaimed purists claiming that it’s not a “real” Defender. That’s a shame, because in a lot of ways, it’s better.
The half-circle headlights and traditional Land Rover grille dominate the front-end, the headlights being a nod to the traditional round headlights on the original Defender model. Like the original, the current one is very slab-sided, but it’s way more aerodynamic and modern-looking. The rear features rounded rectangle taillights, once again a nod to the original. What the pictures don’t show is that the new Defender is, actually, huge. It also brings over the safari windows on the roof. The 2023 model remains unchanged for the most part, but there is one major update; There is now a 130 station wagon model, with a longer body and seating for up to eight passengers. The V8 models that debuted in 2021 are also returning for the 2023 model year. The Defender is available in several trim levels, depending on the model, and it competes with the likes of the Mercedes G-Wagon, the Jeep Wrangler, and the Ford Bronco.
2023 Defender Powertrains And Drivetrains
Land Rover offers a solid variety of powertrains on the 2023 Defender. The range kicks-off with the P300, which uses a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder making 295 hp. This engine is also, unfortunately, the only way to have steel wheels on the Defender, if that’s your thing. Next up is the P400, which uses a 3.0-liter turbo I6 making 395 hp. Land Rover has also infused the six-cylinder with mild hybrid tech, for slightly better fuel economy. If you don’t care about that, and you want some good old-fashioned grunt, the V8 model is for you. The P525, as they also refer to it, uses a 5.0-liter supercharged AJ V8 with 518 hp. This is the fastest, most exciting, and no doubt the silliest Defender you can buy.
It’s important to note that the V8 and four-cylinder are not available on the 130 station wagon, the P400 is your only bet. All of these powertrains are great, but the fuel economy isn’t all that great, and the plug-in hybrid Defender is still not available in North America, even after three model years. All of these engines use a single drivetrain combo; a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, and a permanent 4WD system. With Land Rover’s Terrain Response system, excellent approach and departure angles, and the ability to equip all-terrain tires from the factory, the proud Defender makes the badge: it’s unstoppable off the pavement. The difference with this Defender is, it’s surprisingly good on the road too, despite the size and the way it looks.
2023 Defender Comfort And Quality
For the most part, the 2023 Defender’s interior remains unchanged from the previous few model years. 2021’s V8 models also introduced the latest generation of JLR’s Pivi Pro infotainment system, which now uses a much larger curved screen and packs a better interface and more features. Otherwise, it’s Defender business as usual. It’s comfortable, luxurious, but also more durable and soil-proof. You can also spec matte black trim, including on the steering wheel spokes and the dash. The big news on the interior, once again, comes with the new 130 model. While the wheelbase remains the same, the 130 tacks on 13-inches to the rear of the Defender, resulting in seating for up to eight passengers, and a larger cargo area. “Dramatically” really is the correct term, as with the second and third row folded on the 130, you get 88.8 cubic-feet of cargo space.
In terms of quality and reliability, while Land Rover doesn’t have the best track record for that sort of thing, they are working steadily to improve it, and the powertrains in the new Defender are pretty solid. It shouldn’t give you too much trouble, but it’s still something to look out for. The 90 and 110 versions seat up to six passengers if you equip the front bench seat. The 90 has 15.6 cubic-feet of cargo space, whereas the 110 has 34 cubic-feet.
2023 Defender Pricing And Launch
The 2023 Land Rover Defender is available to order as of June 2022. The cheapest two-door 90 starts at $55,100, the cheapest 110 starts at $53,500, and the cheapest 130 starts at $68,000. The 90 V8 starts at $107,900, and the 110 V8 at $111,300. This is not a cheap SUV, but then again, you get quite a lot for your money. The Defender really is a do-it-all; It’s luxurious, practical, comfortable, spacious, extremely capable both on and off the road, and it’s full of some great technology and features.