Introduced in 2020, the Land Rover Defender revives one of the British company’s most famous nameplates, and is one of the brand’s most capable off-roaders.
What’s New/Key Changes From Last Year
For 2022, Land Rover adds a V8 powertrain to the Defender’s options list.
Land Rover offers the Defender in S, X-Dynamic S, X-Dynamic SE, S, XS Edition, X, and V8. S trim uses a turbo four-cylinder, while most others get a 3.0L mild hybrid turbo V6; V8 trims use a 5.0L supercharged eight-cylinder. Four-wheel drive and an eight-speed transmission are standard with all engines.
Base Defenders come with low-range 4WD gearing, terrain response, LED headlights with automatic high beams, LED taillights, rain-sensing wipers, rear fog lights, heated/power-folding side mirrors, and 19-inch wheels.
Inside, you get a leather-trimmed heated steering wheel and shifter, two-zone A/C, footwell lighting, heated 12-way power front seats, leather upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, garage door opener, wireless smartphone charging, and Apple/Android smartphone integration.
The standard safety package comprises forward collision avoidance assist, blind spot monitoring, surround-view exterior cameras, a clear exit monitor, lane keep assist, rear traffic monitor, traffic sign recognition, and wade sensing.
X-Dynamic models gain lighted door sills, a black headliner, “duotone” seats in leather/Robustec upholstery, and black rear recovery hooks. X-Dynamic S gets passive keyless entry, and X-Dynamic SE brings 20-inch wheels, and front signature lighting.
V8 models add an air suspension, adaptive dynamics, an active differential, configurable terrain response, signature daytime running lights, a sliding panoramic roof, orange brake calipers, front fog lights, auto-leveling headlights, 22-inch wheels, a heated suedecloth steering wheel, three-zone A/C, Windsor leather seating with extended leather interior, power-adjustable steering column, adaptive cruise, a camera-based rearview mirror, an activity key, a head-up display, a Meridian stereo, and a tow hitch receiver with advanced tow assist.
Add a comfort and convenience package for better cabin lighting, a fridge in the console, and covered twin front cupholders. A cold climate pack adds a heated windshield and sprayers, and headlight washers.
A towing group bundles all-terrain progress control, terrain response 2 with configuration, advanced two assist, and a hitch receiver.
The Defender’s off-road pack brings a 120-volt power outlet, an active differential, and off-road tires. Finally, the air suspension package is self-explanatory, but also brings adaptive dynamics and automatic headlight leveling.
As we write this, Land Rover has not published fuel consumption estimates for the 2022 Defender. We’ll update this entry when those figures are available.
Though less refined and less expensive, the Toyota 4Runner will keep up with the Defender in an off-road setting. So will the Jeep Wrangler, whose 4xe option turns it into a plug-in that out-hybrids the Defender’s V6.
Jeep’s other alternative is the Grand Cherokee, which is larger but competes well on price and off-road capability. And the Defender’s new-for-2022 V8 makes it a natural competitor for the Grand Cherokee’s wild SRT model, and the Mercedes-Benz G-Class.