Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
One of the benefits of designing a car with boxy proportions is that it allows passengers space in every dimension. It doesn’t matter if you’re broad shouldered, long legged, or over six-feet tall, you’ll have room in the front of the Defender.
Well, unless you’re sitting in the optional jump seat, that is; for a reasonable outlay, you can replace the standard centre console that sits between the driver and passenger seat with an optional jump-seat, a bit like the one you used to get in early Land Rovers. However, with its high and narrow base, you’d only want to sit in the middle seat for the briefest of journeys.
Those sitting in the second row of seats will find acres of head room, and the sheer width of the Defender makes sitting three abreast pretty comfortable for all concerned. Second-row leg room is also impressive; there’s lots of room to stretch out, although the floor is a little higher than it is in the Audi Q7 or BMW X5.
If you occasionally need to carry more than four people, you can also specify a ‘five plus two’ variant with two occasional seats that fold up from beneath the boot floor, in lieu of that front jump seat. It’s a handy optional feature that we’re sure many buyers will tick on their order form, but these rearmost perches are really best suited to children. If you need to frequently carry six full-sized adults, we’d recommend stepping up to the Land Rover Discovery or taking a look at a BMW X7.
Seat folding and flexibility
The rear seats don’t do anything clever, such as slide or recline, but they do split in a 40/20/40 arrangement, which is more useful than the 60/40 split you get in the Discovery and enables great flexibility when you need to carry a combination of rear seat passengers and a lengthy load.
We have yet to sample a 110 Defender with the optional ‘five plus two’ seating arrangement, but in its traditional five seat configuration the boot provides easily enough space for all the kit needed for a camping holiday for four. If you need to carry longer, bulkier objects, you can drop the rear seats and turn your Defender into something closely resembling a small van.
That said, we wish the rear seats would lie completely flat when folded, and while fans of Defenders of old will surely love how the tailgate swings open rather than lifts, it makes accessing the boot a bit tricky in tight spaces and reduces the load bay’s opening aperture.