Land Rover Defender Hard Top review

Category: Car-based van

Section: Performance & drive

Land Rover Defender Hard Top 2021 rear cornering
  • Land Rover Defender Hard Top 2021 front cornering
  • Land Rover Defender Hard Top 2021 rear cornering
  • Land Rover Defender Hard Top 2021 interior dashboard
  • Land Rover Defender 2021 interior front seats
  • Land Rover Defender Hard Top 2021 interior infotainment
  • Land Rover Defender Hard Top 2021 right tracking off road
  • Land Rover Defender Hard Top 2021 right tracking
  • Land Rover Defender Hard Top 2021 front cornering
  • Land Rover Defender Hard Top 2021 interior front seats
  • Land Rover Defender Hard Top 2021 interior detail
  • Land Rover Defender Hard Top 2021 interior detail
  • Land Rover Defender Hard Top 2021 interior rear storage
  • Land Rover Defender Hard Top 2021 rear door open
  • Land Rover Defender Hard Top 2021 front cornering
  • Land Rover Defender Hard Top 2021 rear cornering
  • Land Rover Defender Hard Top 2021 interior dashboard
  • Land Rover Defender 2021 interior front seats
  • Land Rover Defender Hard Top 2021 interior infotainment
  • Land Rover Defender Hard Top 2021 right tracking off road
  • Land Rover Defender Hard Top 2021 right tracking
  • Land Rover Defender Hard Top 2021 front cornering
  • Land Rover Defender Hard Top 2021 interior front seats
  • Land Rover Defender Hard Top 2021 interior detail
  • Land Rover Defender Hard Top 2021 interior detail
  • Land Rover Defender Hard Top 2021 interior rear storage
  • Land Rover Defender Hard Top 2021 rear door open
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Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

All Defender Hard Top models use Land Rover’s latest turbocharged mild-hybrid 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel engine, with the 197bhp D200 the sole choice for the 90.

Buyers of the 110 get to choose from a wider range of power outputs in the form of the D250 and D300. We've tested a 110 Hard Top with the mid-range D250 engine, which offers 246bhp and 420lb ft of torque. 

We would, however, advise you to opt for the optional air-suspension on the Hard Top 110. Not only does it help to limit body roll, but it also smoothes out the ride. On standard coil springs, the Hard Top can jiggle and shudder a little over larger abrasions, although not to the same extent as a Ranger or Hilux. 

What about its prowess on the rough stuff? Well, the High Top’s ability to carry on when the going gets tough is impressive and easy to exploit.

The Terrain Response system makes it simple to set up the car for different conditions, and in its highest off-road suspension setting (provided air suspension is fitted), it powers over deep ruts and climbs up muddy hills with relative ease.

We'd recommend the optional locking rear differential that provides extra traction on slippery ground, though. With it fitted, the Defender will go places that will leave even the most off-road-oriented pick-up or van floundering.

In terms of refinement, the Hard Top is very impressive. At a cruise, the diesel D250 is almost imperceptible, and wind and road noise are quieter than you get in a Ranger, Hilux or VW Transporter van.

Land Rover Defender Hard Top 2021 rear cornering
New car deals
Target Price from £57,695
or from £608pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Nearly new deals
From £73,750