Used Land Rover Defender 2020-present review

Category: Large SUV

Expensive running costs and subpar reliability aside, the Land Rover Defender is powerful, practical and plush. 

Land Rover Defender front cornering
  • Land Rover Defender front cornering
  • Land Rover Defender rear
  • Land Rover Defender dashboard
  • Land Rover Defender rear seats
  • Land Rover Defender boot
  • Land Rover Defender side
  • Land Rover Defender dashboard
  • Land Rover Defender touchscreen
  • Land Rover Defender rear seats
  • Land Rover Defender boot
  • Land Rover Defender touchscreen
  • Land Rover Defender front cornering
  • Land Rover Defender rear
  • Land Rover Defender dashboard
  • Land Rover Defender rear seats
  • Land Rover Defender boot
  • Land Rover Defender side
  • Land Rover Defender dashboard
  • Land Rover Defender touchscreen
  • Land Rover Defender rear seats
  • Land Rover Defender boot
  • Land Rover Defender touchscreen
Used Land Rover Defender 2020-present review
Star rating
Author Avatar
Oliver Young
Updated20 March 2024

What's the used Land Rover Defender 4x4 like?

Some actors like to play the villain: they say it's more fun. If you see truth in that, then perhaps you saw 007's last outing, No Time to Die, and envied not Bond himself, but rather the baddies chasing him in a squad of Land Rover Defenders.

We don't blame you, actually, because this large SUV is a mighty machine, both in its stature and its go-anywhere ability. It also features plenty of retro design touches that hark back to the original 1990-2016 Land Rover Defender, yet this latest model offers much more luxury and refinement than that 4x4 could ever muster.


Expensive running costs and subpar reliability aside, the Land Rover Defender is powerful, practical and plush. Used prices are more reasonable than you might think, too.

  • Comfortable on the road, excellent off it
  • Roomy, expensive-feeling interior
  • Variety of body styles, engines and trims to choose from
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Reliability concerns
  • Tiny boot in 90 models

Engines & Performance: Aside from a pair of 197bhp and 237bhp 2.0-litre SD4 engines (that were discontinued after a year), all diesel Land Rover Defenders of this generation use 3.0-litre six-cylinder engines with mild-hybrid (MHEV) assistance to smooth out power delivery and increase efficiency. The 197bhp D200 is just about powerful enough to get by, but we appreciate the extra shove of the 246bhp D250. The more powerful 296bhp D300 makes progress even more effortless – it allows 0-60mph time in an impressive 7.0sec.

Petrol power starts with the P300, with its 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit producing 296bhp and 0-60mph time of 7.0sec. There's a punchier P400 version that uses a 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine, as well as a P575 model that uses a thunderous V8 petrol engine.

Lastly, there's a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). It's called the P400e and uses a 2.0-litre petrol coupled with an electric motor. Together they produce 398bhp, which is good enough for 0-60mph in 5.4 seconds and an official electric-only range of 27 miles.

Ride & Handling: The Defender is not quite up there for comfort with the most luxurious SUVs, but it's the best-riding of the proper, off-road-ready SUVs. It's much smoother in town and on a motorway than the Jeep Wrangler, for example. Given its huge ability off-road, that it rides comfortably and quietly is remarkable.

It isn't as unwieldy on the road as its tall body might suggest, but you can’t rush it down a winding country lane the way you can some road-focused SUVs, including the Audi Q7 and the BMW X5. The steering is slow and doesn't give much sense of connection to the front wheels, but is light and reasonably accurate.

Venture off the beaten track and the Terrain Response system makes it simple to set up the car for different conditions and, in its highest off-road suspension setting (if air suspension is fitted), it powers over deep ruts and climbs up muddy hills with ease. In fact, once you've got your head around the myriad controls, serious off-roading is incredibly straightforward.

Interior & Practicality: Fans of the previous Land Rover Defender will love the latest car's lofty driving position, which feels significantly higher than most of its rivals. It’s easy to set everything up so it's comfy, with even entry-level models getting 12-way electrically adjustable seats with memory settings, heating and cooling. All other versions except XS Edition get 14-way adjustment.

Everything inside the Defender seems solidly made and bolted together tightly, yet, while many of its more road-focused rivals have more lavish interior finishes, the Defender still manages to feel properly expensive.

On the centre of the dashboard, you have a 11.4in touchscreen: the system responds swiftly most of the time, the screen is crystal clear and the graphics look quite impressive too. There’s also lots of functionality, including standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration.

You have three body styles to choose from with the Defender. There's the three-door Defender 90, the longer, five-door Defender 110 – which is available as a five, six or seven-seater – and the even longer Defender 130, which comes with up to eight seats.

Those sitting in the second row of seats in the Defender 110 will find masses of head and leg room, and the sheer width of the Defender makes sitting three abreast pretty comfortable, too. The 90 also has lots of head room, and while leg room isn’t as impressive as it is in the 110 or the 130, a tall adult will still have space.

The 130’s extra length has even more leg room than the 110's already-roomy third row and it adds a middle seat that, while narrow, will accommodate an adult of average height.

The Defender 90 has less boot space than many family hatchbacks. The boot is really tall, though, which is fine if you're happy to stack items on top of each other, but there's not much room between the tailgate and the back seats.The 110 has a more impressive boot, with space for seven carry-on suitcases below its load cover.

The seven-seat 110 and the eight-seat 130 lose some underfloor storage and have much less boot space when the rear-most seats are in use, but the 130’s extra length introduces a bit more capacity. The capacity champion is the 130 Outbound, which does without the third row of seats fitted to other 130s. As a result, it has almost twice the boot space of the 110.

Trims & Equipment: The S trim went away in 2022, leaving the SE trim as the entry-level option: it comes well-equipped, with power-folding door mirrors, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, climate control, cruise control and heated front seats, adaptive cruise control, plus the infotainment and visibility aids. HSE is more expensive and adds the upgraded seats, a panoramic roof and a leather steering wheel.

There's also a range of X-Dynamic models, available with their own S, SE and HSE trim levels. They're recognisable by their contrasting black roof and grey wheels. X trim adds darker rear lights, opening panoramic roof, heated rear seats, a head-up display and orange brake calipers.

The Defender 130 Outbound – available only as a five-seater – is finished with matt grey bumpers to make it look more rugged.

Interested in buying a used Land Rover Defender? Visit our Used Cars For Sale pages to find lots of cars listed at great prices.

Land Rover Defender rear

Ownership cost

What used Land Rover Defender 4x4 will I get for my budget?

You can pick up a used Land Rover Defender (90 or 110) for around £42,000. For the money, expect a 2020/2021 model with an SD4 in S trim, with the D200, D250 and D300 rising by roughly £4000. Have at least £45,000 if you fancy a petrol: expect the entry-level P300, with the P400 – and the D300, actually – rising closer to £50,000 and often exceeding that.

A P575 in Defender 90 form attracts prices of around £75,000, while the 110 version ups that to around £80,000. Have around £60,000 if you'd like the P400e PHEV.

The Defender 130 arrived later than the 90 and 110 did – it came about in 2022, specifically – and they go for at least £65,000.

Nearly new Defenders currently go for upwards of £70,000.

Check the value of a used Defender with What Car? Valuations

Land Rover Defender dashboard

How much does it cost to run a Land Rover Defender 4x4?

MPG: The Defender will be more expensive to fuel than many alternatives. The D300 diesel, for instance, officially averages a smidge more than 30mpg. We saw as high as 34mpg on a gentle motorway cruise before dipping to 26mpg in stop-start traffic. The petrols will fare worse, whichever engine you choose.

Your best bet for low fuel costs is the P400e PHEV, but only if you can do most of your journeys on battery power.

Road tax: The petrols and diesels will set you back £180 each year in road tax, while hybrid models drop that to £170 per year.

Insurance and servicing: Insurance groups waver greatly depending on your chosen defender, with some low-powered 90s belonging to groups in the high 20s (out of 50s), and high-powered 110s and 130s easily hitting that maximum 50 mark. Generally, the Defender should be rather pricey to insure.

Servicing can also be expensive. For a fourth-year service of a Defender 110 (D250), we were quoted £637.40 via Land Rover.


Land Rover Defender owners have raised concerns about reliability, especially regarding electronics and the infotainment system, necessitating regular dealer visits – this feedback came as part of our annual What Car? Reliability Survey findings.

Dealer service experiences have been mixed. While some praise the professionalism and courtesy of dealership staff, along with good communication, others are dissatisfied with repair timeliness and effectiveness, noting a variance in service standards.

Additional concerns include high repair costs and issues with warranty claim handling, suggesting areas for improvement in customer service and support for the Defender.

Discover more about used Land Rover Defender reliability and common problems on our dedicated reliability page.

Land Rover Defender touchscreen

Our recommendations

Which used Land Rover Defender 4x4 should I buy?

The Defender 110 is much more practical than the 90 is, yet used prices are similar. We believe most people won't need the extra space of the Defender 130: we doubt they'll want to pay the hefty premium that variant demands, either.

Out of all the engines you have to choose from, the D250 offers the best balance between performance and buying/running costs. Yes, it's more expensive than SD4 examples, but we'd happily pay the extra few grand for what is a smoother and more powerful engine. In fact, as we touched upon, the D200, D250 and D300 are similarly priced – we're recommending the middle child simply because it's the most common, but if you can find a good D300, go for it.

You'll see a mix of trims at all sorts of prices. For instance, around £50,000, you'll see S cars, First Editions – the short-lived and rather rare launch trim – and even the odd X-Dynamic HSE. We recommend seeking out one of the higher trims (because why not), but if you're struggling, there's no shame in going for the common S – despite being the entry-level trim, it's well equipped.

Our favourite Land Rover Defender: Defender 110 D250 S

Land Rover Defender rear seats


What alternatives should I consider to a used Land Rover Defender 4x4?

The Land Rover Defender straddles the line between utilitarian 4x4 and refined, posh SUV. On the former side, you have the Jeep Wrangler to consider – that's about as formidable off-road as cars come. On the latter front, the Audi Q7 is a firm favourite of ours, especially as a used buy. Like the Defender, the Q7 is also available with seven seats.

If you have upwards of £60,000 to spend (and lots of fuel money), may we suggest a Bentley Bentayga? For the money, it'll be a 2016/'17 car, but you'll enjoy incredible interior quality and comfort, as well as a smooth and immensely powerful engine, whether you opt for the 4.0-litre V8 petrol or diesel, or the 6.0-litre W12 petrol.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Interested in buying a used Land Rover Defender? Visit our Used Cars For Sale pages to find lots of cars listed at great prices.

Land Rover Defender boot