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In-depth reviews

Land Rover Defender SUV - Interior & comfort

Former Defender owners won't recognise the level of luxury and comfort on offer

Carbuyer Rating

4.4 out of 5

Owners Rating

5.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Interior & comfort Rating

5.0 out of 5

The Defender's interior is like nothing else on the market today, combining retro nods to the original like exposed screw heads and bare metallic surfaces, along with the debut of new technology for the entire Land Rover brand.

As you'd hope, there are also innovations, such as a system that uses real-time camera feeds to offer a view of the obstacles immediately ahead without the nose of the car getting in the way. ClearSight can also be used to provide an uninterrupted rear-view mirror, even if the Defender is loaded with passengers and luggage or the rear window is caked in mud.

Land Rover Defender dashboard

Fans of industrial design will adore touches like the powder-coated aluminium surfaces and magnesium bulkhead, the latter being a functional part of the Defender's body structure. It's undeniably tough-looking, and its extreme off-road capabilities are reinforced by the quantity and sturdiness of grab handles for passengers to cling onto. The flat, horizontal shapes are clearly a nod to its predecessors, as is the jutting centre console with a stubby gearlever and oversized switchgear. The V8 model gets paddleshifters behind a suede-trimmed steering wheel, but these aren't deemed necessary for standard versions.

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But it's not completely retro; there's a modern aesthetic not unlike the design of the latest Apple Mac Pro. The 10-inch Pivo Pro infotainment system is all new, using dual-eSIM modems that can receive over-the-air software updates and provide media and navigation without interruptions. An auxiliary battery also means it can work in the background even when the Defender is parked up, and resume more quickly when you turn the car back on. It also supports a mobile app that can be used to interact with the Defender and set the climate control remotely.

Equipment

Land Rover certainly hasn't held back when it comes to offering a wealth of trim levels and customisation options to customers. Even the trim levels are somewhat overwhelming, with customers initially being offered Defender, S, SE and HSE models, all available in standard or X-Dynamic guise. There were also XS Edition and X versions, along with bespoke trim levels just for the Defender V8.

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Thankfully, the trim structure was somewhat simplified in 2024. Customers are now offered just S, X-Dynamic SE, X-Dynamic HSE, X and V8 trim levels across all three 90, 110 and 130 bodystyles.

At the time of writing, the cheapest Land Rover Defender available is the Defender 90 S – at just over £58,000. Commercial versions are slightly cheaper, but you miss out on the rear seats, and other car-like luxuries. Every model gets LED headlights, heated front seats, the 10-inch Pivi Pro system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, surround cameras, cruise control and keyless entry. The cheapest model also gets faux-leather upholstery for the seats and digital instruments.

X-Dynamic SE adds some black exterior styling touches, larger 20-inch alloy wheels, blind spot monitoring, an upgraded sound system and ISOFIX for the front passenger seat. X-Dynamic HSE increases the luxury further with a sliding panoramic roof, leather interior, a heated steering wheel and matrix LED headlights.

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The Defender X gets air suspension (an optional extra for lesser models), a black roof and bonnet, black exterior trim, 22-inch wheels, orange brake calipers, front skid plate and tinted rear lights. It also has more off-road hardware, including Land Rover’s clever Terrain Response 2 system. The range-topping Defender V8 gets practically every optional extra on offer and is available exclusively in black.

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A special 75th Limited Edition Defender, based on HSE trim, was sold during 2023 and came with a unique Grasmere Green paint scheme on the body and wheels, echoing the look of the classic Series 1 Defender.

2024 saw the introduction of the Sedona Edition, a one-year only special edition model for the Defender 110. Along with all the equipment that comes with the X-Dynamic HSE spec, it gets a unique red paint colour, black styling accents and bespoke decals.

Options

It's hard to know where to start with the Defender's options, but rest assured its packs and accessories cover every eventuality, from a tow bar to a ramp that makes it easier for your dog to clamber into the boot.

A good kicking off point is the curated accessory packs called Explorer, Adventure, Country and Urban. Explorer adds mud flaps, wheelarch protection and that famous snorkel air intake, plus a roof rack and side-mounted storage boxes. To this, you can also add side steps, a deployable ladder and an A-frame bull-bar for the front.

The Adventure pack includes an on-board pressure washer (with a 6.5-litre tank) designed for rinsing off boots and outdoor sports gear, scuff plates, plus the same mud flaps found on the Explorer. There’s a similar roster of add-ons in the Country pack. In contrast, the Urban pack adds metal pedals to the interior, while rear bumper scuff plates, a spare wheel cover and front skid plate protect the exterior.

If you’re less worried about the external appearance of your Defender, you can opt for the Signature Interior pack (standard-fit for Defender X and V8 models) which includes some material upgrades and heated and cooled front seats. Even more luxurious is the Captain’s Chairs pack for the Defender 130. As the name suggests, this swaps out the second-row bench seat for a pair of heated and cooled chairs that swivel 180-degrees.

Elsewhere, there are option packs targeted towards off-road driving, cold climates, towing and improved interior comfort and practicality.

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Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

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