Land Rover Defender SUV (1983-2016) - MPG, running costs & CO2

Fuel efficiency isn’t a Land Rover Defender strong point, but insurance is surprisingly cheap

Carbuyer Rating

2.0 out of 5

MPG, running costs & CO2 Rating

1.7 out of 5

If you buy a Defender, you’ll need lots of spare cash to run it. It’s simply one of the least fuel-efficient off-roaders there is. And despite its simple construction, it’s also pretty expensive to buy, particularly if you choose one of the special editions. At least insurance cover and repair bills shouldn’t be too expensive.

Land Rover Defender MPG & CO2

There was only one engine available during the closing years of the Defender: a 2.2-litre diesel. Fuel economy is particularly dismal – Land Rover claims up to 28.3mpg is possible, but in reality, you’ll be lucky to see more than 15mpg, particularly if you use your Defender for hard off-road work.

The Defender also sits in the highest road tax band. Even the smallest and lightest versions of the car emit a massive 266 grams per kilometre of CO2, so you’ll be paying £505 a year. In fact, high emissions are the main reason for the Defender’s imminent demise – Land Rover itself admitted the car couldn’t be made to comply with the stringent Euro 6b EU emissions legislation that came into effect in September 2015.

If you're even vaguely concerned about fuel consumption, the 18.5mpg Works V8 won't interest you in the slightest. Its 352g/km emissions won't see you befriended by Greenpeace either.

Insurance

You'll find the Defender in insurance groups 9 and 10. That’s a pretty low rating compared to other large SUVs, most of which start in group 30. In fact, the Defender’s insurance rating is more in line with that of a small hatchback like the Vauxhall Corsa. The luxurious Range Rover ranges from group 45 to the maximum group 50.

Warranty

When available new, the Defender was provided with a pretty standard three-year warranty regardless of how many miles you covered. 

Servicing

The Defender’s long lifespan and simple construction means servicing shouldn’t cost much compared to more modern models like the Range Rover or Land Rover Discovery Sport. Land Rover offered servicing plans to new Defender buyers, too.

Most Popular

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
13 Apr 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Best new car deals 2021
i20
Deals
9 Apr 2021

Best new car deals 2021

New Skoda Kodiaq unveiled for 2021
2021 Skoda Kodiaq Sportline static
Skoda Kodiaq
13 Apr 2021

New Skoda Kodiaq unveiled for 2021

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
13 Apr 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Tips and advice
10 Nov 2020

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?
Tips and Advice
23 Mar 2020

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
24 Feb 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Best car interiors
Best cars
10 Mar 2020

Best car interiors

Best electric cars
Best cars
24 Dec 2020

Best electric cars

Best cheap-to-run cars
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
1 Feb 2021

Best cheap-to-run cars

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Hot hatches
9 Apr 2020

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks