Land Rover Defender review – MPG and running costs

Diesels all sit between 28 and 30mpg, petrols are more like 20-24mpg. Plug-in models will do 100mpg, sometimes

Evo rating
  • Versatility; intelligent design; impressive new in-line six powertrains; character
  • Heavy; expensive; petrols are thirsty

It will probably not surprise you to know the likely associated costs of running a new Defender are, like the rest of its numbers, big. Thanks to an EU weight of between 2140kg and 2708kg, it’ll chew through wear and tear components such as tyres, bushes and its brake hardware faster than lighter rivals.

The other effect of big weight figures is high fuel consumption, and across each of the petrol and diesel power ranges there’s generally the same amount of fuel used regardless of output. Both petrols are rated on paper to around 24-22mpg, although anything in the 20s in our experience is a good result. Diesels then range between 32 and 28mpg, depending on specification, but again consumption in the real world is more like 25-26mpg.

The reason for this broad equalisation is that the more powerful engines might inherently consume more fuel, but less powerful models have to work just that much harder to actually make progress.

The only unknown at this stage is the P400e plug-in hybrid, which has a 100mpg on-paper rating, and a 30-odd mile electric range. Given the similar weight stats to the Range Rover plug-in, we’d suggest this would be more like 20 miles in the real world, with the car dipping to the mid-20mpg range when used as a typical hybrid.

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