In-depth reviews

Land Rover Defender review – design

A clever interpretation of a classic Land Rover design

Evo rating

The element tying all of the Defender’s good points together is its design. There was always a risk when recreating an icon such as the Defender, and in many ways Land Rover has hit the right balance of referencing the original, without becoming a pastiche of retro design.

It was crucial to see design elements such as the completely flat tail, roof lights and subtle, but unmistakable, shoulder line reach the new model intact. But what is more of a surprise is how many design flourishes Gerry McGovern’s team at Land Rover applied.

For those hoping for a more rugged approach to the ultimate off-roader, other reborn off-roader icons such as the G-class and Bronco might appeal more, but it’s clear Land Rover has understood that the bigger customer base lies in designing its Defender with a wider appeal.

If there is one caveat to the Defender’s design, it would be that in certain specifications, and in certain colours, the off-roader design might stray too far from home, looking long, saggy and under-wheeled when in its loading height (which it automatically reverts to when parked if fitted with air springs). Still, in almost all cases the Defender is a triumph in design, which should help it become a triumphant success for Land Rover.

Most Popular

2022 Alpine A110 revealed – new A110 GT and sharper A110 S headline changes
Alpine A110 S – front tracking
Alpine A110

2022 Alpine A110 revealed – new A110 GT and sharper A110 S headline changes

Key updates for the range to further broaden the range and further focus top-spec A110 S
24 Nov 2021
Audi RS3 2021 review - Audi Sport set to take on AMG’s A45S
Audi RS3 review 2021
Audi RS3

Audi RS3 2021 review - Audi Sport set to take on AMG’s A45S

Audi’s new RS3 hyper hatch finally gets the technology to take on AMG’s range-topper
22 Nov 2021
2023 Polestar 5 previewed – Precept Concept’s production-ready realisation is coming ​​
Polestar 5 preview 1
Polestar

2023 Polestar 5 previewed – Precept Concept’s production-ready realisation is coming ​​

This is the Polestar 5, rival to the Porsche Taycan, Audi e-tron GT and Tesla Model S
23 Nov 2021