Land Rover Defender review – Interior, design and technology

Land Rover has done a great job in bringing the Defender into the 21st century. There’s a little nod to the previous model in terms of the overall look, but make no mistake – this new 4×4 is most definitely at the cutting edge in terms of off-road ability and on-board tech.

The proportions are clearly Defender-like, but everything is bigger, chunkier and designed with function clearly in mind. Inside, there are exposed screw heads, powder-coated aluminium surfaces, a magnesium bulkhead and even strips of body-coloured metal. While it’s not the usual Land Rover level of luxury, it brings a unique and refined rawness to the cabin that is as cool as anything else on sale.

Standard equipment across the range includes 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, heated seats and power-folding door mirrors. Stepping up to S trim adds 19-inch wheels and upgraded upholstery, while SE and HSE cars feature luxuries such as a premium 400w Meridian audio system with ten speakers, additional leather trim in the cabin and a sliding panoramic roof. 

The top-spec X equipment line stands out from the crowd by offering a black-coloured roof and bonnet, Windsor leather seats, a 700w version of the Meridian sound system with an additional four speakers and a head-up display.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The 10-inch touchscreen is the slickest we’ve yet seen from JLR. The new Pivi Pro system allows over-the-air software updates and the latest Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. 

In addition to the infotainment set-up, entry-level Defenders feature Land Rover’s Connected Navigation Pro, a 180W audio system with six speakers and an online pack with data plan.

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Range Rover Velar updated with upgraded interior and plug-in hybrid power

Land Rover has revealed its revised Range Rover Velar, which sees a plug-in hybrid being introduced for the first time along with a revised engine range and updated interior.

The Range Rover Velar arrived in 2017 as a new model to the Land Rover line-up – slotting between the Evoque and Sport in the firm’s SUV range.

A series of new engines have been included in the updated Velar

Key to this update is a new plug-in hybrid model – the P400e. It’s a powertrain already available on other Range Rover models, and mates together a 2.0-litre petrol engine with an electric motor and 17.1kWh battery. It produces 399bhp and 640Nm of torque, and can travel for a claimed 33 miles on electricity alone, along with returning 130.2mpg and CO2 emissions of 49g/km. Its battery can also be charged from flat to 80 per cent in half an hour using a fast charger.

A pair of mild-hybrid engines have also been introduced, which feature a 48-volt battery to improve efficiency and refinement – this technology being included as standard on the 296bhp 3.0-litre diesel (D300) and 395bhp 3.0-litre petrol (P400). Elsewhere a four-cylinder 201bhp D200 mild-hybrid diesel replaces the previous D180 and D240 models.

The car’s battery can be charged to 80 per cent in half an hour using a fast charger

The other main changes are on the interior, which sees Land Rover’s latest Pivi Pro infotainment system being installed. Available on all but the entry-level version, the system offers a simpler interface, and comes with more shortcut buttons to make it easier to use on the move. Spotify is directly integrated to the cabin for the first time, too.

Other cabin changes include a new steering wheel design with touch-sensitive buttons, along with a more traditional gear selector – replacing the rotary one seen previously. A feature known as Active Road Noise Cancellation has also been introduced to help reduce vibrations and allow for improved interior refinement.

Elsewhere a new ‘Edition’ trim level joins the range, which sits above the R-Dynamic SE specification. It brings extras like black 20-inch alloy wheels and a black roof, and is also available in new Hakabu Silver and Lantau Bronze paint colours.

The Velar gains JLR’s new Pivi Pro system

Nick Rogers, executive director of product engineering at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “It has been fifty years since the introduction of the pioneering Range Rover in 1970, and now every family member is electrified with our awesome plug-in hybrid technology.

Electrified powertrains and cleaner mild hybrid diesel engines mean the Velar is an even more efficient and sustainable option for our customers.”

The updated Range Rover Velar is available to order now, with prices starting from £46,110, a small increase of £400 on the outgoing version.

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