TodayApril 15, 2022

2021 Land Rover Defender 110 SE review

Most performance cars are named after their engine size, but not the Land Rover Defender. Land Rover’s vehicles are named by the length of the SUV; the Landrover Defender comes in both 90 and 110 versions, both names signifying the different sizes in wheelbase. 

Design with a Heritage

The Land Rover is a dream drawn into the sand back in 1947 when the engineering director of Rover, Maurice Wilks, first sketched the shape for the original Land Rover in the sand of Red Wharf Bay and proposed the idea to his brother Spencer, Rover’s managing director.

The Wilks family owned land on the Welsh island, and Maurice wanted a versatile vehicle that could double as a light tractor and off-roader. His forward-thinking design is the Land Rover, the outline of which they call the Defender.

Gerry McGovern, Chief Design Officer, Land Rover, said, “The New Defender is respectful of its past but is not harnessed by it. This is a new Defender for a New Age. Its unique personality is accentuated by its distinctive silhouette and optimum proportions, which make it both highly desirable and seriously capable – a visually compelling 4×4 that wears its design and engineering integrity with uncompromised commitment.”

The 90 is a smaller two-door model, and the 110 is a full-size model with four doors, sharing the same short front and rear overhangs. Several models are available, including Defender, X-Dynamic, Defender X, and First Edition, with S, SE, and HSE Specification Packs for Defender and X-Dynamic.

Those seeking a Land Rover SUV with a third-row will want the 110. This model seats five as standard, six with the optional first-row jump seat, or seven with the optional 5+2 third-row seating. 

I drove the 2021 Land Rover Defender 110 SE with a starting MSRP of $62,700.00. When optioned up with a Sliding Panoramic Roof, Three-zone Climate Control with Rear Cooling Assist, 14-way Heated and Cooled Memory Front Seats, Off-Road Tires, Cabin Air Ionization with PM2.5 filter Air Quality Sensor, Premium Interior Protection and Storage Pack, Basic Rear Seat Convenience Pack, and Emergency Pack the total was $69,195.00. 

2021 Land rover defender 110 SE back door goes out, not up

The 110 SE has an MHEV 3.0L 6 Cylinder Gas Engine that creates 395 Horsepower and 406 lb-ft Torque. The engine is paired with an 8-Speed Automatic Transmission All Wheel Drive with a Twin Speed Transfer Box, Electric Power Assisted Steering Terrain Response with Selectable Driving and Off-Road Modes Hill Descent Control Air Suspension, Adaptive Dynamics 20-inch Wheels with a Spare Tire.

Land Rover is known for its off-roading capability. They are the people that make the most of the low-ratio gearbox and ground clearance of people that love luxury and living life to its fullest. But let’s face it, the biggest use of time for any vehicle, including the Defender, will be hauling people and shopping items.  

The technology in the Defender makes parking so much easier. I like to back into a parking spot because it’s so much easier to leave. With the backup cameras, sensors, 360 monitors, a d 10-inch touchscreen, it is a cinch to park. If you’re going to put items in the back, make sure the rear has space, the Defender’s back door opens up like a regular door, not up like many back SUVs. 

2021 Land rover defender 110 SE driver interior

Interior

It was snowing the day I was out and about, but the chunky knobs in the Defender were easy to manipulate, even with gloves on. There are lots of cupholders, spaces to throw things, and cubbyholes throughout the 110-inch SUV. That 110-inch wheelbase gives the second-row passenger ample row for their knees and a seat that can recline. 

2021 Land rover defender 110 SE second row

Customers can also specify a tow hitch receiver, allowing them to use the vehicle’s 8201lbs maximum towing weight fully.

Because of the off-roading and luxury components, the competitors are a bit different;

Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Grand Cherokee 

Mercedes G-Class

Toyota 4Runner

Ford Bronco

BMW SUV

Porsche Cayenne

Jaguar F-Type

The Defender isn’t known for its fuel efficiency, but I did get 20 mpg which I found surprising for such a big vehicle. The Defender is available in the United States at a car dealership near you. 

2021 Land rover defender 110 SE night light

2021 Land Rover Defender trim level, powertrain, and MSRP

2021 Land Rover Defender 90

2.0L Turbocharged Ingenium Inline-4 Gasoline

(296 horsepower / 295 lb-ft of torque)

$46,100

2021 Land Rover Defender 90 S

2.0L Turbocharged Ingenium Inline-4 Gasoline

(296 horsepower / 295 lb-ft of torque)

$49,400

2021 Land Rover Defender 90 X-Dynamic S

Mild Hybrid 3.0L Turbocharged Ingenium Inline-6 Gasoline

(395 horsepower / 406 lb-ft of torque)

$57,800

2021 Land Rover Defender 90 First Edition

Mild Hybrid 3.0L Turbocharged Ingenium Inline-6 Gasoline

(395 horsepower / 406 lb-ft of torque)

$64,100

2021 Land Rover Defender 90 X

Mild Hybrid 3.0L Turbocharged Ingenium Inline-6 Gasoline

(395 horsepower / 406 lb-ft of torque)

$80,500

2021 Land Rover Defender 110

2.0L Turbocharged Ingenium Inline-4 Gasoline

(296 horsepower / 295 lb-ft of torque)

$50,500

2021 Land Rover Defender 110 S

2.0L Turbocharged Ingenium Inline-4 Gasoline

(296 horsepower / 295 lb-ft of torque)

$53,800

2021 Land Rover Defender 110 SE

Mild Hybrid 3.0L Turbocharged Ingenium Inline-6 Gasoline

(395 horsepower / 406 lb-ft of torque)

$62,700

2021 Land Rover Defender 110 X-Dynamic SE

Mild Hybrid 3.0L Turbocharged Ingenium Inline-6 Gasoline

(395 horsepower / 406 lb-ft of torque)

$65,500

2021 Land Rover Defender 110 X-Dynamic HSE

Mild Hybrid 3.0L Turbocharged Ingenium Inline-6 Gasoline

(395 horsepower / 406 lb-ft of torque)

$71,600

2021 Land Rover Defender 110X

Mild Hybrid 3.0L Turbocharged Ingenium Inline-6 Gasoline

(395 horsepower / 406 lb-ft of torque)

$83,000

2021 Land rover defender 110 SE personal climate control

2021 Land Rover Defender 90: Seating and Dimensions

  • Seating Capacity: 5 or 6 passengers
  • Headroom (1st/2nd): 40.6 inches / 38.6 inches (or 37.2 inches with panoramic roof)
  • Legroom (1st/2nd): 39.0 inches / 36.6 inches
  • Cargo Volume: 15.6 cubic feet (seats up) / 58.3 cubic feet (seats flat)

2021 Land Rover Defender 110: Seating and Dimensions

  • Seating Capacity: 5, 6, or 7 passengers
  • Headroom (1st/2nd): 40.6 inches / 40.4 inches
  • Legroom (1st/2nd): 39.1 inches / 39.1 inches (or 38.4 inches with optional 5+2 seating)
  • Cargo Volume: 34.0 cubic feet (seats up) / 78.8 cubic feet (seats flat)
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Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

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