2020 Land Rover Defender 110 Interior Review: Updates Bring Defender into 21st Century
Lots of ink will be spilled on how good the 2020 Land Rover Defender 110 is off-road. In fact, I’ve spilled lots of it myself (you can check out our First Drive, an overland adventure across Namibia, HERE). Sure, how well the Defender drives is no doubt important, but what its interior is like to live with on a day-to-day basis is probably equally so. With that in mind, here’s a list of questions you’re likely to have about the new Land Rover Defender’s interior, and, hopefully, satisfactory answers.
What does the Land Rover Defender’s interior look like?
Over three days and 500 miles in a long-wheelbase, four-door Defender 110 off-road, I found myself liking the way the Defender’s cabin looked and the way it was laid out quite a bit. Up front, the driver has an instrument cluster that’s either an analog/digital hybrid (with the insides of the gauges, plus driving information displayed on a well-sized high-res display), or, on higher-spec models, fully digital. I prefer the former, personally, though both clusters function the same.
Framing the instrument cluster—and the rest of the dash—is an exposed, powder-coated magnesium cross beam that’s actually a structural element of the Defender. That’s pretty cool, no? On the passenger’s side of the dash, it forms a large storage shelf with plenty of room for phones, keys, snacks, and more, while in the center, it frames a large 10-inch touchscreen with Land Rover’s latest PIVI Pro infotainment suite. Below the touchscreen is the shifter, buttons for air suspension height-adjustment, traction control, low-range, and dual-purpose knobs that function as temperature controls. These buttons, when pressed, also help operate the Terrain Response 2 controls. I guess I just described the interior, didn’t I?
How many people does the Defender seat?
Uniquely, the Land Rover Defender 110 can seat up to eight passengers. That, in and of itself, isn’t all that unique, since everything from the Chrysler Voyager to the Volkswagen Atlas can seat eight. How the Defender seats up to 8, is unique, for its segment, though—it’s available with your typical three-across rear bench seat and an optional third row jump seat for two extra passengers, but the eighth passenger rides in the middle of a front bench seat, where there’s more width for hips and shoulders. The Defender 110 can also be specced as a seven-seater (with front buckets), a six-seater (minus the third row), or a five-seater. Interestingly, there are three different front seat packages. A traditional console is standard, a console-less option that allows you to walk from front-to-back, and the aforementioned front bench.
Is it roomy?
Yes—with the caveat that we haven’t yet tried out the front bench seat or the third row. The middle front seat is likely best used by people in a pinch or a well-behaved dog. The Defender 110’s cargo area is rather large, but I have to imagine the two jump seats would be pre-teen friendly, at best.
The front captain’s chairs offer up plenty of room, while the second-row bench is adult-friendly. I was able to squeeze my 6’0″ frame behind the driver’s seat set in my position, with a good amount of room for feet, head and knees, along with decent leg room. The second-row bench sits lower to the floor, but outward visibility is still good thanks to the Defender’s massive greenhouse.
More importantly, Is it comfortable?
Yes. Very. After multiple 10-hour days off-roading in a row, I nevertheless felt pretty pain-free at the end of each night—something I can’t say about most off-roaders. My testers rode on either 18- or 19-inch wheels and were equipped with air suspensions, which are standard on 2020 model year Defenders. Traditional steel springs will be standard as of next year, making air springs optional.
What are the best interior features?
Well, the front-bench seat and front seat walk-through are pretty neat, even if the latter is missing arm rests. I also like Land Rover’s Clearsight rearview camera system. That’s surprising for me to admit; I very much dislike the implementation of the similar system on GM’s vehicles because the focal distance difference between the mirror and image displayed on the screen both hurts my eyes and makes me carsick. The Defender’s system doesn’t have the same issue. With stereo cameras mounted up high in the Defender’s shark fin antenna, ClearSight is able to display a wide, high-resolution view from the back of the SUV that’s much less likely to be affected by rooster tails of dust, dirt, and road grime than if the camera were mounted lower.
How much is it?
Prices for the 2020 Land Rover Defender 110 start at $50,925. The two-door Defender 90 starts at $66,125. Prices should drop for the 2021 model year as the Defender 90 becomes available in lower trim levels and the Defender 110’s standard feature list gets a shakeup.
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