Read Caroline’s Land Rover Defender review for everything you need to know about buying Land Rover’s iconic off-roader in Ireland.

Land Rover is famous for building tough, off-road vehicles and the pinnacle of all that has to be the Defender.

In 2020, the all-new Defender arrived in Ireland. It’s quickly become one of the brand’s most popular models, outselling the Discovery. To celebrate 75 years of this legend, Land Rover has introduced an eye-catching Defender 75th Limited Edition.

The Defender starts from about €87,727 but the five-door Defender 110 75th Limited Edition 2.0 plug-in hybrid – like the one on test – will set you back closer to €123,160.

So is it worth it? Let’s find out!

The Land Rover Defender on test for Changing Lanes
The Land Rover Defender on test for Changing Lanes

What’s so special about the Land Rover Defender?

The Defender offers quite an extensive line-up. There are three body styles – 90, 110 and 130 – with varying numbers of seats available. There are a range of four- and six- cylinder petrol and diesel engines, and a V8. There’s also a popular plug-in hybrid that offers punchy performance and some EV driving, which is particularly useful in town.

If it’s kerb appeal you’re after, the Defender has it all. The design is a brilliant interpretation of the classic Defender, all boxy dimensions and attitude with plenty of little design nods to the original like the classic circular in rectangle headlights.

The 75th Limited Edition goes with famous Grasmere Green and matching painted alloy wheels. It’s very distinct and it looks better the more mud is thrown at it. The Defender is a vehicle that was made to play dirty.

There are a myriad of off-road tools like the configurable terrain response system that allows you to switch between a number of modes depending on what sort of ground you’re tackling – snow, mud, rocks, sand, you name it!

It’s pretty special inside too.

The cabin of the Defender 75th Limited Edition
The cabin of the Defender 75th Limited Edition

Inside the Defender

The Defender has one of the most utilitarian cabins of any Land Rover on sale. But somehow it all works. There’s a pared back, tough chic to it all. Yet the quality is excellent, everything feels good to the touch. Synthetic leather upholstery come as standard.

Luxury features included heated front seats with 14-way power adjustment and memory function, 3D surround camera and a Meridian sound system.

75th versions stand out with a Grasmere Green dash panel but otherwise it’s classic Defender with exposed screwheads, a stubby gear selector on the dash, and sturdy steering wheel.

The digital tech is another highlight – full digital driver display and an excellent Land Rover ‘Pivi Pro’ infotainment system with touch display. It’s heaving with functionality but the menus are all easy to scroll through. There’s lots of good off-road driving aids hidden in there too like wade sensing to alert you when you’re reaching the Defender’s awesome limit of 900mm!

There is a nice spread of buttons below the touchscreen and some dials for the ventilation. You can also find buttons here to adjust the height of the vehicle for off-roading.

It’s all so clever and intuitive to use.

The Defender 75th Limited Edition gets a unique Grasmere Green finish
The Defender 75th Limited Edition gets a unique Grasmere Green finish

Is it practical?

The Defender 110 is the five-door model and it’s available with five, six or seven seats. The boot offers over 800 litres of space in five seat models. Though beware the door is hinged from the side so you’ll need lots of room to open it!

The cabin is huge and feels very roomy. There are alpine windows in the roof, just like the original, and the option of a glass roof. The big windows also let lots of light in. You can fit three easily across the rear seat and there’s loads of legroom too.

Driving the Defender

On the road the Defender offers a very high-end driving experience. There’s really nothing agricultural about it, despite its rough and ready roots. From the lofty driving position, you can enjoy the comfort and affability of it all. The 110’s standard fit air suspension ensures a high level of control and comfort.

The Defender can trundle through town easily enough with well-weighted steering though it does feel big once you find yourself in a tight car park. Yet it’s a great companion for motorway cruising, while it can easily tackle whatever obstacles an Irish rural road might throw up.

The P400e plug-in hybrid offers good performance and a limited range of 43 kilometres (WLTP) of electric driving, provided you are diligent about keeping it charged – 80% in as little as 30 minutes using a DC fast charger or 2.5 hours from a 7kW wallbox.

The 404hp is delivered smoothly, responsively through the 8-speed automatic, with a strong 640Nm of torque for a respectable three tonne towing capacity. Yet fuel consumption is still higher than most conventional SUVs, though keeping the battery charged does make a difference, along with stints on battery power alone.

Boot space in the Defender 110 P400e
Boot space in the Defender 110 P400e

Did you like it?

The Land Rover Defender is such an incredible motoring icon and has excellent capability – and kerb appeal. Its off-road pedigree is well documented, but the on-road driving manners are equally impressive. It’s no surprise it’s been such a big hit among Irish motorists.

The 75th edition is an acquired taste, with its classic Grasmere Green body and wheels combo. But what’s underneath is still an extremely desirable machine and the plug-in hybrid is a solid choice.

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Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year

Simply the best!
The Land Rover Defender – simply the best!