2023 Land Rover Defender 90 V8 evaluate

The final time I drove a V8-powered Land Rover was within the grounds of Eastnor Citadel in England, the place I managed to get myself behind the wheel of Lara Croft’s Defender 110, the very one specifically ready for the unique Tomb Raider film.

Despite the fact that it was a film automotive with extra present than go, and all a bit rickety given the multitude of attachments hanging off it; the very fact there was a burbling V8 below the bonnet was nonetheless one thing to get enthusiastic about.

Now there’s a brand new one based mostly on the universally lauded latest-generation Land Rover Defender, and formally known as the P525 V8.  And as you might need guessed, it’s received much more grunt on faucet than Lara Croft ever had below her proper foot and fairly merely, it’s the quickest manufacturing Defender ever made.

If ever a sequel to the 2018 Tomb Raider film will get up – she’ll undoubtedly be effectively armed so far as speedy, all-terrain transport goes. Rivers and jungles will current as mere obstacles in entrance of the V8 Landie whereas evil treasure hunters can be effectively and really outpaced.

The query although, is what to go for – the ultra-cool profile of the three-door, short-wheelbase Defender 90, or the inherent practicality of the five-door Defender 110, given you possibly can have Land Rover’s 5.0-litre V8 in both model.

WATCH: Paul’s video evaluate of the Land Rover Defender 90 P300

It’s a tricky selection and largely depending on life. Nonetheless, I’m keen on the extra showy and arguably much less helpful Defender 90 in head-turning Santorini Black as examined right here. It’s what Mi6 discipline operatives would doubtless go for and name it the stealth choice.

At the least, that’s the picture I’m going for regardless of the inherent draw back to a three-door SUV, even in case you are at a kid-free stage of life.

Thoughts, even in that guise, you may be arduous pressed choosing it from  the usual P400 model with related livery. Don’t get me incorrect, there are just a few tell-tale indicators that decision the P525 out as one thing a bit particular, nevertheless it’s simply not correctly bonkers as all of us might need hoped it could be.

There’s the V8 badging in Black script after all, sensational 22-inch wheels with a Darkish Satin Gray end which do little to cover the Xenon-Blue brake calipers and big 20-inch brakes.

Maybe probably the most telling facet of the P525 Defender, moreover the supercharged V8 lurking below the bonnet, are the quad pipes out again. However even they’re too small in diameter to be correctly offensive or shouty. We expect they may have been twice the scale no less than for aesthetics alone, if not exhaust-note quantity.

Yep, that’s one other disappointing factor about V8 Defender. It’s nowhere close to loud sufficient, even in Sport. What’s extra, there’s no particular person loud button you possibly can press to dial up the low-speed bellowing. As a result of as everyone knows, there’s nothing fairly so satisfying than crawling alongside in an underground automotive park whereas sounding like a Centurion battle tank. 

Inside, you’ll discover a great-looking Alcantara steering wheel with 4 anodised spokes, in addition to suede-like seat inserts nestled within the leather-based upholstery. It’s not precisely luxurious, nevertheless it’s tender and comfy and a terrific selection for chilly mornings.

That mentioned, it nonetheless appears to be like and feels largely utilitarian in nature however for the stitched leather-based and softer surfaces in each seat rows. I do know it’s a Defender, and by default a go-anywhere machine of great functionality, however by some means I used to be anticipating extra, merely based mostly on its stratospheric value level and vital premium over the following rung down.

How a lot does the Land Rover Defender 90 V8 price?

Proper from the outset any V8 model of a Land Rover Defender was by no means going to be low cost, however costs have solely climbed since launching in 2021.

For the 2023 Land Rover Defender 90 P525 V8 examined right here, you’ll pay from $221,300 excluding on-road prices, whereas the long-wheelbase 110 is priced from $226,500 earlier than on-roads. That’s up from its launch value $200,450 for the 90 and $205,500 for the 110.

Whereas there are stacks of choices obtainable throughout a lot of the Defender vary, the P525 V8 model is usually well-equipped as you would possibly count on of its sky-high value factors.

Nonetheless, our tester was fitted with:

  • Prolonged Black Exterior Pack: $1707
  • Entrance Undershield: $1037
  • Intrusion sensor: $1001
  • 22-inch Fashion 5098, Gloss Black alloy wheels: $520

Combining these choices meant our tester’s value was bumped to $225,565, excluding on-road prices.

When you’re after a comparability of kinds to a luxurious off-roader with real, go-anywhere functionality and a V8 below the bonnet, that may be the Mercedes-AMG G63 – if solely you may get one.

For 2023 the G63 is priced from $365,900 plus on-road prices and any non-obligatory extras you may want. We checked with one agent who had one on the market at $440,000 plus on-roads.

Its 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 makes considerably extra energy and torque at 430kW and 850Nm respectively, and adequate for a 0-100km/h sprint in a comically-quick 4.6 seconds, nevertheless it’s successfully twice the worth of the V8 Defender – of which there’s inventory obtainable we’re instructed.

What’s the Land Rover Defender 90 V8 like on the within?

The large panoramic sliding sunroof, Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel and combo leather-based/Dinamica seats provide you with an instantaneous impression that that is the highest of the pecking order within the Land Rover Defender vary.

The tech is up-to-date too, with an 11.4-inch Pivi Professional tablet-style infotainment touchscreen entrance and centre, together with a configurable digital driver’s show offering the standard suite of knowledge.

Ergonomics are wonderful. Higher nonetheless, there are dials for the local weather management and a knob for the quantity, each are a welcome addition to what’s in any other case a usefully utilitarian cabin with all the things you want and nearly nothing you don’t-kind-of-ambience.

It may be a hardcore, three-door off-roader with the inherent impracticalities related to this physique type, however that doesn’t imply it’s brief on residing area inside.

Quite the opposite, there’s a stack of helpful cubby holes up entrance for the trifecta of telephone, sunnies and pockets, in addition to beneficiant passenger area for rear-seat occupants – each in leg and shoulder room.

Entry to the rear seats could be problematic for adults or bigger passengers alike, nevertheless it’s made simpler by electrical seat adjusters that transfer the entrance seats ahead or aft.

Together with wi-fi Apple CarPlay there’s additionally two USB ports (USB-C, USB-A) and a 12V up entrance within the centre console, whereas rear-seat passengers profit from two USB-C ports and two 12V inputs located below the person climate-control dials.

Nevertheless, boot area is undeniably restricted behind the second row, the place you’ll discover simply 240L obtainable. It’s sufficient for our weekly grocery store however that’s about it. Thoughts, the Defender has a excessive roofline so if you happen to stack it to the roof, baggage area expands to 397L.

Fold the rear seats as flat as they’ll go and solely then can the Defender 90 swallow the likes of suitcases and/or longer, bulkier objects with its 1563L max capability.

Nonetheless, it’s a far cry from the 543L/2380L area obtainable within the five-door Defender 110.

And, as a result of the Defender V8 is a correct excessive rider with digital air suspension, you possibly can simply as rapidly decrease (or elevate) the car for simple loading of heavier objects, merely hitting both button within the boot.

What’s below the bonnet?

Because the quickest manufacturing Defender ever made Land Rover has just about shoe-horned its 5.0-litre supercharged V8 petrol into the engine bay.

It makes 386kW of energy at 6000rpm and 625Nm of torque from 2500rpm to 5500rpm by Defender’s customary eight-speed ZF automated transmission.

That’s adequate to catapult the 2546kg Landie from 0-100km/h in a hot-hatch-conquering 5.2 seconds. Prime velocity is 240km/h.

By means of comparability the bigger Defender 110 P525 V8 wants 5.4 seconds to finish the identical 0-100km/h sprint.

How does the Land Rover Defender 90 V8 drive?

I can’t assist suppose had the Defender V8 been a correct SVO (Particular Automobiles Operation) developed car just like the Vary Rover Sport SVR and even the Velar SV Autobiography – each of which made magnificently boisterous sounds, this Defender would have made way more decibels than what it does out of the field.

As an alternative, it’s merely far too quiet – even in Sport, which doesn’t actually do all that a lot until the rev counter needle is nudging 4000rpm plus and solely then do you begin to get pleasure from slightly theatrics.

All-in-all it’s a little bit of a disappointment, no less than to this tester who hoped for related ranges of canon hearth because the AMG G63 – if no more.

Right here was an opportunity for Land Rover to go utterly bonkers with its most excessive Defender ever and sure the final V8 model ever, as Land Rover mud-hops its option to an all-electric future and full carbon neutrality by 2039.

It’s fast although, so there’s no query there, however you’ll must get used to the entrance finish lifting and adopting an analogous pitched-up perspective as an influence boat earlier than it begins to airplane and transfer extra gracefully.

I might have thought the suspension might need been tuned to maintain issues on a extra even keel – if we’re sticking with boating analogies.

Having mentioned that, there’s some low-down lag if you happen to’re a bit too keen with the throttle within the default drive mode – much less so in Sport and Dynamic.

Nonetheless, journey consolation is at all times assured regardless of the upgraded suspension on the go-fast Defender. There’s nonetheless loads of physique roll within the tighter corners thoughts you, nevertheless it by no means feels unwieldy and the entrance finish consists, whereas turn-in is sharper and extra correct than you would possibly count on.

Braking, although, is excellent given the tempo this factor is able to and its substantial heft. However then Land Rover has at all times excelled within the stopping division for so long as I can keep in mind.

Whereas it’s unlikely many house owners of this uncommon beast will ever try extra critical off-roading excursions, it’s nonetheless a Defender and as such is armed to the tooth in the case of the form of {hardware} and high-tech weaponry essential to deal with the actually tough stuff.

A number of terrain modes, massively adjustable journey top management, 900mm wading functionality and locking differentials are sufficient to type issues out for most folk.

However if you happen to do end up behind the wheel of this, or some other Land Rover Defender with no clue, simply seek for the Auto mode within the Terrain Response menus and it’ll routinely dial up probably the most appropriate setting for the situations. Sensible stuff, and it really works seamlessly.

What do you get within the Land Rover Defender 90 V8

It’s additionally one of the vital distinctive, if not trendy, 4x4s ever designed and equally at residence in any one in all our most salubrious Sydney suburbs, particularly in Santorini Black and Ebony Windsor leather-based like that examined right here.

Defender P525 V8 highlights:

  • Black Exterior Pack
  • Privateness glass
  • Black uncovered rear restoration eyes
  • Matrix LED headlights
  • Darkened taillights
  • Santorini Black with black distinction roof ($NCO)
  • 14-way heated, cooled electrical entrance seats incl. reminiscence
  • 40:20:40 mounted, heated rear seats incl. entrance bounce seat
  • Quad exhaust pipes
  • Satin Chrome paddle-shifters
  • Digital air suspension with straightforward boot loading
    • -40mm and off-road top improve of +75mm
  • Adaptive Dynamics
  • Terrain Response 2 with Dynamic Program
  • Digital Lively Differential with torque vectoring
  • Panoramic roof
  • 22-inch Satin Darkish Gray alloy wheels
  • 22-inch full-size spare wheel
  • Cross-car beam in Satin Black Powder Coat Brushed End
  • Robustec veneer
  • Illuminated steel treadplates with ‘V8’ branding
  • Electrically adjustable steering column
  • Heated, suede-cloth steering wheel
  • Ebony Morzine headlining
  • Prolonged leather-based improve
  • Windsor leather-based seats
    • Windsor leather-based/Dinamica suede-cloth are $NCO 
  • Vivid steel pedals
  • ClearSight rear-view mirror
  • 10-colour ambient lighting
  • Entrance centre console fridge
  • Tri-zone local weather management
  • Cabin air-purification plus
  • 15-speaker 700W Meridian sound system
  • 11.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Wi-fi charging
  • Head-up show
  • Digital driver’s show

Is the Land Rover Defender 90 V8 protected?

The Defender 90 hasn’t been individually crash examined by ANCAP or Euro NCAP, however the all variations of the Defender 110 get a five-star security ranking.

It scored 85 per cent for grownup occupant safety, 88 per cent for youngster occupant safety, 71 per cent for weak highway customers and 76 per cent for security help, a decrease rating because of the lack of AEB backover detection.

Six airbags, ISOFIX youngster seat anchor factors in addition to a real feeling of solidity all through the cabin.

Commonplace security options embody:

  • 6 airbags
  • Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)
  • Blind-spot help
  • Encompass-view cameras
    • Ahead visitors detection
    • Ahead car steerage
    • Tow-hitch help
    • ClearSight floor view
  • Adaptive cruise management
  • Lane maintain help
  • Rear visitors monitor
  • Rear collision monitor
    • incl. lane-keeping assist, closing car sensing
  • Visitors signal recognition
  • Wade sensing
  • Driver situation monitor
  • Protected exit alert
  • Entrance, rear parking sensors

How a lot does the Land Rover Defender 90 V8 price to run?

The Defender vary is roofed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee with 5 years free roadside help.

With regards to servicing your Defender, Land Rover gives a five-year/130,000km (whichever comes first) service bundle for $3750.

Gas consumption was at all times going to be appreciable with a supercharged V8 below the bonnet of an SUV that suggestions the scales at round 2.5 tonnes.

Even if you happen to’re mild with the throttle, you’ll battle to get anyplace close to the 14.7L/100km mixed consumption which Land Rover quotes. For us, it was nearer 18L/100km, however largely in city situations.

CarExpert’s Tackle the Land Rover Defender 90 V8

Whichever manner you lean – whether or not it’s the extra trendy Defender 90 V8 or the extra helpful 110 model – there’s one thing inherently particular a couple of hardcore 4×4 with bucketloads of fashion and hard-hitting supercharged V8 below the bonnet.

This facet was by no means in query, nor was the very fact the privilege of proudly owning such a novel car was at all times going to be a expensive enterprise. However in equity it’s nonetheless round half the worth of its solely reputable rival – the Mercedes-AMG G 63.

It’s nearly there however for a correct, full-blown exhaust word extra bonkers than even the Benz. Then it may have been nice.

Click on the photographs for the total gallery

MORE: Every thing Land Rover Defender


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