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Eric's Autos: 2022 Land Rover Defender

Eric Peters on

The iconic Land Rover Defender -- the one most people know from safari shows -- had an aluminum body, didn't have carpets -- or air bags -- but did have a 182 horsepower V8 under its hood that averaged about 13 miles-per-gallon.

It was last available new back in '97.

A new Defender arrived in 2020 -- and this time, it came standard with carpets.

Plus a few other things.

What It Is

The Defender is a medium-small (depending on configuration) SUV known -- back in the day -- for being one of the most off-road capable SUVs ever made.

 

The original model, which was sold without major updates for decades, was marginally capable on-road, due to its spartan/uncarpeted interior, underpowered and gas-hungry ancient (even then) V8 engine and a rugged but primitive suspension system that was great for tracking lions in the African bush but alarmingly unsteady on American highways.

The new Defender attempts to retain the off-roading capability with the luxury -- and on-road stability -- most SUV buyers expect today.

And now it's available with a supercharged V8 that makes 518 horsepower.

The modern Defender comes in 90 (two-door/two row) and 110 (four-door/three row) versions, just like it used to -- with the base P300 90 trim stickering for $47,700.

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