“Living up to its reputation, the Defender proved completely drama-free in off-road driving through the Vermont woods, tackling steep hills, rocks, mud, and, dirt without breaking a sweat. Just as current supercars use electronics to make high-speed driving easier regardless of skill level, modern Land Rovers make off-roading accessible to novices. All you have to do is steer clear of trees and let the Defender’s driver aids do their thing.

“Off-road capability was a prerequisite, though. What really sets the new Defender apart from its predecessor — and the competition — is its on-road behavior. With its comfortable ride (courtesy of adaptive air suspension) and precise handling, the Defender felt more like a regular car than a mudslinging off-road SUV.

“The P400 powertrain provided more than enough power for passing on the highway, and the vehicle itself felt rock-solid at higher speeds — which isn’t always the case with tall, boxy SUVs. The interior is fairly quiet as well, and the driving position is much more comfortable than the cramped, upright pose the old Defender forced on its drivers. The only blemish was somewhat vague steering.”

— Stephen Edelstein, Digital Trends

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