2015 Land Rover Defender 110 Review

2015 Land Rover Defender 110 Review

Filed under Car Reviews

2015 Land Rover Defender 110 Aggregated Reviews

Cars Guide: 6/10
Motoring: 5.4/10
Digital Trends: 6/10
Car Advice: 6/10
The Motor Report: 6/10
Combined total score: 5.88/10

We love:

  • No nonsense off-road ability
  • Iconic, utilitarian design

Pain points:

  • Massive turning circle
  • Rough ride and wind noise
  • Price compared to Jeep Wrangler

2015 Land Rover Defender 110 review

The Defender 110 is perhaps the world's most versatile off-road vehicle. With people expecting comfort and stability from their SUV's, it's no surprise that the Defender 110 is in its final years of manufacture.

With absolutely unparalleled off-road ability, let's take a look at whether it's managed to stay relevant amid the 'soft-roaders' that are now so popular.

Exterior of the 2015 Land Rover Defender 110

The pop-riveted aluminium body doesn't look like it's changed since its conception in 1948, the Land Rover Defender 110 is nearly 4.8 metres long, a box on wheels with a full-size spare on the back. Rear mud guards are made from aluminium; this full-time 4x4 is quite narrow, a legacy from the original design meant for muddy British lanes and backroads.

Defender 110 tackling the mud

Land Rover Defender 110 in 2015, image courtesy of Car Advice.

In fact, the Defender still shares the small retaining plate holding the bonnet in place, and the rear underbody support strut, with models stretching back to the 1980's and 1940's.

Ultra-thin A-pillars allow excellent visibility, in part making up for the lack of a reversing camera or parking sensors, and many of the parts of this Defender 110 are assembled by hand, consuming 56 work hours for each unit. This partly explains the high price.

Inside the 2015 Land Rover Defender 110

The interior is tough and basic. The seating position is too close to the steering wheel but too far from the dashboard, and there are no pockets in the doors. Unless you are quite a small driver, you'll be more comfortable driving with the window open due to the tightness of space.

The best feature is the boot - it's as large as a van with rear seats folded up, 1,900 millimetres long, and can hold nearly one tonne. The hard-wearing floor can be hosed out. The air conditioner is powerful, and front windows are powered. Heated front seats are an extra-cost option.

Plenty of space for anything - and a huge payload to carry it easily.

The huge boot is matched by a huge carrying capacity - image courtesy of Car Advice.

There's optional third-row seating, but no airbags. This is because they'd be triggered on a steep entry to a creek crossing, which would create a safety issue of its own.

Connectivity

The Alpine audio system has a removable face-plate CD player from 1993, with Bluetooth connectivity. Wind noise in the cabin makes it hard to hear the audio at highway speeds, but for the city and slower driving the Bluetooth connection works quickly and effectively.

What's it like to drive a 2015 Land Rover Defender 110?

The turbo diesel of the Defender 110 is strong, towing up to 3,500 kilograms braked, and getting from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour in 15 seconds. Driving around town, you can almost leave it in third gear. On the road, it's like driving a truck, bumpy, stiff gear changes, and plenty of clunk and clatter. The one plus is the connection to the road - the driver can really feel exactly where the car is at any moment in time.

The 2015 Defender 110 is actually a huge improvement on previous models, with lighter steering, responsive four-wheel disc brakes and excellent visibility.

Rear door opens to the side for easy access

Rear door - image courtesy of Car Advice.

Off-road it's unparalleled, with a maximum gradient of 45 degrees, axle ground clearance of 250 millimetres, and underbody clearance, protected by steel bash-plates of 314 millimetres. Getting from high to low range requires a bit of muscle, once in low range you can safely traverse just about anything without braking.

You can drive through 50 centimetres of water without thinking twice and take this vehicle into many places that other SUV's can only dream of. This is why you buy a Defender 110, not for its cabin comfort or cruising ability.

Who's the 2015 Land Rover Defender 110 for?

This is a tough boxy workhorse that can tackle any off-road situation. Don't buy it to drive around the city, or as a family 'van'. It's definitely still got a niche, and these 2015 Land Rover Defender 110s will still be running years after some of the modern family SUVs have retired.

If you need to haul stuff through rough outback terrain, look no further. It's even classed as a commercial vehicle.

With production expected to stop soon, the 2015 Land Rover Defender 110 could easily become a collectable - it wouldn't be genuine if it didn't have a few dents and real use. We'll be looking out for the all-new Defender, which might be released late in 2018.

Feature Summary

Price: $54,290

Engine: Euro 5 2.2L turbo-diesel (90kW/360Nm)

Transmission: Getrag six-speed manual gearbox

Wheels: Body-coloured steel

Safety: 5 star ANCAP

Fuel: 11L/100km

Emissions: 291g/km

AV and tech: Alpine Bluetooth CD player with removable face, subwoofer sound system.

Seats: 7

Doors: 4

You can finance a 2015 Land Rover Defender 110 from $240/week*, get a quick quote to find out exactly what it will cost to drive the iconic off-roader.

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