Supply chain issues persist, and we see that with test vehicles provided by manufacturers. Some come with manual seats when power seats are supposed to be standard. Some come without seat heaters. And some come a model year late.
That's the case with the Land Rover Defender. We got a 2021 model in the spring of 2022. Come to think of it, we got a 2020 model in early 2021. But that's okay, because there are no big changes and even though the Defender is the newest vehicle in the Land Rover lineup, it's also timeless.
Great moments in exploration history that involve motor vehicles very likely involved Land Rovers in general and Defenders or their ancestors, the Land Rover 80 and Land Rover 90 in particular.
Powered by a a 3.0-liter inline six making 395 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive with a twin-speed transfer box, Terrain Response with selectable driving and off-road modes, hill descent control, adaptive dynamics and air suspension, the 2021 Land Rover Defender, like the old (1949 onward) Defenders has the power and hardware necessary to take on Earth's roughest obstacle courses. If you're more likely to stay on the pavement, here's the EPA fuel economy average: 17 city/22 highway.
The base price of the 2021 Land Rover Defender 110 SE as shown on the window sticker that came with our test vehicle was $62,700. Land Rover's consumer site has already begun showing the 2023 models, and it says the base price is now $69,300.
Extra cost options on our test vehicle included a sliding panoramic roof ($1,800), three-zone climate control with rear cooling assist ($1,075), 14-way heated and cooled memory front seats ($800), off-road tires ($350), cabin air ionization with a PM2.5 filter ($125) an air quality sensor ($75), premium interior protection and storage pack ($710) a basic rear seat convenience pack ($145) and an emergency pack ($65). With $1,350 destination and delivery, the as-tested price of the 2021 Land Rover Defender 110 SE came to $69,195---below the base price of the 2023 model. Assuming no changes in the pricing of options, this car as a '23 would end up at $75,795.
This is really a category of three vehicles---the Land Rover 110 Defender, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and the Ford Bronco four-door. The Bronco's arrival has absolutely heated up the segment. You'd be hard-pressed to option either the Wrangler Unlimited or the Bronco four-door up to $75,000 while keeping it roughly competitive with the Defender 110 in terms of power and options (we're talking Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price here---in the current climate, dealers are shamelessly asking whatever they think they can get away with). That said, Land Rover has a reputation as the real deal when it comes to go-anywhere motoring, and true believers have been willing to pay a premium for that for decades.