The Defender is a modern adaptation of the OG Land Rovers that essentially conquered the globe. It's a class of three vehicles---the Jeep Wrangler, the new Ford Bronco and the Defender. The only real disadvantage the Defender has is price. So, since you're going to pay more anyway...
A Land Rover Defender 110 SE starts at $69,300. Step up (okay, leap) to the Land Rover Defender V8 and the base price is now $107,700. No, not a typo. There's a $38,400 difference between the Land Rover Defender 110 SE I reviewed in July and the Land Rover Defender 110 V8. Yes, some of that is the engine swap, replacing a 395-horsepower 3-liter inline six with a 518-horsepower 5-liter supercharged V8. That will knock 0-60 sprints down from 6.3 seconds to 4.9 (and EPA fuel economy estimates down from 17 city/22 highway to 14 city/19 highway), but there's got to be more going on here for all that money, right?
Right. Saying yes to the V8 also gets you 22-inch wheels, suspension upgrades and essentially every option available on other Defenders as standard equipment. That includes a panoramic roof, heated and cooled front seats, three-zone climate control, ebony Dynamic suede cloth and steel cut premium textile seats, heated rear seats, navigation and a 700-watt Meridian surround sound system.
In fact, there were only two extra-cost options on our test vehicle---$360 for Wi-Fi with a limited data plan and $560 for a "Basic Interior Protection/Storage Pack". So, with $1,350 destination and delivery, the as-tested price of the 2023 Land Rover Defender 110 V8 is $109,970.
Let's be real---this is not the Defender you want if you want to go off the pavement into the wilds. There's just too much here that you wouldn't want to risk---too many other variants of the Defender that would do the job better. No, the 2023 Land Rover Defender 110 V8 is a street machine---badass looks and performance to match, with a price tag to ensure there aren't three people on your block who have the same vehicle. This is Land Rover fighting on two fronts---the sixes against the Wrangler and Bronco----the Defender V8 against the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. Unlikely ever to be a volume manufacturer, this is a smart strategy on Land Rover's part. It's hard to make value judgements when the price tag gets to six digits, but the Land Rover Defender 110 V8 is a prestige product and I'm sure they'll sell every one they make---likely well ahead of the end of the model year.