The Best Defense: The 2023 Land Rover Defender 110 V8


2023 Land Rover Defender V8 front 3/4 view

As I made clear back in July, there's not a lot wrong with the Land Rover Defender.


2023 Land Rover Defender V8 rear 3/4 view

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...


2023 Land Rover Defender V8 hood up

2023 Land Rover Defender V8 engine

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?


2023 Land Rover Defender 110 V8 rear door open

2023 Land Rover Defender 110 V8 rear seat

2023 Land Rover Defender 110 V8 front seats

2023 Land Rover Defender 110 V8 front seat detail

2023 Land Rover Defender 110 V8 instrument panel

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.


2023 Land Rover Defender 110 V8 steering wheel and gauge cluster

2023 Land Rover Defender 110 V8 center stack

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.


2023 Land Rover Defender 110 V8 front view

2023 Land Rover Defender 110 V8 side view

2023 Land Rover Defender 110 V8 rear view

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.

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