How to understand the new Defender model range

Confused? Don’t worry, it’s a minefield. Here’s an easy summary of all the current Land Rover Defenders – including the new XS Edition and styling packs from Feb 2021

Defender Carpathian Edition grille

by Theo Ford-Sagers |

The Defender L663 comes in two wheelbases (90 and 110), each available in two body styles (normal and Hard Top commercial), so that makes four body styles altogether.

There are five powertrains, now that the plug-in hybrid and V8 have joined the range:

  1. 3.0-litre, six-cylinder diesel (MHEV)
  1. 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol
  1. 3.0-litre, six-cylinder petrol (MHEV)
  1. 5.0-litre supercharged V8
  1. 2.0-litre, four-cylinder P400e (PHEV)

All are automatic only.

The six-cylinder diesel MHEV is available in three states of tune (D200, D250 and D300), which can add some confusion.

Each engine is available in both short- and long-wheelbase models, apart from the plug-in hybrid P400e which is only available as a 110.

Land Rover Powertrain infographic

Trim levels and ‘Editions’

The Hard Tops are the most basic, and there’s a hierarchy of models rising above them in the following order: X-Dynamic, XS Edition, X, V8 and V8 Carpathian Edition – the flagship.

About 20% of all Defenders in the first year of production were First Editions, but this level has now been replaced with the XS Edition, which is available in four colours (Silicon Silver, Hakuba Silver, Gondwana Stone and Santorini Black). You’ll be able to spot one by its body-coloured lower panels and wheel arches – rather than black plastic. The XS Edition is limited to only the P400 (MHEV), P400e (PHEV) and D250 (MHEV) powertrains.

Top of the ‘standard’ (non-V8) range remains Defender X, which has unique orange brake calipers, darkened tail lamps, and Windsor leather interior.

Confusingly, the familiar S, HS and HSE specifications are now trim sub-levels, applicable only for the 110 Hardtop and the 90 X-Dynamic (see infographic below). So when you order an XS Edition, X, V8 or V8 Carpathian (or a 90 Hardtop) you don’t select S, HS or HSE trim. If it sounds complicated, that's because it is… but this infographic explains it.

Defender family infographic

Lifestyle Accessory Packs and Style Packs

Land Rover offered 170 Defender accessories from launch, grouped into four Lifestyle Packs, which are available across the complete Defender model range.

Adventure Pack: To equip the Defender ‘for time spent in the wild’

Urban Pack: ‘For the concrete jungle’

Explorer Pack: To ‘confront the unmapped extremes’

Country Pack: To go ‘effortlessly off the beaten track’

An additional three packs (entirely cosmetic) have been added for the 2022 model year, making the exterior even more customisable.

Bright Pack: Available on all models, this adds Noble Chrome finish to the front and rear skid plates, grille bar and badging.

Extended Bright Pack: This adds an additional Ceres Silver finish to the lower body cladding.

Extended Black Pack: Only available for the X, X-Dynamic and V8 models, this provides a Gloss Black finish to various exterior details, including skid plates, grille bar, lower body cladding and wheel arches.

It may seem superficial, but the ability to customise the appearance of the Defender is what customers want, says Land Rover. According to David Hemming, the Defender's Programme Chief, ‘Defender is a unique combination of character, capability and durability in a single vehicle – an appeal made stronger by the breadth of its personalisation.’

Apparently more than half of online configurations include accessories. We don’t know what proportion of Defenders are actually ordered with them, but Land Rover has described it as ‘incredibly high’.

Defender XS Edition
Defender XS Edition, which replaced the First Edition
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