As opposed to the Series and Defender as we know it, the all-new model has swapped the body-on-frame construction in favor of Land Rover's stiffest unibody yet.
Revealed in September 2019, even Richard Hammond appeared surprised by the British automaker's decision to turn the off-road warrior into a glorified SUV. Six months after the world premiere, Land Rover has allowed the motoring media to publish their reviews of the all-new generation – codenamed L663.
Three British publications – namely Top Gear, Autocar, and Carwow – spent some time behind the wheel of the Defender in Namibia as well as the United Kingdom. What these three reviews have in common is the verdict. As you'd expect from British journalists and a British overlanding icon, all three gave their thumbs up.
Uhm, right! Top Gear's reviewer says "we got a couple of flat tires" at the 17:05 mark, then at 20:10, you can hear him say "we didn't even get a flat tire." Autocar claims the existence of a V6 under the hood instead of an inline-six at 8:35, and as for Carwow, the driver's door has "almost broke" the reviewer's leg.
In any case, there's no escaping the fact that Land Rover took the Defender in a more mainstream direction. The unibody construction and air suspension may be to the liking of those who spend more time on the blacktop rather than the trail, and looking at the bigger picture, these people account for more sales than the enthusiasts who are willing to take the Defender off-road as often as possible.
It's also worth highlighting that Land Rover doesn't have the most impeccable reliability record in the business. The added complexity of the all-new model as opposed to the body-on-frame predecessor will surely translate to quite a few problems in the first years of production, more so if you remember than the Ingenium straight-six engine in the P400 is a mild hybrid with an e-supercharger and a twin-scroll turbo.