New Land Rover Defender white side view

Freeman Reviews the New Defender

What is it like to drive the new Land Rover Defender?

As I set eyes on the new Defender, it felt surreal to see it in person. The wait was over and the anticipation high. Would it just be a Discovery in Defender clothing? I waited for paperwork and the normal dealer items to come through. I just stood there gazing at various angles taking in the amazing lines. Rover had really pulled it off. They had captured the old lines with the soft additions of a modern look. I was literally feasting my eyes on modern art from a bygone heritage.

New Land Rover Defender white front view

First impressions of the new Land Rover Defender

I began my first trip in the all new 2020 Defender HSE heading out to the Nevada state border to sign papers. I was looking for ride quality like I had experienced when I bought the new 2016 Range Rover Diesel full size. I caught myself holding my breath as I headed down the freeway. Could it actually be true? The air suspension was giving the ride of luxury in what was supposed to be the ultimate off road vehicle of all time. I had both extremes in my hands.

On top of looks and ride quality, the sense I was tucked in a quiet zone free to think captured me. I am extremely sensitive to noise levels. I want to arrive at my destination rested and ready to engage with people. The new Defender allows for this down time in its spa-like peaceful zone. But wait, as I turned the sound system on, I found myself transported into a concert hall. I was engulfed in rich sounds that moved my motivation levels to take on just about anything.

New Model Debut: Hummer EV

My son Kyle and I were spending some time around Palm Desert, California vacationing when we picked up the Defender. We noticed that we had become instant celebrities. People shot pictures as I am assuming the car and not me because this has not happened while driving my normal car. Beware, random people will walk up and want to talk to you about this beautiful vehicle and the fond memories they have had with Rover. Plan for extra time when going anywhere!

As we headed up from Palm Desert to Lake Oswego, Oregon, Kyle and I stopped along the way sightseeing. In the mountains, Kyle noticed some roads off in a distance. Dad, let’s take this thing off roading and see what it can do. I was reluctant as we had not even reached the 1000 mile mark. But, then I thought, start living Eric. This is what this vehicle was built for. Plus, what fun it would be to experience this with Kyle. So, we did! Heading back into the bush, it quickly became apparent that the suspension I had loved so much on the road was performing with ease off the road. In fact, one would question, am I off road? The ride and capability were without question not phased one bit by the rocks, ruts, mud, and climbs. It was business as usual. We left amazed at the vehicle but also the beauty the Rover capably took us to see.

All-wheel drive models in Portland

New Land Rover Defender back view

How is the Defender off road?

The features Rover put thought into found me wanting nothing but to keep driving on past home. The electronics have been taken beyond our time. The use of cameras everywhere helped us to navigate safely. We constantly used the heated steering wheel and seats. Rover put thought into spaces in the dash for all our phones, snacks, and junk plus cup holders. A container sits in the back to wash off our muddy shoes before getting back in the car from hiking. I could literally go on and on but I think the best use of words might be, “JUST GO BUY ONE”.

Test driving tips