2022 Land Rover Defender 90V8 Review: More Power, More Characters

The 2022 Defender V8 is the same 5.0-liter supercharged chunk found throughout the Land Rover range. It produces 518 horsepower and 461 pound-foot torque. This added power helps reduce the D90’s 0-60 mph acceleration time (5.7-4.9 seconds) by almost 1 second. This is despite the weight gain of about 400 pounds over the Defender 90X with the I6. that too.

Point the defender’s nose straight and nail the throttle to avoid laughing.Beyond the pure thrill of firing such a heavy SUV so fast, releasing the throttle causes the V8’s exhaust to pop out and rattle-perhaps this is Jaguar. F type sports car. However, you need to be careful. The EPA estimates that the Defender 90 V8 will return a sum of only 15 mpg cities, 19 mpg highways, and 16 mpg, and frequent accelerator pedaling can bring you closer to these numbers. lose. Ask me how you know.

Land Rover has added a dynamic mode to the Defender V8’s terrain response system to enhance its adaptive dampers and improve throttle response. The V8 model also has an electronic limited slip rear differential and a large anti-roll bar, but don’t expect this to turn the defender into a corner car bar. With tall proportions and a short wheelbase, the 170.2-inch long Defender 90 is tippy to say the least, but the standard Continental CrossContact all-season tires have a fair amount of grip.

These all-season wrap the 22-inch wheels, behind which are the 14.9-inch front brake rotor and the 14.3-inch rear brake rotor (with teal calipers!) To better manage the extra power of the V8. .. This wheel and tire package is clearly not suitable for the kind of all-terrain features normally associated with Defenders, but given that this SUV is more fashionable than anything else these days, that’s a problem.

What’s more, if you want an off-road adventure, Land Rover offers a smaller 20-inch wheel option with off-road tires for just $ 350. This allows you to explore the complete ubiquitous capabilities of the Defender 90, especially with standard air suspension that can be raised to a maximum ground clearance of 11.4 inches. Combined with the 37.5, 40.0, and 31.0 degree approaches, departure, and breakover angles, respectively, not many SUVs can touch the Defender 90’s off-road chops. The torque added from the V8 only enhances its capabilities. Can’t you get over that hill? Place the damn thing on the floor.

2022 Land Rover Defender 90V8

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2022 Land Rover Defender 90V8

The V8 model comes with a steering wheel wrapped in suede.

Stephen Ewing / CNET

Small wheels and tires are one of the only add-ons for the Defender 90 V8. It’s basically fully loaded from the beginning. The available Country Pack ($ 2,200) offers mudflap and underbody protection, and the Extended Black Exterior Pack ($ 1,200) darkens much of the outer trim. The V8 model is boringly limited to three colors: white, black and gray. The test car depicted here is the Defender V8 Carpathian Edition, which is only available in a matte gray and gloss black two-tone scheme.

Interior options are similarly limited, and the only choice you have to make is whether you want black or tan upholstery. The V8 model has a trimmed steering wheel in Dynamica suede, but I personally hate it because it gets bigger after a few months of use. Meanwhile, the 10-inch touchscreen features Land Rover’s new hit oramis Pivi Pro infotainment system. This is what you see in other defenders. With lots of mold storage throughout the cabin, the seats are very comfortable and the rear bench is not difficult to access with this 2-door Defender 90 configuration. If you carry people on a regular basis, you can also get the 4-door Defender 110 with a V8 engine.

The V8 is Defender’s top spec, so it comes with Land Rover’s best driver assistance technology suite. Full-speed adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, 3D surround view camera system, blind spot monitoring, lane keeping assistance, traffic sign recognition-everything is here. Again, with a base price of $ 105,750, including $ 1,350 for your destination, I’m not expecting anything more.

The two-door Defender 90 has better off-road geometry than the longer Defender 110.

Stephen Ewing / CNET

Limited configurability is a major issue, especially for personality-driven SUVs. Defender’s closest rival, Mercedes Benz G class. Yes, G-Wagen costs tens of thousands of dollars, but it also exudes coolness in a way that defenders can’t quite match. If you’re happy with your money, you’ll have a hard time choosing Land Rover over Mercedes just because you can specify a G.

Still, there are many reasons to like a defender-it’s more capable than most other SUVs, and it’s also at home on rocky trails and mall parking lots. The V8 option only enhances the experience, and a 6-digit asking price is appropriate. After all, it’s hard to price a character, which the Defender 90 V8 offers in spades.

update: Earlier versions of this story described torque output as 625 lb-foot. This is what you see on Land Rover’s US consumer site. The correct specification is 461lb-ft, which is reflected in the text.

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