There’s been a resurgence of retro off-road nameplates recently, almost all seemingly going after Jeep’s market. The defender, once the only competitor to the Jeep CJ, returns this year as more of a Grand Cherokee competitor. Coming to the US first as a 4 door Defender 110; the base model SUV will start at just under $50,000 with 4 wheel drive, an 8 speed automatic transmission, and a 300HP 2.0L turbo 4 cylinder engine. A 400 Hp 3.0L turbo mild hybrid I6 will be available on higher trims.
I likely won’t get to see one in person any time soon; however the numbers are rather impressive. Max payload of 1,984 lbs, static roof load of up to 661 lbs, dynamic roof load of 370-lbs, and a staggering max towing capacity of 8,201 lbs.The Defender promises a true 2 speed transfer case and an optional rear locking differential; with almost 3 feet of water fording ability, this defender will likely hold its own against other stock 4x4s. This new Defender is boxy and beautiful, but more in line with the current Grand Cherokee than the Wrangler. Standard independent air suspension means this will fit more with the overlanding crowd than rock crawlers.
It’s not the solid axle convertible I was hoping for; but worthy of the defender name in my opinion.And yes, a two door Defender 90 will also be available after launch.