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In-depth reviews

Land Rover Defender – MPG and running costs

Diesels all sit between 28 and 30mpg, petrols are more like 20-24mpg. Plug-in models will do 109mpg – if you believe the spec sheet

Evo rating
Price
from £63,585
  • A clever, forward-looking reboot of the original
  • Heavy; expensive; petrols are thirsty

It will probably not surprise you to know the likely associated costs of running a new Defender are, like the rest of its numbers, big. Thanks to an EU weight of between 2140kg and 2708kg, it’ll chew through wear and tear components such as tyres, bushes and its brake hardware faster than lighter rivals.

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The other effect of big weight figures is high fuel consumption, and across each of the petrol and diesel power ranges there’s generally the same amount of fuel used regardless of output. Petrols are rated between 22-24mpg, although anything in the 20s in our experience is a good result. Diesels then range between 28 and 32mpg, depending on specification, but again consumption in the real world is more like 25-26mpg. Opt for the V8 petrol and claimed fuel economy tanks below 20mpg.

The reason for this broad equalisation is that the more powerful engines might inherently consume more fuel, but less powerful models have to work just that much harder to actually make progress.

The only unknown at this stage is the P400e plug-in hybrid, which has a 109mpg on-paper rating, and a 30-odd mile electric range. Given the similar weight stats to the Range Rover plug-in, we’d suggest this would be more like 20 miles in the real world, with the car dipping to the mid-20mpg range when used as a typical hybrid.

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