Land Rover Defender Hard Top Review 2024

Land Rover Defender Hard Top At A Glance


+Brilliant to drive on- and off-road, comfortable and high tech cabin, intelligent load area, 'jump seat' option allows the Defender to carry three adults in the front.

-Expensive to buy and run, not as practical as the class leading pick-ups, no load-through hatch for the bulkhead.

Comfortable, refined and practical, the Land Rover Defender Hard Top is one of the best 4x4 vans. Purists may baulk at the price and chunky styling of the Defender commercial but we rate it as a brilliant all-rounder. If you want a classy 4x4 van then look no further. 

The Land Rover Defender Hard Top is similar to the Toyota Land Cruiser Utility Commercial, with the rear seats removed and replaced with a flat load area. Unlike its rivals, the Defender commercial gets proper loadspace panelling and the option of 'jump seat' that provides space for three adults to sit in the front. 

The commercial version of the Defender is mechanically identical to the standard model, which means it is a brilliant off-roader. All versions are fitted with four-wheel drive, independent front and rear suspension and Land Rover's famous Terrain Response 2 system that automatically directs power to whichever axle or individual wheel that needs it most. 

Unlike the old Defender, the latest model is also brilliant to drive on-road. The ride quality is smooth and potholes are suppressed to a soft thud. Corners can also be taken with confidence, thanks to the perfectly weighted steering. Power is supplied by a range of six-cylinder diesel engines that produce 200PS, 250PS or 300PS - all are linked to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, as standard, and tow limits peak at a hefty 3.5 tonnes. 

The Defender is available in two sizes: a long '110' wheelbase or a short '90' wheelbase. Payloads for the 110 range from 778-800kg while the 90 will carry up to 670kg. The loadspace has lots of useful storage points and tie hooks, too, which means you can stow tools under the load floor and prevent heavy items from shifting. 

The Defender Hard Top van is the cheapest model in the Defender line-up but it is still an expensive commercial vehicle. Prices start in the region of £36,000 for the 90 and £44,000 for the 110. However, if you want a rugged 4x4 vehicle that will give your business an upmarket and professional image then the Defender is difficult to beat.

The most obvious criticism that can be lobbed at the Defender is the fact that premium pick-ups are cheaper to buy and more practical. However, while the Mercedes-Benz X-Class and Volkswagen Amarok are worthy alternatives, with five seats and better loadspace, neither can match the Defender's style or performance.

Ask Honest John

What's the best SUV with all-wheel drive?

"What would you say is the best and most fuel-efficient SUV with all-wheel drive? I absolutely love manual cars but will consider automatic. Been looking at regular and plug-in hybrids. Is a 350-mile range realistic? "
The new Mazda CX-60 could be a good option. It's a four-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid SUV with an electric range of up to 39 miles – like all PHEVs, you will need to charge it regularly to get the best from it, though. If you actually need to go off road, a Land Rover Defender P400e or smaller Land Rover Discovery Sport P300e could be a good alternative.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What is best alternative to a van?

"I am a kitchen and bathroom fitter and I am fed up with vans, what's the best car to use? "
Probably a commercial SUV, like the Toyota Land Cruiser, Land Rover Defender or Dacia Duster. These have two or three passenger seats in the front and a large, flat load space in the rear.
Answered by Dan Powell
More Questions

What does a Land Rover Defender Hard Top cost?