Land Rover is renowned for its 4x4s and SUVs, and though its models were previously quite well-defined and separate, there has been an increasing amount of crossover in recent years.
This has included the wide expansion of the Range Rover line-up, which now includes models like the Sport and Velar, as well as the introduction of the new Defender, which has become Land Rover’s most popular model.
But the new Defender has quite a lot of overlap with Land Rover’s well-loved Discovery, with both models offering a similar amount of space and capability. But what are the differences and how do you separate the two cars? Let’s take a look.
More muscular Defender styling
A key draw to the new Defender for many customers is the way it looks, with Land Rover managing to retain key styling elements of its original 4x4 for this new SUV.
While a significantly different proposition to the original Defender, it manages to retain that model’s rugged charm with its boxy, muscular design, incorporating details such as round headlights and large wheel arches.
The Discovery offers a more subtle and arguably classier design than the Defender, while still managing to retain a rugged charm.
Choice of body styles with the Defender
Choice is absolutely key to the Defender, and it’s a key reason to consider one over a Discovery, as while the latter is only available in a single, impressively practical bodystyle, the Defender is available in three.
Kicking off the line-up is the Defender 90 – a three-door model that is surprisingly compact, at least in length. The most popular model is the ‘110’, which comes with seven seats and is ideally suited to families, and also makes for a key rival to the Discovery. Above this sits Land Rover’s new Defender 130, an extended model that is longer than a Range Rover in terms of length, while because of its vast size, is able to accommodate eight passengers, more than any other SUV on the market.
Plusher interior with the Discovery
Part of the Defender’s draw is its more utilitarian feel, though Land Rover has moved this latest significantly more upmarket. However, it still feels a bit more ‘rugged’ inside, including elements like exposed screw heads, as well as hard plastic floors that are designed so that they could be washed out if you get the car absolutely caked in dirt.
But the Discovery feels like a more premium and upmarket product. All versions come with leather upholstery, while carpeted floors and plush doormats just help to give it a higher-quality feel inside.
Wider choice of powertrains in the Defender – including a plug-in hybrid
The Defender and Discovery share plenty in common, including technology and also plenty of six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines.
That said, there’s plenty more variety when it comes to powertrain choice with the Defender. The main one is that customers are able to choose a plug-in hybrid model, known as the P400e, which is ideal for business use thanks to its reduced tax rates, while also being able to travel for up to 25 miles on electricity at a time when charged, which is perfect for short journeys and commutes. The Defender is also available with a monstrous 5.0-litre V8 powertrain, which adds bundles of character to this SUV.