We had so much fun testing the new 2021 Land Rover Defender with our family! It's a great looking seven-seat four-wheel-drive that feels exciting to drive, unlike a lot of seven-seat family cars! In fact, it's the total opposite and it makes you feel like you're still cool!! So let's put it through our BabyDrive testing and see if this rugged off-roader is also practical as a family car!
Well, let's just start with the seating. I can vouch for there being enough space between two child seats in the second-row for an adult to sit as I had to sit there between my girls and it was very comfortable! There are two sets of ISOFix points and three top tether anchorages in the second-row seats and three child seats fit easily across that second row.
There are no top tether anchorages in the third-row seats of this four-door ‘110' version (there's a shorter 2-door '90' Defender as well) so you can't install any child seats back there. However, the seats are comfortable and headroom is good but legroom is really lacking. I could just sit in the third-row and my legs were cramped (I'm 162cm).
You can distribute the legroom quite well throughout the Land Rover Defender. We found with me in the third row (162cm) and a rear-facing child seat in the second row, a 175cm passenger can sit in front. Or with me in the third-row and a forward-facing child seat in the second row, a 182cm passenger can sit in the front.
But you cannot step through to the third row if you have a child seat installed in the second-row seat that tilts forward to let you in.
Storage in the cabin of the Land Rover Defender is very inventive with nets, bands and shelves all over the place, it is good in all three rows. In the third row, there is a net perfect for holding an iPad and an elastic strap that's perfect for a water bottle or fire extinguisher would possibly fit there if you are going on a camping trip. There is a cup holder too that will hold a coffee cup or refillable water bottle.
The boot door even has storage!
In the second row, there are map pockets and mounts for media screens on the back of both front seats as well as USB and 12V sockets. There are second-row cup holders and door bins that will hold a large refillable water bottle.
The front dash of the Defender has a shelf that runs the length of it, even behind the media screen which was really useful.
The central console has great storage with a shelf underneath great for your bag or shoes. Cup holders, cordless phone charging tray and complete with chiller cabinet!
Storage is well catered for in the front but the door bins are very disappointing and will not hold a large refillable water bottle and so you have nowhere for your water bottle in the front if you're using the cup-holder for coffee.
One of my favourite features about the Defender is that you can raise and lower the height of the car using buttons in the boot, making loading and unloading easier.
You can check the height of the vehicle when you are going into multi-storey car parks in the dimensions screen, which I found really handy.
You can also control the air-conditioning in all three rows of the Land Rover Defender through the media screen which is fantastic and gives you ultimate control over the comfort of your little rear passengers. Especially if you have small children or bigger kids that will fight over the controls!
The rearview mirror of the Land Rover Defender has the option to be a camera view, which I found takes a little getting used to as you are expecting to see your children reflected back at you! The camera image is lovely and clear and I found I kept flicking between the two images.
The camera image quality within the media screen is excellent, you have an off-road camera too which is good for going through water. And there's also a towing camera.
The media system is modern and simple and easy to use
It has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto too.
The interior of the LandRover Defender is very rugged and feels like you have bolted together your Meccano set, with raw bolts and sweep-out rubber floors which are really practical for families to easily get out the sand etc from beach trips.
There is a child lock button on the driver's door, it locks the rear doors and windows so you don't need to worry about little passengers in the back fiddling with them while you are driving and you can touch-open and lock the Defender from any door with the key in your bag or pocket which I found really helpful when going to and from the car with the children.
Boot space is pretty practical for families and when using only five seats the Defender 110 will hold 14 shopping bags, although the Nissan Patrol and Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series will both hold eighteen shopping bags.
A double, single and twin or tandem pram fit in the boot of the Defender with good amounts of shopping bags.
However, when using all seven seats we could only fit three shopping bags in the boot and no prams would fit, just a compact stroller.
The New 2021 Land Rover Defender 110 is a fun and enjoyable car to drive and gives the school run a new element of cool!
The Land Rover Defender scored a five-star ANCAP safety rating in 2020 and comes with dual frontal, side chest-protecting for the first row and side head-protecting (curtain) airbags for both the first, second and optional third row are standard.