Review from an Oz off-road mag: https://www.unsealed4x4.com.au/does-the-all-new-defender-suck-we-drive-it-in-namibia-to-find-out/
"Where The All-New Defender Stands Out
When the terrain gets rough, the 2020 Land Rover Defender rides better than any other stock 4WD I’ve tested, over almost any surface. It’s better than segment competitors like the Jeep Wrangler with its softly-sprung solid axles, and it’s even better than the desert-bashing Ford Raptor and its three-inch diameter Fox internal-bypass shocks. ...
That impressive ride quality sets the rest of the tone for the all-new Defender—it’s perhaps the most-comfortable way to travel off-road in mildly technical terrain. Performance over undulating boulders and rocks is impressive, with the suspension reacting hundreds of times per second to the current conditions. The Defender is nothing less than surefooted and inspires confidence in everyone from the most-novice weekend warrior to the professional off-road driver; though those with more experience may find the driving experience a bit more “digital” than they’re used to. ...
Where We’re Concerned
Historically speaking, Land Rover doesn’t have the best reputation for reliability, but it is important to know that aside from a few pre-production issues I experienced, the Defenders I personally drove in Namibia gave me zero reason for concern. Reliability on the other hand is something that has to be earned with time, so I cannot comment on that. It is worth noting that as a brand Land Rover is much more reliable than it used to be, currently echoing the golden era of reliability for Toyota, according to America’ Consumer Reports. ...
Proving Its Mettle (Dirt Road Performance)
... On a closed course section of Namibia’s finest corrugated gravel, we were cruising near triple-digit speeds while having a casual conversation about our jet lag; at which point we decided it was best to slow down as neither of us could tell an Oryx from a Kudu, and when they say road hazards are real in Africa—they mean it. The speed and comfort in which you’re able to cover ground in the all-new Defender is unprecedented. Modern day explorers who find themselves on rugged dirt roads in the middle of nowhere more than they do the Rubicon Trail need to take note of the Defender. Hands-down, it’s the most comfortable way of getting from A to B in the backcountry.
Van Zyl’s Pass (Technical Terrain Performance)
... The Defender’s traction control is class-leading, minimally intrusive, and quick to react, thanks to the the now customisable Terrain Response system that allows you adjust everything from steering feel to throttle sensitivity. Sure, you can’t go and tell the system to completely lock your differentials, but in my opinion, that binary school of thought is out-dated. What if I don’t want my differential completely locked because I want to be able wiggle my way through obstacles and actually be able to turn? ...
Within less than a hundredth of a single wheel rotation, the Defender’s traction control system was able to apply brake pressure to prevent wheel spin and enable traction on the more challenging sections of Van Zyl’s Pass. Terrain Response communicates with the suspension which is capable of both cross-linking the airbags to allow it to function as if it had a solid beam axle—another reason the Defender is so sure-footed.
Overall, the Defender exceeded my expectations on technical terrain, but let’s be realistic, if you’re buying a new vehicle for the sole purpose of turning it into a rock crawler, you’re going to, and should, buy a Jeep Wrangler. If you’re an explorer who doesn’t want to turn back when the going gets rough, then the Defender is all aces.
Skeleton Coast (Mud, Water, Sand)
... You couldn’t imagine a worse environment for a pre-production vehicle, especially a Land Rover Defender. Dust. Mud. Sand. Water over the hood. Repeat. We would be wearing all of them in triplicate had we been in a classic Defender. We must have had over a hundred water crossings that day, and let me tell you that the Defender didn’t have a single issue. Sure, we had to pull out the winch, we had multiple tire failures, and we lodged a rock in the brake caliper. But it was real four-wheel driving—this is the kind of stuff that is supposed to happen. ...
Frankly, I’m surprised we made it through them all, the Defender really has the capability of putting power down in a controlled way that few other vehicles can match.
Somewhere in the Hoarusib River Canyon, a place I never thought I’d be, driving a vehicle I never thought I’d see, the all-new Defender finally made sense to me. It isn’t supposed to be a replacement for its former self. It’s supposed to be an all-new vehicle for an all new world—for an all-new buyer.
The only thing that remains the same? There’s no finer way to travel the world than behind the wheel of a Land Rover Defender.
Should You Buy It?
If it turns out to be reliable, I can’t think of a vehicle I’d rather take on a legitimate expedition. It is powerful, comfortable, and depending on the engine selected, economical. While there are more time-tested vehicles available, none would be able to get the job done with a better balance of efficiency, safety, and comfort, while carrying more than anything else in its segment."