For myriad reasons (mostly regulatory), the unmistakable Land Rover Defender has not been sold in the United States since 1997. The new U.S.-legit 2020 Defender, however, proves the wait was well worth it—in spades.
Probably one of the more compelling new settings is a wading program that not only presets the vehicle for water-fording, but also increases ride height, closes external venting and automatically lightly engages the brakes when you’ve crossed water to help clean and dry the discs and pads.
Although Land Rover Defenders were sold in other countries through 2016, it feels like the company took a bold new approach to reinventing the legendary off-roader for its reentry into the U.S. market this year. Some would have stayed with the vehicle’s classic DNA, but Land Rover went for a thoroughly modern, clean look while still delivering the off-road capabilities fans expect. Plus, the 2020 Defender is offered in four distinct “accessory packs,” with the appropriate gear and extras: Explorer, Adventure, Country and Urban. From $49,900, landroverusa.com
Photography by: Courtesy of Land Rover