When walking around an auto show, certain things will just stick out to you. This year, it's the 2020 Land Rover Defender interior. It's extremely well executed in terms of design, material choices and how it fits in with its brand. While there's not much demarcation stylistically between the Land Rover Discovery and the various Range Rovers, there is in abundance with the Defender. It's so much more characterful and compelling as a result. It's also more in keeping with the original two Discovery generations, and frankly, is one of the reasons the Defender looks and feels more like a Discovery successor than the actual Discovery does.
Join me on a photo tour of the Defender 90 and Defender 110 cabins. Please forgive the craptacular auto show floor interior pics.
This is the more luxurious Defender X trim. Note the open pore wood trim. I love that they look like structural pieces rather than just trim. The screw points that go through them are particularly neat.
In general, this blockier, more functional appearance is perfect for Land Rover.
Here's what that trim piece looks like in a lower trim level without wood. You can also see the under-console storage here.
There's a cool box in the center console, a rubber-bottomed tray, sizable cupholders and power bank of plugs.
The under-console storage is accessible from above, unlike most other such designs.
The climate controls are new, and the icons can only be seen when the car is on. The Defender's screen is large and easily viewed. There's also storage behind it. It's basically wedged in between the upper and lower dash portions. Neat.
The gauges, as is all the rage these days, are in fact a fully digital screen.
There's a chunky grab handle to the left of the steering wheel and even more dash storage. This car is a hoarder's paradise.
Here's a closer look at the door trim. The leather-ish material is padded and feels quite nice. Note that the exterior paint is always visible inside the door. Should be fun on more brightly colored Defenders. More screws further emphasize the rugged vibe.
Here is the four-door Defender 110's back seat. It slides and reclines. Room seems good, especially headroom.
There are USB ports and mounting points for tablets in the backs of the front seats.
Optional on the 110 is a third-row seat. If you have legs, you may want to think twice about this. I didn't even bother trying to get back there.
Here's how much "space" there is behind the raised third row.
Ah, not much. Here's how much you get when it's lowered. Pretty good, and it's boxy, so likely more functional than its numbers will indicate.
OK, now let's switch to the two-door Defender 90. Since we're talking cargo, there's not a lot back there in the 90. It's extremely tiny.
Back seat space isn't too bad, though.
Both models have Land Rover's iconic skylights over the back seat.
This Defender 90 also has a retractable cloth roof. The 110 had a panoramic glass one.
Optional on both the two- and four-door Defenders is a front middle seat.
It doesn't look particularly comfortable. Sadly, some damage to the car on the floor made it impossible to sit in this particular Defender.
As on various pickups, the folded seat doubles as as armrest. It still houses power points for rear passengers.
The middle seat is higher than the outboard buckets and the floor is raised, too.
And finally, a macro look at the cloth that lines the outer seat portions on the Defenders shown in L.A. The inner portions of the seat are leather. Basically, all the materials are very well done and appropriate for the Defender's rugged luxury vibe.
There will be those who will never think this is a real Defender. Maybe they are right. But whatever it is and whatever it's called, as a new Land Rover, this SUV really works from a design perspective.