Land Rover Defender will return to the U.S.

Land Rover Defender two door front three-quarter viewThe Land Rover Defender, the British brand’s most rugged vehicle, will return to the United States sometime in the next few years, when a completely new model is set to debut. Jaguar Land Rover North America CEO Andy Goss confirmed this with the Car Connection at the Paris Motor Show.

Unlike other current Land Rover’s the Defender is spartan, focusing on utility and off-road ability. It’s used as a military vehicle in certain countries, and comes in a variety of body styles including a panel van, none of which have been significantly updated in years. Think of it as the Evoque’s polar opposite.

Land Rover pulled the Defender from the U.S. in 1997 because it felt that fitting airbags to comply with then-new safety standards wasn’t worth the effort. Now, U.S. sales are an important part of Land Rover’s plan for this boxy sport-utility.

Back in March, Land Rover boss John Edwards said he wanted to use the Defender to capture new markets. Edwards wanted to go after what he called the “leisure market,” or people who use their SUVs as actual utility vehicles instead of status symbols.

While current Land Rovers compete against the wares of BMW and Porsche, the Defender will compete against the Jeep Wrangler, Nissan Xterra, and (in foreign markets) the Toyota Hilux.

Building an SUV for weekend adventurers brings Land Rover full circle. Before the Range Rover, its vehicles were anything but luxurious. They were coveted by farmers and explorers, not lawyers and hedge fund managers.

The Defender will be significantly cheaper than most other Land Rovers, costing $30,000 to $40,000, and that should definitely help broaden its appeal. A convertible version seems likely and would make a great summertime alternative to a Wrangler.Land-Rover DC100

Launching the Defender in the country that birthed the Wrangler, and the SUV itself, is a great way for Land Rover to accomplish its goals. It will also give more people access to a car with Land Rover’s legendary off-road ability at a lower price.

However, the Defender will not be a low-cost Humvee for wannabe militiamen. While the current Defender is essentially a military vehicle with license plates, the new model will have more creature comforts and will be designed for civilians.

The next Defender will closely resemble the DC100 concept from the Frankfurt Motor Show, with a 21st century twist on traditionally tough styling cues.

Land Rover did not confirm when the Defender will go on sale. It could be as early as 2014, or as late as 2017.

Product Review

BMW’s smallest M car is its biggest performance statement

The BMW M2 Competition is frighteningly quick in a straight line, and its short wheelbase lends itself to some hilarious power slides, but it’s the curvy roads and tight tracks where this coupe comes alive.

Keep your driving record squeaky clean with these top-flight radar detectors

Nobody likes getting a speeding ticket, but these gadgets can help. Check out our picks for the best radar detectors on the market, from the likes of Valentine One, Escort, and Beltronics.

From rugged wagons to hot sports cars, the 2019 NY Auto Show brought it all

From city cars to supercars, anything goes at the New York Auto Show. Automakers from all over the globe traveled to the 2019 show to unveil their newest concept cars and production models.

Qiantu K50 is a Chinese electric sports car that’s coming to the U.S.

The Qiantu K50 is a Chinese electric sports car that will be marketed in the United States by California-based Mullen Technologies. The carbon-fiber bodied, 402-horsepower K50 is expected to go on sale in 2020.

Google Maps now shows EV owners which charging stations are occupied

Google has just beefed up its Maps app with extra data to help EV owners find the nearest charging station. Drivers can also find out about the number and types of ports available, and whether they're occupied.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Tesla taxis, NYC auto show, and Sony’s 8K TV

On the latest episode of DT Live, we discuss Tesla's autonomous taxi plans, a Face ID lawsuit against Apple,, choosing imperfect produce, the release of Mortal Kombat 11, sustainable fashion, and more.
Buying Guides

The best hatchbacks for 2019 are small in size and big on tech

The hatchback segment isn't huge, but there are still plenty of good options to choose from. Here, we've rounded up the best hatchbacks available in America, whether you're a fan of efficiency or looks.

WWDC 2019 Complete Coverage

Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference is a key tech event each year, and for Apple fans, it will be one of the two best times of 2019 (along with "new iPhone day," of course). For the last few years, Apple has debuted much of its…

GPS units aren't dead! Our favorite models still do things your phone can't

Love hitting the open road but hate having to rely solely on your phone for getting around? Thankfully, the best in-car GPS systems will allow you to navigate and capitalize on a range of features sans your cellular network. Here are our…

Tesla Model S and Model X charge faster and go farther with the same battery

An all-new drivetrain for the Tesla Model S and X enables the EVs to travel farther per charge than the previous design. Tesla Model S Long Range sedans have a 370-mile range and Model X Long Range SUVs can travel 325 miles per EPA cycle.

2019 Ford F-150 RTR gets a light dose of off-road, style upgrades

Vaughn Gittin Jr.'s RTR Vehicles is turning its attention to the 2019 Ford F-150 pickup truck. RTR gave Ford's bestseller new suspension components and tires, as well as more extroverted exterior styling.

Electric truck maker Rivian scores $500 million investment from Ford

Alongside Amazon, Rivian can now count Ford as one of its backers. The Blue Oval will invest $500 million in Rivian, and will use the company's "skateboard" chassis as the basis for a future electric vehicle.

The best diagnostic adapters monitor your car so you don't have to

Sometimes called dongles, the best car adapters will tell you what's wrong under the hood while help you keep tabs on your family and routine maintenance.

Volkswagen prepares its electric ID R race car for its toughest challenge yet

The Volkswagen ID R electric race car will head to the Nürburgring to set a lap record. With Romain Dumas at the wheel, the ID R will try to become the fastest electric car around the grueling, 12.9-mile long track.