The Worst SUV To Buy: Land Rover Defender

While most vehicles have minor issues, lemons or duds are still being produced.

It is no surprise that Land Rover, with the new Defender, deserves the title of the worst SUV to buy in 2022.

This article will go through everything that makes the Land Rover Defender the worst SUV.

7 Reasons To Avoid The Land Rover Defender

white land rover defender 130 dune driving

1. Electronics

Software-related problems can cause most of the vehicles’ electronics and safety features to stop functioning.

This can range from the infotainment system going on and off intermittently, lane-assist not working, cruise control not being able to function, and in some cases, the wipers of the Defender also stopping working.

2. Malfunctioning Check Engine Light

What is worrying with this is that sometimes it means something is wrong… but not all of the time. The check engine light will come on randomly.

Most of the time, it is just wiring or software issues that could lead you to ignore the occasion when there is a serious problem.

3. Faulty Door Seals

Door seals on the Land Rover Defender were misdesigned and caused wind noise and water leaks.

4. AC Malfunction

Some customers experienced problems with their AC lines failing prematurely, resulting in the AC not working.

This can be detrimental depending on where you’re driving and what time of year.

5. Parasitic Power Loss

Parasitic power loss can cause the car not to start when you need it. In most cases, this was a faulty module inside the infotainment system.

There are some customers for whom the problem still needs to be resolved, and there could be multiple issues causing it.

6. Random Vehicle Shut Offs

The car can shut off randomly while driving; luckily, in all the customer reports, the vehicle was able to restart again but will die again quickly.

7. Poorly Assembled Interior

Some interior parts are poorly assembled and can cause rattles or even break off from regular operation.

The TFLC Land Rover Defender Saga

A big automotive youtube channel, The Fast Lane Car (TFLC), was one of the first people in the USA to buy a new Defender, and they even custom-made theirs to be the basest of base models.

Steel wheels, cloth interior, basic infotainment, and the smallest engine available then, the 2.0L inline-four turbo petrol engine. 

This was to minimize any problems since there wasn’t a lot on the car to go wrong, or so they thought; after 164 miles (264 kilometers), the check engine light came on, and TFLC took it to the dealership where the Land Rover dealership made numerous tests. 

They replaced a lot of parts to no avail.

This was a constant to and from the dealership until they replaced the engine.

After Land Rover replaced the engine, the whole car’s camera system on the outside stopped working, resulting in the vehicle returning to the dealership so they could replace a new module.

During the time at the dealership, the check engine light came back on, and they couldn’t figure out why; the whole Land Rover team of engineers, even from the UK, had a gander at this specific Defender.

After that debacle, Land Rover offered them a new Defender, similar but with some added luxuries like a heated steering wheel and a heated front windscreen.

The dealer offered to put a Land Rover-specific winch on it since TFLC likes to go offroad, and it was destined to go on the first one.

Still, it was on back order, so after installing the winch and the dealership testing the vehicle for a whole day, they called TFLC to let them know that in the process of installing the winch, the one irreplaceable harness that sounded stupid for a manufacturer to make something like a wiring harness irreplaceable, was damaged.

So they would be given a third new Defender.

So far, the third one is holding up, but in the first video, it gave them a fright when it, too, had a fault code showing up that the suspension had a fault, but the error disappeared after being cleared.

This Is Our THIRD Brand New Land Rover Defender, But Will It Be Our Last?

Let’s hope for their part it holds up this time; as they say, the third time is the charm.

If you want to watch a summarised video of the first two Defenders, you can watch it by clicking here:

You Really Won't Believe What's Happening With Our Broken Defender... It's Complicated!

Final Thoughts On The Worst SUV

While the Land Rover Defender is a gorgeous-looking SUV with a lot of offroading potential, it is, like most Land Rover products, not the most reliable vehicle on the road.

You sometimes get a factory defect that gives you no problems, but that is not as often as it should be.

white land rover defender 130 dune driving rear quarter view


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Article by

Jaco Schrader

Jaco is the automotive heart of our platform. Born and raised in Namibia, he began his journey in the automobile sector in 2012. Launching his own automotive repair business in Africa and fitting a Toyota 1UZ-FE V8 in a Ford Sierra, Jaco brings over six years of hands-on automotive experience. He’s a self-taught expert in various mechanical and electrical aspects of vehicles.

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