Land Rover is a brand synonymous with sheer off-road capability.
Even the “softest” of the SUVs among the growing, modernized Land Rover lineup pack that legendary four-wheel drive reputation that stems all the way back to 1948. As it stands with the new Defender, though, we certainly aren’t talking about a soft-roader. This is the model whose heritage truly stretches back to the old Series I, though this new generation has been thoroughly refined. There’s a new body style, updated interior and substantially more technology than the older model. With the modern makeover, though, is the Defender still representative of the best four-wheel drive car you can buy? To find out, Tommy puts it through the TFL Slip Test against a more conventional family crossover, the Toyota Highlander.
As part of the TFL slip test, Tommy parks an all-wheel drive car up on rollers in various configurations. That simulates what would happen on the road, say if you hit a patch of ice or tricky condition where one or several wheels lose traction. The most difficult among them is the “three-wheel” test, wherein only the right-rear wheel is on solid ground. The others are on rollers, so the car has to work out how to route power to pull itself off.
Check out the video below to see how our new Defender performs, as well as the 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE.