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The Land Rover Defender is truly remarkable as a vehicle in the 4x4 world. It has the looks, the heritage, and the performance that any off-road driver could want. That’s as well as the performance in urban areas to be a practical day to day vehicle.

To really get the best from what the car has to offer, however, you need to start by getting the best engine for your Land Rover Defender first. To know which that is, you need to first understand what will best fit your driving requirements.

The Land Rover Defender now comes with 6 different engine options. Each of these has a crucial part to play in the performance available for your vehicle and, in fact, also affects what level of model or trim your vehicle will be eligible for, too.


Petrol Engines

Land Rover Defender Carpathian V8 Engine


The petrol engines in the Land Rover Defender are typically now either the P300 or P400 models, each of which is incredible. The P300 is the 2 litre 4-cylinder mild-hybrid engine that is available only for the Defender 130 HSE, X-Dynamic SE and X-Dynamic HSE. Like most JLR engines, it’s named as such because of its very pleasant 300bhp available and provides a great alternative to the more commonly seen D300.


The second petrol engine available in the defender range is the P400. The 400 bhp variation levels up the engine completely, offering a 3 litre 6-cylinder model with twin-turbo and mild hybrid to give a much stronger feel to the car. This is much better suited to the Defender 110 and 130, but even in the Defender 90, this is one of the best engines available and will give some serious performance.

V8 P525

Now, one more thing that is really useful to know when looking into these engines is that one of the most recent Defender editions has changed the game entirely. The new Land Rover Defender V8 offers arguably the best engine in the lineup, bringing in the all-new P525.

This 525 BHP petrol engine offers the Defender 90 and 110 a new level of performance entirely. Bringing the Defender’s 0-60mph time under 5 seconds for the first time, this astonishing new engine is the most powerful the model range has ever seen. The only downside is that it's not yet available for the Defender 130, but with so much power available to the slightly smaller models, the performance will feel even greater still providing an experience the likes of which a Defender has never seen.

Diesel Engines

Land Rover Defender X


On top of the petrol engines available for the Defender models, there is also the first of the diesel engines, the D250. This mild hybrid is again a 6-cylinder engine but sitting at just 2 litres this time, making it more economical but of course also less powerful than its D300 counterpart. The D250 is generally the most affordable engine option as well as being one of the most cost effective to run, so it certainly has its place among the rest of the engines in the lineup.


As for larger diesel engines, the better option is typically considered to be the D300. This 3 litre 6-cylinder mild hybrid is now generally the standard engine for the vehicles, replacing the now-discontinued D200 2 lite 4 cylinder which was the previous standard. The D300 again boasts over 30mpg as well as a 0-60 of 6.0-7.5s depending on the wheelbase you choose for your Defender. Realistically, the D300 is the all rounder used by every model in the range and it’s easy to see why that is.

Hybrid Engine Model Range

Land Rover Defender X Dynamic


Finally, as of 2022, we have access to the P400e plug in hybrid. Arguably the best engine for any of the vehicles because of its power, efficiency, and reliability combined, the P400e is an adaptation of the P400 engine that is a 2 litre 4-cylinder engine with the addition of an electric motor, allowing up to 27 miles of pure electric usage and bringing the overall mpg up to a staggering 84mpg or in some cases, even well over 100mpg.

This incredible combination of factors means it’s almost always going to undercut the competition and provided and unparalleled driving experience, but only for those who have the means to plug in.

So, Which is the Best Land Rover Defender Engine?

Whether it’s the power from the V8 P525, the efficiency of the plug in P400e, the low costs and high mpg of the D165 or D200, or any of the petrol engines to be quite honest, the best, any of these engines has a lot to offer your new Land Rover Defender.


Land Rover’s innovative engineering has made all of them incredible at what they do best. To find the best engine, you ideally need to find what best suits your driving. We would always recommend speaking to a member of our team over the phone, through Live Chat or in person to discuss this specifically with you and help you find the best match possible.


If you still just can’t quite make up your mind, why not book a test drive today and experience first-hand before you order your vehicle?