Lad Rover Defender 110 X Dynamic HSE D300 4WD 2023 Review

Defender X Dynamic HSE D300  – Regular listeners will know how much I enjoy driving the new Defender. Its one of my favourite cars.

2023 LR Defender X Dynamic HSE D300 front 2

A few weeks ago I had the X Dynamic HSE D300 model. Top spec with my favourite engine. I wasn’t disappointed.

The model I drove was priced from around $120,000 plus options to take it up to around $134,609 plus the usual costs. Now this isn’t something I ever though I would be saying, but against what else you can get as a large 4WD wagon, that’s excellent value.

The Defender drives on road like a premium SUV, almost like a Range Rover Sport. Off road it will match it with the mighty the best 4WDs around.

Inside the levels of comfort and luxury are more like a premium SUV, not a robust 4WD.

The HSE model we drove had the towing pack, Family pack and air suspension options as well as the off road pack and some really cool 20 inch dark alloys.

The Defender also fits me like no other 4WD or car. Its like it was made specifically for me with my driver position possibly the best I have ever sat in.

The in line six cylinder diesel turbo engine has 221kW of power and a hefty 650Nm of torque from as low as 1500rpm. This makes for relaxed cruising as well as excellent control off road and effortless towing.

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I’m Rob Fraser

2023 LR Defender X Dynamic HSE D300 central console and dash


Land Rover Defender X-Dynamic HSE D300 Video

More Land Rover Defender X Dynamic HSE D300 thoughts

  • There isn’t a lot I can say that hasn’t already been said. But—
  • It looks dam good.
  • And smaller than it actually is.
  • Inside is just comfortable
  • Driver visibility is exceptional
  • There are storage trays and USB ports everywhere
  • The central screen has excellent clarity and houses an abundance of information
  • Even the rear outer seats are heated and ventilated
  • They are also comfortable with more than enough room for my bear like frame
  • Boot space is adequate, but restricted somewhat by the narrow rear door.
  • The third row seats are almost useless and access is for the acrobatically inclined
  • It works much better as a five seat 4WD than a seven seat SUV.
  • The D300 diesel engine is smooth, powerful and economical and feels indestructible
  • Some more good things
    • wireless smart phone connectivity and charging is excellent
    • Headlights are brilliant (pun intended)
    • rubber floor mats are so practical
    • The way the controls on the central stack work is clever
    • I don’t use sound systems often but the Defender’s is pretty good
  • Some little niggles are
    • The transmission lever sometimes is a pain. I always prefer a direct slot style
    • The wipers have the water coming out from the wiper blades, that never gives a good coverage
    • The seat platform for the front seats prevents you tucking your left leg in sometimes
    • The steering wheel controls have delayed response
    • 20 inch alloys makes off road tyres harder to source

2023 LR Defender X Dynamic HSE D300 front grill

Defender HSE D300 final thoughts

As I have mentioned on many occasions the Defender is my favourite 4WD. It just pips the LandCruiser 300 series. That’s saying something as I’ve owned Cruisers in the past.

The D300 is my pick of the engine choices. It has more than enough power and torque for every situation. Its smooth and economical as well

The Defender rides and handles on road like a Range Rover Sport. Off road its matches it with the best and makes 4WD work ridiculously easy. Sand driving is effortless, forest trails are like a smooth dirt road and the rough stuff is covered without fuss.

The Defender is currently the best value 4WD on the market.

2023 LR Defender X Dynamic HSE D300 central screen 4 pic

What is good?

  • Ride and handling
  • 4WD and towing ability
  • Interior comfort

What is not so good?

  • The windscreen washers dribble water out of the wipers
  • Steering wheel controls have slow reaction time
  • Prefer a straight transmission lever than the push/pull style

2023 LR Defender X Dynamic HSE D300 wheels and tyres

Some more Defender articles  

Also look at:

Large 4WD Wagons have reduced in numbers over the years.

Buyers could look at Toyota LandCruiser GR Sport, Lexus LX 500D, Jeep Wrangler RubiconINEOS Grenadier, Nissan Patrol TI-L or Land Rover Discovery.

2023 LR Defender X Dynamic HSE D300 engine

Land Rover Defender 


110 X Dynamic HSE D300

Model Price$120,310 MLP*
Engine3.0L inline 6 Cyl Turbo Diesel Euro 6
Drivetrain8 Sp Sports AT Dual range 4WD
Power220kW @ 4,000rpm
Torque650Nm @ 1,500-2,500rpm
SafetyFive star ANCAP (tested Aug 2020)
0-100kmh / Top Speed7.0 secs / 191 kmh
CO2 Emissions207 g/km
Economy ADR7.9L/100km / 89L capacity
Economy on test9.2L/100k
Max Range1309km
Warranty5yr/ Unlimited km
Road side Assist5Yr. conditional roadside assist

*MLP Includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of options. Some features mentioned in the article are options. RDAP means Recommended Drive Away Price (without options but including all other charges)

2023 LR Defender X Dynamic HSE D300 interior front

Overall Rating    


Behind the Wheel9
Ride and Handling9
Fit for Purpose10
AWD/Towing Capability*10  (4WD 5/5 Towing 5/5 )
Value for Money9

*Towing and AWD capability is measured against similar vehicles in the same class.

2023 LR Defender X Dynamic HSE D300 interior space 4 pic


 X Dynamic HSE D300

Overall Length5018mm
Wheels20×8.5 Alloy
Tyres255/60 R20
Max ground clearanceUp to 228mm ( standard suspension)
Wading Depth850mm
Approach31.2 degrees
Rampover22.6 degrees
Departure angle37.8 degrees
Turning Circle KTK12.84m
Boot cargo min1075L
Boot cargo Max2380L
Boot width between  arches1160mm
Kerb Weight2405kg
Payload (kg)794kg
GVM (kg)3200kg
Towing Capacity3500kg
Tow Ball rating350kg

2023 LR Defender X Dynamic HSE D300 rear 2

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