Land Rover Australia is proud to announce that the Defender has won 2022 Drive Car of the Year Best Upper Large SUV. According to Drive’s Managing Editor Trent Nikolic, cars in this category need to be comfortable and spacious, capable on-road, practical and well-equipped, while also being able to tackle any track off-road, tow with competence and efficiency, and be the ultimate outback touring vehicle. This category covers the biggest breadth of capability in the Australian market and it “takes an accomplished machine to win the Drive Car of the Year Best Upper Large SUV award”.

Scott Maynard, Managing Director, Jaguar Land Rover Australia, agrees that “It’s a tremendous accolade to win 2022 Drive Car of the Year – Best Upper Large SUV, and a real testament to our designers and engineers with millions of kilometres of endurance testing. The Defender is so right for the Australian consumer. It’s a real go-anywhere SUV – the breadth of technology, comfort and durability of the vehicle, both on-road and off-road, is exactly what customers want, particularly while Australians are spending more time travelling within our amazing country.”.


In Trent’s recent article of this coveted award, he describes the vehicle as “a brilliant modern-day rebirth of an off-roading icon [which] will introduce a whole new generation to the Defender name”.

After clocking tens of thousands of kilometres testing the new Land Rover Defender on and off-road, Nikolic said “every time we get behind the wheel it impresses us with its consummate blend of quality, refinement and ability”. It proved its capability under all conditions “without compromise”.

The design and execution of the cabin was praised as “nailing the brief”, with the driving experience providing “a high seating position, excellent visibility, and powerful, effortless performance”. With a range choice of petrol or diesel, long or short wheelbase, there’s a Defender to suit any use, “whether you intend to cross the continent or simply run around town”.


The luxury and quality the Defender delivers to the driver was highlighted as part of the win, with the judges getting “a sense that the design and engineering team knew exactly how serious the job was”. And the way the Defender transitions from on-road to off-road “without raising a sweat” also impressed. Ultimately the judges found the Defender to be “the quintessential Land Rover – stylish, beautiful to drive on-road, [and] incredibly capable off-road”.

Defender has garnered more than 70 international awards since launching in 2020, with its class-leading duality raising the threshold for off-road ruggedness and on-road comfort.
Underpinned by Land Rover’s strong D7x aluminium platform – the brand’s stiffest-ever body structure – advanced all-terrain technologies and state-of-the-art powertrains deliver unstoppable capability. Its carefully honed handling delivers a rewarding drive and first-class comfort across all terrains.