Land Rover Defender Hard Top pricing and details

  • All the latest details of the van version of the new Defender
  • Defender commercial comes in 90 (SWB) and 110 (LWB) body sizes
  • Priced from £35,820, Defender Hard Top promises amazing off-road ability, lots of cutting-edge tech 

UPDATE: We have now driven the new Land Rover Defender commercial 4x4 - read our full Land Rover Defender Hard Top review.

The commercial vehicle van version of the all-new Land Rover Defender, officially called the Land Rover Defender Hard Top, is on sale in the UK with pricing starting at £35,820 (excluding VAT). The name is a reference to the classic Defender Hard Top working model.

The new Defender commercial 4x4 is available in 90 and 110 body sizes - just like the passenger version. We've got all the latest info, including load area and trim options such as the passenger 'jump seat' that allows it to carry three people, plus the Defender van's off-road capability, 3,500kg towing capacity and other technical highlights

Described as 'Land Rover's most capable and durable commercial vehicle ever,' is it going to be worth the wait and the somewhat stiff asking price, or should you go for the commercial 4x4 versions of the Mitsubishi Shogun Sport or Toyota Land Cruiser instead?

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When was the Defender commercial launched?

The Defender Hard Top was first unveiled at the public debut of the all-new Defender passenger car during the 2019 Frankfurt motor show. Back then it was simply known as the Defender commercial, and it's taken until now for proper technical details to emerge - including the size of the cargo area and the maximum payload.

Land Rover Defender Hard Top commercial 4x4 - 90 and 110, front view, 2020

Like its predecessor, the Defender van has side windows replaced with solid bodywork, and the rear seats and carpeted boot swapped for a hard-wearing loadspace, kitted out with rubber flooring, lashing points and a full bulkhead partition complete with four hanging hooks. There's even additional lockable storage under the floor of both models, with more available in what used to be the rear seat footwell area in the 110.

The short-wheelbase (SWB) Defender 90 Hard Top has just three doors, meaning the load area is only accessible though the side-hinged rear tailgate; the long-wheelbase (LWB) Defender 110 Hard Top retains its opening rear side doors.

In both models all the rear seating is removed. The load area that replaces it is completely flat, while the 110 even has additional storage nets at the sides.

Land Rover Defender Hard Top commercial 4x4 - 110 load area, 2020

Both versions are being engineered by Land Rover's Special Vehicle Operations division, which is also responsible for creating the current Land Rover Discovery Commercial 4x4. This will continue alongside the Defender Hard Top.

Can you remove the roof like the original?

While the Hard Top name was originally used on early series Defenders in the 1950s with a 'demountable' hard top roof, the new van has a fixed metal roof, and is merely painted to follow the lines of the original.

We're sure this will come as a disappointment to some.

Land Rover Defender Hard Top commercial 4x4 2020 - rear view, 110, blue, construction site

As may do the total lack of news about a pickup truck version - there being no news about this or a longer 130 variant that might have a double-cab seating arrangement. In fact, we've heard that there almost certainly won't be an open load bed variant.

Land Rover’s already lost ground to the likes of the Ford Ranger, Mitsubishi L200 and other pickups in the years the Defender name has been off-sale, but the firm is responding with outstanding off-road versatility rather than outright practicality.

Is new Defender any good as a van?

Here’s one to give you bragging rights down the pub: the Defender Commercial’s based on underpinnings called D7x, which is a hardcore development of what’s also used in the Discovery and Range Rover. This means it is stiffer and even more capable off-road - supposedly three times as stiff as 'the best body-on-frame designs', the kind of construction every pickup rival currently uses.

So whether you’re towing up to 3,500kg, carrying up to 300kg on the roof, wading through 900mm of water or climbing up 38-degree inclines without damaging any of the Defender Commercial’s underside, it will give all of the competition a run for their money.

Land Rover Defender Hard Top commercial 4x4 2020 - D7x frame exposed skeleton

However, the single side-hinged rear door access to the cargo area may be restrictive in some circumstances. With an aperture measuring 898mm at its narrowest point, this isn't especially broad, and is a long way from the ground compared with a conventional van.

How big is the load area and what's the payload?

You can find full details of this on our dedicated Land Rover Defender Hard Top dimensions page, which also covers payload and towing capacity.

How good will it be off-road?

Both the 90 and 110 versions are fitted with an 'intelligent' four-wheel drive system and feature all-round independent coil-sprung suspension. Every pickup on-sale in the UK features non-independent rear suspension (which reduces chassis articulation that's helpful on rough off-road terrain) and most use old-fashioned (but strong) leaf springs on the rear as well.

Land Rover Defender Hard Top commercial 4x4 2020 - rear view, 110, blue, off-road, climbing rocks

What's more, the Defender 110 Hard Top is available with sophisticated air suspension, enabling it to vary its ride height for different terrains as well as deliver better on-road performance.

As a result, we've been told the Defender 110 Hard Top will have a 38-degree approach angle, 28-degree breakover angle and 40-degree departure angle at it's 'Off-Road Height' setting - which means with the air suspension.

All have a nominal 291mm of ground clearance and an outstanding wading depth of 900mm. All models will also have the Terrain Response electronic traction system, which includes a Wade mode.

What engines does the Defender Commercial have?

The passenger version of the Defender has only been on sale for about five minutes, and already Land Rover has updated the engine range - ditching the four-cylinder diesels originally on offer in low-powered versions. Lucky for van buyers, the Hard Top benefits from this change right from launch.

The Defender 90 Hard Top is only available with the D200 motor - a six-cylinder 'Ingenium' turbodiesel that produces 200hp and a stonking 500Nm of torque.

The Defender 110 Hard Top gets the option of D250 or D300 variants of the same; complete with mHEV mild hybrid technology, these offer 249hp and 570Nm or 300hp and a whopping 650Nm, respectively.

What are the trim levels?

The 90 comes only in 'rugged' Defender specification, which is basic but tough, with rubber flooring throughout.

Land Rover Defender Hard Top commercial 4x4 - under-floor storage, 2020

The 110, however, is offered in a choice of four trim levels: Defender, S, SE and HSE. These get progressively fancier outside and in, moving from cloth seats through to leather, and steel wheels through to increasingly enormous alloys.

Going top spec will prove rather pricey, though.

How much does the new Defender commercial cost?

The entry-level Defender 90 Hard Top costs from £35,820 - that's on-the-road but not including VAT. The cheapest Defender 110 Hard Top starts at £43,012 for the same.

Compared with a Toyota Land Cruiser Commercial 4x4, the Defender is going to work out quite expensive - but that isn't to say it will ultimately be poor value. But if you just want a highly capable off-road 4x4 with practicality at heart, don't be blinded by the Defender's style and brand recognition.

And if you don't think this new model lives up to the image of the old one, there's always the British-lead Ineos Grenadier, which looks like a reborn version of the original Land Rover with modernised underpinnings and BMW engines, and will be offered as a pickup...

Also read:

>> Land Rover Defender Hard Top review

>> Toyota Land Cruiser Commercial 4x4 review

>> Mitsubishi Shogun Sport Commercial 4x4 review

>> Land Rover Discovery Commercial 4x4 review

>> Ford Ranger pickup review

>> Ford Ranger Raptor review

>> Jeep Gladiator pickup review