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The Land Rover Defender is an impressive all-terrain machine, at 11.5 inches, with better ground clearance than the two Toyota 4Runner and Jeep Wranglercan reach speeds of 149 mph and drive through water nearly 3 feet deep, all for less than half the price of Mercedes G-Wagen. All of this is why it’s an Autoblog Editors’ Choice with a score of 8.5 out of 10. But can you sleep in it?
Your first thought might be, why? And that’s a valid question. Most cars aren’t designed with sleeping in mind, but a lot of people do, whether out of necessity or as an easy way to get out and about camping without having to pack a tent. I myself have time and again fell into the latter category, most recently leaning against the back room 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek for a week-long camping trip. That trip was fine, but we’re not here to talk about an 8-year-old Subarulet’s see how Defender fare.
The most important thing when you’re camping in a car is whether there’s enough space in it for you and possibly your partner to lie down comfortably. This also depends on whether the seats fold flat, which is the case in the Defender 110. Once down, there’s about 64″ of vertical space from the door to where the seat cushions are folded forward, as you can see in the picture above. 64 inches is not much, even to me, a relatively short guy of only 5’7″. Thankfully, the forward-folding cushion acts as a nice pillow allowing you to get a few extra inches before you hit the front seat. If you don’t mind your feet dangling a bit and you put your head towards the back of the car, you have more room, about 77 inches worth, or the length of a full-size mattress.
If you happen to be doing most of your camping alone, you’re in luck. By lying diagonally, you have significantly more space, 76 inches in fact.
In terms of width, at its narrowest point, the Defender measures 45 inches across, sitting right between the width of a double mattress and a full mattress, which is a solid volume for two people sleeping side by side in a car. The Defender is also a bit wider towards the center of the car if you need space.
Height is something that doesn’t get much consideration when you’re sleeping in your car, but I can tell you from firsthand experience that waking up in the middle of the night and banging your head against the ceiling when you sit up does nothing. both interesting . Thankfully I don’t have that problem at Defender, at as low as 36″, enough room to allow me to sit up an inch or two straight to spare.
When I go camping, most of my day is spent hiking, fishing, or taking photos, and I usually carry my phone with me. That means at the end of the day I need to charge it, which is usually when I can use a power brick. Thankfully in the Defender that’s not necessary as there are multiple ways to charge your phone in the rear, including two 5-volt USB ports on the back of the front seats, two more USB-C ports near the bottom of the center console in the rear. and three 12V auxiliary power outlets, one at the back and two beside the USB-C port.
I tested these with the car off and they all work, so you don’t need the car running to charge your phone. That being said, plugging in multiple accessories and charging them while never turning on your car is a great way to end a long camping trip. the batteryand even though it’s unlikely, you might just want to play it safe.
The storage is one area where the Defender really shines, from the front all the way to the back. In the rear of the car, there are plenty of places to stash your stuff, including mesh netting on the passenger side of the cargo area and a pocket in the rear door. Next to the rear side window are two elastic cord loops, each of which fit perfectly on a 32-ounce bottle of Nalgene and perfectly with a 48-ounce bottle of Nalgene for you those thermos out there. There’s extra storage on each door, including four on the 110, and storage in the back of the seat for small things like tablets. There are also some hooks around the cabin allowing you to hang it anywhere you like.
Finally, since the full-size attachment is attached to the back door, if you lift the floorboards of the cargo area, you’ll find more storage space for items you don’t need to immediately reach. ie.
My favorite storage accessory on the front of the center console: built-in refrigerator, which will keep your drinks and food cold for a long time road trips, though I would still bring a cooler if you plan on camping, since it’s small. I was able to fit six 12-ounce cans, along with a box of SnoCaps inside, and it was as full as it could be. My 48-ounce Nalgene is an unmissable choice.
There are very few vehicles on the market with as many windows as the Land Rover Defender. With a huge sunroof, four additional alpine windows, a front and rear windscreen and eight separate side windows, the Defender’s interior is open and airy and feels a lot more spacious than its predecessors. with practice, both when sitting inside while driving and when parking in a camping area.
While Defender is a great vehicle for sleeping, it’s far from perfect. All 15 windows that make the conservatory feel airy and much larger than it actually is also need to be covered if you want any form of privacy or want to sleep through the dawn. It’s a seemingly tedious, albeit easy, fix that almost anyone can do with the help of a tutorial on YouTube. Also, at 65 inches long, the flat portion of the interior can feel a bit cramped, especially for people much taller than me.
However, the biggest criticism I’ve come across is that there’s no way to open the tailgate from inside the car. Mine Crosstrek suffered the same problem. In the morning, there is nothing better than being able to just press a button on the key or inside the car and open the rear door, opening the sights, sounds and smells of nature with it.
All things considered, for a car not designed for sleeping, the Defender 110 is a comfortable place to lay your head for a night or two, especially if you have a nice mattress and a sleeping bag or duvet. for cold days. night, that’s why we rated it 4 out of 5 Zs.