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Did you know that the Land Rover Defender was illegal in the United States for nearly two decades? This is a little strange because the Land Rover Defender is one prestigious luxury off-roader that plenty of people would love to buy. 

Why was the Land Rover Defender illegal in the United States? 

Land Rover Defender banned in the United States
1997 Land Rover Defender 90 | Land Rover

The Land Rover Defender became illegal and was banned in the United States in 1997. Reportedly, if you’re caught with a model manufactured between 1993 and 1997, then it could be seized and destroyed. 

That is a Land Rover fan’s worth nightmare, but unfortunately, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) doesn’t mess around. That’s why it blacklisted the Defender for failing to meet increasing safety standards. 

According to Slash Gear, the 1993 Defender 110 was heavily modified to meet the safety standards set by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). 

It was outfitted with an air conditioning system, an external roll cage, a roof rack, and brush guards, making them a bit cooler than the models sold abroad. But then the 110 was replaced by the 90. 

Things were going smashingly until 1998, when new airbag regulations came into effect. Each new vehicle sold in the U.S. must have an airbag installed for the driver and front passenger seats. 

Other models, like the Land Rover Discovery, received dual airbags in America, but the Defender didn’t make the cut and was banned for failing to meet standard safety regulations. 

Also, the Imported Vehicle Safety Compliance Act made it illegal to import vehicles from overseas that weren’t sold in America. But you can import vehicles 25 years after their production date. 

When did the Defender come back? 

The Land Rover Defender 110 came back in 2020 and was followed b the Land Rover Defender in 2021. This luxury and highly capable is back and better than ever. It even hit the big screen in the James Bond ‘No Time to Die’ film. 

Now the Defender can continue making history. It was first introduced in 1983 and resembled the design of the original Land Rover that was produced three years after the end of World War II. 

The Defender proved to be so reliable in desert areas that the United States military briefly used it for testing. Plus, it was produced over two million times. 

For the first time ever, the 2023 Land Rover Defender 130 provides three rows and eight seats to offer the ability to bring the entire family on adventures. 

What comes with the 2023 Land Rover Defender 110? 

2023 Land Rover Defender off-roading
2023 Land Rover Defender 110 | Land Rover

The 2023 Land Rover Defender 110 is a four-door model. You can opt for the Defender 90 for two doors and a shorter wheelbase. The 110 can seat up to six passengers with three rows, but the Defender 130 provides more passenger space. 

It has a unibody design with a fully independent suspension. The coil spring setup can be upgraded to an air suspension with an adjustable ride height. The Defender features up to 11.5 inches of ground clearance and can ford water up to 35 inches deep. 

The standard P300 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine provides 296 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. You can upgrade to the P400 SE mild hybrid 3.0-liter V6 engine for 395 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. 

Last but not least, the supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine cranks out 518 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. It helps the Defender accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 4.4 seconds. 

If you’re in the market for a competent off-roading vehicle with luxury comfort, then the Land Rover Defender is back with plenty of options to consider.