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I Drove The INEOS Grenadier In Europe And It Was Almost As Old-school As The Old Defender

INEOS Grenadier is an urban warrior meant to go anywhere. Defender fans rejoice! Your hero is back under a new name

Many die-hard, Land Rover Defender enthusiast think that the INEOS Grenadier is what the new Land Rover Defender should have been. After driving one a few weeks ago, I couldn't agree more. Leave it to the British to take one of their iconic automotive names and turn it into a flashy, tech-heavy SUV that successful football players buy their wives. 

Whilst there is much to like about the neo-retro Land Rover Defender, it is a stark deviation from the British SUV's rugged, military roots. That's where the INEOS Grenadier comes in, with its properly, old-school approach to modern SUVs.  

In typical British fashion, the INEOS is British only in name 

INEOS Automotive is based in London, but aside from the Defender-inspired looks, that's where the Britishness ends. Or does it? Lately, all British legacy carmakers are either foreign-owned or rely on powertrains, borrowed from foreign carmakers (usually German).

Things aren't different here as the INEOS Grenadier features a BMW-derived, inline-six engine and a ZF eight-speed automatic, which is also German. The body-on-frame chassis is manufactured in the Magna Steyr factory, in Austria while the full assembly is performed in a former Mercedes-Benz factory, in Hambach, France. 

INEOS Grenadier is a rugged, off-roader in the truest sense 

The INEOS Grenadier was built as an off-road-first vehicle that would stand the test of time. The INEOS Grenadier is as mechanical as a modern-day SUV can be. I drove the optional model with all three locking differentials.

No complex, electronic torque-vectoring here, this is an all-mechanical, heavy-duty running gear you'll find underneath. Similar to the soon-to-be replaced, 2024 Toyota 4Runner, the INEOS Grenadier is one of very few, analog 4x4 models you can buy new. 

The most modern and electronics-riddled aspects of the INEOS Grenadier are the engine and transmission. My test car came with the more powerful, 3.0-liter turbocharged petrol inline-six.

It is the BMW B58 engine in a de-tuned state. Yes, the same unit is found in various BMW models and the Toyota GR Supra. There is also a less-powerful diesel engine on offer, also supplied by BMW. Regardless of which engine you choose, the only transmission is a ZF, eight-speed automatic. 

INEOS Grenadier 3.0 Petrol specifications 

  • Engine: 3.0-liter, DOHC, direct-injected inline-six with a single, twin-scroll turbocharger 
  • Engine output: 286 horsepower at 4,750 RPM, 332 pound-feet (450 Nm) at 1,750-4,000 RPM 
  • 0-60 MPH: 8.2 seconds 
  • Combined fuel economy (EPA): 15 MPG 
  • Curb weight: 6,000 pounds (2,700 kg) 
  • Towing capacity: 7,716 pounds (3.5 tons) 
  • Winching power: 12,125 pounds (5.5 tons) 
  • Cargo capacity: 70.63 cubic feet (2,000 liters) 
  • Ground clearance: 10.4 inches (264 mm) 
  • Approach/ departure/ break-over angle (degrees): 35.5/ 36.1/ 28.2 
  • Maximum tilt angle (degrees): 45 


2024 INEOS Grenadier

It doesn't take long to notice that the INEOS Grenadier emulates the design of the outgoing Land Rover Defender. The simple, boxy design first appeared in 1948, when it became clear that British troops needed a light, all-terrain transport. Its design was continuously improved over a span of 68 years (1948-2016). It was the 1983 to 2016 Defender that captivated fans of the rugged British off-roader most, and that's what INEOS Grenadier capitalizes on. 

The Grenadier is meant to be banged up during intense off-roading scenarios, which is why most exterior bits – mirrors, trim, bumpers – are cheaply made.  They are meant to be expendable and easily replaced. The only hints of modernity are the halo, LED headlights. Everything else about the Grenadier's exterior is as classically correct as the old Defender.  

When I first reached to get inside the Grenadier, the door button got stuck in a pressed position. I simply applied a (not-so) gentle slap on the door handle to make it pop back out. You just don't get that on modern cars!


2024 INEOS Grenadier interior

To no surprise, the interior is almost as utilitarian. While you can spec the Grenadier with leather seats, my demo car did not have them. Everything inside is meant to be abused. Just like the exterior. The seats come from Recaro and while this is no sports car, they provide a good compromise between comfort, freedom of movement, and support.

The INEOS Grenadier is highly-customizable and off-road enthusiasts would surely geek out at the roof-mounted accessory panel, which features various toggle switches for whatever equipment you choose to add. 

There is no instrument cluster, directly in front of the driver. Instead, all the information is displayed on the 12.3-inch infotainment screen. Yes, it's also a touchscreen and the system comes with smartphone connectivity, along with a plethora of cameras that give you different perspectives of your surroundings – we actually used those to get a birds-eye and underbody view while exploring a nearby forest.

Aside from the touchscreen and gear-selector, which seems to be identical to many BMW models, everything else is rugged and old-school.  

Driving impressions 

In true tradition, the old-school off-roader doesn't feel at home on the pavement. The steering is non-communicative and seems to be reacting with significant delay to your inputs. It takes getting used to. The ride is acceptable and body roll is significant as expected.

Where the INEOS Grenadier shines is off the beaten path. The further away you go from the asphalt, the happier the Grenadier is. Chassis articulation is good, and even in deep snow, I never once felt like I couldn't make it through. 

The BMW B58 straight-six engine is surprisingly strong. The way it is calibrated, it gives you continuous torque throughout the whole rev range, and I can't believe I am saying this, but it makes the INEOS Grenadier feel lighter than its 6,000-pound figure would suggest. Some credit has to go to the ZF eight-speed automatic, which is another proven unit with wide application. It also seems to be a perfect match for the BMW turbocharged inline-six.  

The INEOS Grenadier is a truly great combination of already-proven parts. The transfer case comes from Tremec, and the brakes are supplied by Brembo, and feature vented 316mm front rotors and 305mm solid ones at the rear. Speaking of stopping power, the traction control works with the controlled application of the brake. Unfortunately, these systems perform notoriously poorly in the sand.  

Pricing and availability 

The INEOS Grenadier is a global model, and from the first quarter of 2024, it's also available in the US. Prices start at $71,500, but the Trailmaster and Fieldmaster editions will, both, cost $79,190.

The unfortunate news is that all 2024 Grenadiers for the US have already been sold out. By the way, INEOS is preparing to release another model, the Fusilier – which is a smaller, all-electric 4x4, seemingly inspired by the Mercedes G-class, which has its own EV variant in the form of the EQG.


Dimitar Angelov's automotive interests made him an expert in a wide variety of vehicles. Japanese brands like Toyota are closest to his heart, although performance cars in general are his favorite segment, which is why he is constantly on the lookout for the best deals on the market. Dimitar Angelov's car passion and knack for the written word led him to complete a Master of Arts in Media and Communications, and classic car restoration. Dim is happy to get behind the wheel of any car and share his impressions. You can follow Dimitar on XLinked-inInstagram, and Facebook.