New LCV review

Ineos Grenadier Utility Wagon test drive

The Ineos Grenadier is an impressive off-road workhorse with a surprising amount of character, and delivers on its brief of replacing the original Land Rover Defender – warts and all...


The Ineos Grenadier is an impressive off-road workhorse with a surprising amount of character, and delivers on its brief of replacing the original Land Rover Defender – warts and all...

Review overview

Overall rating


The Ineos Grenadier is an impressive off-road workhorse with a surprising amount of character, and delivers on its brief of replacing the original Land Rover Defender – warts and all...

Make and model: Ineos Grenadier Utility Wagon
Description: Large commercial SUV, with either two or five seats
Price range: from £64,500

Ineos says: “Combining rugged British spirit and design with German engineering rigour, the Grenadier is a truly uncompromising 4×4 built from the ground up.”

We say: The Ineos Grenadier is an impressive off-road workhorse with a surprising amount of character, and delivers on its brief of replacing the original Land Rover Defender – warts and all…


The Ineos Grenadier wasn’t meant to exist. Company founder, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, originally wanted to by Land Rover’s manufacturing equipment for the old Land Rover Defender, so he could continue building new versions to serve what he saw as a segment of the market that Land Rover was abandoning. Land Rover wasn’t interested.

Sitting in a London pub (which he owned) called The Grenadier, Ratcliffe devised a plan to make a highly capable 4×4 to continue the original Defender’s lineage, as opposed to Land Rover’s luxury-focused new Defender.

The Ineos Group is one of the largest chemical companies in the world, with several businesses under this umbrella. But it still faced plenty of difficulties creating a new car – and with it, a new car company – from scratch. The whole process was rather unorthodox compared to traditional automotive manufacturers. 

The original plan was to build the cars here in the UK, but that didn’t happen. Instead, Ineos bought a factory in France from Mercedes-Benz that used to churn out tiny Smart city cars. The Ineos Grenadier began production in late 2022 and is now available across the UK, Europe and a growing number of countries around the world. 

What is it?

The purpose of the Ineos Grenadier is to be an evolution of the original Land Rover Defender, bringing the same kind of utilitarian, built-to-last machinery into the 21st century – with a balance of modern comfort and technology, but without removing the functionality and ruggedness.

This is the first vehicle from Ineos so although it looks familiar, everything is new. The Grenadier is available in a few different configurations: a Utility Wagon commercial vehicle 4×4, available with either two or five seats; a Station Wagon SUV, which is designated as a passenger car rather than a commercial vehicle; and a Quartermaster dual-cab pick-up, available with a regular tray or as a chassis cab for more bespoke cargo requirements.

How does it look?

The Utility Wagon is a textbook definition of utilitarian. Short front and rear overhangs allow for good approach and departure angles for steep terrain, while the boxy bodywork maximises the available space. Given its inspiration and similar abilities, it’s no surprise the Grenadier looks an awful lot like the previous-generation Land Rover Defender. 

Get a bit closer and you can see the chunky bumpers are separated into three parts, so if one side gets damaged it can easily be replaced without tearing the entire front of the vehicle apart. 

At the back, there’s a spare wheel attached to the larger door and a ladder can be specified over the smaller door – again mimicking the specification of the old Defender. A lockable storage box can be added to the space wheel so dirty rags or items needed to be easily accessible can be stored here, it has 20 litres of room and can hold up to 15kg. The rear space opens using the smaller door first so if the vehicle is towing this still allows access to the rear without needing to uncouple the trailer. 

What can you get in the Ineos Grenadier?

The two-seat Grenadier Utility Wagon has up to 2,088 litres of load space behind the seats, while this drops to 1,255 litres in the five-seat thanks to the extra seat row. The maximum payload for the two-seat model is 871kg for the petrol model and 796kg for the diesel, while these drop to 835kg and 760kg for both the five-seat Utility Wagon and Quartermaster pick-up models in petrol and diesel, respectively.

If you need to carry a standard Euro pallet (1.2m x 0.8m), both the two-seater Utility Wagon and the Quartermaster pick-up have adequate load space. The tailgate of the Quartermaster can also take 225kg when it’s open. For the five-seat Utility Wagon, Ineos claims the cargo bay has enough room for three sheep in the back while still seating five people up front.

On top, the roof bars and rails mean larger items can be attached to the roof without needing a roof rack. It’s rated to 150kg on the move or with the rhino rack roof rack, it can hold a static load of 420kg.

It has a braked towing capacity up to 3.5 tonnes and has 5.5 tonnes of winching power. Several towing connections can be interfaced with the vehicle for different applications including fixed towballs, NATO pintle tow hitches, 50mm jaw and towballs and Class III NAS tow hitches.

Optional utility belts on the exterior of the vehicle can be used to attach equipment and accessories. These belts on the front doors can support up to 45kg and the rear doors 35kg. Utility hooks can also hold 5kg to 10kg of equipment.

What’s the spec like?

As well as the standard two-seat and five-seat versions, the Utility Wagon is also available in two higher-spec trim levels called Fieldmaster and Trialmaster – the clothing brand Belstaff is part of the Ineos Group and the trim names come from its Fieldmaster and Trialmaster jackets.

Fieldmaster includes 18-inch alloy wheels, safari windows above the driver and co-driver, leather upholstery, carpet floor mats, heated front seats and an uprated sound system. 

Trialmaster is geared towards off-roading so this trim features 17-inch steel wheels, raised air intake, exterior utility belt, access ladder and a 400W power take-off. This trim also comes with the rough pack which includes front and rear differential locks and BFGoodrich all-terrain KO2 tyres. 

Both trims come with the smooth pack featuring a rear-view camera, park assist front, heated exterior mirrors, heated windscreen washer jets, lockable central stowage box, puddle lamps, ambient door lighting and auxiliary charge points. 

What’s it like inside?

The interior is very functional with real buttons for most controls. There is a touchscreen in the centre of the dash, although it can also be controlled using a dial similar to BMW’s iDrive system. In aeroplane-esque fashion, there are more controls on the ceiling of the vehicle, where some of the specialised off-roading controls are housed. 

Everything is very easy to access and turn on and off, even with gloves on. A big plus of the interior is the ability to wash it down without worrying about messing up all of the electrics. Up to a certain point, the inside can be hosed down or wiped over and drained out through plugs in the floor which we’re pleased to report remain firmly in place and don’t let water in from the outside, even when wading. 

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come as standard and Pathfinder off-road navigation is included which is a waypoint-based guidance system. The steering wheel has a line around the centre point of the top which helps you to quickly identify which way the wheels are pointing whilst off-road. An onscreen display also shows the angle of the steering wheel in degrees from the centre either side. 

The Recaro seats make a massive difference to the overall comfort of the vehicle and whilst these are generally seen in performance cars it works well in the Grenadier. Rear space isn’t the best in class for this category but as it’s marketed as a utilitarian workhorse, it’s unlikely the rear seats will be regularly used for long periods of time. 

What’s under the bonnet?

The Grenadier is equipped with either a petrol or diesel BMW 3.0-litre turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine. Availability is market dependent but, for the UK and Europe, all versions are available with petrol or diesel power units. Both fuel types are also paired with eight-speed automatic transmissions. 

In terms of power, the fuels are closely matched but the diesel edges above as the torquier version. The petrol unit offers 282bhp and 450Nm of torque whilst the diesel has 246bhp and 550Nm of torque. Both can achieve peak torque at low revs which is ideal for off-roading and towing. 

The vehicle is built on a ladder-frame chassis and has a galvanised steel body. It runs in permanent four-wheel drive and has up to three locking differentials. As standard it comes with a central diff lock, and front and rear electronically actuated diff locks are optional. 

What’s it like to drive?

Unlike the vast majority of modern cars, the Grenadier’s steering wheel doesn’t self-right itself back to a straight position after turning. Instead, the wheel stays where you left it so this can take a bit of getting used to. You have to think back to when you passed your driving test and feed the wheel through your hands to get it on the straight and narrow again. The steering feels very light though so even off-road it can be driven with one hand. 

The Recaro seats make up for any firmness in the suspension set up. It’s comfortable over challenging terrain and it doesn’t feel like your bones have been rattled after tackling uneven ground. On the road, the ride set up is quite stiff so if it will mainly be used on-road then other rivals can offer smoother experiences but for using majoritively off-road this isn’t a concern.  

Instead, it’s the kind of car that’s so capable it makes you want to rag it around a muddy field and skid down a hill just to marvel at getting it back under control and running onto the next obstacle. As a nod to The Ineos Grenadiers road cycling team, the car has a ‘toot’ horn as well as a normal horn. The idea is to make a smaller sound to alert other road users of your presence rather than scaring them off their bikes. 

It’s got the right amount of premium features and a good heating system that even in the winter heats up the cabin quickly, especially if the car is equipped with heated seats. Another nice touch is in off-road mode, all the parking sensors get turned off so there’s no annoying beeping going through long grass or wading through water.

The vehicle comes with a wading mode as standard and has a wading depth of 80cm. The seals seem to be very adept at keeping exterior water on the outside of the car and we had no water seeping in on our wet and muddy off-road testing. Although it’s an expensive investment it feels solid and well thought out. 


Assuming you’re comfortable with the idea of buying a vehicle from a new start-up manufacturer, the biggest sticking point for the Grenadier is its price. You get a lot of off-roading capability, but you do pay for it.

The two-seat Utility Wagon starts at £64,500, while the five-seat model is £500 more. If you want to bump that up to one of the Belstaff models, the prices start at £72,500. By comparison, the starting price of a Land Rover Defender Hard Top (also rated as a commercial vehicle) is about £7,000 cheaper.

As a farming or off-road vehicle, the Ineos Grenadier Utility Wagon is well worth considering. It’s well equipped for off-roading and offers a decent level of comfort despite its utilitarian functionality. If you’re looking for an evolution of the original Defender workhorse, rather than the new version that favours luxury over utility – and your budget stretches to the Grenadier’s price point – it could be exactly what you need.

Key specifications

Model tested: Ineos Grenadier Utility Wagon
Price as tested: £65,000
Engine: 3.0-litre diesel, four-wheel drive
Gearbox: Eight-speed automatic

Power: 250 hp
Torque: 550 Nm
Max. payload: 760 kg
Max. load volume: 1,255 litres

Fuel consumption: 23.9 – 25.9 mpg
CO2 emissions: 286 – 317 g/km

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Trinity Francis
Trinity Francishttps://www.trinitygfrancis.com/
Freelance automotive journalist and motoring writer focusing on all aspects of automotive content, with particular attention to emerging trends, industry innovations, tech and consumer advice.

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The Ineos Grenadier is an impressive off-road workhorse with a surprising amount of character, and delivers on its brief of replacing the original Land Rover Defender – warts and all...Ineos Grenadier Utility Wagon test drive