5 things you need to know about the Land Rover Defender 90

T​he Defender is easily one of the most iconic SUVs but what is it actually like?

5w ago

W​ritten by: Rahil Hashmi

P​rior to its release, the Defender was easily one of the top three most anticipated vehicles and this comes as no surprise.

T​he history of the Defender actually spans well over 70 years meaning it’s safe to call the new car important. Recently, I had the opportunity to test it - here are 6 things you need to know about the new Defender.

Incredibly high driving position

A​s with most other SUVs, one of the Defender’s main strengths is its high driving position. It’s usually really difficult to tell how big a car is by looking a photo which is why I parked the Defender right next to my BMW X6.

The X6 is an incredibly large car however it looks minuscule when parked next to the Defender. At almost 2 metres tall, the Defender is close to 30cm taller than the X6 - it is huge.

Y​ou certainly notice this when behind the wheel - my mother even went as far as saying it was like “being in a double-decker bus”.

Looks like nothing else on the road

Although it’s a completely new design for Land Rover, it e​mbodies the spirit of Defenders from the past. The product of this is a body which looks like nothing else on the road today.

A​s previously mentioned, the Defender - even when configured with three doors - is absolutely huge. Even when parked on the side of a road, it looks ready to conquer the most extreme of rainforests or jump across the vastest of deserts - it is epic.

T​he Defender 90 is 435mm shorter than its bigger brother, the 110. Obviously, practicality is compromised because of this but the short profile of - in my opinion - looks incredibly cool and unique.

It almost looks like some sort of toy Jeep and for me, this just helps to reiterate one of the main points of buying a Defender which is to just have fun.

I​t doesn’t feel like an SUV

After glancing at the exterior of the Defender, one would assume it handles like a boat on wheels but this isn’t the case. Despite its weight of 2.2 tonnes, the Defender is a surprisingly good car to drive: it feels light, it feels nimble.

W​ith that being said, the engines offered by Land Rover for the Defender are slightly disappointing

Mixed emotions about the cabin

T​he cabin is certainly rather unusual but then again, it can’t be any other way. After all, the new Defender isn’t just a car; it’s also something which commemorates over 70 years of automotive history - the interior has to adapt to this characteristic of the vehicle.

It looks tough and rugged, just how an SUV of its capability should look. ‘Defender’ logos are scattered across the cockpit, reminding you of the special car you’re sat in. Moreover, the cabin itself is incredibly airy due to the sunroof and the large rear windows. However, when you’re paying what you’re paying for the Land Rover Defender, the last thing you want to feel is plastic. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find something which DOESN’T feel cheap.

F​or the majority of buyers, this will certainly matter although it most probably won’t affect those who wish to purchase the Defender purely due to its history and/or off-roading abilities.

N​ot that much luggage space

One of the worst things - if not the worst thing - about the Defender is its pitifully low level of boot space.

I​mage credit: parkers.co.uk

I​mage credit: parkers.co.uk

Y​ou’d probably be better off using one of those camping backpacks. Hell, if you own a Defender, you are probably a keen camper.

With over 1,000 litres of cargo space; thankfully, you won’t find yourself experiencing this issue if you buy the larger 110 model.

S​hould you buy one?

No matter how many facts you give about a car, the same question will always be asked: should you buy one?

I​t all comes down to who you are and why you’re considering a Defender. If you like the Defender because of the history behind its name and off-roading abilities; it’s most likely that the poor quality of the interior and small boot won’t cause you to dislike the car.

B​ut, if you’re looking at the Defender because you’re in the market for a luxurious SUV and the Defender happens to fall within your budget, forgetting the car would be the best course of action.

Join In

Comments (7)

  • If your gonna get the Defender get the 110 it's an obvious choice. You get more boot space and it looks better

      1 month ago
  • I work at JLR the new defenders are trash. Soo many problems from the beginning and nit just one offs. Are they nice? Sure. Are they reliable? Fuck no.

      1 month ago
    • Haha me too! Anything made by JLR is just a big NO! The design is great but the engineering/quality/build and dealer service is abysmal, honestly if they offered me a free company car I think I’d pass

        1 month ago
    • Nothing new there then ...

        1 month ago
  • I drove one a week ago. Lovely car, but I’m going to wait a bit before getting one They need to solve the teething troubles..

      1 month ago
  • I want the 90

      1 month ago
  • Nice review! I love the new defender, it’s great. I would have hated to work on developing it, such a hard job, but the 110 does make more sense, though the upcoming 130 would make the most sense!

      1 month ago