5 things you need to know about the Land Rover Defender 90
The Defender is easily one of the most iconic SUVs but what is it actually like?
Written by: Rahil Hashmi
Prior to its release, the Defender was easily one of the top three most anticipated vehicles and this comes as no surprise.
The 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
As 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.
You 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 embodies the spirit of Defenders from the past. The product of this is a body which looks like nothing else on the road today.
As 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.
The 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.
It 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.
With that being said, the engines offered by Land Rover for the Defender are slightly disappointing
Mixed emotions about the cabin
The 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.
For 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.
Not 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.
Image credit: parkers.co.uk
You’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.
Should you buy one?
No matter how many facts you give about a car, the same question will always be asked: should you buy one?
It 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.
But, 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.