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The first reviews for Defender 90 are in and the feedback have been overwhelmingly positive. Mike Duff, the UK Bureau Chief for CarAdvice, got behind the wheel of the Defender 90 at Land Rover’s extensive off-road testing ground in Eastnor, Hertfordshire, to see how it fared on the toughest of trails.

At most press events, Duff says, drivers are given “fully-specced range-toppers”, so he was intrigued to experience an “entry level P300 2.0-litre petrol engine, base coil springs in place of pricey air suspension, and even the novelty of what was close to a hose-out rubber interior”.

He found the Defender 90 was unsurprisingly mighty in its development playground, saying “it squelched and slithered its way along some of Eastnor’s tougher tracks while barely breaking sweat. The revelation wasn’t that it could do it all, rather how easy progress was”.

A PROPER OFF-ROADER

Noting that “mud-plugging” in rural England is a very different experience from driving in the rougher parts of Australia, Duff points out that “Land Rover is keen to emphasise that the Defender has been designed for adventure in almost every environment...It’s certainly a useful reminder that even, beneath the sleek design and life-stylish options packs, the new Defender remains a proper off-roader”.

The P300 powerplant also impressed Duff, with 220kW and 400Nm delivering more than adequate performance.

IMPRESSIVELY BRISK PERFORMANCE

Duff then switched to a 90 P400, with a full-strength Ingenium straight-six 294kW engine. It features both a mild hybrid starter-generator and a 48-volt electric compressor that works in conjunction with the turbocharger to improve low-end responses.

Despite only driving it on-road, he found “performance was impressively brisk...even riding on air springs, the test P400’s chassis felt firm at urban speeds, but it gains some calm authority at a highway pace and the cabin felt impressively well insulated”.

SPACIOUS AND ROOMY INSIDE

Even though the 90 is a full 435mm shorter than the 110, Duff found the cabin “respectably spacious inside. The front of the cabin is roomy with plenty of headroom, even with a natural driving position that enables you to look down on the pilot of pretty much any other SUV. The rear seats are positioned higher than those in front, giving occupants an excellent view forwards, and there’s plenty of space for adults back there”.

The Defender’s upgraded infotainment system -Pivi Pro impressed Duff with a new interface that’s “better looking, faster acting and much more intuitive to use” than the previous generation system.

Duff concludes; the 90 makes a strong case for itself for anyone who doesn’t need the space of the 110; but wants to experience the Defender in its purest form.

© JAGUAR LAND ROVER LIMITED 2021

Jaguar Land Rover Limited: Registered office: Abbey Road, Whitley, Coventry CV3 4LF. Registered in England No: 1672070

Smart settings available from mid-2021.

Important note on imagery & specification. We are living through exceptional times. Due to the Covid pandemic we have been prevented or delayed in the creation of new images of current model years. Now the global impact of micro-chip shortages is further affecting build specifications, options and launch timings. Until this unique event settles, please note that many images cannot be updated to 22 model year specifications. Features, options, trim and colour schemes will differ from many images. Customers are urged to consult your local Retailer for detailed 22 model year specifications and do not base an order on marketing imagery and specification alone.

Jaguar Land Rover Limited is constantly seeking ways to improve the specification, design and production of its vehicles, parts and accessories and alterations take place continually, and we reserve the right to change without notice. Some features may vary between optional and standard for different model years. The information, specification, engines and colours on this website are based on European specification and may vary from market to market and are subject to change without notice. Some vehicles are shown with optional equipment and retailer-fit accessories that may not be available in all markets. Please contact your local retailer for local availability and prices.

‡‡Price shown is the manufacturers recommended drive-away prices (MRDP) which applies to the vehicle model and optional features selected in the vehicle configurator and as described in the configuration summary. The MRDP is an estimated price which includes the manufacturer's recommended list price, any associated registration fees, applicable taxes (including GST), levies and CTP insurances at the time of publishing in accordance with the applicable state / territory legislation where the Retailer is located for a 12 month period. The MRDP may vary as a result of differences in price components such as location, stamp duty or registration fees. CTP rate is based on a private owner aged 40 with 0 demerit points, no accidents or driving convictions and the vehicle being garaged in the postcode entered. Some information presented or used in the MRDP calculation is sourced from third parties. Jaguar Land Rover Australia has made every effort to ensure accuracy, however please contact your preferred Jaguar Land Rover Retailer to confirm your actual drive-away price which may vary according to your individual circumstances, including any trade-in value agreed between you and the Retailer. Excludes fleet, government, rental buyers, hire car and chauffeur companies.