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First Drive

First Drive: Land Rover Defender 90

LAND ROVER DEFENDER 90 D250 SE
The story: Land Rovers new Defender is available in three-door 90 form, as well as the five-door 110
Category:Off-Roader
Key rival:Toyota Land Cruiser three-door
Price:£52,635
Efficiency:32.6mpg
Emissions:227g/km
On sale:Now

Land Rover’s Defender reinvention continues apace, and now a three-door model has joined the range, coming with a choice of two petrol and three diesel engines, as well as a raft of trim levels.

First Drive - November 2021 - Land Rover Defender 90 - Image 7The 90 is around £5000 cheaper than the five-door, but is a lot less practical, with the boot area shrinking from the 110’s 786 litres to a pretty pokey 297 in the 90. Rear space is impressive, with a huge amount of legroom for a three-door vehicle, almost to the point of the boot/rear space ratio being wrong.

The 90 is also arguably the better-proportioned Defender, with the 50cm-shorter body making for a compact and neat design, especially with the rear door-mounted spare wheel in place.

The entry 249hp diesel powertrain driven here is potent enough to deem anything more powerful a little excessive, with 300hp diesel, and 300, 400 and 525hp petrol models also on offer. The D250 is pretty rapid in a straight line, and the Defender’s night-and-day driving dynamics versus the old model are maintained in the SWB newcomer. It rides well, and feels like a big and chunky thing from behind the wheel.

The cabin continues that chunky feel, combined with plenty of materials that feel both premium and durable.

All 90 models are in the maximum 37% BiK band which, combined with a hefty starting price north of £50,000 for all bar one petrol model, means a hefty BiK bill.

paul barker

 

 

The verdict

Big pricing combines with big emissions to make a problematic company car tax equation on a classy, capable and good-to-drive premium off-roader, although boot space is extremely limited in this 90 version.