2021 Land Rover Defender 90 review: Should you buy it?
The Land Rover Defender has been on sale in India as a 5-door model in its 110 guise. However, the British carmaker has now offered the 3-door version of the same SUV, called the Defender 90. It is aimed as a sportier alternative to the more practical 110 model along with increased off-road capability and dynamics. Here's our review.
With an overall length of 4,583mm, the Defender 90 is considerably shorter than the 110 and that accentuates its butch design even more. The shorter overhangs and the boxy design give it an excellent road presence. That said, it stays faithful to the original Defender with many classic design cues. Chunky off-road-friendly tires wrapped around 20-inch alloy wheels further complete its muscular stance.
The interiors come across as a mix of luxury and practicality with switchgear carefully designed for off-roading. The grab handles, padded waist rails, and exposed screw heads further make this cabin a special place to be. With no rear doors, access to the Defender 90's rear seats is a bit difficult but the space on offer is actually quite impressive.
In comparison to the 110 model, there is hardly any change in the equipment list of the Defender 90. It provides a 10.0-inch touchscreen infotainment console, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a panoramic sunroof, powered front seats, and connected car technology. The SUV also offers a premium Meridian audio system, a 360-degree-view camera, wireless charging and a head-up display, among other features.
The Defender 90 is available with three powertrain options and the one we tested had the 2.0-liter turbo petrol motor with 300hp/400Nm. Standard is an 8-speed automatic gearbox. The 3-door 90, being smaller and lighter than the 5-door 110 version, is easier to drive owing to its compact dimensions. The overall performance is strong and the steering response is excellent.
The Defender 90 comes with an electronic air suspension which can raise the height of the car when you have to tackle serious off-road conditions. When raised, the 291mm ground clearance helps it wade through up to 900mm deep water. The SUV also has better approach and departure angles over the 110 which increase its off-road capabilities. The on-road ride quality is quite pliant.
Prices for the Defender 90 start at Rs. 76.57 lakh for the 2.0-liter petrol while the top-end 3.0-liter diesel is priced at Rs. 1.12 crore (both prices, ex-showroom). Overall, the Defender 90 comes across as a desirable luxury SUV for those seeking performance as well as off-road ability. It is certainly the sportier alternative to the 110 version and is aimed at self-driven buyers.