Land Rover Defender 90 Review 2022

Land Rover Defender 90 At A Glance

+Long awaited replacement for the legendary Defender.

-On sale 2020.

Orders now open for the new Land Rover Defender with prices starting at £45,240.

The rugged off-roader will initially be launched as a long-wheelbase 110 model with up to seven seats. It’ll be offered with four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, as well as a six-cylinder petrol mild hybrid. A short-wheelbase 90 model will follow in the near future, while Commercial variants of each are expected in 2020.

In typical Defender fashion, Land Rover promises the latest model will be unstoppable off road - thanks to 291mm of ground clearance and a new Wade programme in the configurable Terrain Response system which allows it to tackle up to 900mm of water. Short front and rear overhangs mean it’ll be able to tackle steep hills, while ClearView Ground View technology - as used in the new Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport - allow drivers to see the area usually hidden by the bonnet. 

This image is displayed on a new 10-inch infotainment screen, which also provides access to the in-built navigation system as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. An additional 12.3-inch interactive driver display sits behind the steering wheel, allowing the driver to switch between navigation and conventional dials or a combination of the two.

Drivers will be able to keep tabs on their Defender using Land Rover’s app, which lets them remotely turn on the climate control, lock the vehicle and check the fuel level. The new Defender will be able to receive over-the-air updates while an embedded diagnostics system will alert owners to potential faults.

Other technological highlights include a 3D surround camera, capable of providing an augmented visualisation when wading deep water or reversing a trailer. A Driver Assist Pack includes adaptive cruise control, while a rear pre-collision monitor will flash the hazard lights when it detects following drivers who are failing to slow down sufficiently. 

Customers can also specify a second-generation activity key - a wearable, water-resistant device which can be used instead of a conventional key for accessing and starting the vehicle.

At launch, the Defender’s diesel engine range is made up of four-cylinder engines producing 200 or 240PS, badged the D200 and D240 respectively. Both are paired with an eight-speed automatic gearbox, and each produce 430Nm of torque. This takes the D200 to 62mph in 10.3 seconds, while the D240 takes 9.1 seconds. Official WLTP fuel economy figures for the diesels range from 31.4 to 31.7mpg depending on specification.

A 2.0-litre petrol is also available, producing 300PS and 400Nm, covering 0 to 62mph in 8.1 seconds. Officially the four-cylinder P300 engine will return between 24.4 and 24.7mpg.

Topping the range is a straight-six P400 petrol engine featuring mild hybrid technology. This 3.0-litre engine will take the Defender to 62mph in 6.4 seconds, while top speed is quoted as 129mph when combined with 22-inch alloy wheels. A 48-volt lithium-ion battery stores energy captured during braking, meaning the P400 returns up to 25.2mpg.

Although details are yet to be announced, Land Rover says a plug-in hybrid model will follow in 2020.

In a bid to cater for a wide range of buyers, the new Defender will be offered in a wide range of configurations. The initial 110 model will be available with five, six or seven seats, while the 90 will have up to six seats. Trim levels will be made up of Defender, S, SE, HSE, First Edition and top-spec X models, while customers will also be able to choose from Explorer, Adventure, Country and Urban packs.

Land Rover is also offering 170 individual accessories ranging from an exterior side-mounted gear carrier to an electric winch and rooftop tent.

Prices for the Defender 110 start at £45,240 for the entry-level D200 model, ranging up to £78,800 for the top-spec P400 X. The Defender 90 will start at around £40,000 when it arrives later in the year, while Commercial models will be priced from around £35,000 (plus VAT).

Car seat chooser

Child seats that fit a Land Rover Defender 90

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

Satisfaction Index

Satisfaction Index What is your car like to live with?

We need your help with our latest Satisfaction Index, so that we can help others make a smarter car buying decision. What's it like to live with your car? Love it? Loath it? We want to know. Let us know about your car - it will only take a few minutes and you could be helping thousands of others.

Help us with the Honest John Satisfaction Index now

Ask Honest John

Can you recommend a plug-in hybrid 4x4?
"I am looking to buy a new car (nearly new/used probably) but have quite a few criteria and despite spending some time looking on the internet have not had much luck in finding what I'm looking for! I used to drive Suzuki Grand Vitaras which I absolutely loved, especially the high driving position and chunky style. I then decided to go from a manual to automatic (to help my knee) and that's where the trouble started! I have wasted money trying to find a car I love as much as the older GV (I really want to have the higher traditional 4x4 type). My criteria is: Plug-in hybrid; 4x4 - 4 wheel drive with 2 wheel drive option; higher, traditional 'chunky' style 4x4 like my old Vitaras without being the size of a tank; automatic gear box; 1.4 engine size or above; smaller rather than family-size; and mileage - less than 20,000."
The Land Rover Defender 90 is available as a plug-in hybrid, has a high driving position, automatic gearbox, a 2.0-litre engine and is relatively small. That said, they're expensive and have permanent four-wheel drive. Cheaper options don't have some of the kit you have requested, but if you can live without the car being a plug-in hybrid, the Suzuki Jimny sounds like it would be ideal. It has an old-school SUV design so it feels – and genuinely is – rugged, has a high driving position, switchable four-wheel drive, is available as an auto and has a 1.5-litre engine.
Answered by Russell Campbell
Which SUV or small estate should I buy?
"I'm looking to buy a new SUV or small estate that has a flat boot without a lip, with fold-flat rear seats, preferably not a hatchback i.e. the rear door opens like the other car doors. Is there a car like that out there? "
The MINI Clubman is worth a look: The old Suzuki Grand Vitara may also fit the bill: Or the new Land Rover Defender 90:
Answered by Russell Campbell
Is it a bad idea to buy a new diesel car?
"I need a 4x4 to tow 3.5 tonnes. I'm looking to buy a new Land Rover Defender 90, which is diesel. With current emission targets, would it be a really bad idea to buy a pure diesel now if they are going to stop selling them in 2030? I expect to own it for a good few years."
Not at all. Diesels still make a lot of sense for some buyers – if you're looking to tow 3.5 tonnes, for example.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Will the Land Rover Defender be offered as a hybrid in future?
"Do you know if Land Rover are planning hybrid versions of the Defender or Discovery?"
Yes, there's a plug-in hybrid Defender due in 2021. It's likely to be badged the P400e and will probably use the same 2.0-litre petrol engine and electric motor combination as the Range Rover PHEV. The Discovery is due to be facelifted next year and it's likely that will be offered with the same plug-in hybrid setup, too. If you'd rather not charge your car, both are expected to be offered with mild-hybrid setups, although Land Rover isn't likely to go down the conventional 'self-charging' hybrid route.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions