Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1

Miles per pound (mpp) Miles per pound (mpp)

Petrol engines 4.8 - 5.5 mpp
Diesel engines 6.0 - 6.6 mpp
Low figures relate to the least economical version; high to the most economical. Based on WLTP combined fuel economy for versions of this car made since September 2017 only, and typical current fuel or electricity costs.

Fuel economy

Petrol engines 22.7 - 25.6 mpg
Diesel engines 29.9 - 32.8 mpg
  • None of the range is cheap to run
  • Lack of plug-in hybrid version of 90
  • Consumables will also be expensive

With a slightly confusing range from launch, including 2.0-litre diesels that will be seldom seen in reality, one aspect of clarity is that all Defender 90s are partial to a hearty guzzle of fuel – not all that surprising given the lightest version weighs a hefty 2140kg.

Unlike the 110 range that features the plug-in hybrid P400e, the Defender 90 line-up is populated with diesels and petrols, although the punchiest P400 version of the latter, plus the six-cylinder diesels do at least have mild-hybrid technology for fuel saving and lower emissions than would otherwise be achieved.

Headline economy figures for the Defender 90 are:

  • D200 (2.0-litre) – 31.9mpg, 228-229g/km CO2
  • D200 (3.0-litre) – 32.5mg, 228-229g/km CO2
  • D240 (2.0-litre) – 31.9mpg, 228-232g/km CO2
  • D250 (3.0-litre) – 32.5mpg, 228-232g/km CO2
  • D300 – 32.0mpg, 232g/km CO2
  • P300 – 24.6mpg, 260-263g/km CO2
  • P400 – 25.5mpg, 256g/km CO2

As these figures are based on more accurate WLTP testing methods, they're not too far off what you can expect in the real world, with the diesels likely to to hover around the very high-20mpgs, the petrols in the low-20s.

It’s not just fuel and VED that are pricey

Once you’ve factored in the fuel costs and the VED car tax – which for the least expensive Defender 90 will be £1,850 in year one at 2020/21 rates – you have to consider other aspects, too, such as tyres.

Not only are the Defender’s wheels large – 18 inches at the smallest, up to optional sets of 22 inches – meaning tyres will be dearer anyway, the rubber is chunkier designed for on- and off-road use - these are inevitably more expensive the tyres purely intended for road use.

Plus, brake pads and discs, which will take quite a punishing if you venture off-road a fair bit are also going to be dear given the heavier duty nature of how they could be used.

And, if you do like venturing along rugged terrain, expect knocks and scrapes to the bodywork and components underneath. Again, these are not going to be a pittance to have repaired or replaced.

Is the Defender 90 reliable?

  • Too soon for major maladies to surface
  • Land Rover build quality is improving
  • Buyers generally happy with dealer network

Comparing the new Defender 90 with its ancient predecessor in reliability terms is a rather pointless exercise.

Certainly, Land Rover hasn’t had the best of reputations previously for building SUVs with bulletproof reliability, although this situation is improving. Instead, it’s the broad network of dealers that keep customers on the road with courtesy cars and good service that save face.

Much is promised of the latest car’s reliability – time, as ever, will tell.

Ongoing running costs

Road tax (12 months) £150 - £475
Insurance group 27 - 42
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