Parkers overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 4.3
  • Lots of space for people and clutter
  • Access to rear seats is tricky
  • Tiny boot with all seats in place

How much space is there?

The three-door Defender 90 is inevitably less practical than the five-door 110, but compromises are limited to rear passenger access and cargo space.

Up front, it’s equally spacious as those in its larger twin, the fuss-free dashboard and door pockets offering a degree of storage space that these days is more commonly found in carefully considered commercial vehicles.

All bar the entry-level model have a roomy centre storage area between the front seats with cupholders, but this can be optionally swapped for a fridge, a narrower sixth seat (a jump seat in Land Rover speak) or simply nothing at all to aid access to the rear.

The biggest compromise the three-door layout brings is access to the rear seats. Although the front doors are longer, and the seats tilt forward to help make getting in easier, it’s still far more of a faff than the five door 110. Models with adaptive air suspension can be lowered closer to the ground so you’re not dealing with a climb as well as a squeeze, but it’s still tricky.

Space in the back is impressive with enough head and leg room for tall adults. You can also add heavy duty rubber matting, which is easier to keep clean than carpets when everyone’s climbed on board with muddy boots  – even if it’s not going to be a hose-out interior.

Further outdoorsy options include exterior panniers – that block out much of the rear side windows – plus roof-mounted carriers and tents. On a similar note, all Defender 90s can tow up to 3,500kg of braked trailer weight, the maximum permissible by law, losing nothing to the larger 110 in the haulage stakes.

Boot space and storage

Given how roomy the rear seats are, inevitably that means that boot space has been sacrificed – don’t forget that the 90 is some 435mm shorter than the Defender 110 at 4,583mm.

2021 Land Rover Defender 90 boot - rear seats up

Usefully, the seats split 40:20:40 allowing longer loads to be slotted down the middle while still allowing the outer seats to be used, but none of the sections fold completely flat with the boot floor, and there’s a stepped metal brace section dividing the two.

With the rear seats in place there’s up to 397 litres of space available, which is 166 litres more than a seven-seater 110 model with all of the seats occupied, extending to 1563mm with them folded forwards.

2021 Land Rover Defender 90 boot - rear seats down

Mounting the spare wheel on the side-hinged rear door means it’s easy to access and doesn’t eat into the boot space further still, but that stylistic nod to Defenders of old makes the opening narrower than it would be with a more conventional top-hinged tailgate. It also makes it far trickier to access your stuff when someone’s parked close behind you.

Is it easy to park?

As capable as the Defender 90 is off-road, many will never venture further off the black stuff than the grass at an antiques fair carpark, being destined for city life. It’s incongruous, but it’s also reality.

That the 90 is appreciably shorter than the 110 at a similar length to a Ford Kuga, even with the spare wheel stuck on the back, means it’s going to be far easier to find a parking space for. Unfortunately, even with the air suspension at its lowest setting, it will be too tall for entry in many multi-storey car parks at 1,934mm.

The driver may also wish to tilt the rear headrests down when they are not in use, as they block most of the rear view out. Thankfully, the ClearSight rear-view mirror on higher spec models can display a feed from a rear-facing camera, which is fine for occasional use, but takes a while for your eyes to focus on. Even better, all versions get a 360deg camera system to help you squeeze into the tightest of spaces.

How big is it?

  All Land Rover Defender 90 models
Length (including spare wheel)  4,583mm
Width (with mirrors)  2,105mm
Height (Coil suspension / Air suspension)  1,974mm / 1,969mm

Safety

  • No crash-test rating from Euro NCAP
  • Raft of standard safety kit
  • Few safety-related optional extras

Euro NCAP has awarded the Land Rover Defender 110 a full five-star rating, and we expect the shorter 90 will perform almost identically in this most rigorous of tests. However, if this model is tested, then we’ll update the results accordingly.

Standard levels of safety kit are very impressive with every Defender 90 featuring:

Move up to the SE trim and you’ll benefit from blind-spot assist and traffic monitors at both the nose and tail to warn against pulling out unsighted into the path of oncoming vehicles.

HSE versions also have the Driver Assist Pack. This comprises of the above features, together with Rear Collision Monitor to prepare the car’s systems if it expects a rear impact and adaptive cruise control.

Finally, the flagship Defender 90 X also features an Electronic Active Differential – very useful for hardcore off-road driving – along with Terrain Response 2 that makes it even better off-road.

You can add the safety kit fitted to high spec models to lower trims at a cost. If you’re planning on driving mainly on road we’d stick to the standard tyres as the optional off-road items don’t have a great deal of grip on asphalt.

Watch the Euro NCAP crash test video

Basic equipment

The basic equipment list includes equipment that is standard across all versions of the Land Rover Defender 90.

  • 3x3 point rear seat belts
  • ABS
  • Alarm
  • Audio remote
  • Driver`s airbag
  • Electric driver`s seat
  • Electric mirrors
  • Electric passenger`s seat
  • Full size spare wheel
  • Heated mirrors
  • Isofix child seat anchor points
  • Parking sensors
  • PAS
  • Passenger`s airbag
  • Sat Nav
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment
  • Traction control

Equipment by trim level

To view equipment options for a specific trim level, please select from the following list:

Equipment included on some trim levels
  • Alloy wheels
  • Climate control
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Cruise control
  • Electric sunroof
  • Front electric windows
  • Front fog lights
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Leather seat trim
  • Metallic Paint
  • Partial leather seat trim
  • Rear electric windows
  • Remote locking
  • Steel wheels

Standard Trim equipment

Standard Trim standard equipment
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
Standard Trim optional equipment
  • Climate control
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Cruise control
  • Electric sunroof
  • Front electric windows
  • Front fog lights
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Leather seat trim
  • Metallic Paint
  • Rear electric windows
  • Remote locking
  • Steel wheels

Bond Edition equipment

Bond Edition standard equipment
  • Climate control
  • Electric sunroof
  • Front electric windows
  • Front fog lights
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
  • Leather seat trim
  • Metallic Paint
  • Rear electric windows
Bond Edition optional equipment
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Cruise control
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Remote locking
  • Steel wheels

Carpathian Edition equipment

Carpathian Edition standard equipment
  • Climate control
  • Electric sunroof
  • Front electric windows
  • Front fog lights
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
  • Leather seat trim
  • Metallic Paint
  • Rear electric windows
Carpathian Edition optional equipment
None available

First Edition equipment

First Edition standard equipment
  • Cruise control
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Leather seat trim
  • Metallic Paint
  • Partial leather seat trim
First Edition optional equipment
  • Alloy wheels
  • Electric sunroof
  • Front electric windows
  • Headlight washers
  • Rear electric windows
  • Remote locking
  • Steel wheels

HSE equipment

HSE standard equipment
  • Alloy wheels
  • Front fog lights
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
  • Leather seat trim
  • Steel wheels
HSE optional equipment
  • Electric sunroof
  • Front electric windows
  • Rear electric windows
  • Remote locking

S equipment

S standard equipment
  • Alloy wheels
  • Cruise control
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Leather seat trim
  • Partial leather seat trim
  • Steel wheels
S optional equipment
  • Front electric windows
  • Rear electric windows
  • Remote locking

SE equipment

SE standard equipment
  • Alloy wheels
  • Cruise control
  • Front fog lights
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Leather seat trim
  • Partial leather seat trim
  • Steel wheels
SE optional equipment
  • Front electric windows
  • Rear electric windows
  • Remote locking

X equipment

X standard equipment
  • Alloy wheels
  • Electric sunroof
  • Front electric windows
  • Front fog lights
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
  • Leather seat trim
  • Metallic Paint
  • Partial leather seat trim
  • Rear electric windows
X optional equipment
  • Remote locking

X-Dynamic HSE equipment

X-Dynamic HSE standard equipment
  • Alloy wheels
  • Electric sunroof
  • Front electric windows
  • Front fog lights
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
  • Leather seat trim
  • Rear electric windows
  • Steel wheels
X-Dynamic HSE optional equipment
None available

X-Dynamic S equipment

X-Dynamic S standard equipment
  • Alloy wheels
  • Cruise control
  • Front electric windows
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Leather seat trim
  • Partial leather seat trim
  • Rear electric windows
  • Steel wheels
X-Dynamic S optional equipment
None available

X-Dynamic SE equipment

X-Dynamic SE standard equipment
  • Alloy wheels
  • Cruise control
  • Front electric windows
  • Front fog lights
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Leather seat trim
  • Partial leather seat trim
  • Rear electric windows
  • Steel wheels
X-Dynamic SE optional equipment
None available

XS Edition equipment

XS Edition standard equipment
  • Cruise control
  • Electric sunroof
  • Front electric windows
  • Front fog lights
  • Headlight washers
  • Leather seat trim
  • Metallic Paint
  • Rear electric windows
XS Edition optional equipment
  • Alloy wheels
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Partial leather seat trim
  • Remote locking
  • Steel wheels

Euro NCAP Rating – 5 stars

The Land Rover Defender 90 was tested by Euro NCAP in 2020 and was awarded a 5 star overall rating. This overall rating is calculated from the following individual ratings:

5 star rating
Test 2020
Individual safety ratings
Adult Occupant: 85%
Child Occupant: 85%
Vulnerable Road Users: 71%
Safety Assist: 79%

Euro NCAP provides motoring consumers with a realistic and independent assessment of the safety performance of some of the most popular cars sold in Europe. The safety ratings are determined from a series of vehicle tests, designed and carried out by Euro NCAP. These tests represent, in a simplified way, important real life accident scenarios that could result in injured or killed car occupants or other road users.