Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1
  • Lots of space for people and clutter
  • Access to rear is good for a three-door
  • Boot space small, practicality hindered

No surprises that given the Defender 90 has a three-door body it’s inevitably less practical than the five-door 110, but compromises are few beyond that in terms of passenger space.

Up front, the seats are 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 barring the entry-level model have a roomy centre console 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 Roverspeak) or simply nothing at all to aid access to the rear.

Even though it’s a three-door, the front seats move sufficiently out of the way to allow for graceful entry and exit, amplified on models with adaptive air suspension as they can be lowered closer to the ground.

Space in the back is impressive – almost feeling as though there’s too much legroom – while all round the cabin is floored with heavy duty rubber matting. It’s not exactly a hose-out interior, but they’re easier to keep clean than carpets when everyone's climbed on board with muddy boots.

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 is compromised

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.

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.

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 in having the door arrangement like this makes the opening narrower than it would be with a more conventional top-hinged tailgate.

Shorter length is welcome in cities

As capable as the Defender 90 is off-road, the fact remains many will never venture further off the black stuff than going on 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.

Is the Defender 90 a safe SUV?

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

Euro NCAP has yet to subject a Defender of either size to a full crash test assessment, but given the importance and likely popularity of the range, we expect this situation to be remedied in due course. Certainly, Land Rover’s engineers are confident that both the 90 and 110 versions will achieve a full five-star rating.

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

Move up to the SE trim and you will additionally 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 monitors a variety of parameters to ensure the most appropriate use of the engine’s torque and gearbox depending upon the under-wheel conditions.

For less expensive Defender 90s, the safety options are limited to items featured on more expensive models, while all models can have a tyre upgrade to rubber that’s more biased towards off-road driving.

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
  • Heated seats
  • 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
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Cruise control
  • Electric sunroof
  • Front fog lights
  • Headlight washers
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Leather seat trim
  • Metallic Paint
  • Partial leather seat trim
  • Remote locking
  • Steel wheels

Standard Trim equipment

Standard Trim standard equipment
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Cruise control
  • Headlight washers
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Remote locking
  • Steel wheels
Standard Trim optional equipment
None available

First Edition equipment

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

HSE equipment

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

S equipment

S standard equipment
  • Alloy wheels
  • Cruise control
  • Headlight washers
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Leather seat trim
  • Partial leather seat trim
  • Steel wheels
S optional equipment
  • Remote locking

SE equipment

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

X equipment

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

X-Dynamic HSE equipment

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

X-Dynamic S equipment

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

X-Dynamic SE equipment

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