Land Rover Defender 90 D240 S Driven

We last but not least get our palms on the new generation Land Rover Defender in quick-wheelbase 90 D240 S guise

It have to be exceptionally hard to reinvent an icon and to do so appropriately. Just talk to VW about the ‘second generation’ Beetle, which failed to seize the hearts of the masses in the same way the authentic did. These have been almost certainly the issues faced by Land Rover when it made a decision to totally redesign the world’s most renowned off-roader for the new millennium.

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Retro but fashionable

At first glance, Land Rover’s stylists have nailed the transient. The new car is comprehensively modern, but somehow retro at the identical time. One can quickly see nods to the unique Defender. The headlamps are an instant giveaway. As is the availability of the design in two diverse wheelbase alternatives. The upright, boxy look has been still left virtually untouched, aside from somewhat softer edges. Style cues from the older variation these types of as the facet-hinged tailgate with mounted spare wheel have also been retained. Anyone who sees it is familiar with particularly what they are on the lookout at.

Land Rover SA kitted this vehicle out with an Explorer Pack. This optional pack includes black decals, added wheel arch protection, mudflaps, a lifted air consumption, spare wheel include and gear provider. We identified the carrier, mounted on the driver’s side rear window, impedes rearward eyesight down the flank. The Explorer Pack costs the far better portion of R63 000. A roof rack is also part of the package deal and the examination unit also has a folding material roof (far more in these two in a bit), which is also optional.

The Land Rover Defender 90 D240 S we experienced in our care was completed in a normally unflattering shade of ‘Kelvinator’ white. Nevertheless, in this situation, the color, along with matching metal alloys, designed it glance like the most Defender-spec Defender of all. The absence of a fancy metallic hue or substantial alloys was fulfilled with acceptance by all all those we spoke to.

Significant-tech inside

A retro-fashionable experience and physical appearance go on within. The cabin feels minimalist without a surfeit of buttons or dials. Two screens, just one forward of the driver and yet another on the facia, deliver all very important details. They boast crisp graphics and, in the situation of the infotainment touchscreen is quickly-acting and quick to navigate. There are chunky dials for the air con and significant buttons, spaced extensively aside for the travel modes. This means you can run all these critical controls with gloves on… neat.

The cabin feels utilitarian, industrial if you will, with exposed bolt heads and chunky grab handles. However, it have to be observed that it feels top quality thanks to gentle-touch elements on critical touchpoints. Including to the air of modernity are no less than five sorts of charge factors, of which we counted 12 retailers.

Roomy cabin

The Land Rover Defender 90 may well have just 3 doorways, but the large dimensions and general condition of the exterior indicates that there is a lot of room for occupants. A significant ride height suggests that a person genuinely demands to hike your self into the cabin but when inside it is very comfortable.

Even rear occupants have loads of head and legroom. The trade-off, of course, is a alternatively smaller boot. Land Rover rates 297 litres of baggage area. That selection speaks of a tall, alternatively than deep, place. We had to fold down one particular of the rear chairs to accommodate our baggage for a night time away above the current lengthy weekend.

On the move

From the captain’s chair, you have an elevated see that several other autos supply. The Land Rover Defender 90 usually takes a tiny getting used to in conditions of manoeuvring as it has a very long nose but a stubby rear. Thankfully the rear-check out mirror doubles as a monitor for a superior-definition check out of what is using spot guiding, and there is a reversing camera.

Beneath the embellished bonnet, with a matt-black decal and checker plate, is a 2,-litre turbodiesel motor. It provides 177 kW and 430 N.m of torque. The engine is clean and well-exercised by the eight-pace automated transmission. Acceleration from standstill is leisurely instead than brisk. Having said that, the nutritious torque output supplies plenty of oomph for overtaking. 

Comfortable experience

As befitting a vehicle with off-highway credentials the Defender 90 has a supple journey high quality that bests just about just about anything else of this type. Significant sidewall tyres and prolonged-travel suspension vacation make the 90 mild in its reactions, absorbing just about each individual road imperfection. In truth, through our assessment interval, we also subjected the car to some gravel tracks and the comfort concentrations barely adjusted. 

We didn’t get to deal with any serious off-roading, but we did choose the Land Rover Defender 90 by means of gravel streets and a section of particularly deep sand. A die-tough Toyota lover took place to be seated alongside throughout the sandy segment. He could barely feel how conveniently the Defender ploughed through. He was convinced that we were being heading to get caught as I did not trouble to deflate the tyres at all.

There was one particular space that definitely grated us from a driving viewpoint: the was sound made by the roof rack. We assume that the comfortable roof and roof rack are a undesirable blend. At instances the noise was unbearable above 100 km/h. The feeling was amplified by a couple of specifically blustery days in the Cape. Even the booming great Meridian audio process could not defeat the cacophony above.


As significantly as preserving the hallmarks of the original Defender, we believe Land Rover has done a great career. It has thoroughly modernised the nameplate while continue to retaining the hallmarks that built its standing. In reality, it has significantly enhanced the recipe. 

There are these, and most likely very a few in SA, who will switch up their noses at the new-gen Defender. We envision them expressing “it’s long gone all gentle, has too numerous electronics and is no for a longer period a ‘real’ off-roader that they can get throughout Africa”. They just want to glimpse all around in the traffic on a day by day foundation to realise how many people today want their vehicles with out the jiggly experience and with a complete suite of connectivity.

The only real issue, for us, is the pricing. Do not trouble wanting at the Land Rover Defender selection unless of course your spending plan starts at a million rand. But that is an unlucky aspect of the entire new-car or truck industry, superior rates, which is a pity as we’d rather delight in proudly owning one of these.

Land Rover Defender 90 Quickly points

Product: Land Rover Defender 90 D240 S

Selling price: R1 095 600 (as analyzed R1 359 631)

Motor: 2,-litre inline four, turbodiesel

Transmission: 8-pace computerized, AWD

Max ability: 177 kW

Max torque: 430 N.m

-100 km/h: 9, sec

Leading speed: 188 km/h

Gasoline use: 7,6 L/100 km

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