With the new defender, land rover puts fans to the test. The cult car is now just a cool car. This is how the short version, the defender 90, drives.
- Has the new defender from land rover* lost its character??
- Air suspension and digital display – so much luxury in the new model.
- room for six passengers – it gets tight in the neutered shorty.
the nature boy becomes a fine pinkel. The land rover defender, once a coarse machine, it is now a car that even looks good in the city. Even a trip to the opera is possible without being embarrassed or considered an oddball eccentric. That is the short conclusion of our road test with the defender, year of construction 2021. short also fits the body. We had the defender 90. The shorty with two doors and the neutered rear is only 4.32 meters long compared to the 110, which is almost half a meter (44 cm) shorter. Looks funny, but you get used to it.
In the defender you feel like in a truck
First take a seat. It’s like climbing into a truck. The best thing to do is to take the handle on the inside, briefly tense the leg muscles, and then heave it in. The round must go into the square- a colleague once described it so accurately. Once you’re seated, you’re amazed at the amount of space in the driver’s cabin. The landy measures two meters in width- there even fits a third seat in the front. But at best for emergencies, otherwise you can fold it down and have a comfortable seat storage areae more. The overview is also like that of a truck you immediately feel like a captain of the highway, almost on par with real trucks. the view sweeps over the angular engine hood, on the edges they have mounted ribbed pads, in case the landy is needed as a bush cab in africa, and you have to flee to the car, if you meet a lion horde on a safari.
The interior: shirt-sleeved and washable
The interior of the defender also comes along shirt-sleeved. a lot of washable rubber on the floor, a lot of hard plastic in the cockpit that is also easy to clean. But all this is coherent. The small screen in the middle is immediately noticeable. Here works the new infotainment system from jaguar land rover. Compared to the predecessor, it has made a quantum leap in terms of usability. Without a lot of reading and practicing you will find your way around immediately. even the often desperately searched for switch-off function for the annoying navi voice was discovered immediately. simply good is also the voice assistant, which is of course also available in the fine pee called defender. The system understands navigation destinations at first go. A real boon when compared to the dialog capability of competitors that require several minutes of communication before the system finally shuts down, unnerved and unsuccessful. As if you were speaking kiswahili and not german.
Trunk space: more than two beverage carriers are not possible
There’s room for six people even in the neutered defender. Says land rover. How this will look in practice remains a mystery. Just how to get to the back of the row of seats should reach! There is no separate door. So move the driver’s or passenger’s seat all the way to the front, the foot stand on the running board (if available, because it’s an optional extra) and think about the last circus performance. When the artists spun around their own axis with a breathtaking twist. Then just plop in it- And don’t even think about getting out of the car. Because that is similarly complicated. The back seat can be folded down. It also needs- because the trunk volumen is not even suitable for weekend shopping. Although on paper it is 397 liters, which sounds sufficient. However, this value is obtained by measuring up to the edge of the roof. in reality, it looks like you can’t even fit two drink carriers in the small footprint. So fold down the rear seats, then you have over 1.500 liters at your disposal.
Land rover defender 90: why you should afford the air suspension
Helpful is the optional air suspension. Because with it the vehicle can be lowered, so that the high loading edge also loses its fright. Speaking of air suspension: if you are thinking of buying a defender should not skimp here. The driving with this additional equipment is so much more pleasant. Costs just under 2.800 euro, but the sedan-like gliding on highways and country roads is a real added value. Which brings us to the heart of the matter. how does the new landy actually drive? ÜSurprisingly simple. The chunky and bulky body with its stately external dimensions, especially in width, first of all signals the opposite. But once you start the engine, you realize that this jeep (yes, that’s what they used to call an SUV) is easy and casual to drive- almost like a limousine. But with a better overview. The seat height takes care of that, and as for the traffic in the back, the camera based rear view mirror. Otherwise you would only see headrests and the spare wheel mounted on the swinging rear door as before.
A turning circle like in a small car
In the curves the defender behaves good-naturedly. Despite the electronic helpers you notice the one or other rolling motion that reminds of a lurching ship. But it’s no wonder, because after all this landy is almost two meters high shot up. And has a considerable weight with about 2.3 tons. Keeping these dimensions in check is almost impossible. And frankly not necessary. Even if the extreme maneuverability of the short defender (turning circle 11.3 meters) seduces, this landy is rather something for leisurely connoisseurs.
The engine we tested also fits in with this. Yes it was a diesel! And what a. Land rover has recently returned to the real thing six-cylinder with double turbo and mild hybridization (20 extra HP from the E-machine). At the power you can choose between 200, 249 and 300 hp. We were quite satisfied with the middle stage. The three-liter turbo is extremely powerful (you can attach up to 3.5 tons) and already starts at 1.250 rpm fierce going. The torque is 570 newtonmeter and feels pretty good. gives you the necessary "bumms" from underneath. And because one knows, that you can, if you want to, you usually drive rather defensively with the defender. This is also good, because this SUV drinks quite a bit of fuel if you push the 2.3 tons too hard. It quickly gets into double digits, and the target of 8.8 liters per 100 kilometers is a long way off. Otherwise this consumption quite achievable- but only if you don’t drive in the city. They are just as harmful to the wallet as long stretches of highway with the pedal to the metal.
Our conclusion about the short land rover defender
Did we have initial respect for this so powerful and big landy, that’s how fast we got used to this vehicle. In contrast to its appearance, it drives light-footed and powerful. However, we have asked ourselves all the time, for whom this shorty is actually suitable. The defender is suitable for off-road use, which we have already tested at a previous driving date in a quarry extensively. If you don’t want to drive it over hill and dale, you will get an stylish car, with which one stands out. Honestly only suitable for singles or dinks (double income no kids) who can also afford such a car. Even the smallest engine costs 54.000 euro, the 249 hp D250 already beats with 58.800 euro to book. If you feast on the extensive equipment list, you can configure the defender easily close to a six-figure amount. but as i said: the defender is no longer a nature boy, but a fine pinkel. And that has its price.