Article By Carolina Wos

Built for 21st Century Adventures


The new Land Rover Defender really is an all-terrain vehicle, built for the toughest demands. From shifting gravel to windswept mountains, it can confidently handle any terrain, and every bit of the vehicle is just as potent on-road as it is off.

Here, we are giving our honest opinion and driving impressions on the three-door short wheelbase 90, rival to SUVs like the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. But if you are in the market for something more practical, you may opt for a five-door, long wheelbase 110 model. The 90 is 435mm shorter in the wheelbase than the 110 version, and overall the length falls by the same amount. It is also 100kg lighter meaning fractionally quicker accelerating. Both versions will confidently tow 3,500kg however, when on road rather than off, the short versions tend to pitch and wobble far more precariously than their longer counterparts.

The exterior URBAN Design Pack paired with the new Defender is, we think, masterful. The Urban Automotive customisation program for the latest revision of the iconic Defender, provides an extensive formation of modern aesthetic and practical enhancements. Our example features a Full URBAN Design Pack including 22” Gloss Black Spider Design Alloys, URBAN Roof Mounted Front LED Light Bar, Shadow Black Side Steps, URBAN Rear Spoiler, Front/Rear Mudflaps, Privacy Glass, Contrast Black Roof & URBAN Rear Mounted Spare Wheel Cover.

We had the pleasure of taking the 90 to the Lake District to see how well it handled the different terrains for ourselves. We must admit, the unique combination of performance and capability has left a very positive impression on us. Despite having a coil suspension as standard, the 90 absorbed hard shocks overall providing remarkable driving comfort. Almost luxury-car comfort. Adding the air suspension would further help reduce any shudders on uneven surfaces, but if you aren't as likely to use the 90 off-road, then there's no need to splash out on the £1,615 chassis system, in our opinion.

Being short in the wheelbase, the 90 performs even better on-road than the 110. It can make its way through windy roads without a big problem. Not to mention parking and manoeuvring in tight spaces.

Very few buyers will actually make full use of all the Defender's capabilities. Buying a car simply because it's stylish is the driving force behind car enthusiasm. So why not purchase a car with overwhelming style matched up with extreme off-road capability? The URBAN Defender 90 makes you feel adventurous. And when you do use its ability – it feels immensely reassuring.

If you are even contemplating buying a Defender 90... just go for it! We don't think you'll regret it.

Our score: 9/10

Honister Pass, Keswick

Honister Slate Mine​

Ullswater Lake