Defender 90, smaller in size but big on adventure. Picture: SUPPLIED
Defender 90, smaller in size but big on adventure. Picture: SUPPLIED

A year after the new-generation Land Rover Defender 110 was launched in SA as a modern reincarnation of the iconic 4x4, its little brother has arrived.

The Defender 90 is the lighter, short-wheelbase version of the resurrected British SUV, and what it loses in cabin space it makes up for in superior gravel-taming capabilities. Being shorter, it is less likely to scrape its belly when cresting steep hills, known in offroad parlance as the ramp breakover angle — the 90’s is 31° compared to the 110’s 28°.

It also has full-time four-wheel drive and a Terrain Response system that allows drivers to set the vehicle for varying offroad conditions. Depending on the model variant the Defender 90 can also wade through water up to 900mm deep, adjust its ground clearance with height-adjustable air suspension, and automatically adapt to surface conditions with the more advanced Terrain Response 2 system.

Landy’s shortened Defender can be customised with four Accessory Packs: the Explorer, Adventure, Country and Urban. The Explorer Pack is the most geared towards continent-crossing expeditions and comes with a raised air intake, a lightweight Expedition roof rack, a 24l exterior side-mounted gear carrier and wheel arch protection.

The luxurious, tech-stuffed cabin is a far cry from the last-generation Defender. Picture: SUPPLIED
The luxurious, tech-stuffed cabin is a far cry from the last-generation Defender. Picture: SUPPLIED

The line-up comprises the base Defender S, X-Dynamic, First Edition and top-of-the-range Defender X variants, each sold with a choice of four engine options.

The 16-model Defender 90 range starts at R1,095,600 for the D240 S, which comes standard with LED headlights with auto high beam assist, keyless entry, Ebony grained leather with woven textile seat facings, Pivi Pro 10-inch touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and an interactive driver display among other features.

Driver assistance fare includes 3D surround cameras, emergency braking, lane keep assist and a 360° parking aid.

Moving up a level, the X-Dynamic model adopts a tough exterior look and unique interior fittings, including a durable Robustec material on cabin areas that are subject to heightened wear.

The range-topping X derivatives are spruced up with gloss black and satin finish exterior highlights and brake calipers painted orange.

The X spec also includes air suspension with an electronic active rear differential, configurable Terrain Response 2, a sliding panoramic roof, Matrix LED headlights, 14-way heated and cooled front seats, ClearSight digital rear view mirror and a head-up display, among other toys.

The Defender 90 is 435mm shorter in wheelbase and overall length than the Defender 110. Picture: SUPPLIED
The Defender 90 is 435mm shorter in wheelbase and overall length than the Defender 110. Picture: SUPPLIED

The Defender First Edition, available for one year from launch, comes in a choice of Pangea Green, Gondwana Stone or Hakuba Silver, with a folding fabric sunroof in the contrast white roof. Standard fare in this model includes air suspension, 12-way heated seats, an electrically adjustable steering column and 20-inch alloy wheels.

There are two diesels and a pair of petrols. The 2.0l versions comprise the D240 turbo diesel with outputs of 177kW and 430Nm, and the P300 turbo petrol with 221kW and 400Nm.

The 3.0l straight six-cylinder options are the P400 turbo petrol with mild hybrid electric technology producing outputs of 294kW and 550Nm, and the D300 turbo diesel with 221kW and 650Nm.

Defender 90 pricing:

Defender 90  D240 S — R1,095,600

Defender 90 D300 S — R1,186,800

Defender 90 P300 S — R1,095,600

Defender 90 P400 S — R1,214,200

Defender 90  D240 X-Dynamic SE — R1,215,500

Defender 90 D300 X-Dynamic SE — R1,297,000

Defender 90 P300 X-Dynamic SE — R1,215,500

Defender 90 P400 X-Dynamic SE — R1,338,600

Defender 90  D240 X-Dynamic HSE — R1,284,400

Defender 90 D300 X-Dynamic HSE — R1,365,900

Defender 90 P300 X-Dynamic HSE — R1,284,400

Defender 90 P400 X-Dynamic HSE — R1,407,500

Defender 90 D240 First Edition — R1,223,800

Defender 90 P400 First Edition — R1,341,700

Defender 90 D300 X — R1,542,100

Defender 90 P400 X — R1,575,000

Pricing includes VAT but excludes CO2 tax.

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