Try it, Land Rover Defender 90: the most effective off-road vehicle of all

Try it, Land Rover Defender 90: the most effective off-road vehicle of all

Try it, Land Rover Defender 90

The Land Rover Defender, the iconic Land Rover off-road vehicle, carries a noteworthy story behind it: in production since 1948, it has always stood out for its strong personality and its rigid shapes aimed at making it suitable for any type of situation. . The car therefore sees its birth in the middle of the postwar years: inspired by American Jeeps, at Land Rover we think of a vehicle capable of tackling unstable and uneven terrain without difficulty.

If today it is On the one hand, the new generation of Defender does not renounce some of the distinctive traits inherited from its predecessors, on the other hand it sets aside its past by showing off its own and innovative aesthetic: we find it a little less angular, hyper-technological and more suited to a style of urban and modern life. The lines that characterize the exterior design of the Defender give life to a clean and imposing image of the car, with a front that sports circular LED headlights connected by a thin grille that is set with a sturdy bumper and with square shapes but of the all without edges.
What has evolved in an even more evident way is the interior of the car: while maintaining a minimalist design, Defender incorporates all the comforts that in recent years they have made Land Rover a benchmark among premium SUVs on the market. With the help of the enormous door handles on the edge of the door, anyone can "climb" this 4 × 4 that comes off the ground a lot, so as to appreciate the particularly raised driving position. The combination of high seats, low bodywork and a large glass area results in truly excellent outward visibility.

Even inside the car, some hints of the original model stand out, such as the numerous compartments for storing objects. Practicality that this time passes through a decidedly more sophisticated environment. What is striking about the interior is the combination of high-quality finishes and a spartan style that reflects the true soul of the car, such as the visible screws on the center console and on the door panels. Even the easy-care rubber mats retain a wild spirit. The size of the trunk initially surprised us, in fact the space available in length is practically that of a pizza box, even if those who buy such a car know this. very well and will fold down the rear seats if you need a trunk. As we have seen, Land Rover has worked to ensure that the new Defender remains a true off-road vehicle just as its customers had requested, which is why the British company has developed an aluminum D7x platform that allows it to have reduced overhangs and the best possible dimensions for merciless use. In our test we tested it in an off-road route of medium difficulty and we immediately found ourselves at ease, thanks to the cameras that allow you to position the wheels in a millimeter-accurate manner even when the driver's real view would be extremely limited. The new Defender boasts the possibility of having the Adaptive Dynamics pneumatic suspensions on request, which increase the height from the ground up to 75 mm or lower it by 50 mm to facilitate entry and out of the cockpit, the latter were not present in our version and the biggest disadvantage we encountered in daily use was the fixed height of 1.97 m - given by the huge fin that houses the rearview mirror camera - which did not allow us to park it in the garage of our office; if we had air suspension, we would have been able to lower on demand and we would not have had this problem.

Other technologies specially designed to improve the Defender's off-road capabilities have been added to the suspension, such as Terrain Response and detector of fords.

Land Rover Defender 90 2022 long-term review

But the contradictions are clear, and I might as well get them out there. This is a £65,000 car that might not entirely suit a town-dwelling, family lifestyle.

It has, for instance, a Volkswagen Golf-like 397-litre boot that requires you to have the dexterity of a bomb disposal expert if you want to balance anything inside it without it dropping out when you swing the back open.

Land Rover is so sure you will use the rear seats for carrying stuff rather than people if you opt for the Country Pack that it installs a heavy metal divider behind the front seats, which I’ve now had to remove as a result of having children. Access to those rear seats is hard, requiring you to haul yourself up, shuffle round and then, if nobody is in the front passenger seat, thrust yourself a body length forward to be able to heave the vast door shut.

And, while highlighting that room up front and in the back is generous, there’s also the fact that these compromises are packed in a car 4.5m long with the spare tyre (already used) considered, 2m wide, of a length that makes it hard to park anywhere and of a height that makes entering many car parks a hazard.

And yet... after a week of thinking the world had gone barking mad and I would never be able to live with it, something clicked. One moment my brain was awash with negatives (a list you could add to with the age-old Land Rover characteristic of hesitant step-off and slightly vague steering, perhaps not helped by the knobbly tyres), the next I was pondering how I could ever live without it. I’ve experienced this before, including with a Range Rover, and it’s easy to explain but hard to fathom. These are cars that just click; suddenly you know your way round it, know and anticipate its foibles; and then, just like that, your right elbow is resting on the door frame, you’re steering with one hand and you would be devastated if it were taken away.

Hold the five-door 110 solution. Even the kids, pectorals now built up from all the steps and lunges they’ve been doing, are hopping in with relative ease, if still needing to be caught on the way out.

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