The Defender’s visibility is further compromised by wide B-pillars creating a big blind spot when the driver checks over their shoulder. The vehicle seems generally robust and its solid doors would not feel out of place in a bank vault, though the test car had an annoying rattle in the driver’s door.
The Defender 90 has no direct competitors. Its rivals in terms of power cannot match it for off-road performance, while it is much gutsier than the Jeep Wrangler that can go toe-to-toe with it in the turf. The closest in spirit and overall ability is the Mercedes-AMG G63, which is a larger vehicle and costs more than R1m more.
This shortened Landy may not have the family-friendly practicality of the 110, but its cool cat image and impressive off-road ability make its star shine bright.
Type: Supercharged petrol V8
Type: Eight-speed automatic
Type: Permanent all-wheel drive, selectable low range
Top speed: 240km/h
0-100km/h: 5.2 secs (claimed); 5.1 secs (as tested)
Fuel Consumption: 12.8l/100km (claimed), 15.5l/100km (as tested)
Electronic Stability Control, ABS brakes, six airbags, matrix LED headlights, automatic headlamps, sliding panoramic sunroof, climate control, rain sensor wipers, adaptive air suspension, lane change assist, adaptive cruise control, head up display, tyre pressure sensor, 360° parking and off-road camera, hill descent control, limited slip differential, electrically deployable towbar, keyless central locking, electrically adjustable front seats, ventilated and heated front seats, electrically adjustable steering column, infotainment system with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, digital instrument panel.
COST OF OWNERSHIP
Warranty: Five years/100,000km
Service plan: Five years/100,000km
Lease: R53,730 a month
*at 10% interest over 60 months no deposit
Land Rover Defender 90 V8
WE LIKE: Power, off-road ability, styling
WE DISLIKE: Fuel consumption, blind spots
VERDICT: All-terrain SUV that oozes street cred
Motor News star rating
Value For Money ****
BMW X3 M Competition, 375kW/650Nm — R2,032,618
Jaguar F-Pace SVR, 405kW/700Nm — R1,991,861
Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4Matic, 375kW/700Nm — R1,957,172
Mercedes-AMG G63, 430kW/850Nm — R3,606,180
Porsche Macan GTS, 324kW/550Nm — R1,617,000
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