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Car Review

Land Rover Defender 90 review

810
Published: 28 Jul 2023
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Interior

What is it like on the inside?

It's a wonderful cabin, partly because it's not like any other car's.

Honest industrial design takes it far, far away from your normal road-car atmosphere. The solid cross-dash beam, strong console, structural door liners and washable floor are all about fitness for purpose. Not having to fret about dirtying or marking 'luxury' materials is itself a bit of a luxury.

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The infotainment electronics, HUD and driver aids are right up to modern premium-car standards. The Defender 90 gets Land Rover’s latest (and excellent) Pivi Pro system now too, as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.

I guess space is hard to come by…

Not so. The 90's rear bench gives plenty of leg and headroom for adults, and the upper 'alpine' windows make it feel airy. But getting there is a palaver – you have to squeeze into a tight gap or have your patience tested as the front seats motor sluggishly forward. When you’ve got a car seat and clobber on the back seats, this is highly annoying.

The boot's just under 400 litres, which is hardly enough for six active campers, and because the rear door opens horizontally rather than upwards like a hatch, you can’t really stack much in there without it all falling out every time you open the boot. And so you’ll keep as much as possible on the back seats, which - we repeat - are hard to access. It’s a vicious circle.

Anything I can do about that?

If you have one of those outdoorsy lifestyles you see in the adverts, you'll want to plunder Land Rover's huge range of external carrying accessories: roof racks, ladders, panniers, clamps and the rest. What the heck, tow a trailer for good measure.

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At least there are plenty of storage spaces inside: huge door bins, a warehouse-sized centre console (in the five-seater, at least), a huge cutout in the frame of the dash… you’ll never run out of room for gubbins, basically.

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