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Auto review: Land Rover Defender 90 is strapped, wrapped and ready to defend!

Marc D. Grasso, Boston Herald on

Published in Automotive News

Manufacturers these days enjoy the craze of fulfilling their lots with an assortment of vehicles for all types of consumers. From sedans to SUVs to off-road machines, the joyfulness of consumer loyalty is at an all time high.

For Land Rover, that’s the status quo. This week, I'm reviewing Land Rover’s 2021 Defender 90 First Edition. Although it’s last year’s model, to experience the first edition was actually really enjoyable. This two-door Defender version is made for just about everything, although off-road is where the thrills begin.

Members of the Land Rover consumer cult enjoy the upscale SUV while specifically understanding the vehicles are not the most reliable — but they certainly look stunning. As the reliability continues to be top of mind, let's focus directly on Land Rover's strategic efforts to improve consumer satisfaction.

A powerful 395 horsepower six-cylinder engine with 406 pound-feet of torque is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, making sure to top the enjoyment list. The Defender 90 is rugged and defends the Land Rover nameplate perfectly.

Although my Defender 90 First Edition was very basic and didn't bring the frills, the basic entry level model really shows what Land Rover has to offer. Cloth seats, front row jump seat, 10-inch infotainment system with touchscreen and navigation, SiriusXM, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Also standard is the folding fabric “ragtop” roof which is a nice feature. Seating is comfortable, and the Defender 90 has great leg room in the back seats as well as the front.

On the outside, the vehicle is boxy, rugged and awesome, clearly suited for off-road adventures. It boasts great ride height, and is nicely designed and well put together.

“The Land Rover Defender 90 is the newest and most off-road capable SUV from the British luxury brand,” said Karl Brauer, executive analyst for iSeeCars.com. “It launched with exceptional off-road specifications and technical features, and has just been upgraded with an optional supercharged V-8 engine. The added power is accompanied by more confident on-road dynamics, yet it doesn’t compromise the Defender’s off-road prowess, creating one of the most widely capable and appealing SUVs on the market.”

For Land Rover, it’s all about off-road life, albeit with understated luxury. It's not your average Jeep Wrangler or Ford Bronco.

Land Rover Defender 90

 

MSRP: $64,100

As tested: $66,475

MPG: 17 city, 22 highway, 19.4 as tested

Engine: supercharged, turbocharged, and intercooled DOHC 24-valve 3.0-liter inline-6

Horsepower/Torque: 395/406 pound-feet of torque

Transmission: 8-speed automatic

Length/Width/Height: 180.4 in/78.6 in/77.5–77.7 in

Ground clearance: 8.9 inches

©2022 the Boston Herald. Visit the Boston Herald at www.bostonherald.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
 

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