I had the keys to a 2021 Land Rover Defender 90 First Edition for the week. I am going to touch on all of the best features and the worst features to note about this rugged little SUV. So without any unnecessary fluff here are the best and worst features of the Defender 90 First Edition.
The Off-Road Goodies
Being a Land Rover Defender you expect it to be able to handle itself off of the pavement. The 2021 Land Rover Defender 90 is stacked with off-road features to do just that.
It has an all-wheel-drive system with a two-speed transfer box, Terrain Response modes (basically drive modes) which allow you to switch between ECO, Comfort, Grass Gravel Snow, Mud-Ruts, Sand, Rock Crawl, Wade, and a personalized configurable mode, hill descent control, air suspension, and the model I tested came with optional off-road tires.
The 2021 Land Rover Defender 90 I tested came with the 3.0 liter 6 cylinder engine which kicked out 395 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. That power makes its way through the 8-speed automatic transmission to the all-wheel-drive system and let’s just say it happily goes and goes fast.
Rugged Purpose Built Interior
The 2021 Land Rover Defender 90 comes with a bunch of luxury interior bits such as the full digital driver information cluster, 10-inch navigation display, and Meridan audio system. While being quite luxurious for an off-roader, it is also white rugged and features a bunch of off-road centric pieces throughout.
There are cubby slots and shelves throughout even going behind the 10-inch nav screen for added space. Much of the material feels rugged and grippy to the touch.
2020 marked the first refresh of the Defender since the 80s. It had a lot to live up to. The Defenders of old were basically the go-to for Bond villains and for serious offroad enthusiasts. The look was timeless and Land Rover had to continue that look and I believe they did with the Land Rover Defender 90.
Third Seat Is an Unnecessary Gimmick
So the 2021 Land Rover Defender 90 comes with a third “jump” seat in the front which raises up out of the center console (the third seat is basically the center console with cup holders on its back). It is very unique and cool in theory, but I cannot imagine a situation where I would want a third passenger to sit next to me rubbing elbows instead of sitting behind me.
A Lot of Space Lost with the 2-Door
By putting this on the list it basically tells you where I would put my money, on the big 4-door version. I think too much space is lost with the 2-door, particularly behind the rear seats.