The Defender is a relatively easy vehicle to drive and visibility is good all round with large windows and wing mirrors which enabled very clear side visibility, particularly important for such a high sided vehicle.
Ease of Use
The Defender is a relatively easy vehicle to drive and visibility is good all round with large windows and wing mirrors which enabled very clear side visibility, particularly important for such a high sided vehicle. The commanding driving position enables you to see further ahead down the road and over some vehicles at road junctions.
The gearbox is easy to use however, we found ourselves struggling with the dual-range transfer box which was awkward to operate.
Parking was surprisingly easy with few blind spots however as discussed earlier the turing circle does take some getting used to.
The Defender 90 XS Station Wagon is a six seat vehicle with four individual fold down, side facing rear seats. They are equipped with lap belts but do not incorporate head restraints and in our opinion are only suitable for children. The XS model has a folding rear step as standard and is the only way of accessing the rear and therefore not suitable for the people with mobility problems. The front seats are accessed via large opening doors, side runners are standard on the XS model but if you are on the shorter side it is a bit of a scramble to get in and out of the vehicle.
With the rear seats folded up the load area is adequate but not as large as you might imagine. The XS specification features good quality black carpet throughout and is more suited to domestic use rather than transporting livestock, animal feed or bales of hay.
The doors are surprisingly light but the rear door which houses the spare wheel is heavy and can be a bit awkward to open and close especially if the vehicle is on an incline.
The dashboard is both functional and utilitarian - the controls are within easy reach of the driver but seem to have evolved around the design of the vehicle rather than the ease of use of the driver and they are dated.
The wipers are utilitarian and mechanical sounding which did prove annoying on a long wet journey.
The halogen head lights were OK for road use but the main beam range was rather limited. If you are intending to use the Defender for off-road use we would recommend one of the more powerful light options that Land Rover offer. The Defender has only one reversing light which proved awkward whilst reversing on a country lane at night as you had limited rear vision.
Although the Defender will seat six it does lack the storage solutions of some of its rivals.
On a practical level the Defender incorporates a front storage box/armrest, 2 cupholders in the front, seat back pockets and a mesh pocket in the rear door.
Safety and Security
The following safety & security equipment is standard on the Defender 90 XS Station Wagon:
ABS (anti-lock braking system), ETC (electronic traction control), alarm, immobiliser and remote central locking.
Land Rover Defender Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Land Rover Defender 90 XS Station Wagon|
|Body Type||3-Door Four Wheel Drive|
|Colour||Zambezi Silver Metallic|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||Not Published|
|Top Speed||87 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||32.1 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||No Data|
|Warranty||Every new Land Rover supplied by Land Rover UK comes with a standard 3-year unlimited mileage warranty. Please apply to your dealer at time of purchase for full details of the manufacturer's terms and conditions|
|Price (when tested on the 05/02/05)||£25,595.00|