There’s a reason that the land rover 110 defender 1990 remains a firm favourite in the company’s model line-up. It’s an imposing 4×4 that can cope with almost anything, from the monotonous family-car life to the craggy trails that lead through the Serengeti.
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Its squared styling gives it a toughness that’s hard to beat. And it’s off-road capabilities look impressive too, with low range, adjustable height air suspension (standard on the 110) and auto locking centre and rear diffs.
On road, the 110 is surprisingly smooth too, with the air springs and on-board electronics dialling out the twitchiness that the shorter wheelbase might otherwise introduce, making it feel more nimble than you’d expect. The 130, meanwhile, is no longer built from ‘cut-and-shut’ 110s; the new vehicle was designed from scratch, with a dedicated chassis and a 200Tdi engine.
Our first drive of the 110 and 130 – a two-day trip to Namibia – allayed our concerns, too. The new Defenders are a marvellous mixture of on-road refinement and awe-inspiring off-road ability that no other off-roader can match.
You’ll find a Defender 90 and 110 in a wide range of variants, including commercial and luxury versions. You can choose from a diesel or petrol engine, as well as a petrol plug-in hybrid unit.
There have also been several limited editions over the years – including the SV90 in 1992, with roll-over protection cage and alloy wheels and the 50th anniversary Defender 90 in 1998, equipped with an automatic transmission and Range Rover 4.0-litre V8. There were also a number of special Defenders produced to mark Land Rover’s 60th anniversary, in 2008, branded the SVX, with black paint and bespoke five-spoke alloy wheels.