This summer the Land Rover Defender 90 finally went on sale and I totally dig the little two door and I definitely buy it over its larger Brethren, but that got me thinking, how little Could I spend on a defender and conversely, how much turns out there is a huge discrepancy in possible prices that belies the difference in their capabilities.
The cheapest defender I can get is a no options 90 which comes in at $47,450, including $1,350 for destination.
Meanwhile, the fully speced, and I'm talking fully speced with the most expensive options possible.
That defender 110 is get this $105,725 including destination.
So let's break that down and see what you get for those extra dollars.
All right, so what's on the base defender 90 Well, there's quite a lot actually.
Full Time four wheel drive a two speed transfer case.
Coil suspension and a terrain management system.
Meanwhile, the defender 110 swaps the coils for air suspension and adds adaptive suspension, a break based active differential which functions a little bit like a traditional locker and a more robust terrain management system, which includes a configurable mode to really dial in your settings.
Spending 110 in our example here also has altering progress control Just kind of an off road slow speed cruise control.
As for technology both low and high priced defenders come with niceties such as blind spot monitoring, Lane Keeping Assist, traffic sign recognition and a weight sensor.
In fact, the only extra perk you'll get with my pricey 110 is adaptive cruise control.
What you're really paying for here is features In the configurator I loaded up the 110 with a nearly $5,000 clear wrap to protect the paint 22 inch wheels heated everything protection, everything climatized to the hilt with an air purifier.
Outside are things like orange recovery hooks, a glass black hood, LED lighting, front fog lights and a whole lot of chrome.
Moving inside the 110 ups luxury with all kinds of leather, a rear camera mirror and an electrically adjustable steering wheel.
Now pretty luxurious, right?
So what's the same well both get wireless charging Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and a 10 inch touchscreen but the pricey defender gets a large at 12.3 inch digital gauge cluster.
The base defender 90 makes you with analog dials.
But the defender is all about capability, right?
I mean, this is the UK his answer to our jeep.
So what's the difference between the base model and that most spending.
Well first off the 90s got less power.
Under the hood is a two liter twin turbocharged four cylinder engine, good for 296 horsepower and 295 pound feet of torque, and that's made it to an eight speed automatic transmission.
While you can get that same power train in the 110.
My loaded up example has the three liter mild hybrid six cylinder engine, pushing out 395 horsepower.
406 pound feet of torque, and that's made it to that same eight speed auto.
So what do you actually get with those engines?
Well, the two liter in the 90 goes from zero to 60 in 7.6 seconds, while the three liter does it in 5.8 seconds.
Both have a top speed of 119 miles per hour and will return an EPA estimated 19 miles per gallon combined.
Now obviously you get more defender with the Defender 110.
Back in the day the number 90 or 110 refered to the Defender's wheel base but that's not quite the case anymore.
The 90 has got a wheel base of 101.9 inches while the 110 is at 118.9 inches.
Overall the 90 is 180.4 inches long and that includes the spare tyre The 110 goes to 197.6" with the volt is the same and the height difference is so small as to be negligible.
Now of course that translates to less cargo space in the 90, which has 15.6 cu- ft of space behind the second row, while the 110 has more than double at 34 cu.
Pulled the second row seats down and the 90 can help 58.3 cubic feet of cargo, the 110 78.8 cubic feet and that smaller size of the 90 translates to less weight as well.
The Defender 90 is 4550 pounds and the 110 is 700 pounds or so pork you're at 5260 pounds.
The smaller defender can tow 7716 pounds, the larger one a little bit more at 8201 pounds.
But if you're gonna get a defender, you're gonna have to use it in the dirt and here's where we see the biggest differences.
The least expensive 90 has a static coil spring suspension, while the 110 has an air suspension that can raise the car for more ground clearance and better angles.
The 90 has 8.9 inches of ground clearance while the 110 and offroad mode is up to 11.5 inches.
The 90 has an approach angle of 31.5 degrees while the 110 goes big with 38 degrees.
Departure angle for the defender 90 is a respectable 35.5 degrees, but the 110 blows it away with 40 degrees.
As for breakover angle, the 90 is at 25.5 degrees.
The 110 even with its longer wheelbase is at 28 degrees.
The Defender 99 coils can weigh 230 3.4 inches of water, the 110 on air can forward to 35.4 inches.
Now anecdotally I've seen Land Rover air suspension fail on the trail more than once.
And I trust mechanical setup more than electronics but those numbers don't lie, that your suspension gives you much better capability.
Now, did I make some wacky choices to get to that $105,000 price point?
I mean sure.
Nobody's gonna option a fabric folding roof and a roof rack.
In fact, I loaded my Defender 110 up with nearly $9,000 worth of options, and I think only about 2600 of them are worth it.
My perfect Defender 110 comes in at right around $60,000 though I prefer the smaller 90 with the coil suspension for right around $56,000.
Moral of the story here, the most expensive is not always the best.
Don't get suckered into thinking you need every option on the planet.
In some cases less really is more.