Sprint Review: 2021 Land Rover Defender 90 D300 x-dynamic

Shattered. Destroyed. My illusion of one day buying a Defender 90 for my little family lies in tatters. But it’s not for the usual reasons…

You should know: I think that whole “not a real Defender” issue has been severely dealt with and I honestly thought I could buy one of these shorter, two-door Defender 90’s in a few years; when they re-entered the market as pre-owned and more affordable specimens. However, a weekend with this silver D300 x-dynamic press car has ruined my dreams…

More info: I have a wild child and a horsey wife, what better car could I wish for than this trendy new Landy? It’s stylish, it’s sophisticated, it’ll tow a horsebox like nobody’s business and it will easily conquer any adventure we can think of. And this 3L in-line 6-cylinder turbo-diesel engine must be the pick of the bunch.

Its maximum outputs of 221kW and 650Nm are respectable sports car numbers, so they make light work of moving this 3-ton monster along to a limited top speed of 191km/h; smashing past 100 in just 6.7 seconds. T’is absolutely true, we measured exactly 6.75 seconds and a ¼ mile time of 14.88 seconds at 93.46mph.

What else? The brakes are also excellent, as are the headlights, the interior, the media screen, the intelligent all-wheel drive system, that air suspension and the customisation options. I’ve spent hours on the online configurator, dreaming up different versions of what I thought would be our ultimate family ride…

Why you shouldn’t: But the deal breakers, in my real world test, were the Defender 90’s unbelievably long doors. Never mind my own big bum, wrangling a toddler in and out of the rear seats in a tight parking lot… that put the nail in this car’s coffin. You simply can’t get anything done unless there’s an empty bay next to this vehicle.

Rear visibility could also be a deal breaker, although L-R has equipped this urban tank with plenty of cameras and sensors to warn you of impending disaster. Like accidentally backing over the neighbour’s house. Although it’s shorter than a 110, this is still a huge machine. Also, there’s the equally huge price of roughly 1.5 bar.  

Why you should: If you are single, or dinks, or a retired couple, please buy this car immediately and smile every time you see a flustered father fighting to strap something stroppy into a Graco. While holding up half the Kwikspar shoppers. But I reiterate: it’s not the 90’s fault. The new Land Rover 90 D300 x-dynamic is almost perfect.  


Engine:3L i-6 turbo-diesel
Transmission:8-speed Automatic, AWD
Max. Power:221kW
Max. Torque:650Nm
Avg. cons.:(claimed 7.6)
0-100km/h:6.75 seconds (claimed 6.7)
Top Speed:Claimed 191km/h
List Price:R1,466,000

4 thoughts on “Sprint Review: 2021 Land Rover Defender 90 D300 x-dynamic”

  1. Did you get it to “overstier” at any time, most specifically after reviving your bank manager when your loan application for R1,5 million was rejected?


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