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Land Rover Defender SHOOTOUT: Base 90 vs loaded 110

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The Defender 90 starts at under $50,000. Can it play with an optioned-up $105,000 Defender 110?

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 specced and i’m talking fully spec’d 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 brake 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 the spendy 110 in our example here also has all-terrain progress control which is kind of an off-road slow speed cruise control as for technology both low and high price defenders come with niceties such as blind spot monitoring lane keeping assist traffic sign recognition and a wade 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

Gloss black hood led lighting front fog lights and a whole lot of chrome moving inside the 110 ups the luxury with all kinds of leather a rear camera mirror and an electrically adjustable steering wheel i know 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 12.3 inch digital gauge cluster the base defender 90 makes do with analog dials but the defender is all about capability right i mean this is the uk’s answer to our jeep so what’s the difference between the base base model and that most spendy well first off the 90’s 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 powertrain in the 110 my loaded up example has the three liter mild hybrid six cylinder engine pushing out 395 horsepower and 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 2-liter in the 90 goes from 0-60 in 7.6 seconds while the 3-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 referred to the defender’s wheelbase but

That’s not quite the case anymore the 90 has got a wheelbase 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 tire the 110 goes to 197.6 inches width 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 cubic feet of space behind the second row while the 110 has more than double at 34 cubes fold the second row seats down and the 90 can haul 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 4 550 pounds and the 110 is 700 pounds or so porkier at 5 260 pounds the smaller

Defender can tow 7 716 pounds the larger one a little bit more at 8 201 pounds but if you’re gonna get a defender you’re gonna have to use it in the dirt and here is 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 in off-road 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 33.4 inches of water the 110 on air can ford 35.4 inches now anecdotally i’ve seen land rover air suspension fail on the trail more than once and i trust a mechanical setup more than electronics but those numbers don’t lie that air 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 nine thousand dollars worth of options and i think only about 2 600 of them are worth it my perfect defender 110 comes in at right around 60 though i prefer the smaller ninety with the coil

Suspension for right around fifty six thousand dollars 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 all right so which way are you going coil springs on the 90 or the big boy 110 with the air suspension let me know in the comments and as

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Land Rover Defender SHOOTOUT: Base 90 vs loaded 110 By CNET Cars