John Craddock Ltd Magazine (June 2021)
Considering a Land Rover Defender and stuck on whether to go for the 90 or 110? We know it’s a toughie, so here is the long and short of it, so you can make your decision and drive off-road into the sunset.
Getting To Know The Defender
First, let’s get a little bit of the back story, in 1983, the Defender 110 was released, and just a year later, the 90 came onto the market. They are both well-loved and whether you opt for pre-2016 or a newer iteration of the model, the considerations you will make to choose between the 90 or the 110 will be largely the same. We will run through them both and then note down some considerations for you if you’re in the market to buy, which should hopefully make that decision a little bit easier for you.
Strong and sturdy, a longer wheelbase and with more room for humans and cargo. It’s the original and the most-loved, for its versatility in being a working Defender, a commercial vehicle, and suitable for families as well. Think tackling family life, road trips and adventures, all while being able to tick the box for the everyday norms.
After reading that about the 110, you’re probably wondering why on earth anyone would go for a 90, but there are plenty of reasons, we promise. First up, its smaller design and shorter wheelbase mean it is more practical in the real world. Think car parks, tight corners, and the other everyday evils we find on British turf. Aside from that, the shape also means it is a little meaner when going off-road, with better grip and handling for even the toughest of terrains. While the room inside is smaller, it is perfect for adventuring couples who want something rugged and capable to make memories in.
What will you be using the car for?
Practicality, a great place to start. What will you be using the car for, and does the one you’re looking at fit the bill? You might have a limited list in your mind but think about school runs, work commutes, trips to the shops and weekend adventures. There is going to be a long list of destinations and requirements that this car has to meet, so note them down and weigh up whether the 90 or the 110 is going to meet those needs better.
Who will be driving and riding?
How many seats, and how many passengers, as well as who is head of the pack and driving it the most, as there is quite a bit of difference in the driving experience. The 90 tends to feel more like a car, but when you move up to the size of the 110, you feel like you’re in van territory and while that is one heck of a feeling, it isn’t always for everyone.
How long do you think you will keep the car for?
Whether you opt for something smaller and think about expanding later, this will be a large part of the considerations in your buying journey. However, if this is the forever car and the investment piece, then you may want to think about space now, rather than regretting it later.
What kind of roads will it have to tackle?
The M6 is very different to the winding roads of the Cairngorms. Now, that is not to say that you can’t get a car that can do both, but a 90 would be better for city living, whereas a 110 is the original adventure-mobile. Think about the kind of roads that will be your most driven and take your decisions from there.
Are you going for old or new?
Not that it will make a difference to the size so much, but it is worth considering whether you are going for older or newer, and what that means for the price, depreciation, and added extras you may be exploring. If you are investing a lot into the car, it may make sense to bite the bullet and go bigger, as we all know that they hold their value extremely well.
Are there any other considerations to make?
From bikes to surfboards and anything else you are going to throw at it, or attach to it! Make a note of any bits of information that could be relevant and will help you narrow down the search.