When Land Rover announced that the Defender was returning, we all wondered if it would live up to its legendary status, and thanks to this drive with Matt Farah, we know the answer.
Jawbone Canyon is the setting for this “Two Takes” video from The Smoking Tire featuring both Matt Farah and Zack Klapman. Typically, the team takes off-road testing to national parks in California, but that wasn’t an option due to fires at the time of filming.
It might be for the best, too, because the trail these gents follow is truly picturesque, and the Land Rover Defender 90 only makes those images better. Its shorter wheelbase is the star of the show as it’s more maneuverable than the longer 110 version.
This smaller version of the Defender is more than 17 inches shorter than the four-door variant. Thankfully, the 90 doesn’t take the room from the front seats. Farah goes so far as to praise the legroom in the front too.
Under the hood is a 3-liter turbocharged inline-6 that also uses an electric supercharger to fill in torque while the turbo spools up. It makes 390 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. Combined with an 8-speed auto and a two-speed transfer case, it’s a serious off-road beast.
Farah agrees as they tackle one trail after another without issue. In fact, the only blemish is a disappointing infotainment system and the lack of radar cruise control. Beyond that, Farah thinks this is the best two-door SUV on the market today.
He notes the additional luxuries as the main winning points for Land Rover. It’s quieter, it features a more serious off-road kit like air suspension, and overall it’s more refined. That refinement and flexibility put it ahead of rivals like the Ford Bronco.
If anyone would know, it’s Farah who reviewed a fully-spec’d Bronco not long ago. We can’t wait to see if Jeep can answer back with the Wrangler 392.