5 Cheeky 2023 Land Rover Defender 90 Features Are Baffling

Since the Defender 90’s back, we’ve been preparing by doing things like switching from coffee to tea. We got ready to shoot mud in bad weather and bet on corgi races. But all our training hasn’t prepared us for some rather silly features of 2023 90.

What is the 2023 Land Rover Defender 90?

2023 Land Rover Defender 90 | Alison Barfield, Motor Biscuit

2023 Land Rover Defender 90 is the smallest version in the lineup. The Defender 110 is a two-row, four-door. The Defender 130 stretches things further to provide three rows for families.

, so it’s loaded with additional bells and whistles, including a faux suede steering wheel. This is the first time we’ve used a soft steering wheel like this, and it’s mind-boggling.

It is a nice shade of gray and soft to the touch. Also, our tester has over 10,000 miles on it and has been hanging well so far. But it looks easy to smudge. We don’t want to spill a drop of tea on it. How long will it take to dry? What if your hands get sweaty? Does the stink linger?

The front seats have faux padding, too, which could be nice. However, we were hoping for a durable leather texture that would be easy to clean. The faux suede gets a little tough once it’s covered in mud.

Fortunately, cloth mats can be removed. But larger, rubber-coated, all-weather mats will be much easier to clean.

2. The control layout is confusing

The best way to learn how to use your 2023 Land Rover Defender 90 is to ask an expert to explain the buttons and controls. The buttons are labeled with images rather than text, and there aren’t many physical controls.

To adjust the fan speed, you click a button in the middle of the center stack that indicates the passenger turntable, and then spin it. You can also press the same button to adjust the heated and ventilated seats.

To change driving modes you have to select some touch menu or start with a button that has mountains on it. Switching from your phone’s media to radio can be confusing, and we didn’t know we had a head-up display until we accidentally hit settings to bring it up.

3. The reverse camera software is interesting

The 2023 Land Rover Defender 90 has excellent trail cameras. You can see what’s in front of the bumper, the sides of the wheels, and a 360-degree screen. The resolution is vibrant and clear.

However, while in motion, the thin line serves as an indication of where you can’t go, and the scenery behind the line is obscured by shades of dark gray. The line jumps and moves a lot and can feel distorted.

Also, on that note, the parking sensors are a little sensitive and beep as the system adjusts to the changing environment.

4. There could be more mechanical features

While the technology of 2023 is out of this world, some aspects are a little weird. For example, the front seats do not slide manually back and forth. You must use the controls near the headrest.

You can release the button to slowly pull the seats forward but you have to hold it to move it backwards. Also, it takes a few seconds to slide forward, which makes it a bit tedious to stow people, pets, and merchandise in the back.

5. 20-inch tires are not fat

2023 Land Rover Defender 90 on 20-inch wheels
2023 Land Rover Defender 90 | Alison Barfield, Motor Biscuit

20-inch wheels wrapped in all-season tires. It doesn’t have the bulky, chunky tires like the typical American off-roader. You can get lost in the tread of Ford Bronco Raptor tires!

People like to point out that the tires don’t seem to be suitable for off-road driving. However, they can be quickly proven wrong. The Defender and Bronco Raptor have taken us on the same trails, and the Defender 90 doesn’t need huge tires.

Wanders through water, walks through mud/cracks, and climbs rocks with ease. You may be more capable than you think.

Also, don’t take this as a list of negatives. These features stand out simply because they are unique and a bit confusing. We have so many excellent things to say about the Defender.

For example, the ride is smooth, the cabin is quiet, there’s more personal cargo space than the Jeep Wrangler and Ford Bronco, it has insane off-road capabilities, the tech is advanced, and the air suspension is versatile.

We’re still getting to know the Land Rover Defender 90 and will be giving a full review soon. We’ve been off-roading, around town, and on road trips with the Defender and have plenty to unload.

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