Land Rover Defender 90 XS: Intro / Mods


  Intro / Mods    


Practicality / Spec Engine / Performance Driving / NVH

Faults / Injuries

    Options / Verdict  



Never ever, have I had such a reaction about a car….or in fact anything I’ve possessed before…and now it seems to be a common response.


I’d had enough. After an overbearing moment of realisation from running a hot-hatch, I’d come to the conclusion that:

The faster you are, the more you get held up by everyone else.

When dozy town drivers pootle about without any sense of punctuality, Doris in her Jazz suddenly isn’t the main issue any more.

It’s time to switch to the dark side and see what it’s all about; ignorance appears to be bliss! Screw it, who even needs mirrors?

So with the Land Rover Defender coming to an end after 68 years of production, we’ve decided to take the plunge and get one. I’ve never really had an old-fashioned car, and since I missed out on the original Mini while growing up, I didn’t want to miss out again.   Sure, it’s going to be sloooow but since winter is coming up, I’d be struggling to drive the Fiesta ST quickly anyway.

So, it’s time to see what being pedestrian and having this iconic car is all about.

So that phrase “Everyone is getting married or pregnant, and I’m just here with car parts.” ….not got a lot to disapprove that today.
  • Upgraded Ring headlight bulbs

After a bit of prior research, it sounded like the standard headlight bulbs were pretty weak and about as strong as a torch. So I upgraded with a set of these.

Ring headlight

After picking up the car though, the standard ones were neither as yellow or as useless as I’d originally feared, but upgrading has definitely made an improvement.

Headlight Before_After

  • KBX rear light guards

Was always tempted by the official cage-like guards but as it turns out, you have to bolt/rivet them onto the body itself. This was enough to put me off, but more so because: if you do hit something, it’ll damage the bodywork instead…. logic?

  • Interior LED courtesy lighting

These ones from outbound4x4 stay on ALL the time!

Not the most foolproof mod, but the live current running through both courtesy lights is still enough to dimly light the LED’s – even when all doors are closed – and as they run on the same fuse as the clock, the live current is permanent.   They have coincidentally doubled as mood lighting though while driving!

Defender Interior light Before_After
On > Off

It obviously doesn’t drain the car battery, but you do manually switch the lights to the ‘Off’ setting every time you leave to preserve the bulb’s lifeline.

  • Front + Loadspace Mats

Essential, for both dirt and noise insulation purposes. But as it says ‘Defender’, it’s not cheap!

  • 35% Window Tints

With those large rear windows at head-height when walking past, we thought it was best to tint these up. With 9 panes of glass in total, this took a few weekends to fit by myself, including a couple that had to be re-done!

  • Gloss Black Dash wrap

Defender Dash strip


  • 6″ Speaker upgrade (Planned, but never installed).
  • KBX Side + Wing-Top Vents
  • KBX Front Light Surrounds
  • Steering Guard
  • Alpine SWE-1200 Sub-Woofer option
  • Smaller, Momo Steering Wheel
  • Gloss Black Roof-Wrap

Defender blkrf side

  • Updated Fiesta Vents (Planned, but never installed)
  • Exterior LED Light upgrade
  • Wipac Crystal Headlight Conversion
  • Glovebox Installation
  • Rear Bumper-Step
  • Twisted Leather Dash Pods + Grab Handles
  • Landy Glass – Perhaps a touch extravagant, but it does look like a giant fish-tank afterwards!
LR Defender LandyGlass
from in addition with the LED lights, Sawtooth alloys, bumper-step, and separate spare wheel carrier

Spec: 90 XS County Station Wagon 2015MY
Engine: 2.2 TDCI Diesel, 122bhp, 266lb ft
Transmission: 6 Speed Manual
Mpg: Official: 27.3mpg Achieved: 26mpg
Performance: 0-62mph: 15.5 Secs, 90mph (Ltd)
Colour: Montalcino Red
Running Period: Winter 2014 – Summer 2015, 6100 Miles
Options: Tow ball + electrics

6 thoughts on “Land Rover Defender 90 XS: Intro / Mods

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