2023 Land Rover Defender 130 First Drive: Now a proper people hauler

Ethel Walsh

The fashionable Land Rover Defender doesn’t have a shortage of seats. You can get a 3rd row in the 110 and a front bench seat in the 90, producing it attainable for 6 to seven people today to come alongside on whatsoever adventure you experienced cooked up. Of class, “coming along” is not the identical as “being snug.” For that, you’ll will need the new 2023 Land Rover Defender 130.

The 130 is virtually equivalent to the 110 from the entrance bumper to the back doors. Even the wheelbase is the identical. The distinction is the extra 13.5 inches tacked onto the back end, much of that hanging in excess of the rear wheels. If you are imagining that’ll significantly decrease the departure angle, you’d be proper. Evaluating the 130 to an air-suspension-geared up 110 (the 130 only comes with air suspension), the 110 has a 37.7-degree departure angle at on-street top and 40 levels at the off-street environment. In the meantime, the 130 has a 24.5-diploma departure angle at the on-street peak and 28.5 degrees when raised. So, if you might be likely to be off-roading your 130, you will want to be very careful not to drag the tail. At the very least the technique and breakover angles stay the very same, as do the ground clearances of 8.5 and 11.5 inches relying on suspension mode.

2023 Land Rover Defender 130

The excess size also modifications the Defender’s look, and not for the greater as significantly as most of the Autoblog staff is concerned. Soon after shelling out a week with it, nevertheless, I came to rather like the glance and locate that the 110 just about seems stubby in comparison. At the quite least, it absolutely seems better in particular person, so prior to producing it off completely, make positive you check a person out in real everyday living.

Apart from the apparent more length, just one noteworthy exterior modify is the deficiency of the rear safari windows. In its place, the 130 will get a conventional sunroof. It really is certainly not as distinctive as the safari windows on the shorter Defenders, but it does enable in more gentle (or considerably less if you shut the shade), which will help the rear-most seats truly feel airier and additional roomy.

And on the topic of room, the 130 has tons of it, at least for travellers. At about 5-foot-11, and a very little underneath 300 lbs, yours actually can sit quite comfortably in the 3rd row. There is certainly lots of headroom and even legroom. It won’t have to have the 2nd-row occupants to sacrifice significantly, if at all. So, the promise of a Defender with in fact usable more seats is happy. That does not make it a minivan, while. The 3rd-row seat is a tad organization, a little bit close to the ground and good luck fitting three across despite owning the seatbelts for it. Access is also a small tricky considering the fact that the rear doors are not any much larger and the second row just slides ahead without having any seat-bottom tips to give a wider move-through.

The problem is equivalent with cargo space. All that more duration does outcome in substantially far more area than the Defender 110 and just a little bit more than the other Land Rover a few-row SUV, the Discovery, but volumes are not as huge as you could possibly count on when compared to the phase as a whole. Space with all seats up is the best illustration of this: The 130 supplies 15.3 cubic ft of room, which is a helpful improvement in excess of the 3-row 110’s virtually worthless 10.7, but even now one of the scaled-down quantities for a a few-row SUV. Guiding the next row, the 130 expands its lead with 43.5 cubes to the 3-row 110’s 34.6. Flatten the next row and the 130 maxes out at 80.9 cubic toes as opposed to the 110’s 69. Some of the 130’s cargo-hauling capability is slightly hampered by the hump formed by the folded third row. Maintain in brain, though, that the Defender’s boxy shape should really make it more valuable than its figures propose when evaluating it to other huge, additional rounded SUVs.

Every thing else within is shared with the 110. There’s the very same charming mixture of utilitarian options and materials these as shelves and grippy buttons, with splashes of luxurious these kinds of as organic-finish wood trim and sleek infotainment graphics. Forward visibility is great, but rear visibility is significantly less so as entire-dimensions headrests for each and every seating place fill up the rearview mirror.

As for the driving encounter, well, there just isn’t considerably distinctive compared to the smaller Defenders. The 130 arrives normal with air suspension, which gives adjustable trip peak possibly for enhanced off-roading or less complicated accessibility when parked. It is tuned a little bit gentle but is well managed. Cornering is not the Defender’s powerful go well with with a first rate little bit of roll, but it really is a damn sight improved than a G-Wagen or Wrangler. And the steering is remarkably exact, even if sluggish and light in work. It can be clearly tuned to make it less difficult to navigate tight wooded trails, or similarly restricted parking tons.

Though the other Defenders offer you four- and eight-cylinder engines, the Defender 130 is only accessible with turbocharged, moderate-hybrid 3.-liter six-cylinder engines, one particular of which is distinctive to the model. That would be the foundation, very low-output inline-6 (dubbed P300), which would make 296 horsepower and 347 pound-toes of torque. Our take a look at vehicle, while, was outfitted with the P400 large-output moderate-hybrid inline-six earning 395 horsepower and 406 pound-toes of torque.

Even with out acquiring professional the minimal-output engine, we are assured in recommending the higher-output engine if your budget lets. It truly is impressively sleek and quiet, and it moves the Defender very easily. The automatic is a reliable match, shifting smoothly and swiftly sufficient, and comprehensive-time four-wheel-drive is handy in terrible temperature. The minimal-output motor is likely likewise easy (and has the same driveline), but it has no pros in contrast to the superior-output one particular. It is really down on energy, and it has the exact same fuel-financial system rating at 17 mpg town, 21 freeway and 19 combined. It does nonetheless have the 8,200-pound tow ranking, but yet again, you can have all that plus an added hundred horsepower and pound-ft of torque for just a bit far more up entrance.

The 130’s further area does occur with a major value enhance. The least expensive variation readily available is the S trim at $69,475. If you want the higher-output 6, it truly is one more $10,300 to go up to the SE, which does net you some added functions such as distinct headlights, a sunroof and 20-inch wheels. For comparison, you can get a Defender 110 for as minimal as $54,975, or $59,775 for a similar 110 S. So, you truly have to check with your self if that added area is worth an extra $10,000?

The Defender 130 finally fills a incredibly precise specialized niche: a luxury a few-row SUV that can go off-roading, but, as opposed to Land Rover’s current Discovery, with the boxy, rugged, go-any where look that is all the rage presently. It’s really the only game in town, but for the reason that of its good passenger packaging and terrific base driving working experience, at least it is a fantastic one.

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