Review: Land Rover Defender 130, Family SUV, Off-Road Chops

Ethel Walsh

The Defender nameplate not too long ago returned to Land Rover’s North American lineup immediately after a decades-prolonged hiatus, a time when brand name diehards unable to tummy lifetime without the need of one of the most revered off-road SUVs at any time constructed had to rely on under-the-radar imports.

Inspite of sacrificing some of its old-faculty construction in favor of a far more avenue-welcoming, modern-day platform, each the two-door Defender 90 and its 4-door Defender 110 sibling retained the identical go-any where ethos that assisted establish their legend, whilst also broadcasting a acquainted, box-like condition that set them apart from other associates of the Land Rover steady.

At some level, a person of the Defender’s designers must have appeared at the four-doorway design and determined it simply wasn’t extended more than enough. Enter the Land Rover Defender 130, the most current iteration of the SUV which tacks on an added 13.4 inches in the title of stuffing an extra passenger row in entrance of the rear hatch. The shift will come with some pitfalls (awkward proportions, compromising the vehicle’s four-wheeling fortitude), but also caters to the realities of loved ones lifetime in a deal that number of other luxurious haulers can match.

The Land Rover Defender 130, the three-row version of the SUV, in white driving down a sandy road

If you feel the Defender 130 seems to be as well bulky below on line, give it a chance in genuine lifetime.

Jaguar Land Rover

Give the Defender 130 a Probability

It is essential to understand that in individual, the Defender 130 cuts a more swish silhouette than images suggest. Photos of this Land Rover draw the eye to its not inconsiderable rump, suggesting a dowdy, big-at-the-hips character, but this could not be additional from the truth of the matter. I ended up accomplishing a in the vicinity of-180 on my have very first impressions of the 130 for the duration of the time we put in alongside one another, and arrived to appreciate its clean up, straight-edge traces (manufactured even much more rectilinear by the deletion of the roof home windows located with the shorter four-doorway 110).

Though the greenhouse has been altered, the 130 shares its wheelbase with the 110, which cantilevers the rearmost quarters aft of the back axle. It’s this positioning that no doubt allows the 3rd row reach around-parity in conditions of consolation with the next row, as the squeeze experienced in so lots of other a few-row haulers is absent from the Defender’s checklist of attributes. Three abreast is tolerable whilst a pair of older people won’t have a lot to complain about in conditions of leg or head room, even on a longer journey.

Review: The Two-Door Land Rover Defender 90 Is an Anomaly That Resurrects Personal Luxury

There are sacrifices to be made, even so, in the Defender’s pursuit of eight-passenger potential. As with the 90 and 110, the 130 lacks a flat load floor with the rear rows folded, forming an uncomfortable trough at the again. It’s a challenge virtually just about every other SUV-builder has solved, nevertheless it carries on to escape Land Rover’s ken. Loading also continues to be compromised by a hatch that swings open up to the right (practical when plying England’s mountains eco-friendly, but blocking the curb on this facet of the Atlantic), and the huge spare tire hanging off that exact hatch blocks a important part of the view out the rear. 

That getting said, there’s a little bit much more house concerning the seatback and the cargo opening in the 130 as as opposed to the 110, and a valuable 9-cubic-toes of further storage accessible below its stretched roof with each and every row pitched ahead.

The three rows inside the Land Rover Defender 130, a longer version of the SUV

Go ahead, pack the total family (and a couple buddies, maybe the dog way too) in this behemoth.

Jaguar Land Rover

Landy Acquired Back again

There are two other places where by the Defender 130’s even bigger powering has a Sir Combine-a-Good deal-sized effects. The to start with is the undeniable bulk and the effect this has on hurtling the Land Rover by means of targeted traffic it also complicates simple tasks like parking and negotiating limited urban areas. What we’re working with below is statuesque asphalt competence substituted for outright athleticism.

If you strike the trail, you are going to even more find that the 130 is a much less delighted camper when it arrives to huge open up spaces, specifically if identified as upon to climb. The junk in its trunk drops small sufficient to minimize 11.5 degrees from the platform’s former departure angle, which will have you laying frame ought to you get way too intense on the upswing. This is ameliorated relatively by the existence of the superb drinking water-fording functionality, common height-adjustable air suspension, and traction-concentrating existence of all-wheel push, blended with an available electronically controlled rear differential.

The more room also provides with it a excess weight penalty about 500 lbs, tasking the Land Rover’s turbocharged six-cylinder engine’s 395 horsepower and 406 lb-ft to a greater degree than its additional modest system mates. Going that considerably mass doesn’t so substantially pressure the 3.-liter motor as remind the driver of its restrictions, with acceleration remaining just this facet of suitable when pulling out to move on the highway. It is more than enough bulk to slice a one mile for every gallon from the SUV’s blended rating, which reveals as 19 mpg for the 130 as opposed to 20 mpg for the 110.

A Land Rover Defender 130 in white driving up sand dunes

If you have never ever considered a Land Rover just before, maybe this extra-huge Defender is what you have been waiting for.

Jaguar Land Rover

Ford Bronco Buster?

The least difficult evaluation of the Land Rover Defender 130 (which starts at $68,000) is to model it as a additional capacious cousin to the four-door 110 and depart it at that. If you are targeted totally on passenger place, then paying the excess $8,000 or so for the 3rd row (vs . a comparably equipped 110) isn’t also a lot to inquire, and the Defender’s rugged styling places it in a distinctive league than the scaled-down and more affordable 7-passenger Land Rover Discovery 3-row SUV sitting down in the identical showroom.

The Defender lineup is much a lot more nuanced, on the other hand, to be divided up along very simple queries of seating. It is possible to purchase a turbocharged 4-cylinder version of the 110 which is totally $15,000 more cost-effective than the 130, though the stubby two-doorway D90 stays in the blend for potential buyers at the incredibly reverse end of the family spectrum. This depth and breadth will become even far more intriguing when contrasted against its nearest serious-globe competitor, the Ford Bronco.

Sharing virtually the similar footprint and non secular heritage, the existence of the Defender 130 one particular-ups the two-row-only Bronco with its excess accommodations. Lest it seem uncouth to compare the genteel Land Rover to the far more pedestrian Ford, look at that it’s probable to devote as substantially as $70,000 on the Bronco Heritage Limited Edition trim, and that’s ahead of you include any possibilities or cross above into high-efficiency Bronco Raptor territory. 

Contrasting the driving encounter and feature established of the two designs lands heavily in favor of the Landy’s refinement and comprehensive gaggle of consolation gear — factors that start off to make a difference a entire whole lot a lot more when you have crossed into the top quality price tag spectrum. With the Defender now fielding a triad of off-highway able alternatives, it’s no more time taking part in solely to an recognized luxurious audience, but also calling out to a broader assortment of buyers who want a little bit of badge flash to go with their SUV expend. 

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