Everything you want to know about the latest offering from Land Rover
Land Rover introduced the Defender to the public in the early 1980s, first renaming the Land Rover 90 and Land Rover 110 as the Defender 90 and Defender 110, with the number representing the wheelbase of the two-door and four-door models respectively. Then, just a year later, it also redubbed the Land Rover 127 as the Defender 130.
Since then, the 130 has represented the longest and most passenger-friendly model in the Defender lineup, even during the decades it wasn’t offered in North America. Now, with a new Defender generation on Canadian roads once again, the 130 is back with three rows of full size seating for 8 people.
The 2023 Land Rover Defender 130 sits 340mm (13.4 inches) longer than the 110 and rides on Land Rover’s D7x platform, which boasts 3 times the torsional rigidity than the former Defender’s body-on-frame composition. At a glance, it is clearly a Defender, with straight lines top and bottom and that classic British approach to off-road design—only the 130’s body is longer, cutting a stretched yet perfectly balanced silhouette.
“[The] new Defender 130 brings a new dimension of capability to our most durable and rugged family of vehicles,” said Nick Collins, Executive Director of Vehicle Programmes for Land Rover. “Its spacious interior welcomes and transports up to eight people in supreme comfort, enabling unparalleled sophisticated adventuring opportunities for families, with unique design signatures to create a distinct New Defender experience.”
All that added length translates into a bunch more room in the interior. Most crucially, there’s now enough seating for two more passengers thanks to a 2+3+3 full-size seat configuration. The cargo area has also been boosted to measure 80.9 cubic feet with the rear two rows folded, 43.5 cu. ft. with solely the third row folded, and 13.7 cu. ft. when all seats are in the upright position.
When it comes to off-road capabilities, the Land Rover Defender 130 comes with standard air suspension, and maintains the same approach and breakover angles as the 110 variant, but offers a departure angle of 28.5 degrees compared to the 110’s 40 degrees, making it mildly less suited to steep hill climbs than its shorter brethren. Drivers and front-seat passengers now have access to a larger 11.4-inch Pivi Pro touchscreen that comes standard, and can breathe easily thanks to the advanced Cabin Air Purification Plus system that can filter and inhibit harmful viruses including Covid-19.
The interior features Light Oyster leather and a new Natural Light Oak veneer with chrome details. And navigation can now be managed without a phone connection thanks to the nifty ‘what3words’ program that provides directions to any three metre square on the planet through a three-word code.
Coming standard under the hood, meanwhile, is Land Rover’s P300 3.0-litre Ingenium inline-six cylinder making 296 hp and 347 lb-ft of torque, more than 50 lb-ft more than the outgoing P300’s twist figures. But there’s also the option for a more powerful P400 3.0-litre inline-6 good for 395 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. Fitted with the P300 unit, the Defender 130 can reach 100 km/h in 7.5 seconds, while opting for the extra two cylinders shaves 1.2 seconds off that time. Both units have a maximum towing capacity rated at 8,200 lbs.
Trim options include the S, SE, X-Dynamic SE and X, plus a First Edition model with heated second- and third-row seating, four-zone climate control, a Meridian sound system, a Driver Assist Pack and the P400 Ingenium six-cylinder powertrain.
The 2023.5 Land Rover Defender 130 is slated to arrive at Land Rover Waterloo this August. For more details, or to book a test drive in the new Defender, contact us here.