If you're looking for a vehicle that can haul a large group of people and their gear in comfort, the Land Rover Defender 130 is a top contender. This SUV is literally grander, boasting 13.4 inches more length than the 110 and offering a third row of seating for up to eight passengers. But is the added cost and compromises worth it? Let's find out.
The Defender 130's design is three years old, yet it looks fresh and modern with throwback touches that remind us of its heritage. The headlights are a standout feature, shining out from a brow that looks almost disapproving. The front aluminum guard keeps the worst of the brush off, while the high rear bumper and exhaust advertise its 28.5-degree departure angle, down from 40 degrees on the Defender 90 and 37.5 on the 110. Despite the lower angle, the Land Rover Defender 130 still performs very well off-road.
The extra length of the Land Rover Defender 130 comes aft of the rear axle, which shares the same 119-inch wheelbase as the Land Rover Defender 110. The result is a more generous side profile that looks every bit the sixteen-foot-long SUV that it is. However, this extra length also provides more internal volume, which is the Defender 130's hallmark. The third row of seating is surprisingly comfortable with good visibility thanks to the generous side windows and a separate sunroof overhead.
The second row is just a bit more spacious, sliding and reclining or folding flat to offer maximum cargo space. However, with all seats up, there is only a small storage area behind the rear seats. The SE trim Defender 130 offers second-row occupants their own climate controls but no heated seats or USB ports for charging. The front offers power captains chairs with memory, with a leather-wrapped rim and a metal center steering wheel that adds a touch of luxury to this rugged vehicle.