What Makes the 2024 Land Rover Defender 130 so Capable?
Land Rover has a history of building capable, unique SUVs. While early models focused on spartan utility, later versions added luxury to the equation for a balance of strength and comfort. Few vehicles can offer that.
Today, the Land Rover Defender is the brand’s most capable SUV. Available in 90, 110, and 130 models, the Defender stretches in length as the numbers climb. The 90 offers a compact footprint and two doors, while the 110 and 130 bring four doors and abundant cargo space. Every version has the company’s legendary off-road chops.
Let’s explore the biggest Defender, the 130, and what makes it a world-class SUV.
2024 Land Rover Defender 130: What makes it different?
Most SUVs can handle some challenging terrain. Rutted-out dirt roads or snowy climbs shouldn’t pose a problem to beefy suspension and modern AWD systems. However, when the trail turns dicey — with off-camber terrain and steep descents — it takes a purpose-built design. The Land Rover Defender is up to the task.
Off-road ability is central to the Land Rover brand. Since the Series I debuted in 1948, the company has built a reputation for expedition-ready performance the world over. Today, the Defender model carries on that tradition, blending next-level capability with refined luxury. With muscular sheet metal, it looks like nothing else on the road.
Compared to the 90 and 110 models, the Defender 130 brings extended bodywork and seating for eight, letting families and groups venture far and wide.
For the 2024 model year, Land Rover offers the Defender 130 in the following trims (prices not including destination):
• S P300: $69,100
• S P400: $77,100
• X-Dynamic SE P400: $81,300
• X P400: $99,900
• Outbound P400: $84,500
• V8 P500: $116,600
So, what makes the Defender different from standard SUVs?
With its aluminum monocoque chassis, the Defender eschews traditional body-on-frame layouts. That triples torsional rigidity, providing a robust and capable platform. Additionally, with the most comprehensive testing regimen in the company’s history, it’s built to take on the toughest terrain.
Need proof? Land Rover states, “The Defender was engineered and tested to the extreme around the world, with more than 73,000 trials across 2.4 million miles, from Big Red in Dubai to the Moab trails in Nevada and as far north as the Arctic Circle.”
Four-wheel independent suspension with air springs and Adaptive Dynamics enhances handling and comfort. AWD comes standard, along with a two-speed transfer case and a locking center differential. And unique off-road tech — like Terrain Response, Hill Descent Control, and Hill Launch Assist — sets the Defender apart from standard SUVs.
The Defender 130 has three available powertrains: P300 mild hybrid, P400 mild hybrid, and P500. The P300 uses a turbo 2.0-liter four with 296 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, combined with a 48V motor-generator. A turbo 3.0-liter inline-six with 395 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque and a 48V motor-generator powers the P400. Lastly, the P500 features a roaring supercharged 5.0-liter V8 with 493 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque.
The 130 sets itself apart from other Defenders with its lengthened body and abundant seating. Compared to the 110, the 130 stretches by 13.3 inches and adds third-row seats. Viewed from the side, the 130’s extra space is apparent, with a pronounced rear overhang. That translates into 81 cubic feet of storage (with rear seats folded).
Is the Defender 130 worth the price?
The 2024 Land Rover Defender 130 isn’t cheap. Starting around $70k before climbing beyond $100k, this British SUV has a steep cost of entry. However, it does offer a singular design, unlike any SUV on the road. Is it worth the cost?
For adventure-minded buyers, that’s a yes. The Defender’s pricing slots in nicely compared to other upscale mid-size SUVs. Let’s look at some offerings from competitors.
BMW’s X6 retails for $74,895. The Porsche Cayenne starts at $80,850. And the Genesis GV80 is $58,645. While each is a top-rated sport-utility vehicle, none offers the Defender’s capability and heritage.
The 2024 Land Rover Defender 130 combines upscale luxury, expansive seating, and off-road ability. With attributes like that, it separates itself from the pack. Several engine options let buyers choose between efficiency and performance. Trail-focused tech provides classic Land Rover innovation. And abundant seating and cargo space allow families to travel anywhere in comfort. The Defender is clearly an adventure-driven SUV.