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The Land Rover Defender 130 is still one of the most sought-after luxury SUVs for people who want an adventure vehicle. However, the 2024 model has all average ratings from J.D. Power. While average is certainly better than poor, it’s a bit surprising that a vehicle as iconic as the Defender wouldn’t score higher. However, it is important to remember that, although beloved, Land Rover models never score especially high in most areas.

Here’s a look into what makes the 2024 Land Rover Defender an attractive vehicle despite only average ratings.

The 2024 Land Rover Defender is an ‘average’ vehicle on paper

The 2024 Land Rover Defender 130 is among the most popular luxury adventure SUVs. However, J.D. Power only gave the vehicle a 78 out of 100, which means it’s only average compared to its rivals.

The problem is that the Defender doesn’t get an above-average rating in any of the four areas J.D. Power provides a ranking. The Defender 130 has only a 79 out of 100 for quality & reliability. This means buyers can trust the Defender 130, but it doesn’t necessarily excel in this regard.

The 2024 Defender has the same rating for driving experience. J.D. Power uses factors such as design, performance, and comfort to arrive at a score for this area. The Defender 130 resale value is lower than the first two areas, with a 78 out of 100. Again, this isn’t a bad rating, but people investing in a luxury SUV would expect higher. Unfortunately, the dealership experience for people buying this SUV is also average.

People would expect to see high ratings from an automaker like Land Rover. However, these ratings may not matter to most people who buy Defender 130 models. This is because the automaker has been plagued by low ratings and a negative reputation for a while, yet has remained popular.

People who appreciate these vehicles do so enough that they don’t mind paying more to keep them running. Additionally, buyers generally keep Land Rovers for long periods, which means the resale value may not matter as much to them.

The 2024 Land Rover Defender 130 is a powerful luxury adventure SUV

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It’s easy to see why the Defender 130 is such a popular luxury adventure SUV despite only being average on paper. One big reason is the performance it delivers.

This SUV has different options for power, with the first being the P300. It has a twin-turbocharged mild hybrid 3.0-liter inline-six that makes 296 horsepower. The next option also uses a 3.0-liter but has a maximum output of 395 hp. This is the Defend 130 P400.

Next up is the P500 with its supercharged 493-HP 5.0-liter V8. This version of the Defender 130 happens to be gas-powered instead of being a hybrid. The 2024 Land Rover Defender has an eight-speed automatic transmission. Regarding speed, the base hybrid version accelerates from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 7.5 seconds. The gas-powered version only needs 5.4 seconds for the feat.

The 2024 Land Rover Defender 130 is one case where the numbers on paper don’t deter long-time buyers. The automaker may not have the best reputation for reliability, but many people love the vehicles enough to overlook its shortcomings. Beyond this, the Defender 130 offers more than enough to its buyers to make up for what some would call shortcomings.