Driven: The Bigger 2023 Land Rover Defender 130 Is Better
Running out of passenger space in the Land Rover Defender is a thing of the past! Seriously, up to eight passengers can enjoy your next adventure. The 2023 Land Rover Defender 130 is the largest Defender ever and is well-equipped to tackle the wild.
How big is the 2023 Land Rover Defender 130?
The 2023 Land Rover Defender 130 is 187.4 inches or roughly 15.62 feet long. It’s also 82.9 inches or 6.91 feet wide. It’s 13.3 inches longer than the Land Rover Defender 110 but rides on the same platform.
You may notice that the extra length contributes to a longer rear overhang. This is where you’ll find the spacious third-row seats. There is enough space for two adults to fit comfortably and stretch out back there.
But the third-row seats take up a significant amount of cargo space. If you have eight passengers, you may need to place luggage on the roof rack or pull a trailer. Luckily, the Defender 130 can tow up to 8,200 lbs.
The Defender 130 provides 13.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row and up to 81.57 cubes overall. The seats are easy to fold flat, and the rear hatch opens wide to make loading cargo easier.
Also, the Land Rover Defender only weighs 5,570 lbs and isn’t too big for off-roading. We took it in the mud to prove it.
Can the 2023 Defender 130 go off-roading?
Yes, in traditional Land Rover fashion, the Defender 130 is well-equipped for off-roading. The rear overhand only slightly reduces the departure angle. The 110 has a 40.0-degree departure angle, and the 130 has a 28.5-degree departure angle.
Despite having a unibody construction, the 2023 Land Rover Defender 130 is extremely capable. Its build also promotes a more refined experience on the pavement.
The Defender 130 has standard all-wheel drive, a two-speed transfer case with low-range gearing, and a locking center differential. You can opt for the available electronic locking rear differential. Skid plates protect the undercarriage, and tow hooks are available.
You also get standard roof rails, a 360-degree multi-terrain monitor, and a water depth sensor. The Defender 130 can ford water up to 35 inches deep. The available adaptive air suspension raises the ground clearance from 8.5 inches to 11.5 inches as needed.
There are off-roading modes for Auto, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Ruts, Sand, and Rock Crawl. You can access Hill Descent control too. The Auto mode in the Terrain Response system automatically adjusts to changing conditions in seconds.
Our model was equipped with regular 20-inch all-weather tires, which is odd for off-roading. But they did an excellent job. While climbing over steep muddy inclines and plugging into massive puddles and ruts, you could feel the confident grip.
The Defender 130 is agile and can fit on smaller trails without any trouble. It feels solid, stable, and in control. The slick mud and uneven terrain weren’t challenging at all. Rough impacts and bumps are dampened with ease for a comfortable experience.
Our model only slid slightly in larger sections of slick mud but quickly corrected to maintain composure. Plus, it has plenty of power to avoid getting stuck or bogged down.
The digital gauge cluster and 11.4-inch touchscreen provide plenty of different camera views, how much traction is being sent to each wheel, and your pitch and roll. You can carefully plan each maneuver around tight obstacles.
Is the Defender 130 comfortable?
The 2023 Land Rover Defender 130 provides a smooth and relaxing ride with premium comfort. It’s also an engaging daily driver. The standard P300 engine is a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder unit with 296 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.
You can upgrade to the P400 SE for a 3,6-liter V6 mild hybrid engine with 395 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. The range-topping supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine generates 518 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds.
It provides smooth transmission shifts with instant power, but the brakes are a bit soft. They take some getting used to in traffic. Also, the interior is pretty quiet. At highway speeds, there is only a little amount of wind noise.
You may notice some heft around sharper curves, but the Defender 130 has direct steering and responsive handling. It has an impressive turning radius, and the longer rear end is easy to whip around.
The interior is crafted with high-qaulity durable materials for a premium sense of luxury. The two-tone leather upholstery and soft touch-covered surfaces are attractive with a convenient layout. The suede inserts are soft with the ability to stand up to mud.
Everything you need is within reach, but the controls have a slight learning curve. The massive windows provide tons of visibility, and the multi-pane panoramic sunroof has the right amount of tint to allow light to filter in.
You can opt for heated, ventilated, and massaging seats. Plus, the third row is available with heated seats. The optional center console cooler keeps beverages child for hours, the wireless phone charging pad has a signal booster, and you can opt for four-zone automatic climate control.
The 2023 Land Rover Defender 130 is a serious rival against the 2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer. It’s premium, comfortable, and capable. But the reduced departure angle and lack of cargo space could be limiting.