Land Rover Takes on the Biggest SUVs With New 8-Passenger Defender 130

Land Rover is diving into the eight-passenger SUV market with the new 2023 Land Rover Defender 130. It’s the longest of the Defender line, growing 13.4 inches over the Defender 110. The Land Rover Defender 90 is basically the same SUV, but it comes with just two doors. The Range Rover Sport, Discovery and Discovery Sport and Defender all seat up to seven, making the 130 Rover’s only eight-passenger SUV that’s not a Range Rover. And, unlike the old-school Defender that simply had tiny jump seats in the cargo area, the new 130 has proper seats, with proper seat belts. The new Defender 130 starts at $68,000.

The new Defender is longer, but keeps the off-road capability

The new Defender 130 is the longest Land Rover, and only eight-passenger Land Rover.
The new Land Rover Defender 130 | Land Rover

The new 130 adds significant length to the Defender’s rear end and brings the length to 211 inches. That’s one inch longer than the full-sized 2022 Chevrolet Tahoe. The new Defender 130 has an understated but noticeable boat tail rear. That rear end angles up to preserve the Defender’s rear departure angle for off-road capability.  Speaking of off-roading, the Defender’s air suspension and low-speed transfer case for the four-wheel-drive should get you up and over most rough stuff.

Land Rovers are capable off-roaders, but the new Defender 130 is more tailored to passengers. First Edition models get heated second and third rows, and four-zone climate control, a panoramic roof, several USB-C charge ports and more. The second and third row also have ISOFIX7 child seat attachments for carrying multiple little ones.

What engines are in the new Defender 130?

Land Rover Defender 90, 110, and new 130 | Land Rover

The new Defender has two engine options, the P300 and P400. The P300 is a 3-liter turbocharged inline six cylinder that has 296 horsepower. The P400 takes that same motor and adds a mild-hybrid powertrain that is integrated into a starter/generator that makes 395-hosepower. Land Rover says the P400 should hit 60 mph in 6.3 seconds. It can tow up to 8,200 pounds.

The new Defender 130 will take on full-sized SUVs like the Tahoe

The new Defender 130 can seat up to eight people and with both rear seats folded, it can hold up to 88.9 cubic feet of stuff. For comparison, that’s about eight cubic feet more than a full-sized Chevrolet Tahoe. With the seats in place, it’ll hold 13.7 feet of stuff in the way back. That’s about 12 short of a Tahoe with the seats up. The back seat, though, is narrow and is likely better for seven, and eight in a pinch.

The new first edition colors for the Defender 130 will include Sedona Red, Fuji White, and Carpathian Grey. You can add an Extended Bright Pack and a Bright Pack to any Defender . The Bright Pack adds bumper inserts, a special grille and badging. The Extended version adds silver fender extensions.

Land Rover likes to fly the Union Jack

Queen Elizabeth in a Land Rover | Getty Images

The Queen is getting one. Land Rover is proud of its British Heritage, even if the brand’s SUV’s were powered by an American-designed V8 for decades. Land Rover is gifting the Queen of England and the British Red Cross a specially-commissioned new Defender 130. The company says it will work with the Red Cross to adapt a Defender 130 for service. How many members of the royal family can fit in an eight-passenger Land Rover?

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