Tuesday, June 11, 2024

2024 Land Rover Defender 130 Outboard AWD: The Brand’s Four Door Midsize SUV

Highlight: The 130 is the longest model in terms of length in the Defender family.

Test Vehicle's MSRP: $93,338 (Base Model Defender S: $70,575)

Seating Capacity: 5 to 8 (depending upon seating arrangement)

Standard Safety Features (Test Model): airbags; ABS; a 360-degree rearview camera; electronic brake force distribution; an electronic blind spot monitor; a stability system; a low traction control system; lane keep assist; an adaptive speed limiter; an adaptive dynamics to reduce body roll; a roll stability control system; a terrain response system; a cornering brake control system; a full size spare wheel; an air quality sensor; a wade sensing system; a trailer assist system; a perimeter alarm system; a tire pressure monitor system; and outside rear mounted tire protection


Standard Equipment (Defender S): 19-inch wheels; AWD; 8 seats; leather seats; heated front seats; power front seats with memory; a manual operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; a twin speed transfer box; wireless charging; an electronic air suspension; an adaptive dynamics to reduce body roll; a terrain response system; a brake hold system; auto high beam assist system; heated rear windows with a timer; a rear wash wiper; puddle lights; rear fog lights; power fold down mirrors; a third-row fixed panoramic glass; a heated steering wheel; a three zone climate control system; an air quality sensor; a cargo cover; a keyless entry system; a push button ignition starter system; automatic dimming interior rearview mirror; and split folding second and third row seats

Standard Equipment (130 Outbound): 20-inch wheels; 3.0-liter, 6-cylinder engine; 395-horsepower; an 8-speed automatic transmission; 5 seats; a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system; an electronic air suspension; panoramic roof; privacy rear glass; Heated and cooled power front seats with memory; power tilt and telescopic steering wheel; a heated steering wheel; and offers additional cargo room



Options: premium cabin lighting; twin front cupholders with cover; front center console with refrigerator compartment; electronic active differential with torque vectoring; an advance tow system; a tow hitch receiver; a heads up display system; a wheel protection pack; a clear sight interior rear view mirror; 18-way power ventilated/heated front seats; and a handover pack

Other Trims:

Defender 110

Defender 90

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: A 10-speaker, 400 watt Meridian AM/FM/HD with SiriusXM

Bluetooth Connectivity: Standard

USB Connectivity: Standard

Apple/Android Connectivity: Standard

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.0-liter turbocharged, 4-cylinder/296-hp (base Defender 90)

Recommended Fuel: Premium

Standard Fuel Mileage: 16-cty/18-hwy

Towing Capacity: 8,200 lbs

What’s New: For the 2024 model year, the big news is that some Defender 130 trims gain a throaty V8 engine.



Why: 

A choice of powertrains

Stylish and sophisticated head turning exterior design

The Defender 130 features an extended

A luxury SUV designed for off-roading

35.4-inch wading depth

19 thru 22-inch wheels

A two or three row vehicle

Loads of cargo room - Outboard

Heated and ventilated front seats available

Heated rear seats available

Roomy interior due to boxy design

Roomy rear seating

Easy access to rear seats with two door

Easy-to-use optional 11-inch infotainment system

Wireless charging

Optional rear heated seats

Great visibility

4x4

Off roading with an ability to tackle a variety of terrains

High clearance for off roading to handle severe weather conditions

Fullsize tire

The Defender trims are also available in a 4 cylinder and a 6-cylinder mild hybrid powertrain

A few means to personalize the vehicle

Smooth riding vehicle despite being designed for off roading

Excess towing capabilities


But: 

Swing out rear door with exterior spare tire

Some control switches might be confusing to use

We experienced difficulty in activating the radar cruise control system

No electrification like the Jeep Grand Cherokee



Verdict: The sophisticated looking Land Rover Defender, with its mix of modern and classic design cues, is available in a variety of trims and sizes. Unlike many of its luxury makers, the midsize SUV is available in a two-door or four-door configuration. Thus, this makes the vehicle a standout in the segments.

While the upscale exterior design of the Land Rover Defender 130 we tested exuded an air of sophistication, yet, unlike many of its luxury competitors from Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz, this British SUV is designed to navigate and conquer most rugged terrains, as well as tread through water. The only luxury midsize model that comes close to matching the Defender is the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The 130 Outbound is the longest vehicle in terms of length in the Defender line up. At a starting price in the low $70,000 range, the boxy SUV is available in five trims. The trim we tested, the Outbound, was outfitted with two rows of seats, as opposed to three. As a result of losing a third row, which can seat up to eight, we gained more storage or cargo space.

Moreover, the 130 Outbound line is available with both a 6-cylinder and 8-cylinder powertrain. The 130 Outbound trim limits the buyer to a 3.0-liter, 6-cylinder engine, which spewed out close to 400-horsepower. Despite this trim not being available with a throaty, gas-guzzling V8, we found the power to be more than adequate in this roomy SUV. In fact, by not having access to the V8, this also aided us in cutting fuel expenses too, before the engineering team considers soon electrifying the vehicle. Currently, the larger Range Rover is the only vehicle offering electrification with its plug-in model.

Furthermore, the 130 Outbound can be outfitted with a host of features ranging from a three-zone climate control system to heated and cooled front seats. And like with most vehicles these days, the vehicle was equipped with the latest safety driving aids. We did experience in our attempts to activate the radar cruise control system.

Overall, in a world where many in the automotive industry loosely uses the word SUV to design their utility vehicles, the Land Rover Defender 130 Outbound truly earns the name. The Defender isn’t a car like crossover. Although the Defender is designed for off-roading, the bold looking SUV is still able to balance the suspension, offering a ride and handling experience that is also suitable for cross country trips, too.

Competition:  2024 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2024 Lexus GX

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