The Land Rover Defender is seeing a strong surge in sales ever since Land Rover resurrected the iconic moniker several years ago. But as the sales picture has become clearer, the need for more variants has emerged with the company formally unveiling the flagship model of the Defender lineup the all-new 2023 Defender 130 eight-passenger SUV.
Defender 130, A Reboot Within A Reboot
The Defender 130 designation maybe a new thing for American consumers but it’s not the first time that Land Rover has used the 130 designation with the digits last being used to represent vintage pickup-based Defender variants. In this century, pickups are not on Land Rover’s radar and it will be exclusively used on this eight-passenger model. Length is up slightly with the 130 measuring in at 211 inches long with all of this length being founded in the bodywork. That’s in line with other recent stretched SUV models which often retain the same wheelbase and prefer to put the extra length in the body.
Land Rover engineers did manage to work with the extra length and added a dramatic upsweep in the sheet metal which allows the big utility to have a departure angle of 28 degrees versus an even 40-degree number for the standard 110. Other model exclusive touches include redesigned taillights as well as several new packages including an all-new “Extended Bright Pack” package that adds some flair to the Defender’s extended flanks.
Defender 130 Has Room For The Entire Crew
As is often seen with other extended wheelbase SUVs, Land Rover is hoping that buyers will appreciate the larger amounts of interior room that the extra length brings to the table. Land Rover reps claim that the 130 can seat up to eight passengers in comfort which is due to the third row being a long bench seat that houses three of the passengers. The rest of the cabin is roughly what you would expect in a Defender with many of the rugged bits that buyers have come to love.
There are some minor trim differences and the 130 is the only model in the family to come with quad-zone climate control. Fold the third and second-row seats down and owners will have 80.9 cubic feet of space to work with. That space drops to 45.3 and 13.7 cubic feet as the seats are folded up but that 45.3 figure is higher than the 34 even cubic figure seen in the 110. Performance hardware is largely unchanged when compared to other Defender models but a prominent omission that buyers will notice is that the 5.0 liter V8 will not be offered on the 130 and the 3.0-liter inline-six will be the sole engine for the time being. All models will also come equipped with an advanced air suspension system that can be raised or lowered via switches in the rear for easier loading.
When Can I Buy One?
The 2023 Land Rover Defender 130 is on sale now and will be making its way to dealerships soon with base models starting at $68,000. Five models will be part of the first wave of dealer-bound units with buyers having the ability to choose from (S, SE, X-Dynamic SE, X, and First Edition.) First Edition models will follow the same script that we saw on the 90 and 110 with these models adding more standard equipment and style to the 130 but they will be a one-year-only offering so buyers interested in this particular model will have to act quickly to get one.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.