The Land Rover Defender has long been a beloved icon in the off-roading community, and now, in its 2023 iteration, it takes things to a whole new level with the Defender 130 SE. This larger-than-life SUV not only retains its incredible off-road capabilities but also offers seating for up to eight passengers. As luck would have it, we had the opportunity to test drive this beast, and let’s just say it left quite an impression.
Sporting a striking Gondwana Stone exterior paint and a sleek black exterior pack, the Defender 130 SE is a head-turner wherever it goes. To complete its rugged yet refined look, it features the Extended Black Pack, which adds gloss black details and front and rear skid pans. The black contrast roof and 20″ gray DT wheels with a full-size spare tire further enhance its commanding presence.
Measuring in at an impressive 211 inches in length, with a wheelbase of 119 inches, a width of 79 inches, and a height of 77.6 inches, the Defender 130 demands attention both on and off the road. Its towering stature and ground clearance of 11.4 inches ensure that it can conquer any terrain with ease.
With three rows of seating, the Defender 130 still manages to offer a respectable amount of cargo space. Behind the third row, you’ll find 13.7 cubic feet of cargo volume. Folding down the third row expands it to 43.5 cubic feet, while folding down the second row provides a generous 80.9 cubic feet. Additionally, the vehicle boasts a maximum payload capacity of 1,760 lbs, making it capable of handling all your hauling needs.
Under the hood, the Defender 130 SE offers two engine options. The P300 variant features a mild hybrid 3.0L turbocharged I6 engine that delivers 296 horsepower and 347 lb-ft of torque. For those seeking more power, the P400 version boasts a mild hybrid powertrain with a 3.0L I6 engine, producing an impressive 395 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission, providing smooth and responsive shifts. With a twin-speed transfer box and all-wheel drive, the Defender 130 is ready to tackle any adventure that comes its way. It also boasts a maximum towing capacity of 8,200 lbs, further showcasing its versatility.
Stepping inside the Defender 130 SE, you’re greeted by luxurious Ebony Windsor leather seats and an Ebony interior, exuding both comfort and sophistication. The 18-way heated and cooled memory front seats, along with the electronic adjusting steering column, allow for a personalized and enjoyable driving experience. The extended leather upgrade adds an extra touch of refinement. To enhance the driving pleasure even further, the Defender 130 is equipped with a Meridian Surround sound system, delivering immersive audio through its 700-watt speakers.
The vehicle’s interior is bathed in natural light thanks to the sliding panoramic roof, which covers the first two rows of seats. Additionally, a unique glass roof exclusive to the Defender 130 ensures that passengers in the third row have the same authentic experience as those in any other part of the vehicle.
The Defender 130 SE comes equipped with an 11.4-inch Pivi-Pro infotainment system, featuring a curved glass interface display. This intuitive system provides seamless access to various functions and connectivity options, ensuring you stay connected and entertained throughout your journey.
When it comes to driving the Defender 130 SE, it’s an experience like no other. With terrain response and selectable driving and off-road modes, this SUV adapts effortlessly to different environments. Hill descent control adds an extra layer of safety and control during challenging descents. In terms of fuel efficiency, the Defender 130 achieves an average of 17 mpg in the city, 21 mpg on the highway, and a combined 19 mpg.
The base price of the Land Rover Defender 130 SE starts at $78,300, with a full MSRP of $88,025 when fully equipped. While it may be a substantial investment, the Defender 130 offers unparalleled off-road capability, seating for eight, and a luxurious and versatile interior.
The 2023 Land Rover Defender 130 SE exudes quiet confidence in every aspect. As a family-oriented individual who made full use of its passenger and cargo capacity, I found this beast of a vehicle truly exceptional. Its striking exterior design, powerful engine options, comfortable interior, advanced tech features, and impressive off-road capabilities make it a standout choice in the SUV market. Whether you’re tackling challenging terrains or embarking on a family adventure, the Defender 130 SE is ready to conquer it all with style and finesse.