– Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
If you need a quick rundown on how Land Rover classifies its Defender trims, I'm here to help. The Defender 90 is the niche (but adorable) two-door model, the Defender 110 is the more traditional two-row version, and at the top of the range, the Defender 130 is the largest and longest of the group. It's the only Defender with standard third-row seating (the 110 offers it as an option) and that brings a whole lot of rear overhang to go with it.
Don't get me wrong, the Defender 130 still looks good from most angles. The unchanged front fascia from the otherwise pretty 90 and 110 models carries over, while most of the same wheel and color options do too – and of course, the signature square insert on the rear window remains, which I quite like.
But the 130 form is pretty ungainly in profile. The rear overhang is dramatic and starkly contrasted with the front end's otherwise tight angles. That extra length also hinders the Defender's off-road angles; the 130 model has 24.5 degrees worth of departure compared to 37.7 degrees on the 110. That's still way better than, say, a Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro or GMC Yukon AT4 – but it is a downgrade compared to the stubby 90 or 110.
But it's not all bad. That extra length gives way to a third row that is actually pretty roomy. The 39.0 inches of headroom is spacious and the 13.7 cubes of cargo behind the third row mark an improvement of 3.0 cubic feet compared to the normal Defender 110.
The extra length doesn't make this Defender any worse to drive, either; it's still a comfortable SUV with nice handling and a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine with 395 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. A touch more power would be nice, but if that's a priority, you can always move up to the 2024 model’s optional supercharged V8 with 518 hp and 461 lb-ft.
The Land Rover Defender 130 doesn't come cheap, admittedly. The base S model is $70,175 with the $1,475 destination fee included, and the car tested here is a First Edition with a bunch of bells and whistles. It costs $92,725. But the extra passenger space and additional trunk room make this Defender the ultimate choice for bigger families, and even with that extra mass, it's still a pretty great off-roader.
Gallery: 2023 Land Rover Defender 130 Review
2023 Land Rover Defender 130 First Edition