Review – Land Rover Defender 130 P400 – Unique 8-seater
Some cars look bigger in photos than they are in real life. If you’ve ever stood next to a McLaren or Lamborghini, you know what we mean. But the other way around is also possible. The Defender 130 is so big, you almost need a camera with a wide-angle lens to capture it. According to the digital instruction booklet – which you can view in the infotainment system – it is 5.35 meters long. This does not include the 30 extra inches of the spare tire on the tailgate.
Fortunately, the parking sensors and rearview camera do take into account the full-size spare, so you won’t regularly hit your rear neighbor while parking in reverse. As an experienced driver, don’t be embarrassed if you need all these tools when parking. The Defender 130 is simply gigantic in length. Only a Rolls Royce Phantom EWB (Extended Wheelbase) sticks out further from a parking space. High and wide is the Brit too: two meters in either direction.
But why is he there?
Why Land Rover is introducing such an extremely long version? To do this, we need to look at both supply and demand. Until now, the Defender has been available in two sizes: the Defender 90 and the 110. The 90 is the “small” version with three doors. The 110 has a significantly longer wheelbase and features five doors. What seems? The latter variant is by far the most popular. Only 10 percent of buyers choose the short Defender 90; the rest get into the big 110. Enough reason for Land Rover to build an even bigger version.
The 130 is not simply a Defender 110 Extended Wheelbase. Indeed, the wheelbase is unchanged at 3.02 meters. Instead, the British expanded the rear end considerably. The rear overhang is a whopping 1.49 meters. The underside rises sharply after the rear wheels, so you won’t get stuck directly against the ground while mountaineering.
Good on any terrain
Its hefty Kardashian butt makes room for an additional row of seats. This makes the 130 truly unique, as it can carry up to eight people. Moreover, it can do the same while trekking over the Andes or driving nearly a meter underwater. Many Dutch customers are unlikely to ship the 130 to South America for an adventure in the mountains or opt for a snorkeling session in the local swimming pond, but it’s nice to know that you can always leave a muddy campsite.
In the Netherlands, the Defender stays mostly on asphalt. And that’s fine, because he’s in his element there, too. Whereas the old Defender was only good at mud wrestling and was dramatic on asphalt, the new one does it very differently. Who excels in all areas. Literally. On the highway, the Defender is as comfortable and directionally stable as the new Range Rover. Thanks to adaptive air suspension, it floats over the road. Bumps and potholes it catches effortlessly. Escape ramps and thresholds too, by the way, as if they didn’t exist. The contrast with the old Defender could not be greater.
The Defender is a bit more practical than the new Range Rover, though. The interior is chicly finished with very fine materials, but it can all take a beating. We would not be surprised if the wood processed on the center console was personally dragged from a forest by a Defender.
The eight seats in the 130 can all be lowered individually. As a result, the possibilities for transporting people and belongings are almost endless. Fold down the middle seats if you want to carry skis and six people. If the entire rear row of seats goes flat, you can easily take a dog (or two) with you.
If all the rear rows of seats go flat, you can literally transport a mattress and transform it into a camper. Also convenient: Land Rover offers five Isofix child seat attachments on the 130. One on the front passenger seat and on each outer seat of the second and third rows of seats. Those who don’t have quintuplets but are looking for a car with plenty of space: the Defender 130 is also available as a five-seater and, with the second row of seats flat, boasts a hefty 2,516 liters of luggage space. Movers beware: a gray license plate is being worked on.
The third row of seats makes the 130 extra special. The Defender 110 you can also get extra row of seats, but only two small children will fit there. In the 130, as a grown man to also sit fine all the way in the back. There is even seat heating, cup holders and a glass roof in the rear. This creates a spacious feeling, despite the limited space.
What does a Land Rover Defender 130 cost?
For many car you have to pay a lot in the Netherlands. It is no different with the Defender 130. This is mainly due to the fact that it is not available as a plug-in hybrid. This is unfortunate, because the Defender 110 – with the same wheelbase but smaller butt – has a starting price of “only” 84 grand as a 400-hp P400e plug-in version. Great price tag for so much car. For the Defender 130 P400 – that is, without plug and battery pack – you pay double: 163,000 euros.
The P400 powertrain with 3.0-liter six-cylinder emits relatively high levels of CO2 due to the lack of true electrification – it has only mild-hybrid support. The Dutch government then waves its little finger. For this version, you have to indirectly transfer 60,000 euros to the Dutch state tax authority. A plug-in hybrid version of the 130 is unfortunately not coming. A battery pack would make the car too heavy – the 130 P400 already weighs 2,600 kg – and besides, there is no room for it at all. Then the third row of seats would have to be cut.
Land Rover also lets you choose from two diesel powertrains: the 200-hp D250 and D300 with 300 hp. For the Defender 130 D250, the brand is asking 152,913 euros. That includes 60,000 euros in BPM. Dieseling is also no longer allowed by the government, after all. In short, the Defender 130 is not quite right for tax purposes in our country. Is he worth the hefty sum of money after all? For those looking for a very unique, extremely comfortable and extremely capable car: definitely!