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  • SUV/Crossover
  • Land Rover
  • Luxury Vehicle
  • REVIEW: 2023 Land Rover Defender 130

    REVIEW: 2023 Land Rover Defender 130

    This week I am taking a look at the new 2023 Land Rover Defender 130. 

    2023 Land Rover Defender 130

    New for 2023, the 130 is a stretched version of the 110 we reviewed in September of 2022.  They added over 13-inches to the overall length.


    Outside the Defender is square and boxy like the original, but with beautiful 20” wheels, a bulging hood with decorative grills, and a black roof.   

    2023 Land Rover Defender 130 Tailgate
    2023 Land Rover Defender 130 Tailgate

    There are plates on the rear side windows.  If you choose some of the optional side accessory packs, they attach there.


    The Defender 130 has the 3.0-liter turbocharged six cylinder which also has a 48-volt mild hybrid system, not for fuel economy, but more for getting this almost 6,000-pound SUV moving.  It is mated to an 8-speed automatic.  As always, Rovers only come all-wheel drive, and they have one of the best systems on the road.



    Moving to the interior, it is very cleanly laid out, but not the luxury interior I’ve come to know as a long-time Range Rover owner myself.  The screws that hold the door panels and the center console are exposed and I have to say, it is cool.

    Everything inside looks nice and is soft to the touch.   Center dash is an 11.4” touchscreen that operates the 14-speaker Meridian sound system, navigation, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Alexa.


    2023 Land Rover Defender 130 Dash
    2023 Land Rover Defender 130 Digital Driver Display
    2023 Land Rover Defender 130 Door Panel
    2023 Land Rover Defender 130 Multimedia Display
    2023 Land Rover Defender 130

    There is a page of apps with some pretty cool stuff including the dimensions of the Defender, air quality, and a trailer towing app, among other things.

    The gearshift handle is just below the screen and to the right are all the air conditioning controls, the heated and cooled seats, height control, and the button to turn off the start/stop.


    2023 Land Rover Defender 130
    2023 Land Rover Defender 130
    2023 Land Rover Defender 130
    2023 Land Rover Defender 130

    There are a couple of cup holders, a wireless charger, a USB and USB-C port, and a power port.  There is a large area under the console for storage.

    The gauge cluster is 12.3” and is configurable from the steering wheel.  You can change many of vehicle settings there.

    The second-row leg and head room are pretty tight to be honest, but rear passengers get A/C temperature controls, and a fold down armrest.

    When they stretched the 110, I expected more 3rd row seat room.  It is OK for children, teens, and smaller adults, but you sure wouldn’t want to put 3 average sized adults back there, and getting the 2nd row seats out the way is no easy task.


    The cargo area is also fairly small with all 3 rows of seating up. You open the rear tailgate to the side, and it has a matching wheel and tire mounted to it. You can lower the Defender from the cargo area for the ease of loading what little will fit there, maybe three overnight bags.  The 3rd-row seats operate manually.

    Standard Equipment

    My tester is well equipped with leather seating and a heated power adjusting steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, panoramic moon roof, power seats on both sides, keyless entry system, a fixed rear sunroof with a sliding shade, and headlight washers.



    On the safety front, you get emergency braking, 360-degree surround view camera, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, and rear cross traffic alert.

    Ride and Drive

    The Defender drives fantastic, acceleration is fine, and it feels substantial and heavy, which it is. The ride quality is great thanks to the terrific air suspension system that Rovers are known for.

    MPG and What You'll Pay

    Fuel economy is rated at 17 in town, 21 on the highway, and overall 19.  MSRP as this one is equipped is $88,025. Towing capacity is fantastic at 8,200 pounds.



    I am a little disappointed with the interior room of the 130, I expected more.  I think price-wise, there are other 3-row SUVs that have a lot more room, but few as cool overall as this one is.

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    1. What I liked most:  The ride, drive and handling.
    2. What I would change:  More 2nd and 3rd row seat room.
    3. MSRP:  As equipped $88,025 including destination.
    4. Fuel Economy:  Rated at 17 city/ 21 highway/ 19 combined.
    5. Odometer reading when tested: 2,200 miles. 
    6. Weight: 5,770 pounds/7,450 GVWR.
    7. Spare Tire: Full-sized spare tire and wheel.
    8. Length-Width-Height:  211.7” long/82.9” wide/ 77.5” high.
    9. Fuel Tank Capacity:  19.8 gallons with the filler on the passenger's side.
    10. Official Color: Gondwana Stone.
    11. Towing Capacity:  8,200 pounds
    12. 2023 Defender 130 in a few words: A beautiful SUV that drives like a dream but falls a little short on interior room.

    13. Warranty:  4-year/50,000 mile bumper to bumper with roadside assistance.
    14. Final Assembly Location:  Nitra, SVK.
    15. Manufacturer's website:  Land Rover.