2023 Land Rover Defender 130 Overview


  • Subtle type
  • Countless energy
  • Pampering consolation


  • Expensive
  • Restricted legroom in SWB
  • Thirsty


There aren’t many SUVs on the market with true pedigree, and amongst all else that is what the Vary Rover delivers in spades.

It’s arduous to place a worth on poise, on stateliness and presence. I can quantify cargo house and efficiency figures till I’m blue within the face, however some autos supply one thing a little bit bit extra, one thing so much much less substantial although no much less necessary.

The Vary Rover is completely a kind of autos. Although it has developed extremely over the generations, the place it has earned as a fancy all-roader has remained robust over the previous couple of generations. What you see right here is the most recent, fifth technology installment, probably the most refined and splendid Vary Rover but and, below the pores and skin not less than, probably the most superior.

Understated class

Take a passing look and also you won’t even discover that something has modified, however nearer examination reveals that this new Vary Rover is sort of radically developed, controversially so. All the things right here is easy to an excessive, winged eyeliner on these now narrower headlights extending mid-way again over the entrance fenders whereas the remainder of the nostril particulars have been minimized.

The nostril is easy, as is far of the remainder of the automobile, with little or no detailing utilized to interrupt up the enormous swaths of bodywork that cowl this 17-foot-long, six-foot-tall SUV. Many have referred to as it too understated, however to my eye not less than it appears to be like removed from boring.

About the one spotlight on that lengthy, light journey from nostril to tail is the vertical slat detailing on each entrance doorways, a seeming reference to the fender vents on the third-generation L322 Vary Rover. Past that, even the flares over the enormous 23-inch rear wheels are slim.

Above the belt-line, the Vary Rover is fully blacked out, darkish tint paired with black paint on roof and pillars making a easy, clear look. In truth, a lot of the brightwork on this First Version Vary Rover is darkened, a part of a $1,000 choices package deal.

The SUV terminates with a set of taillights which can be Lilliputian compared to the remainder of the Vary Rover’s proportions, curiously sized and positioned. It’s a bit odd, very like the brand new Defender’s tails appear mis-sized, however once more like on the Defender in some way all of it works. The entire package deal is stately and complicated, particularly within the Champagne-like matte Sundown Gold Satin hue right here. Even coated in winter highway salt it seemed good, and that’s not one thing you’ll be able to say for many vehicles.

Inside appointments abound

I’m not satisfied that the inside would look so good with comparable quantities of muck and dirt. The nice and cozy, white leather-based that extends from headliner to flooring undoubtedly defines this specific Vary Rover as extra of a limousine than a correct utility automobile, however given the extent of the consolation appointments right here, that’s acceptable.

This Rover has the Government Class Consolation package deal, providing correct government seating within the rear with massaging for each second-row passengers and even an extending footrest for the right-rear. Disgrace, although, that there simply doesn’t appear to be fairly sufficient legroom to essentially take pleasure in it on this brief wheelbase mannequin. With the seatback-mounted show models, which may stream media from HDMI, sitting within the again can really feel just a bit bit claustrophobic regardless of the beneficiant headroom.

The seats pose one other drawback do you have to truly wish to carry something in your Vary Rover: they don’t fold flat. Sure, they do fold, mechanically even, going via a fastidiously choreographed sequence of motions and clicks as varied latches interact and disengage, however at greatest they solely fold to a couple of 30-degree angle. Worse, with these seatback shows protruding, they received’t fold with out awkwardly pushing entrance seat occupants ahead. But extra proof that this specific Vary Rover configuration is designed for hauling folks.

Up entrance, driver and passenger have equally appointed thrones, with 5 separate massaging routines, every with customizable course and depth. Seat heaters are likewise intense and the heated armrests a pleasant contact on chilly days. There are bodily, tactile controls for seat heating and cooling, Lang Rover’s dual-purpose knobs that additionally management HVAC settings, however to fiddle with the therapeutic massage settings or any of the opposite lots of of choices right here you’ll have to dig into the 13.1-inch touchscreen that floats above the dashboard.

Tech and infotainment

Land Rover’s Pivi Professional infotainment system feels fairly strong and responsive, providing loads of configurability in addition to fast entry to stuff you’ll want rapidly, like parking cameras — bolstered right here by a neat characteristic that turns your automobile clear to allow you to see what you’re driving over. Although I discovered the voice recognition infuriatingly obtuse, wi-fi Android Auto and Apple CarPlay obviate that to a great diploma.

Behind the steering wheel is a 13.7-inch, dynamic gauge cluster with three totally different views: a barebones Centered mode, the normal Dials mode, and a full-screen nav view. That’s managed by a touch-sensitive pad that rests beneath your left thumb, whereas the same pad on the best handles cruise management. There’s not less than a bodily curler for quantity on the left and a rocker on the best for adjusting cruise-control velocity, however normally these contact surfaces are arduous to make use of with out wanting down, an enormous step backwards from earlier tactile controls.

In truth the cabin is remarkably freed from buttons and knobs. Sure, there’s nonetheless a tactile quantity knob down within the heart between seats, and a drive mode knob as effectively that pops up in order for you it, however nearly every part else has been consumed by the touchscreen and varied different contact surfaces. Even the seat adjustment controls have capacitive contact pads for setting reminiscence.

Aside from the on-wheel controls all of it works effectively sufficient, and it appears to be like good, too. Once more I worry the longevity of leather-based interiors of this shade in an SUV, however then the individuals who purchase these are not often too involved about long-term viability, and within the second every part appears to be like stark, clear, and complicated. All of it feels good, too. Supplies in all places are top-notch, even the headliner and the insides of the pockets within the doorways, doorways which should be the heaviest portals recognized to man. Park on an incline and be ready to throw your weight behind this stuff to get out.

Trip high quality

On the transfer, every part is quiet and calm and composed. A part of the enchantment of these large rear seats is that they’re truly positioned forward of a type of rear bulkhead. That’s I’m certain partly why the rear legroom is a bit compromised, but it surely does assist to chop out the extreme highway noise that SUVs can supply. That makes for a nice soundstage for the 29-speaker Meridian sound system, which doesn’t shout on your consideration like some premium audio programs, but it surely deserves respect simply the identical.

Trip high quality is equally relaxed, with only a trace of stiffness on greater bumps to remind you that that is certainly a really succesful off-roader. Locking differentials entrance, heart, and rear assist preserve the facility transferring the place it’s wanted, whereas eight separate modes make sure you’ll have simply the correct quantity of throttle response and suspension compliance for no matter you want. There’s even automated wade sensing for these on a regular basis fording alternatives, an off-road particular heads-up show mode, and the flexibility to make 4 totally different customized configurations. That is, as ever, the right companion for posh off-roading.

In its most aggressive on-road mode the Vary Rover is actually prepared on this, the P530 engine configuration, the 523-horsepower, 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 not providing a lot in the way in which of throttle response. However, give it a second to construct enhance and this huge machine surges ahead. That is the type of automobile that can usher you in control rapidly and simply preserve piling on velocity for those who’re not cautious. It’ll simply preserve consuming increasingly gasoline, too. The P530 is rated for 16 mpg metropolis, 21 freeway and 18 mixed. I netted 20.5 mpg in my testing, most of which was spent on the freeway.

Greatest to make use of the cruise management, then. It’s adaptive, in fact, and works fairly effectively at sustaining velocity easily in visitors. Sadly, the energetic lane-keep system doesn’t work so effectively. It had a bent to wander within the lane, typically jerking the wheel abruptly, which is disagreeable in an enormous SUV. It appeared to incessantly confuse asphalt snakes for line markings, particularly at nightfall, which left me turning the system off except visibility was pristine.

Different energetic security programs embrace energetic blind spot monitoring, automated emergency braking entrance and rear with pedestrian detection, and occupancy alerts to make sure nothing (and no person) will get left behind.

Pricing and Choices

This First Version Vary Rover was effectively optioned and priced appropriately, $158,200 to start out however stickering at $169,900 with $7,450 for the Sundown Gold Satin paint (exorbitant however value it), $1,000 for the blacked out detailing, one other $1,000 for the blacked out roof, $900 for the 23-inch wheels, and one other $1,350 for supply.

For that cash you may cross-shop this with one thing like a Mercedes-Benz GLS and even an Alpina XB7. That’s some luxe competitors, in some ways much more posh and comforting.

However then they’re not Vary Rovers, with out the presence, off-road functionality, and admittedly the size of this factor. There aren’t many SUVs on the market with true pedigree, and above all else that’s what the Vary Rover delivers in spades.