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Land Rover reveals eight-seat Defender 130

Land Rover has unveiled an extended version of its acclaimed Defender 4x4 that has an extra row of seats, with prices starting from £74K

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The only SUV with an eight-seat layout on offer in the UK, Land Rover has unveiled a longer version of its all-terrain Defender 4×4, with three mild-hybrid powertrains to choose from.

The Land Rover Defender range now consists of three variants – the 90, 110 and the new 130 – just like the first-generation utilitarian Defender range, which had its own extended wheelbase version which was designed to accommodate heavier cargo than other models.

However, the famous ‘Defender’ nameplate now has a new focus, challenging luxurious upmarket SUV rivals like the BMW X7 and Mercedes-Benz G-Class, and Land Rover is hoping that the new eight-seat Defender 130 will be able to do just that.

The 2022 Defender 130 has a more spacious cabin than other Defender models thanks to an extended rear overhang that provides the space for an extra row of seats at the back. This extra 34cm of chassis at the back means that the Defender 130 has 2,516 litres of load space with the back and middle rows of seats folded – over 950 litres more than the Defender 110 in the same configuration.

The two rows passenger seats also have an angled design – like cinema seats – with the back seats sitting slightly higher than the middle row, to improve passenger visibility.

With this added passenger space, Land Rover assures customers that the 4×4 still has ample boot space, and that rear passengers will have plenty of headroom in the third row, which also has heated seats and storage compartments with USB-C ports for plugging in devices.

Like the Defender 90 and 110, the Defender 130 comes fitted with Land Rover’s 11-inch Pivi Pro infotainment system with navigation software installed – which the brand says can navigate to any square three metres on the planet, without the need for a phone signal.

With the increased cabin space in mind, the Defender 130 has four-zone climate control, two sunroofs, and the top-spec ‘Air Purification Plus’ package comes as standard – technology that Land Rover says works to reduce allergens in the air, as well as purge other potentially harmful airborne bacteria.

The Defender 130 also comes with keyless entry – the SUV will unlock automatically as soon as you are within two metres of the car with key fob in hand.

In the styling department, the Land Rover Defender 130 introduces a new exterior colour and a new interior trim colour scheme to the range. The brand says that the ‘Sedona Red’ exterior colour option is exclusive to the Defender 130, while the new interior material finish – ‘Natural Light Oak veneer’ – is available across the Defender line-up.

The Defender 130 is available with a familiar selection of 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol and diesel mild-hybrid engines, paired with an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Two mild-hybrid petrol engines are offered – the 300hp ‘P300’ and the 400hp ‘P400’, and the diesel-powered ‘D300’ with 300hp completes the powertrain range.

While other Defender variants are available with plug-in hybrid technology or a V8 engine, these options have not joined the Defender 130 range as of yet.

Prices for the new Land Rover Defender 130 start from £74K for the entry-level P300 guise, though prices can quite easily surpass the £100K mark. The new range is now available to configure and order on the Land Rover website, which states that you may have to wait for an extended period for your new model due to the global semiconductor chip shortage.

Currently holding an Expert Rating of 83%, the Land Rover Defender has received high praise for its combination of off-road and on-road abilities, practicality and vastly improved infotainment system compared to other Land Rover models.

The main criticisms are directed at fairly poor fuel economy and the car’s high price – issues that the addition of the Defender 130 model does not amend.

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Sean Rees
Sean Rees
Sean is the Deputy Editor at The Car Expert. A enthusiastic fan of motorsport and all things automotive, he is accredited by the Professional Publishers Association, and is now focused on helping those in car-buying need with independent and impartial advice.