Review: Land Rover Defender 130 Outbound

Sampling the Outbound 130 as the newest and largest in the Defender lineup, our resident adventurer Oliver Keohane shares what makes this Land Rover so versatile. The post Review: Land Rover Defender 130 Outbound appeared first on CAR Magazine.

Review: Land Rover Defender 130 Outbound

The Land Rover Defender 130 Outbound is five and a half meters and five seats of adventure-ready off-roading luxury, and it has arrived in South Africa. Oliver Keohane got a feel for Land Rover’s latest introduction to the Defender family on a dirt road-oriented drive through the Cederberg.

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Image: Khulani Media

Land Rover Defender 130 Outbound Fast Facts

  • Price: 1 967 400
  • Engine: 3.0 litre 6-cylinder Turbocharged Petrol MHEV
  • Transmission: Automatic (with twin-speed transfer box)
  • Power: 294 kW @ 5 500 – 6 500 r/min
  • Torque: 550 N.m @ 2 000 – 5 000 r/m
  • Driven wheels: All Wheel Drive
  • Claimed fuel consumption: 10.5 L/100 km
  • Top speed: 191 km/h
  • Rivals: Lexus LX 600, Jeep Grand Wagoneer, Toyota Land Cruiser 300, Ineos Grandier Quartermaster

What are we driving?

Land Rover customers – already spoiled for choice by a Defender family featuring petrol, diesel and hybrid engines, as well as varying wheelbases and seating configurations – now have another sibling to consider. The Defender 130 is the biggest of the bunch, coming in at close to five and a half meters long (the exact dimensions being 2 105 mm wide with mirrors out, 5 358 mm long with the spare wheel mounted and 1 970 mm tall).

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The new Defender 130 models, distant relatives in design and function to the double-cab Defenders of old, possess the same 110-inch wheelbase as the 110 vehicles, with the extra length added as a large overhang, initially to accommodate a third row of seating. Enter the 130 Outbound, which has retained the overhang, blacked out the back windows and forsaken the third row of seating for an enormous cargo bay.

Image: Khulani Media

Why is the Defender 130 Outbound significant?

If the Defender 130 nametag was reintroduced as a people mover with off-roading prowess, the new 130 Outbound offers a far more adventure-ready take on the extended Defender model. Sacrificing the third row of seating for increased storage capacity, the Outbound speak more to the old Defender 130 models, renowned for their load-baring agricultural capacity.

I doubt many 130 Outbounds will be carrying any sheep or soil, but the luggage capacity of 1 329 litres with five seats up, or 2 516 with the second row of seats folded down, gives the exploration-oriented customer with a family (with a lot of personal baggage). Land Rover has positioned the Outbound edition as “the ultimate luxury off-roader”, and the new model represents the British manufacturer’s latest and best efforts at merging the comfort and elegance of an upmarket daily driver with the off-roading DNA of the iconic Defender badge.

Image: Khulani Media

What is new on the Defender 130 Outbound?

The Defender 130 Outbound distinguishes itself for overland capability with its exclusive five-seat configuration and Goodyear DuraTrac Advanced All-Terrain tyres, fitted to 20-inch gloss black wheels (22-inch ones are optional). The particular model we were lucky enough to take through the winding dirt roads and mountain passes up to the Cederberg and back was kitted with Land Rover’s explorer pack, which adds a lightweight Expedition roof rack, a raised air intake, front and rear mudflaps, a side-fitted gear carrier and a cover for the spare wheel. A special matte decal for the bonnet, reading ‘130’, is also part of the pack.

Inside, the Outbound retains the plush interior expected of the new Defender Range, boasting an 11.4-inch touchscreen Pivi Pro infotainment system, alongside a digital display for the driver and a 10-speaker, sub-woofer inclusive Meridian sound system. Adding to the interior’s appeal are metal treadplates illuminated and inscribed with the “Defender” moniker, while rubber mats protect the flooring and cargo area from the dirt and wetness that one would hope the owner and family of a Defender 130 would be bringing back into the car after venturing into the wilderness. 

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Additional features include (among an extensive list that you can find under Land Rover’s configuration tool) a 360-degree camera system enhanced with 3D technology, blind-spot assistance, and a system for sensing water depth. Safety is augmented with the inclusion of six airbags. The Outbound also possesses a 3000 kg braked towing capacity. 

What is the Defender 130 Outbound like to drive?

Despite different engine options abroad, the current local configuration for the Outbound is purely petrol. Moving this massive machine (with ease, I must add), is Land Rover’s P400 engine, a 3,0-litre inline-six turbocharged petrol unit, which uses a mild hybrid system to push out 294 kW of power and 550 N.m of torque.

Related: Land Rover’s Afrika Odyssey Preps for Next Leg With the Defender 130

Jumping between Defender 90s, 110s and 130s, the extra weight on the 130 is definitely noticeable when getting the car moving, but within seconds it is cruising along at the same speed, with the same comfort as any of its smaller siblings. Steering is precise and the gear shifts are distinctively smooth. For such a big vehicle, with the additional weight of the Explorer Pack, the 130 Outbound handles beautifully.

The ease with which the Outbound handles the road transitions seamlessly to gravel. A dial in the centre console allows one to select from a range of drive modes, benefiting from Land Rover’s Terrain Response system. The Advanced All Terrain tyres make a notable difference on gravel when compared to the lower profile tyres with less aggressive tyre tread patterns, and Land Rover’s adaptive electronic air suspension made easy work of the dirt roads. While we didn’t do any technical off-roading, the 130 Outbound does come equipped with a low-range transfer case, which can be selected or engaged in certain drive modes.

Image: Khulani Media

What does the Defender 130 Outbound cost?

The Outbound starts at R1 967 400, for the base model, however, Land Rover has an extensive list of optional configurations for all their Defender vehicles. The Explorer Pack-fitted model we drove, complete with a few other added features, totalled R2 132 200.

Related:  Review: Land Rover Defender 130 D300 First Edition

What are the Defender 130 Outbound’s Rivals?

Though uncommon in South Africa, the Lexus LX 600 and the Jeep Grand Wagoneer offers similar intersections of luxury, space and off-roading capability with the latter sharing most similar off-roading history and genetics to the Defender. Closer to home, Toyota’s flagship Land Cruiser 300 GR-S offers a similar package to the 130, while the impending Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster may find favour among similar customers. The Quartermaster represents more of an ode to the old Defender 130 than a segment competitor to the new luxury SUV, and one would have to fit the load bay with a canopy to achieve the same effect. Nevertheless, one may find a small group of customers torn between the Defender 130 Outbound or “Old-Defender-styled” Quartermaster.

Image: Khulani Media


The Defender 130 Outbound offers an incredibly comprehensive package and takes the best bits of Land Rover’s engineering and styling to deliver an off-road-ready luxury SUV. Customers would likely appreciate a diesel derivative, which is set to come to South Africa at some stage, but Land Rover’s P400 engine offers more than enough grunt to move a sizeable vehicle with equanimity.

The styling cues manage to make close to five and a half meters look sleek, and the stock all-terrain tyres and rubber-protected cargo bay are invaluable assets to those seeking an off-road ready vehicle, but to get the most out of the Outbound’s adventure-centric packaging, one would want to add the Explorer Pack, which comes at an additional cost.

In pursuit of expedition-readiness and practicality, Land Rover has not fallen short on the standard features and interior plushness that customers now seek from the Defender name tag. Overall, the Outbound presents an exciting prospect for the affluent adventurer, of which South Africa has many.

Defender 130 Outbound walkaround


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