REVIEW: Behemoth Land Rover Defender 130 Outbound ticks all the adventure boxes

Published Apr 18, 2024


Recently introduced as a five-seater-only model for the long wheelbase Defender 130, the Outbound takes luxurious overlanding to the next level.

As far as premium, feature-packed, and off-road focused vehicles go, the current-generation Defender nameplate is already high up on the wanted list.

The 130 Outbound model thus kicks things up a notch for the adventurous individuals who would need every bit of aid for overlanding, be it fitted accessories suited for explorations, or even utilising every litre of the abundant space that this model offers for packing all the necessary equipment.

The headline capacity figures will undoubtedly make adventure seeking explorers excited, with the Defender 130 Outbound boasting an impressive 1,329 litres of space with the second row of seats in place.

A whopping 2,516 litres of space is on offer if you fold down the second row of seats, making for more than sufficient capacity for two occupants in the vehicle.

The Defender 130 Outbound caters for overland adventurers. Pictures: Mpho Mahlangu.

The almost flat boot floor also means that you can load items without any hassles. An added convenience feature is the ability to lower the vehicle’s air suspension from the boot itself to make loading large, heavy items a slightly easier task.

If you’re wondering what else sets the Outbound model apart from its siblings, the exterior features Shadow Atlas Matt finishes to the bumpers and grille inserts, with the side vents finished in Anthracite.

Our test unit sported 20-inch gloss black wheels however optionally available are 22-inch wheels finished in Shadow Atlas Matt.

The exterior hue named Carpathian Grey will set you back R26,800, and if you want the spare wheel cover in the same body colour, that will cost you a further R8,600.

Also fitted to our test unit was the explorer pack which sees the addition of a lightweight expedition roof rack, raised air intake, mud flaps at the front and rear, a side-fitted gear carrier and a ‘130’ matte decal on the bonnet.

Inside, occupants can expect to find a typical Defender affair, with the choice of either full Windsor leather or durable Resist fabric.

All finishes in the Defender 130 Outbound are in Ebony with an Ebony Morzine headliner, Robustec veneer and the Defender’s signature cross-car beam in Satin Black Powder Coat brushed finish.

Entertainment is taken care of by an 11.4-inch Pivi Pro infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Audiophiles will be pleased to learn that a Meridian sound system is on duty, however, this author wasn’t entirely convinced with its audio quality.

The Defender 130 Outbound caters for overland adventurers. Pictures: Mpho Mahlangu.

The sound system couldn’t seem to handle songs with high bass levels, with an irritating distortion present. Overall, the cabin of the Defender 130 Outbound is as expected - well laid out, spacious, and luxurious.

Moving onto the oily bits, the behemoth Defender 130 Outbound boasts a 3.0-litre 6-cylinder turbocharged petrol mill which is good for 294kW and 550Nm of torque.

Noteworthy is the glorious exhaust note from the meaty 6-cylinder which I found myself enjoying a little too much.

I don’t believe anyone will be taking the Defender 130 Outbound drag racing but a nice-to-know is that it will complete the 0-100km/h dash in just 6.6 seconds – commendable for a large SUV which probably weighs as much as a small house.

Power is sent to all four corners via a smooth shifting automatic transmission.

Despite being quite a hefty SUV, the Defender 130 Outbound doesn’t feel that way from the driver’s seat. In and around town, the large SUV accelerates surprisingly well, and should you give it the beans, it may quickly land you in trouble with the traffic police.

It is however an extremely comfortable cruiser. There’s something about this large SUV which just wants you as the driver to have the adaptive cruise control set to 100km/h and casually go about munching many miles in utter comfort and serenity.

Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels are relatively low, with only some noise from the chunky all-terrain tyres penetrating the cabin.

Of course, a Land Rover Defender can’t be spoken of without mentioning its advanced off-roading features which include the intelligent all-wheel drive system and Terrain Response 2.

Standard fitment also includes electronic air suspension and adaptive dynamics.

Some important figures which may appeal to enthusiasts include the ability to wade up to 900mm of water, and up to 430mm of articulation.

The approach and departure angles in the Defender 130’s off-road setting are rated at 37.5 and 28.5 degrees respectively. The towing capacity is rated at up to 3,000kg.

With an asking price starting from R1,967,400 (April 2024), the Land Rover Defender 130 Outbound is one of a handful of vehicles which combine luxury and off-roading prowess so well. Our test unit comes in at R2,132,200 with its fitted options.

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