Land Rover Defender 130 Outbound 2024 review: goodbye extra seats, hello enormous boot
The new Outbound trim does away with the Defender 130's rearmost seats, resulting in over 2,500 litres of cargo space
There's no two ways about it: the Defender is better suited to a torquey diesel engine than it is a thirsty V8. But whether this five-seat Outbound model is the car for you will depend on how you plan to use it; if you need seven or eight seats even occasionally, then the slightly smaller boot of the existing HSE won’t be a dealbreaker. The 130 is a hugely practical family car, whichever way you look at it.
Alongside the long-body V8, Land Rover has also launched a more practical – or less, depending on your viewpoint – version of the 130. Called the Outbound, it’s only available with the D300 diesel engine, and ditches the standard car’s eight chairs in favour of a five-seat layout.
So if you need a huge boot but don’t cart the kids and their mates to football practice every week, then this could be the Defender for you. And yet, on paper at least, the difference in outright space isn’t as significant as you might imagine. In five-seat mode, the available area swells from 1,232 litres to 1,329 litres, for example.
If you want your Defender 130 to double as a van, however, then the headline figure of 2,516 litres with just the driver and passenger seats in place may be of interest. That’s a tangible 225 litres (an entire Fiat Panda’s boot) more than you’ll get in an eight-seat Defender with everything folded flat.
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Outbound spec does represent a little more than a third-row seat delete, though. Land Rover calls it the “ultimate luxury explorer” with an “unprecedented combination of luxurious interior space and all-terrain capability”.
As such, there’s the option of a special durable animal-free leather trim for the seats, plus rubber floor mats that can be folded down to protect the bumper when loading heavy items. There are also special lashing points and a cargo net to keep things secure while driving on or off road.
Being a strict five seater, the normal Defender 130’s rearmost side windows have been replaced with opaque panelling between the C and D-pillars. Over-the-shoulder visibility is restricted as a result, but not dramatically so.
The Outbound is, in effect, a trim in its own right. It’s one of the more affordable 130s, slotting into the range above the X-Dynamic SE (from £78,860 in D300 guise) and HSE cars, but below the X-Dynamic HSE and flagship Defender X variants. As standard, the Outbound comes with the same 12-way electric memory seats and Meridan sound system as the base car, as well as a set of 20-inch wheels and LED lights.
Those planning to take their Defender 130 Outbound far off the beaten track can have their car fitted with a satin protective film at the point of order. Land Rover says this is for “clients needing superior scratch resistance”, but at £4,000, you’d best be sure you’ll use it. A more sensible option might be a set of all-terrain tyres (in lieu of Land Rover’s standard-fit all-season rubber) – a snip at £255.
The Outbound can also be fitted with various option packs, including the Explorer Pack, Adventure Pack and Country Pack, which bundle together extras you may find handy, depending on how you plan to use your car. The Off-Road Pack and Advanced Off-Road Pack throw in things like an active differential and a configurable terrain response system, but even without these features, the Defender 130 remains a formidable 4x4.
And like the entire new-generation Defender line-up, the Outbound is an incredibly capable road car, too. It’s stable, secure and refined in even the worst weather, and while it’s perhaps not as smooth or effortless as the V8, the torquey diesel we tried felt plenty quick enough for daily driving.
It’ll also add an easy 10mpg to the trip computer; these versions are not only cheaper to buy, they should also be significantly cheaper to run.
|£81,285 (Defender 130 from £73,850 / £96,745 as tested)
|3.0-litre 6cyl diesel MHEV
|Eight-speed auto, four-wheel drive