The 2024 Land Rover Defender Outbound has Arrived

Tom Crosby
| March 4, 2024 | 4 Minute Read
2023 Ford Bronco Heritage Model in yellow Tom Crosby

Since 1948, the Land Rover Defender, in one fashion or another, has been seen traveling highways, fording rivers, roaming savannahs and climbing steep hills all over the world.

The 2024 Outbound 130 Touring SUV

Now the much-evolved 2024 version adds a new Outbound 130 Touring SUV trim offering space for eight passengers, but even with this expanded capacity, the Defender emphasizes adventure readiness rather than family commuting.

It offers a superior blend of luxurious interior, robust engine, off-road versatility, on-road handling and smooth ride to keep competitors like Jeep Grand Cherokee, Toyota Land Cruiser and Ford Bronco at bay albeit at a higher price.

The Outbound's engine muscle

Every five-seater 130 Outbound is powered by Land Rover's 395-hp 3.0-liter straight-six, which features a turbo charger, an electric supercharger, a 48-volt hybrid system and enough muscle to push a nearly 3-ton vehicle to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds.

According to EPA ratings, the vehicle’s mileage is considered “low,” averaging 17 mph. (An eight-seater Outbound uses a stronger engine.)

Our test drive

Our Outbound test vehicle wore all-terrain tires on 20-inch wheels with all-wheel drive responding to an eight-speed automatic transmission with several selectable off-road driving modes to combat tricky terrain.

The intelligent all-wheel drive system, terrain response, electronic air suspension and adaptive dynamics provided cutting edge driver assistance.

The vehicle's exterior

Outside, the boxy exterior resembles the rugged, clean looking muscular 2023 Defender design, making our aluminum unibody Fuji white-colored test drive easily recognizable.

New options include a right-side mounted lockable, water-resistant gear carrier attached to roof rails for easy storage. On the left side a dropdown ladder allows access to roof-top storage. Together, they resemble saddle bags slung over a horse. Land Rover says they are aerodynamic and minimize noise.

Range Rover offers dozens of options, like a refrigerated center spine bin, plus more for convenience, safety, towing and security.

Our test-drive included ten options adding $7,213 and we had Towing Pack 2 for $1,850, making Outbound capable of hauling 8,200 pounds.

Demonstrating Land Rover’s strong reputation for off-road prowess, the Defender Outbound can navigate 45-degree side slopes, traverse streams 35.4-inches deep with wade depth sensing, engage hill descent and adjust upward with air suspension three-inches to 11.5 inches of ground clearance with four terrain off-road drive modes.

On-road we found the ride surprisingly smooth using the 11.5 inches of ground clearance, and handling was precise and agile for its heft. However, even with 8.5 inches ground clearance access may challenge some.  Above door grab handles help.

Land Rover surveys typically find most owners don’t do serious off-roading, so the spacious, luxurious cabin becomes important to buyers.

The luxurious interior

Our Ebony-colored durable fabric upholstery for the articulated five seats (heated/cooled second row seats manually slide and recline) produced an elegant vibe with high-grade materials augmenting the Ebony color scheme. Purposely exposed silver screw heads signal ruggedness amidst luxury.

Land Rover’s award-winning Pivi Pro 11.4-inch dashboard touchscreen, which can be updated remotely, displays a robust, but somewhat colorless, three-screen split for drill downs for navigation, phone or media functions.

Rubber floor matting can be used to protect the bumper while loading big objects in the voluminous cargo area with 60/40 rear seats dropped. Pluses included a heated steering wheel, a sharp 11-speaker Meridian audio, a panoramic roof, and plentiful storage spaces including a long tray below the dashboard and a large shelf below the center spine.

A spare tire hangs on the side-opening rear cargo door.

LIKES: Ride, handling, off-road excellence, huge cargo space, attractive cabin, standard tech features, quiet.

DISLIKES: Somewhat challenging access, visors don’t fully extend, no complimentary maintenance, options needed.

BOTTOM LINE: Land Rover Defender 130 wears crown among competitors for performance combined with luxury.

Car fact file


        2024 Land Rover Defender 130 Outbound SUV     

    Base Price                     $85,975 ($93,188 as tested)
    Curb Weight      5,610 lbs. 
    Wheelbase      119.0 inches
    Length      211.7 inches (with spare tire)
    Width      82.9 inches (with mirrors)
    Engine Specs      3.0-liter turbo, inline six cylinder, DOHC                       
    Horsepower      395 hp @ 5,500-6,500 rpm
    Torque      406 lb-ft @ 2,000-5,000 rpm
    Transmission      8-speed automatic
    EPA Rating      16 mpg city | 18 mpg hwy
    Range      23.8 gallons, premium recommended
    Performance       0-60 in just over 6.3 seconds

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