Land Rovers are known for their off-road ability, but not for the space they provide inside. You might be surprised then that some of the models presented by this UK manufacturer offered an additional two seats in the third row for some models.
Land Rover Models With 7 Seats
The Tickford Station Wagon comprising a heavy wooden frame was the first-ever 7-seater offered by Land Rover, but it wasn’t the most popular due to the heavy taxation.
After changing the vehicle’s status from commercial to a multi-purpose vehicle, Land Rover quickly resolved the need for people carriers, presenting their lighter weight 86-inch Station Wagon.
It offered three seats in the front row and troop seating in the back, offering up to seven seats.
Similar to Series I, the Series II could also easily seat seven. Additionally, it got a slightly longer chassis – from 86 to 88 inches and from 107 to 109 inches for SWB (short-wheelbase) and LWB (long-wheelbase), respectively.
Apart from small facelifts, few changes were made between late Series IIA and early Series III.
An SWB Land Rover was the shortest 7-seat vehicle available in Europe for many years, offering three seats in front as a driver’s seat and a small bench seating two and two side benches in the back, seating two passengers each.
The transitional vehicle between Series III and the Defender vehicles, the Stage One, was mostly available with the LWB chassis, although there was a handful of 88-inch SWBs made.
The V8 petrol-fueled Stage One Station Wagon was fitted with two rows of forward-facing seats and two short side benches in the back, seating two passengers each.
Even though the first Land Rover Discovery, known as Series I, was based on the existing model of Range Rover, it went through a little facelift to accommodate the third row of seats, which Range Rover didn’t offer at the time.
The spare wheel was relocated to the swinging tailgate, and the back of the roof was raised to give more headspace for the third-row passengers.
The access to the last row was through the tailgate, and because there was not enough leg space, the seats were mostly used for kids or small stature adults.
The seats were made as jump seats – they were positioned sideways facing inwards and were folding up when not used to utilize the space.
The frame and the body were extended for almost 10 inches to add space for full-size adults in the third-row seats. The seats themselves were turned into regular forward-facing seats.
However, the access still remained the same as in Discovery I – passengers had to climb through the back gate.
The 7-seater option was available in SE, LT, and HSE models.
Discovery III (LR3)
Passengers wanting to access the last row of seats in LR3 could enter through the rear side doors instead of the tailgate as in earlier models.
The only model that didn’t offer the third row was the base model with a coil-spring independent suspension system.
Discovery IV (LR4)
There were no changes made pertaining to the third-row seating options from Discovery III.
Front-facing full-size seats accessed from the rear side doors are still available in certain models of Discovery IV.
Before the change of law in Europe in 2007, Defender 90 was available as a 7-seater vehicle.
In this version of the Ninety, the front row included a regular driver’s seat, a passenger seat, and a little seat between them. In the back were mounted four inward-facing seats on each side.
After the change, the four seats from the back were replaced with two forward-facing jump seats. The small seat from the front was also not available anymore. At least until the new models of 2020.
Before the changes of 2007, Defender 110 was able to hold seven people with ease (some models even more) with the bench seats in the back.
There were originally two seats in the front row in the standard model and three seats (or rather a bench) in the second. Behind that, there was a cargo space that could be fitted with benches (accommodating two people each) or two jump seats on each side.
Some other versions (usually 2-door) had only the front-facing seats in the front row. In the back, they were fitted with long benches that could seat eight people in total.
Yet, even after the changes, the old faithful 110 could still seat seven people due to the longer chassis in comparison with the 90. The third row could be added as two front-facing jump seats in the cargo space.
Discovery V (L462)
In 2017 Discovery L462 was only offered as a 7-seater in the UK, Ireland, and the European continent.
However, the need for people-movers on the American market brought a few models of Discovery 5 that can seat seven people.
- Discovery: the third row of folding seats is available in any trim level on request as a 5+2, but it comes as a standard on higher levels as full-sized seats.
- Discovery Sport: available with two folding seats in the third row (5+2)
The brand new Land Rover 110 looks more like an SUV than its previous “glorified tractor” self, but apart from being a capable off-road vehicle, it can still fit seven people inside with space to spare.
The third row is available in all trim options as forward-facing foldable seats that fold into the floor whenever you don’t need them.
The projects for the brand new Land Rover Defender 130 include an additional row of seats. Although not yet available on any market, the longest of Land Rover Models would be able to seat seven people comfortably. Or even more!
For the very first time in the model’s history, in 2022, Range Rover got seven seats in its standard version.
The seats are available in any trim and come as forward-facing folding seats that, similar to ones from the Discovery model, can fold into the floor, making more cargo space.
The third row is also available in the Range Rover Sport but not in the crossover Velar, which has considerably less space and a lower roof.
When Did Land Rover Introduce 7 Seats
Land Rover introduced seven seats in 1948 with their first Series I Station Wagon built by a coachbuilder company Tickford. It wasn’t considered an “original” Land Rover, and there was a high Purchase Tax on each vehicle. It led to less than 700 vehicles sold.
In 1955, the 86- inch chassis was fitted with the “original” station wagon body, and the vehicle could seat up to 7 people. They were lighter than the Tckford built because they were comprised of metal panels bolted together instead of a complicated wooden frame.
What Type Seats Are Available in Land Rover 7-Seaters
Depending on the model of Land Rover and the year you are looking at, the seats are available as
- foldable jumper seats facing inwards – in the early Discovery and some Defender models,
- regular full-size seats facing forward – later Discovery, Range Rover, and Defender models,
- foldable full-size seats facing forward – later Discovery, Range Rover, and Defender models,
- side bench on the side – Series and Defender models.
From the early models to the brand new and upcoming ones, the Land Rover brand offers a wide range of 7-seaters.
Although some seating options are no longer available in Land Rover cars because of the changing laws and regulations, the manufacturer is proving that despite the general opinion of the small load capacity of their vehicles, they can move seven people comfortably in one vehicle time and again.