Anyone know of a fair, balanced comparison of Jeep Wranglers to Land Rover Defenders? - JeepForum.com
Search  
Sign Up   Today's Posts
User: Pass: Remember?
Advertise Here
Jeep Home Jeep Forum Jeep Classifieds Jeep Registry JeepSpace Jeep Reviews Jeep Gallery Jeep Clubs Jeep Groups Jeep Videos Jeep Events Jeep Articles
Go Back JeepForum.com > General Jeep Forums > Jeep Buying Forum > Anyone know of a fair, balanced comparison of Jeep Wranglers to Land Rover Defenders?

THE NEW! VANCO DUAL MODE 15”/16″ Big Brake Kit w/BlaFS: Wranger BRIGHT License Plate LED! Just $3! Great valueEngo winches available at www.rockridge4wd.com! Free shipp

Closed Thread
Unread 02-10-2012, 01:14 PM   #1
Coffeeman99
Registered User
2000 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Selah, WA
Posts: 34
Anyone know of a fair, balanced comparison of Jeep Wranglers to Land Rover Defenders?

Bored, I tried to find a comparison of Jeep Wranglers to Land Rover Defender 90s off road, and I found only silliness. Objectivity is completely missing say for one video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=92ZqtbABNgA) on Youtube that is not in English (otherwise pretty good video). Much of what I seen in a lot of videos was staged to make one make look better than the other. I love my Jeep (yes I use the word love with respect to my Jeep), but I don't dislike Rovers, nor do I feel the need to engage in fantasy about Jeeps abilities- they can speak for themselves. Does anyone know of a fair, balanced comparison between these very similar (design, purpose, history) vehicles? For that matter it would be nice to find a comparison that also included Toyota Land Cruisers. (You could add Mercedes G as well, but I am not so familiar with their off road abilities.) It seems to me that for comparison purposes the vehicles included would have to be of similar cost and build (from stock to overkill), tested in the same conditions and by the same driver. One would think there would be many comparisons out there...

Boy did I use a lot of parenthesis in this post

Coffeeman99 is offline  
Unread 02-10-2012, 06:42 PM   #2
frankush
Registered User
2002 WJ 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Skokie, IL
Posts: 295
Can't help with comparisons but I'd love to have a Defender 90. The question is can you afford to keep it. I don't think parts are hard to find, but they are very pricey. From what I understand they are very capable off roaders.
frankush is offline  
Unread 02-10-2012, 06:53 PM   #3
Jason
Registered User
2005 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Eaton Rapids, Michigan
Posts: 6,319
Unbiased? Yeah, just ask on JEEPFORUM.COM.
Jason is offline  
Unread 02-10-2012, 07:30 PM   #4
Coffeeman99
Registered User
2000 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Selah, WA
Posts: 34
post from Frankush... me too. from Jason... lol. I chose to respond to what I seen on Youtube by playing with Windows Movie Maker a little and posting a video of my own:
If you should see your Jeep, it is because I borrowed images from Google.
Coffeeman99 is offline  
Unread 02-10-2012, 07:35 PM   #5
BeachBill
Registered User
2012 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: West Fenwick, DE
Posts: 3
Nicely done. Enjoyed it, especially the thought at the end.
__________________
Bill
[I]Pix of my '12 Gecko Sport @ [URL="http://www.mysecondcar.com"]www.MySecondCar.com[/URL][/I]
[I][SIZE="1"]If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.[/SIZE][/I]
BeachBill is offline  
Unread 02-10-2012, 07:49 PM   #6
Jason
Registered User
2005 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Eaton Rapids, Michigan
Posts: 6,319
♫♪ "Why can't we be friends?"



As for your original question, I've never noticed such a comparison, but I've never looked. Maybe you could find a magazine comparison?
Jason is offline  
Unread 02-10-2012, 08:00 PM   #7
IDRIS
Registered User
2012 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Pickerington, Ohio
Posts: 126
Long post - apologies

I hope you have some eyedrops to hand, or remember to blink frequently because this is going to be a long post. :-)

I have ridden in Land Rover Defenders hundreds of times (mostly in the very back without even a seat, never mind a seatbelt) during my youth. My dad was the deputy footpaths officer for the county of Northumberland in England for about 20 years. I say "deputy", but in reality there were actually only two of them.

Still, when he retired there were 900+ applicants for his job. He got to drive and hike around northern England for months on end, annoy wealthy farmers who put up fences where they shouldn't, have a gang of burly ex-convicts build bridges and clear brush whenever he wanted them to, and have a couple of pints for lunch every day. Nice job!

Most of the time he had one of his friends drive him around in a SWB Land Rover (beer lunch, remember), so whenever I went with him on days off during the summer, I got to bounce along on the hard floor of the LR's cargo area. It was amazing how tough they made those things! They were originally military vehicles (like the Willy's) and when they became civilian... almost nothing changed. I like that!

Ever since those kinds of experiences I've been a huge Land Rover fan (see profile). The Defender is utterly unavailable in the US, except as a vastly overpriced used vehicle. Nevertheless, they look gorgeously square but the JKU isn't far off in looks.

In terms of capability, I think a Defender 90 and a Wrangler Rubicon would be an interesting comparison... that the Land Rover would definitely lose. Now, don't take that as hyperbole - I have researched the heck out of this exact question, and found many supporting details.

Exhibit 1: manufacturing. The Defender is based on a very stable, long-serving platform. Unfortunately, it is one of the few vehicles in the world that is almost entirely made by hand. In a Rolls Royce, that's a good thing. In a Land Rover it tends to create build inconsistencies - not my typification, but that of the head of Jaguar Land Rover group in a recent article in the Telegraph article about the Defender. November or December 2011 - my mom sent me a clipping from the paper, but it should be available online: try Telegraph.co.uk and look for the Motoring section, then try reviews and filter for Land Rover.

The funny thing is that it compared the Defender 110 to a Wrangler, declaring that the Wrangler was ideal for "A winter war in the Ardennes", but not the "Daily school run". I think they got it wrong, considering that they were comparing a diesel Defender with the diesel Wrangler that's available in the UK (I think it's a 2.4 L). We now have the 3.6 L Pentastar V6: a vastly superior engine, and one that appears in most of Chrysler's products. Tried and tested, and replicated by machines. Oh, and assembly happens here in the US - in Toledo, Ohio.

Exhibit 2: economics. Land Rovers are known as virtually indestructible workhorses - and it's true. When they work, they are indestructible! Sadly, they are extremely unreliable - a charge that has also been levied at Jeeps. That's worth thinking about! They are both offroad vehicles, and offroad vehicles take a heck of a beating - more so than most family sedans, yet sedans and other vehicles go into creating the 'norms' that magazines and companies use to measure reliability. Personally,I have never seen a Defender break down, nor a Jeep Wrangler.

I remember one time when my family got snowed in while camping at Kielder Dam during a freak snowstorm, that the only vehicles moving on the road were Land Rovers. Everything else just broke and shut down due to the cold. My dad's Fiat suffered a broken distributor cap due to the cold. Two Land Rovers came to rescue us. LOVE those cars!

The most reliable vehicle I've ever owned was a Jeep Wrangler, and I've owned several VWs, a Pontiac, a Mercury, four Hondas, and one Jeep before this current one. Nothing else has compared to my last Jeep. OK, that's just anecdotal evidence, but every vehicle has problems, and while the difference between brands is a matter of aggregate data and an expression of probability, each vehicle is different. Nobody can say for sure (with a straight face) that you'll have a good ownership experience, or a bad one, based solely on the data. The undeniable fact is that SOMETHING will inevitably happen, and then you'll have to turn to someone to fix it. Would you rather it be someone who is using locally-sourced parts and is familiar with the vehicle (due to sales volume, rather than frequency of faults), or someone who's winging it with knock-off parts from an aftermarket supplier (remember the hand-built LRs)?

Exhibit 3: capability. A lot has been made of the offroad capabilities of both the LR Defender 90/110 and the Wrangler (especially the Rubicon edition). I think they are both pretty comparable... or t least used to be. Back in the days when you could lift up the hood of an English car and see the word "Lucas" on anything electronic, you knew you were doomed to a life of sitting on the forecourt of your local garage while they hunted down the squirrely electronic glitch that has dogged your vehicle for months... that was a good time to have simple mechanical components.

Today, life is different. Electronic is the way to go. Forget Lucas. Heck, forget Bosch. Now, we have UConnect, GPS satnav, trip computers, DVD, LCDs, MP3, 40 GB hard drives, voice recognition, Bluetooth, heated pleather seats, cruise control, automatic everything...

Well, the Wrangler does. The Land Rover Defender generally still ships with crank windows and no airbags. But, at least the Def has offroad chops, right? Indeed, it does, but while it has chops, the Wrangler has entire STEAKS! Put all that electronic stuff together with ultra-high-end mechanicals, and you get the Rubi.

For example - 6-speed manual transmission (which the Federally-required sales sticker says is made in Germany - probably a ZF unit, if I had to guess: that's your MB Gelandewagen comparison), which is actually a 14-speed when you consider reverse and the low-range transfer case (a 4:1 ratio, BTW - I can't think of any other vehicle that makes a rock-crawling low-range a stock choice).

...But that's not all! Order now, and you can get this nice set of Dana 44 live axles as welll. (sorry, being silly). Still, the hits just keep on coming - OK, Dana 44s: I've only seen one in my life, on the back end of my last Jeep Wrangler Sport. I plan on seeing two more next week (I'm putting it up on a lift at school, so I can salivate while examining all the components). They come with torque-sensing limited-slip differentials, which are pretty good, but what makes them excellent is that they can - at the push of a button - selectively lock the front, rear, or both differentials.

... AND then you can electronically disconnect the front sway bar.

All that cool, adrenaline-flowing, heart-pumping stuff? You can't do any of that in a Land Rover. Yeah, it has good ramp break-over angles, especially over the 116" wheelbase JKU (compare to 90" or 110", hence the nomenclature), better approach angles, but worse departure angles, fording depth, HP, TQ, gear ratios, durability, towing, and comfort.

If you want the technical specs go to landrover.com/gb/en/lr/defender/. You won't get them on the US market site.
IDRIS is offline  
Unread 02-10-2012, 08:14 PM   #8
Jason
Registered User
2005 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Eaton Rapids, Michigan
Posts: 6,319
Wow. Nice job.

That's probably the best comparison you'll get.
Jason is offline  
Unread 02-10-2012, 09:14 PM   #9
Coffeeman99
Registered User
2000 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Selah, WA
Posts: 34
IDRIS: I could not have asked for better. Great information and assessment. Thanks. I checked out your profile as well; a fellow teacher .
Coffeeman99 is offline  
Unread 02-11-2012, 07:35 PM   #10
R U STUCK
Registered User
2004 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: , Middle of Pa.
Posts: 2,929
IDRIS...You definitely need to write more on here. Which I know is a hobby of yours. Very well put together.
__________________
2004 TJ Rocky Mountain, 4" Fabtech, Engine Mods, Sitting on 35"s
R U STUCK is offline  
Unread 02-14-2012, 06:27 PM   #11
IDRIS
Registered User
2012 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Pickerington, Ohio
Posts: 126
Forgot to mention...

Of course, the really important deciding factor when comparing the JKU Rubicon with a LR Defender is (how did I forget this?) PRICE.

I am a math teacher, and have an MBA, so naturally everything I do ends up being a net-present-value question and an exhaustive research proposition. Soooo... I did some math. The Defender isn't available in the US, so I used the LR4 as the next best comparison (and I was about 90%+ ready to buy one, until the dealership started acting stupid - trying to upsell me to something $10K more than I wanted). Here's my mathematical analysis.

Land Rover LR4
$2,000 down; sales taxes + fees, financed over 60 months at 2.83% APR (estimated at the time); total financed = $53,184.25 resulting in a monthly payment of $951.64. Insurance category: very high.

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon
$500 down; sales taxes + fees, financed over 60 months at 2.64% APR (actual as written); total financed = $38,745.74 resulting in a monthly payment of $689.66. Insurance category: less than my wife's 6-year-old Honda Civic sedan.

Net difference: loss of two seats, but a savings of $17,218.80 over five years, plus whatever I will also save in insurance, gas, and maintenance costs.

Last edited by IDRIS; 02-14-2012 at 06:32 PM.. Reason: typo
IDRIS is offline  
Unread 07-20-2014, 02:29 AM   #12
Bozmeg
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Whitehorse, Yukon
Posts: 1
Fortunately I have both vehicles in my yard. 2010 Rubicon Unlimited and a 1997 Defender 110 300 tdi. The Defender came second, and was not in the greatest condition, and is currently being restored one part at a time. That being said, my initial reaction for best driving on road goes to the Jeep, off road however, the Defender feels better than the Jeep on road.
I am not much of a off road kind of person, but living in the Yukon gives one the potential to explore unknown roads at anytime, both vehicles do this flawlessly. My requirements in a vehicle are simple. Get me up and down the Alaska Hwy in all weather conditions. To be able to get my own water and firewood with a M101a1 (1300 lbs) trailer.
The Jeep can pull everything I need it too, but it does so with some struggle. My Defender does the same with out any extra effort. I also find it comforting that I have a Salisbury rear axle, which is a Dana 60 equivalent. This also helps to tow 7600 lbs over the Rubi`s 3500 lbs when needed.
I realize comparing a 2.5 diesel engine to 3.9 gas engine is a little unfair, especially when getting 1000 kms a tank. That savings alone pays for the Defender. My personal vote goes with the Defender.
I ran into the same cross roads before I purchased the Rubicon. Jeep vs Defender vs Landcruiser. Every review I read was biased towards one or another until I read one review that pretty much summed it up for all three.
The author pretty much credited all three vehicles to having very similar off road capabilities but his underlining comment was if you would like to load up a vehicle with 20-30 jerry cans and disappear, the Defender was the one.
As for my final thoughts on the Defender and the Jeep? Even as I drive the Defender every day,cheaper on fuel, and with lower insurance rates it actually appreciates in value while the Rubicon is parked at home depreciating in value.
Bozmeg is offline  
Unread 07-20-2014, 11:27 AM   #13
1222
Make mine a Jeep!
 
1222's Avatar
2012 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Henderson, Nevada
Posts: 11,601
Thread closed, moving along…
__________________
1222 is offline  
Closed Thread
Thread Tools


Suggested Threads





Jeep, Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and other models are copyrighted and trademarked to Jeep/Chrysler Corporation. JeepForum.com is not in any way associated with Jeep or the Chrysler Corp.