The Land Rover Defender is back!
Even after our early experience with the new Land Rover Defender, there’s little denying that it’s as capable as Land Rover makes any of their other current SUVs. With all-wheel drive capability, air suspension and a sophisticated Terrain Response system, the latest-generation model takes the brains over brawn approach. That more or less works in direct contrast to what it’s up against today: the new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392. Firmly adhering to the philosophy that there is no replacement for displacement (while it still can), the 392 builds on the standard top-dog Wrangler with a fire-breathing 6.4-liter Hemi V8. In this video, Roman and Tommy see whether the most gung-ho version of Jeep’s off-road icon can outperform the clever Defender with pure muscle, and good old mechanical grit.
How does it compare to the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392?
In virtually every way, these two are water and oil when it comes to how they approach off-roading. For Jeep’s V8 grunt, Land Rover brings a brand new 3.0-liter inline-six with mild-hybrid technology onboard. The Defender uses air suspension, while the Jeep relies on coil suspension (with Fox monotube shocks, of course). Jeep’s Wrangler Rubicon 392 sports solid rear axles for that articulation, not to mention front and rear locking differentials and an electronic disconnecting sway bar. For its part, Land Rover’s new Defender can lock various parts of the drivetrain, and it also has great approach and departure angles to traverse obstacles on the trails. Make no mistake, both vehicles are clearly designed to go off-road, but their philosophies for doing so may appeal or not, depending on your tastes.
Crucially, both this Defender and the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 are in the same ball park on price. So, if you had over $70,000 to drop on either, which is the better buy? Check out the video below to see how they do and our reasoning for taking one over the other.