Defender v Bronco v Wrangler

DrMorison

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I don't think that swapping tires would have made a difference. They would have had to swap wheels altogether to get more sidewall. That is a more complicated and expensive proposition than simply switching tires. The Defender is not an off-road vehicle right from the showroom. It absolutely needs an immediate and expensive modification. Although you can get it spec'd from the factory with 18" steelies (which TFL tired to do but that one was a nightmare). It's still the prettiest though, and the one I would want to own.
 

m_lars

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That was hard to watch. LR should be ashamed!
Really? This is a horribly biased video with complete apples to oranges comparison based on trim levels. You have the top off road packages versus probably the worst off road spec defender. They even admit in the video they couldn’t buy a defender spec’d the way they wanted, but you can grab a top level Bronco AND Jeep? What does that say about the three?

Goodyear tires suck ass off road wether you’ve got enough sidewall or not. And obviously they did not. It’s a super easy swap to fit 18’s over the brakes and most off road types upgrade wheels anyway.

Stock for stock the defender crushes the rubicon in ground clearance, they just don’t tell you they didn’t remove the rocks they stacked for the defender!
 

Al Pizzica

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Really? This is a horribly biased video with complete apples to oranges comparison based on trim levels. You have the top off road packages versus probably the worst off road spec defender. They even admit in the video they couldn’t buy a defender spec’d the way they wanted, but you can grab a top level Bronco AND Jeep? What does that say about the three?

Goodyear tires suck ass off road wether you’ve got enough sidewall or not. And obviously they did not. It’s a super easy swap to fit 18’s over the brakes and most off road types upgrade wheels anyway.

Stock for stock the defender crushes the rubicon in ground clearance, they just don’t tell you they didn’t remove the rocks they stacked for the defender!
I'd argue that Goodyear MT/R's with Kevlar are the greatest east coast off road tire. Source: 30 years of wheeling. They probably don't make them in any size that would help the defender though.
I'm not sure where you got your info on the ground clearance. I think the D110 has less than an inch more at max air suspension height. Not sure that's crushing it.

Overall you are right, it is horribly biased but as was pointed out earlier TFL likes to test them "as they come" which I pointed out earlier is pretty unfair.
 

ryanjl

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Really? This is a horribly biased video with complete apples to oranges comparison based on trim levels. You have the top off road packages versus probably the worst off road spec defender. They even admit in the video they couldn’t buy a defender spec’d the way they wanted, but you can grab a top level Bronco AND Jeep? What does that say about the three?

Goodyear tires suck ass off road wether you’ve got enough sidewall or not. And obviously they did not. It’s a super easy swap to fit 18’s over the brakes and most off road types upgrade wheels anyway.

Stock for stock the defender crushes the rubicon in ground clearance, they just don’t tell you they didn’t remove the rocks they stacked for the defender!

They could buy a Defender that was spec'd the way they wanted--and did buy it--but it had so many engine problems the dealer bought it back. After that, they've stated they want nothing to do with the 4cyl Land Rover engine. This was their third Defender.

And, to play devil's advocate, where do you stop with the modifications? For the same price as it would take to put 18" wheels on that Defender (which would require changing the brake calipers), you could put a 2" lift and 35" tires on the Jeep. Heck, you could put 35" tires on the Jeep even without a lift. And then the Defender is still playing catchup.

And the "ground clearance" stat is misleading. The Jeep's limitation on ground clearance (and virtually every vehicle with a solid axle) is the bottom of the axle differentials--something that raises higher in the air when the tire is on an obstacle.

The bottom line is that I do not get hung up on this video because it's a clear failing of the spec'd tire and not the vehicle itself. And, I think this video gained enough traction that it has caught the attention of Rover enthusiasts around the world. PowerfulUK mentioned it in one of their videos. Hopefully, it eventually catches the attention of Land Rover themselves, so they can be put on notice that the 20" wheel is worthless off road and to stop making it more or less mandatory on their supposed "off road" vehicles.
 

greiswig

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I've had some really capable trail rigs. I'm honestly impressed at how well my LR4 does on a trail, but I did get rid of the 20" wheels as part of that. I wish LR would focus more attention on getting good brake performance without enormous calipers and rotors, so we could get smaller wheels and taller sidewalls on these rigs without as much trouble. That video did seem to be a combination of stock tires and large-diameter wheels with a heavy vehicle converging on sidewall failures. It didn't seem biased against LR to me, just that they couldn't really do much more with what they'd been provided.
 

m_lars

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They could buy a Defender that was spec'd the way they wanted--and did buy it--but it had so many engine problems the dealer bought it back. After that, they've stated they want nothing to do with the 4cyl Land Rover engine. This was their third Defender.

And, to play devil's advocate, where do you stop with the modifications? For the same price as it would take to put 18" wheels on that Defender (which would require changing the brake calipers), you could put a 2" lift and 35" tires on the Jeep. Heck, you could put 35" tires on the Jeep even without a lift. And then the Defender is still playing catchup.
They said in this video they couldn’t get one with a locker. It was pretty obvious they got none of the options that would make this competitive with the top off-road packages it was up against.

No one will ever compare with a Jeep for rock crawling. Who else will ever be able to bolt on one-ton axles and 40’s? That’s not the market Land Rover has ever been after, in my opinion. But look under the center of a rubicon, they’ve got a ton of flab hanging down, way more than my LR3.

It’s actually caliper hangers and rotors that need to be swapped out for the 18” wheels. Way less work than a lift kit or other standard mods you’d do on pretty much any other vehicle.
 

ryanjl

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They said in this video they couldn’t get one with a locker. It was pretty obvious they got none of the options that would make this competitive with the top off-road packages it was up against.
They had bought one with the locker and the 18" tires and that was the one that was bought back. This version was essentially "given" to them in exchange (they cover it in other videos), and I'm guessing no nearby dealer had one with the locker to give them. They reviewed the one they were given, considering that's what Land Rover gave them to review. Their Defender review consisted of several videos in a series where they chronicle everything over around a year. The video that this thread concerns was one of the last videos in the series.

No one will ever compare with a Jeep for rock crawling. Who else will ever be able to bolt on one-ton axles and 40’s? That’s not the market Land Rover has ever been after, in my opinion.

So wait. What's this thread about then? People are comparing them, understanding there will be fundamental differences.

But look under the center of a rubicon, they’ve got a ton of flab hanging down, way more than my LR3.

Anything hanging down low on a Rubicon lifts up when a tire is on an obstacle. The other things that hang "low" are only low relative to the Wrangler and not relative to virtually any other trail vehicle.

It’s actually caliper hangers and rotors that need to be swapped out for the 18” wheels. Way less work than a lift kit or other standard mods you’d do on pretty much any other vehicle.

Caliper Hangers + Rotors + 18" wheels + tires costs more than a 2" lift and 35" tires on the Jeep, and costs way more than just throwing 35" tires on a stock Jeep.

I've thrown 4 coils and 4 shocks on a solid axle vehicle in a few hours. If you have a vehicle lift, I bet it could be done in around an hour on a new vehicle with no seized hardware.
 
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greiswig

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They said in this video they couldn’t get one with a locker. It was pretty obvious they got none of the options that would make this competitive with the top off-road packages it was up against.

No one will ever compare with a Jeep for rock crawling. Who else will ever be able to bolt on one-ton axles and 40’s? That’s not the market Land Rover has ever been after, in my opinion. But look under the center of a rubicon, they’ve got a ton of flab hanging down, way more than my LR3.

It’s actually caliper hangers and rotors that need to be swapped out for the 18” wheels. Way less work than a lift kit or other standard mods you’d do on pretty much any other vehicle.
From what I remember, Defenders used to be targeted at a market that went offroad quite a bit, and I've seen D90's with large tires on hard trails in Moab and the Rubicon doing quite well with relatively few modifications.

There are strengths and weaknesses to both live axles and independent suspensions. It often just involves picking a different line. If I were designing mainly for comfort, I'd probably use independent suspension. If I were designing purely for offroad performance, I'd probably choose live portal axles with torque tubes.

My main point about the brakes, though, is that requiring the vehicle to have 19-20" wheels because of the brakes reduces your sidewall height by 1-1.5" already fpr the same tire diameter compared to what the Defender used to offer. That's a big difference when offroading where you want to take advantage of sidewall flex and lower tire pressures. If I could get the same braking performance on 16" wheels on my LR4, I'd be going smaller than the 18" Compomotive wheels I already have.
 

ryanjl

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I think someone at Land Rover has decided that better braking performance is one of the main things Land Rover should strive for. Maybe it has something to do with the tow rating (although plenty of vehicles with equal tow ratings are able to run smaller wheels).

Because the brakes are just getting bigger and bigger while the vehicles are getting lighter.
 

greiswig

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I wish JLR would explore cam disk brakes, which might be a reliable, relatively small system to replace the large, multi-piston hydraulic actuators. But honestly, I expect a lot of the braking in the future will be done further up the driveline: at the electric motor via regenerative braking.
 

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