Compared to a Defender - some general thoughts and concerns.

Smalldog

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I was regretting liking the Defender because I doubt I could justify getting the one I would want (better engine, leather, moonroof, sound system, and the advanced four-wheel-drive stuff) and my builds always landed in the 70K range. I really love the Panega Green with a white roof but hated that you could not get the steel wheels with the better engine. Also, I did not want to drive a luxury brand associated with exclusivity, with a sparse dealer network, questionable reliability, and higher than average ownership costs.

I liked the idea of a boxy, rugged, large (but not huge) vehicle that is very good on the tarmac in addition to doing well on the trail. I now own a JK Wrangler, and don't like the narrowness of the cabin, the cheapness of the materials (a little better in the JL but nothing like the Defender), and the highway manners. I live on the east coast, and I want to explore North American with my vehicle, but I find this a little too taxing in the Jeep. I am not an extreme rock crawl kind of guy but want some ability.

I expect the Bronco will be better than the Defender on the trail, but I worry about a few things and would appreciate hearing from others.

  1. Road Noise: My JK has the hardtop with the sound damping carpet which I am not sure how much it does. I hope Bronco does a better job than Jeep and get within the ballpark with Defender here.
  2. Handling: Same as above in expect better than Jeep but hope close to Defender. I drove the Toyota 4 Runner before buying my 2016 JKU, and despite IFS, I found the drive worse than the JK in 2016. The 4-Runner felt crude. I have heard that driving the new Ranger will give someone a good idea of how the Bronco will drive. But I also heard that the Bronco has a different frame.
  3. Cabin fit and finish. I really hate the interior of my JKU. The JLU is better, and I like the look of the Bronco as much as I like the Defender, which is saying a lot, but not sure about the touch and feel. Has anyone sat in both vehicles?





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ZackDanger

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I honestly don’t understand how people cross-shop the Bronco and the Defender.

Totally different design briefs, target markets, dealer availability, and associated expense.

The Bronco is going to be waaaay closer to the Jeep than the Defender when it comes to ownership experience.
 

Iceman153

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1. No way, hopefully it beats your jeep, but it still has a removable roof.
2. won't come close to the defenders air suspension, but it will be better than your jeep.
3. again, probably in between, the defenders interior is in another league.

That said I'm in the same boat as you, I was excited about the defender, and I absolutely love it's interior, rugged yet premium. But it's really just a discovery with defender styling, that and the reliability concerns, and the bronco announcement killed it for me :p

I just wish ford did a better job on the interiors in the bronco, those release bronco interiors were awesome.
 
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Smalldog

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Thanks for your thoughts here. When you say

"I just wish ford did a better job on the interiors in the bronco, those release bronco interiors were awesome."

Are you saying that you have seen both interiors and "wish" Ford did a better job, or are you hoping it will be very nice, based on what you have pictures of, but not in person
 

Iceman153

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Thanks for your thoughts here. When you say

"I just wish ford did a better job on the interiors in the bronco, those release bronco interiors were awesome."

Are you saying that you have seen both interiors and "wish" Ford did a better job, or are you hoping it will be very nice, based on what you have pictures of, but not in person
I haven't seen them in person unfortunately. But have definitely spent way too much time analyzing the photos and videos that are out there :p

The MGV looks like it'll probably feel the most premium of what they are producing. But those two concept broncos had a way more premium look than anything ford is actually making. This seems to match up with opinions I've read of people that have actually experienced the interiors.

It won't be as premium inside as the defender, but it will still hopefully be just rugged, which was my main criteria. I don't mind compromising on the interior for better customizability and reliability.
 
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Smalldog

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I haven't seen them in person unfortunately. But have definitely spent way too much time analyzing the photos and videos that are out there :p

The MGV looks like it'll probably feel the most premium of what they are producing. But those two concept broncos had a way more premium look than anything ford is actually making. This seems to match up with opinions I've read of people that have actually experienced the interiors.

It won't be as premium inside as the defender, but it will still hopefully be just rugged, which was my main criteria. I don't mind compromising on the interior for better customizability and reliability.
I haven't seen them in person unfortunately. But have definitely spent way too much time analyzing the photos and videos that are out there :p

The MGV looks like it'll probably feel the most premium of what they are producing. But those two concept broncos had a way more premium look than anything ford is actually making. This seems to match up with opinions I've read of people that have actually experienced the interiors.

It won't be as premium inside as the defender, but it will still hopefully be just rugged, which was my main criteria. I don't mind compromising on the interior for better customizability and reliability.
I agree with you about not needing a super fancy interior and really hope the MGV is as nice as I have heard. I have not heard much about the rubberized floor in the Bronco, but it seems to be very good in the Defender.
 

broncosor

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I test drove the new defender with both engines, as well as a 2020 JLU Jeep.
Let me tell you this:

- The Jeep road noise is awful and the Defender was super quiet at 80mph. Quieter than most recent cars I have been in.

- The Defender ride is insanely confortable on road, almost no body roll and flies over road imperfections, all due to the excellent air suspension. The Jeep ride was harsh and unpleasant

- It is absolutely false that the Bronco has better off road capability than a defender. A base defender still has 11.5” clearance, and far superior angles than any Bronco except Sasquatch. If you look on YouTube you will see the defender doing crazy shits than most people will never try in their life wether they have a Bronco or a Defender. It’s more than capable. The only trim that can beat the defender offroad is a Badlands Squatch. With equal clearance but better articulation(sway bar disco) and front locker.

I have the same need as you I do long road trips across western USA, that involve 90% road then 10% of off-roading to reach remote wild places where a Subaru can’t go. Plus it’s also my DD. The Defender is the dream vehicle for that. The only reason I am not getting one is because of poor reliability and extreme depreciation (as seen on any luxury SUV) which makes the cost of ownership awful.

Give me one modern platform for sale that can do the above? I don’t see any other than the Bronco. I hate Toyota/Lexus design and the fact they are old platforms, also hate the way they drive.
TBH the best car for me is probably the Bronco Sport Badlands with 1” lift and bigger tires, that puts it at 10” clearance with rear lockers and all the confort features and quiet ride and stuff for less than a Big bend. But it’s a bit too small.

I am still on the fence but as of now I do not have a better option than the Bronco. I fully expect it drives better on road than the Jeep but noise will be the same shit. I wished they made a non removable top version with SUV like noise insulation.
 
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This seems like a pretty honest assessment. I do worry about the smaller engine in the Defender and the wheels that are not the 17-inch. How did you find the interior compared to the JLU.
 

broncosor

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This seems like a pretty honest assessment. I do worry about the smaller engine in the Defender and the wheels that are not the 17-inch. How did you find the interior compared to the JLU.
The Jeep interior has some charm because of it’s unique style. However there is no comparison with the Defender. Everything feels premium in the defender, dashboard, buttons, material, it all feels great and premium. The jeep interior feels cheap. Also more room in the Defender, except legroom which was below average on both for me (I am 6’5”). Head room is a no go in the Jeep for me, was fine in the Defender.

As far as engine the P400 is great, I loved it. The P300 was nothing special, it does the job no pbm but definitely does not feel powerful.
If I was gonna buy a Defender, I would definitely get the P300, S, 18” wheels with the off road packages for about $55K. Same price as a Badlands + auto + mid package. But I expect the Defender to loose value much faster and the main problem stands: reliability. It’s not a vehicle you wanna own outside of warranty, yet if you buy it new and sell it after 3y before warranty expires you will cry with the depreciation. If money is no object, for me the Defender is a far better vehicle than the Bronco except for rock crawling, and one that wants the open air experience. Yet because money is an object and so is reliability for me I am still picking a Bronco over it even though I will never rock crawl and never remove the doors and top.
 
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The Jeep interior has some charm because of it’s unique style. However there is no comparison with the Defender. Everything feels premium in the defender, dashboard, buttons, material, it all feels great and premium. The jeep interior feels cheap. Also more room in the Defender, except legroom which was below average on both for me (I am 6’5”). Head room is a no go in the Jeep for me, was fine in the Defender.

As far as engine the P400 is great, I loved it. The P300 was nothing special, it does the job no pbm but definitely does not feel powerful.
If I was gonna buy a Defender, I would definitely get the P300, S, 18” wheels with the off road packages for about $55K. Same price as a Badlands + auto + mid package. But I expect the Defender to loose value much faster and the main problem stands: reliability. It’s not a vehicle you wanna own outside of warranty, yet if you buy it new and sell it after 3y before warranty expires you will cry with the depreciation. If money is no object, for me the Defender is a far better vehicle than the Bronco except for rock crawling, and one that wants the open air experience. Yet because money is an object and so is reliability for me I am still picking a Bronco over it even though I will never rock crawl and never remove the doors and top.
I agree and that would be my build as well with the 18" wheels, which only comes with the P300. I am also ruling it out like you, but in addition all you said, I worry about the scarce dealer network.

I have a JKU and find the interior very cheap, and it seems like the Bronco will be more spartan like the Defender, more upscale than the Jeep, and I hope a much better ride than the Jeep.
 

Rogues Gambit

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I honestly don’t understand how people cross-shop the Bronco and the Defender.

Totally different design briefs, target markets, dealer availability, and associated expense.

The Bronco is going to be waaaay closer to the Jeep than the Defender when it comes to ownership experience.
I like the Superchaged V6 in it, but other than that, I'd have to stick with the Bronco, since I wanna row my own gears and actually afford it.

If anything though, be Pimptastic if my dad got a defender, then I'll find somewhere fun for us to offroad together
 

highonthedesert

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...The only reason I am not getting one is because of poor reliability and extreme depreciation (as seen on any luxury SUV) which makes the cost of ownership awful...
I've not seen a post-LR3 Land Rover on the side of the road broken down ever. Usually it's annoying stuff that take you back to the dealer but doesn't leave you stranded.

As far as depreciation, that's exactly why no sane LR purchase is done on anything but a lease.

The air suspension is impressive, but I hope they have improved its reliability since the Discovery days where it was installed in the rear-only of some trims. It only takes one of them failing to leave you in a bad place.
 

Mmartini

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I test drove the new defender with both engines, as well as a 2020 JLU Jeep.
Let me tell you this:

- The Jeep road noise is awful and the Defender was super quiet at 80mph. Quieter than most recent cars I have been in.

- The Defender ride is insanely confortable on road, almost no body roll and flies over road imperfections, all due to the excellent air suspension. The Jeep ride was harsh and unpleasant

- It is absolutely false that the Bronco has better off road capability than a defender. A base defender still has 11.5” clearance, and far superior angles than any Bronco except Sasquatch. If you look on YouTube you will see the defender doing crazy shits than most people will never try in their life wether they have a Bronco or a Defender. It’s more than capable. The only trim that can beat the defender offroad is a Badlands Squatch. With equal clearance but better articulation(sway bar disco) and front locker.

I have the same need as you I do long road trips across western USA, that involve 90% road then 10% of off-roading to reach remote wild places where a Subaru can’t go. Plus it’s also my DD. The Defender is the dream vehicle for that. The only reason I am not getting one is because of poor reliability and extreme depreciation (as seen on any luxury SUV) which makes the cost of ownership awful.

Give me one modern platform for sale that can do the above? I don’t see any other than the Bronco. I hate Toyota/Lexus design and the fact they are old platforms, also hate the way they drive.
TBH the best car for me is probably the Bronco Sport Badlands with 1” lift and bigger tires, that puts it at 10” clearance with rear lockers and all the confort features and quiet ride and stuff for less than a Big bend. But it’s a bit too small.

I am still on the fence but as of now I do not have a better option than the Bronco. I fully expect it drives better on road than the Jeep but noise will be the same shit. I wished they made a non removable top version with SUV like noise insulation.
I looked on YouTube and saw the Defender... it seemed to be broken at the dealership in a few videos. Then I watched a wrangler pull it out of the mud. On the bright side the air suspension seems comfortable.

In all seriousness I am sure the defender is a more than capable vehicle for its target market.
 

calgecko

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I've seen probably half a dozen of the new Defenders on the road in the past couple weeks, and the only way I'd consider one is if it was about half the cost of the Bronco, that's the only way I could get past the ugly factor on those things.
 

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