Comparison between the 2021 Land Rover Defender and the 2021 Jeep Wrangler
A British icon meets an American legend with the 2021 Land Rover Defender versus the 2021 Jeep Wrangler. Both have a reputation for being tough off-roaders. Here’s how they compare.
Land Rover Defender 2021
2021 Land Rover Defender starting price: $47,125 | Price yours Where See listings near you.
Above average: 6-cylinder in-line engine available; rich heritage; up to seven seats; excellent off-road capability.
below average: The design is not as iconic as the original Defender; some interior parts look cheap.
Consensus: The 2021 Land Rover Defender maintains its connection to its off-road farming past while being thoroughly modernized to meet the needs of the 21st century.
2021 Jeep Wrangler
2021 Jeep Wrangler Starting Price: $28,295 | Price yours Where See listings near you.
Above average: Winner KBB Best Resale Value & 5-Year Cost to Own Awards; new 4xe plug-in hybrid models and Rubicon 392 V8, Xtreme Recon pack.
below average: Spartan base model; road behavior still compromised.
Consensus: The 2021 Jeep Wrangler is a satisfying blend of classic design and real off-road chops with modern safety systems, amenities and technology.
Defender vs Wrangler: off-road icons
land rover defender
Only a handful of vehicles (including the Mercedes G-Class, Jeep Wrangler, Ford Bronco, Toyota 4Runner and Land Cruiser) are built with so much off-road capability in mind. The 2021 Land Rover Defender tackles this task with a rugged unibody chassis, steel subframes and independent front and rear suspensions.
The base model Defender 90 2-Door, powered by a 296-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, starts at $46,100, plus a destination charge of $1,025. Equipped with the same powertrain but a bit more standard equipment (power front seats, 19-inch alloy wheels), the Defender 90 S starts at $49,400.
Prices for the 4-door Defender 110 start at $50,500 for the base model and $53,800 for the Defender 110 S. Both are powered by the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine also found in the Defender 90 Optional is a lightweight 395-hp hybrid powertrain featuring a turbocharged and electric supercharged inline-6 with power assist.
In general, the interior of the Defender looks sparse and simple, almost stripped down. The dash, interestingly, uses an exposed structural magnesium bar across its width. While some of the plastics overwhelm us, it’s a no-frills interior that fits right in with the Defender’s rugged mission.
With its strong monocoque chassis, the Land Rover Defender we sampled, fitted with air suspension, felt soft and comfortable when it needed to be, but firm and controlled on twisty roads. This new Defender is worlds more refined than the attractive archaic old.
The 2021 Jeep Wrangler is now in its last generation for three years, known as the JL. It remains offered in a 2-door version or in the more popular and more spacious 4-door version. All models come with a removable canopy (with doors) for outdoor adventures. An optional hardtop is available.
All Wranglers are 4WD and a variety of engines are available. A V6 is standard, or buyers can opt for a spunky turbocharged 4-cylinder, a V6 with mild-hybrid assist, or a wonderfully robust diesel V6 that debuted last year.
The new Wrangler Rubicon 392 is a limited-edition model and absolute powerhouse thanks to an SRT-tuned 6.4-liter V8 that develops 470 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. That’s enough to propel this Jeep to 100 km/h in just 4.5 seconds.
Also new for 2021 is the Wrangler 4xe, a plug-in hybrid Jeep with 21 miles of electric-only range. Curiously, this will also allow for up to a few hours of quiet EV off-road driving.
In late 2021, customers will also be able to order a 2022 Wrangler with a 4.88:1 final drive. When equipped with this low ratio and 6-speed manual transmission, this Jeep becomes the first Wrangler to have a best-in-class 100:1 crawl ratio.
high ground clearance; off-road-oriented driving characteristics; excellent off-road ability.
Advantages of the Land Rover Defender 2021
Hybrid transmission available; 6 in line super smooth; short front and rear overhangs.
Advantages of the 2021 Jeep Wrangler
Abundant engine choices, including hybrid and diesel options; huge support from the secondary market.
Which is good for me?
The 2021 Land Rover Defender 90 and 110 are 2- or 4-door off-road SUVs with a classic name but a thoroughly modern look and feel – and some seriously impressive off-road chops.
The 2021 Jeep Wrangler also offers 2-door and 4-door body styles. It’s an off-road-focused SUV with its own heritage, style and an impressive set of off-road software.
Ready to buy a Land Rover Defender or a Jeep Wrangler? Buy one on sale now near you.
|Land Rover Defender 2021||2021 Jeep Wrangler|
|Motor||2.0 liter I4||3.6 liter V6|
|Powerful||296 hp at 5,500 rpm||285 hp at 6,400 rpm|
|Couple||295 lb-ft at 1,500-4,000 rpm||260 lb-ft at 4,800 rpm|
|Transmission||8-speed automatic||8-speed automatic|
|fuel economy||19 mpg (18 city/21 highway)||20 mpg (17 city/25 highway)|
|Also available||3.0-liter I6 hybrid||3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel; 2.0 liter turbo I4; 6-speed manual|
|guarantee||4 years/50,000 miles||3 years/36,000 miles|
|Powertrain Warranty||4 years/50,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|NHTSA Safety Rating||N / A||4 stars|
|Maximum seating capacity||seven||5|
|Wheelbase||101.9-119.0 inches (90/110)||96.8-118.4 inches (2/4 dr.)|
|Total length||170.2-197.6 inches||166.8-188.2 inches|
|Width||78.6 inches||73.9 inches|
|Height||77.5-77.5 inches||73.6 inches|
|Turning diameter||37.1-42.1 feet||34.5 feet|
|Headroom, front||40.6 inches||40.7-42.6 inches|
|Headroom, rear||38.6-40.4 inches||40.2-41.7 inches|
|Leg room, front||39.1 inches||41.2 inches|
|Leg room, rear||36.6-39.1 inches||35.7-38.3 inches|
|Shoulder room, front||60.8 inches||55.7 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Rear||56.4-59.2 inches||55.7-57.7 inches|
|Passenger volume||N / A||103.7 cubic feet|