2019 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon vs 2020 Land Rover Defender: Similar size but different performance

Dec 31, 2019

Posted by: Chris Odogwu

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1. Introduction

When two elephants fight, what suffers? The ground. That is the case with the 2019 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and 2020 Land Rover Defender. They are heavyweights in their own rights. Both cars have one major trait in common. Their predecessors were the first to emerge in their genre.


Both cars are the second in their genre, taking after their predecessors

2. Body built & size of 2019 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon vs 2020 Land Rover Defender

The Jeep does not look very different from previous designs on the exterior. Keeping to the standard, there is a frame to which the body is bolted. But this consistency in basic design should not be mistaken for lack of innovation. Having been in existence for over seven long decades, it is only natural that the Jeep has made some positive changes. Vibration and noise were synonymous with previous Jeep models. While these were seen as part of its rugged performance, they took away from the overall driving experience.

The 2019 Jeep Wrangler has little noise compared to its predecessors. There is thorough bushing in the frame and body to attain this effect. Axles of former models were suspended on leaf springs, but this model adopts coil suspension.

The Defender chatters its own course as it adopts a complete independent suspension and an aluminum unibody – something different from its long existing tradition. There are speculations that the front and rear live axles offered by the Wrangler make room for better articulation. Similarly, the unibody of the Defender offers a quieter and more articulate driving, but this is more noticeable during on-road driving.


With all that mud, the Defender still drives through

>>> Driving on rough road? These SUVs are a life savior! 8 SUVs that are perfect for rough terrain (from cheapest to most expensive)

Both cars are not regular in size. They are big, but the Defender is bigger. In length, the short wheel-base model measures 180.4 inches, longer than the 166.8 inches of the Wrangler’s short wheel-base. The long wheel-base Defender measures 197.6 inches in length – that is an extra 9-inch compared to the 188.4 inches of the Wrangler Unlimited.

3. Engine & performance of 2019 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon vs 2020 Land Rover Defender

The Wrangler offers a Pentastar V6 3.6-liter engine in its base trim, producing 285hp at an rpm of 6,400. At 4,800 rpm, it produces 260lb-ft of torque. The Jeep offers an optional powertrain known as the eTorque. The eTorque is a four-cylinder 2-0-liter turbocharged engine. It produces 270hp at 5,250 rpm. At an rpm of 3,000, it produces 295lb-ft. With such amount of torque, the Jeeps offers better engine performance.

The Wrangler offers users the opportunity to order its entry level with a four-wheel drive (part-time) and manual transmission. The Defender only offers a four-wheel drive (permanent) and an automatic transmission of eight speeds. There is a manual transmission of six speeds, but that is only offered on the V-6 package.


Bulldozer? With so much agility, the Wrangler can pass for that!

The 2019 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and 2020 Land Rover Defender were originally made with “strong hearts.” The Willys MB Jeep of 1941 was the multipurpose machine was used to attain victory in World War II. Such a battle-ground car could withstand the toughest road conditions. Similarly, the Series 1 Land Rover of 1948 was manufactured to assist farmers and explorers with tedious activities. The most recent models have not lost the hardened nature of the brands. If anything, they have been improved on to suit modern-day driving needs.

Although both cars are game for off-road driving, their modes of operation are quite different. The Jeep Wrangler leverages its past concepts of road engineering. On the other hand, the unibody Land Rover Defender takes a different approach from the Jeep’s philosophy of engineering. It makes use of digital technology for controlling bots and nuts while the Jeep is still stuck with an analogue mode of operation.


The 2019 Jeep Wrangler is not afraid to get dirty off-road

Users of both cars have several trim levels to choose from. They also get to choose between a long wheel-base and short one.

The Defender’s four-cylinder engine has more power. As a result of this, it offers more speed than the four-cylinder engine of the Wrangler. Land Rover says that, in 7.7 seconds, the Defender 110 P300 has an acceleration time of 0-60. Its top speed also stands at 119mph. On the other hand, the Wrangler records 0-60 acceleration time in 80 seconds and 100mph at top speed.


The Defender offers more than enough interior space for comfort

Going by the performance of the Defender 90 P400’s six cylinders, they are higher than the V-6 powered Wrangler. The Defender records 0-60 time in just 5.7 seconds, leading the Wrangler by 1.7 seconds. Also, the Defender 110 P400 records 0-60 time in 5.8 seconds – that is quicker than the Unlimited Wrangler.

4. Pricing of 2019 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon vs 2020 Land Rover Defender

The 2020 Land Rover Defender 110 base model starts at $49,900 (₦18 million) while the 2019 Jeep Wrangler base model starts at $48,325 (₦17.5 million). The Wrangler offers locking diffs at this price, but you will have to pay more money to get the diffs on the Defender.

However, these prices are manufacturer's suggested retail prices, excluding delivery fees and custom clearing cost. The figures also vary at different dealerships and countries as well.

>>> More for your reference: Toyota Jeeps prices in Nigeria (RAV4, Highlander, 4Runner, Sequoia & Land Cruiser)


Front seat passenger in the Wrangler can sleep off in the comfortable seat!

5. Conclusion

The competition between the 2019 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and 2020 Land Rover Defender is not “winner takes all”. In severe road conditions, the Jeep takes the cake in terms of performance. However, the Defender offers a better driving experience when the road is not chaotic.

>>> Want to read more car reviews? Always visit Naijauto.com for latest car updates!

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Chris Odogwu

Chris Odogwu

Car events

Chris Odogwu is a Content Writer and Journalist. He holds a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from University of Jos and a master's degree in Mass Communication from University of Lagos. His works have been published in top local and international publications including Forbes, HuffPost, ThriveGlobal, TheNextScoop and Nigeria360 among others. A member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), the thrill he gets from writing about exotic cars feels almost the same as riding in them.

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