2022 Jeep Wrangler vs. 2023 Land Rover Defender: Affordable vs. Luxury All-Terrain and Off-Road Prowess

The Jeep Wrangler is well-known for being a very capable vehicle that can easily go off-road, but it has some intense competition. One of its top rivals is the Land Rover Defender, an excellent off-road vehicle loaded with a lot of luxury and high-tech features. Here’s a comparison between the 2022 Jeep Wrangler and the 2023 Land Rover Defender, and which one is the better all-terrain SUV overall.

The 2022 Jeep Wrangler continues being great

The 2022 Jeep Wrangler and the 2023 Land Rover Defender
The 2022 Jeep Wrangler and the 2023 Land Rover Defender | FCA US LLC. and Jaguar Land Rover

At a starting price tag of about $31,000, the latest Jeep Wrangler continues to be very capable for off-road and all-terrain travels, according to Car and Driver. However, there are a dozen options, and they range in price up to the Rubicon 392 trim, which costs $76,000. In addition to that, there are several engine options available.

The standard engine is a 3.6-liter V6 with 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. There’s also a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder mild hybrid that gets 270 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, a 3.0-liter V6 diesel that gets 260 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque, a 6.4-liter V8 that gets 470 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque, and a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) option that gets 375 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. 

Due to that wide variety of options, its capabilities will vary. Overall, it can tow about 3,500 pounds when equipped properly. The Wrangler 4xe, which is its PHEV trim, gets 49 MPGe, which is much better than the Wrangler’s standard 20 mpg rating. That said, the Wrangler’s interior is rather basic unless folks spend more money for options. It still seats five, and there’s 32 cubic ft of cargo space, but the cabin isn’t the Wrangler’s strong suit. 

The 2023 Land Rover Defender is a powerful off-road competitor 

On the other hand, the Land Rover Defender is a more expensive but more luxurious off-road competitor to the Jeep Wrangler. According to Autotrader, the Defender starts at about $52,000, and it has several trims, with the top trim, the Carpathian Edition, costing well over $110,000. However, at those price points, Land Rover offers quite a few great features to the car.

There are three engines available, and the standard one is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that gets 296 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. There’s also a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 mild hybrid that provides 395 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque and a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 engine with 518 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque. When equipped properly, the Defender can tow over 8,000 pounds.

However, where the Defender shines is in its interior. It has a ton of standard features, such as an 11.4-inch touch screen, heated seats, and a 360-degree parking assist system. Furthermore, it also has plenty of standard safety features, including automatic emergency braking, a traffic sign recognition system, and more. The Defender seats five, but folks will need to spend about $600 more for the S trim to get leather seats. 

Which one is the better all-terrain SUV?

Both vehicles are great off-road, so the better SUV ultimately depends on how folks feel about their differences. The Defender is a larger and more comfortable SUV, but it’s significantly more expensive than the Wrangler. Meanwhile, the Wrangler is generally as capable as the Defender but is far less comfortable.

In exchange, the Wrangler is almost half the price of the Defender. As such, the Wrangler is still the better SUV for most folks. It doesn’t tow as much as the Defender, and its comfort features are rather basic, but it’s affordable, and it off-roads well. That’s what most folks are looking for anyway.

RELATED: The 2021 Jeep Wrangler Is the Worst Best 2-Row SUV on This Consumer Reports List