Best Off-Road SUV: Does the 2022 Ford Bronco Defeat the 2022 Land Rover Defender?

  • The 2022 Ford Bronco is “bro watch this” in off-road SUV form
  • A 2022 Land Rover Defender simply does not care what obstacle is in front of it
  • The Bronco’s lower price tag can’t be ignored

Recently, I was lucky enough to spend a week in the two hottest new off-road SUVs of the moment: the 2022 Ford Bronco and the 2022 Land Rover Defender. The Bronco is the wild child SUV. It doesn’t take itself seriously, even though the spec sheet says otherwise. And the Defender? It’s a trendy London flat with a chic interior and a subtle road presence unlike anything on the road. But which one’s better?

A blue 2022 Ford Bronco off-road SUV shot from the front 3/4
The Ford Bronco sits at one end of the fun scale | Chase Bierenkoven, MotorBiscuit

2022 Ford Bronco vs. 2022 Land Rover Defender

2022 Ford Bronco2022 Land Rover Defender
Price (as tested)$29,300 ($65,005)$62,700 MSRP ($69,195)
Engine (as tested) 2.7L turbo V63.0L turbo inline 6
Horsepower (as tested) 330 hp395 hp
Torque (as tested) 415 lb-ft406 lb-ft
Transmission (as tested) 8-speed automatic 8-speed automatic
MPG Rating (as tested) 16 MPG combined17 MPG combined
IIHS Safety RatingTop Safety PickN/A
NHTSA Safety Rating5 StarsN/A

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2022 Ford Bronco advantages

The interior of the Bronco with black leather
The Bronco’s interior is far more off-road focused | Chase Bierenkoven, MotorBiscuit

Let’s start with the Bronco. Its advantages are many. The huge 35-inch tires on my loaner helped the Bronco feel planted on any terrain, even when the terrain was anything but stable. When it comes to off-road capability, the Bronco’s GOAT modes offered far more control than the 2022 Land Rover Defender. It even allows for some snowy donuts if you turn off the traction control, further enhancing the fun off-roader vibe.

Speaking of, the removable roof panels help this immensely. It took me a whole 10 minutes to remove the doors and roof panels on my first try (I admit to watching a bit of YouTube first). At $65,005 the 2022 Ford Bronco is an incredible value proposition, especially once you get a taste of how capable it is. However, it is also let down by a somewhat lackluster selection of materials, and the newest horse in the Ford stable already has several recalls.

2022 Land Rover Defender advantages

The interior of the 2022 Land Rover Defender with cream leather
The Defender’s interior mimics a trendy London apartment | Chase Bierenkoven, MotorBiscuit

Now, the 2022 Land Rover Defender. There’s sort of a Lamborghini vs. Aston Martin thing going on here. Where the 2022 Ford Bronco is loud in both looks and paint color (Lamborghini), the 2022 Land Rover Defender doesn’t need to show everyone what it is (Aston Martin). The above “London flat” analogy applies to much more than just the minimalist interior. The outside is free of hooks, vents, and knobbly 35″ tires, but the off-road SUV capability is there all the same.

Like the Bronco, no matter how stuck you think the Defender might be, there’s always one more drive mode or traction setting to try before the Defender magics its way out. Minimalism aside, the materials are significantly nicer than the Bronco, as they should be for the near-$70K price tag. However, the Defender is let down by its serious personality. It simply does not appeal to the child in me the way the Bronco does.

Which off-road SUV is right for you?

A blue Bronco shot from the front 3/4 at night during a snow storm
A white 2022 Land Rover Defender off-road SUV shot from the front 3/4 on a snowy back road
The Defender sits at the opposite end of the scale | Chase Bierenkoven, MotorBiscuit

Spec sheets and pricing aside, which off-road SUV you prefer ultimately comes down to the kind of person you are. Are you like me? Do you enjoy the “bro watch this” look and capability of a Ford Bronco? Or do you prefer to be unbothered by even the largest of obstacles, simply going over them with as little flair and fuss as possible? Both are extremely comfortable to use every day, and the choice is yours. No matter what, 60-odd grand gets you a seriously capable machine in both of these cars.

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