Is the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 $10,000 Better Than the Ford Bronco Raptor?
If you’re interested in off-road vehicles, you’ve undoubtedly already encountered the Jeep Wrangler and Ford Bronco. In the base trim, either vehicle presents rugged capability surpassing any competitor. However, like kids from the same neighborhood, they keep pushing each other to climb higher and faster. So, is the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 worth $10,000 over the Ford Bronco Raptor?
The Wrangler vs. Bronco rivalry
The rivalry between these two goes back to 1965 when Ford introduced the original Bronco. But the SUV took a hiatus from 1996 to 2021 while the Wrangler built a following. The battle for supremacy is becoming an arms race as both automakers add potent engines and high-tech suspension upgrades, MotorTrend reports.
Driving either the Wrangler 392 or Bronco Raptor makes it clear that Jeep and Ford aim to capture off-road enthusiasts’ attention. Though both offer decent tech and upscale amenities like heated seats, neither would be anyone’s first choice for a lengthy road trip. That’s not to say either has bad road manners, as both drive and handle well enough, but they’re loud, bouncy, and not as comfortable as other SUVs.
What does the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 offer?
The number in the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392’s name refers to its 392 cubic-inch (6.4-liter) Hemi V8 powerplant producing 470 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. The Rubicon 392, equipped with full-time four-wheel drive to keep wheel spin to a minimum, launches from 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and sprints through the quarter mile in under 13 seconds.
Jeep engineers did more than drop a massive V8 into a Wrangler Rubicon. They also lifted the 392’s suspension an extra inch, moved the rear suspension mounts, stiffened the springs, and added Fox 2.0 shock absorbers. As a result, reviewers say the 392 is better than the standard current-generation Rubicon despite lacking the best ride quality.
How does the Ford Bronco Raptor compare to the Wrangler Rubicon 392?
The Ford Bronco Raptor derives power from a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 making 418 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque. That’s a significant improvement over the standard Bronco’s numbers, but the Bronco Raptor, or “Braptor” if you prefer, is about 1,000 pounds heavier. MotorTrend testing clocked the Raptor at 6.3 seconds from 0 to 60 mph and 14.9 seconds in the quarter mile.
Reviewers found the Bronco Raptor’s performance as flat as the sound of the V6’s exhaust note at full throttle and pined for a V8 instead. However, it shines when “bombing over terrain that would fold a Honda in half,” thanks to the modified High-Performance Off-Road Stability Suspension (HOSS 4.0). With 13-inch front and 14-inch rear suspension travel, “significantly reinforced” suspension mounts, and rubber “jounce bumpers,” the Braptor promises more high-speed desert racing capability than its competitors.
Which off-road beast is better?
The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 is faster and boasts a better engine sound, but at $81,000, it costs $10,000 more than the Ford Bronco Raptor. Also, you’ll have to add $6,000 to both SUVs for the price-as-tested by MotorTrend. On the other hand, the Braptor goes anywhere the 392 can, albeit slower, but with more style.
You’d need to look at the 392’s badging to know it wasn’t any other Wrangler Rubicon until you hear the engine start. But because the Bronco Raptor is nearly 10 inches wider than other Ford Bronco models, it stands out in crowded mall parking lots and boulder-strewn mountain passes.
The Wrangler’s 5-year-old cabin design pales compared to the Raptor’s newer interior design and technology. In addition, the Bronco Raptor wins on the highway by offering more stability and a better ride thanks to its larger wheelbase. Still, the 392 makes navigating tight parking spaces a breeze with its smaller footprint and better outward visibility from the driver’s seat.