Defender vs Cruiser 70 vs Wrangler - Who is the top dog!





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  1. #1
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    Default Defender vs Cruiser 70 vs Wrangler - Who is the top dog!

    There have been numerous articles published comparing the legendary Defender and Cruiser 70 vehicles. Granted, these vehicles are considered to be the ultimate archrivals of the hard-roading 4x4 fraternity, but a well deserved place on the podium of hard roaders needs to be dusted clean for the new long wheel base Wrangler.

    In terms of 4x4 performance, there is not much separating the three vehicles, although their respective drive-train configurations do vary considerably. On the Matroosberg 4x4 trail this last weekend, a Sahara Wrangler absolutely dominated the trail in factory form and kept up with my Defender 90 Tdi (with rear d/l) all the way to the summit. Its traction control dealt with the horrific conditions with such finesse, I was very impressed.

    The question is, for what reason has the Wrangler remained off the podium of hard roaders for so long? I came up with the following reasons:
    1. The Wrangler is viewed as a fun, almost porno, lifestyle vehicle with a removable roof, prefect for weekends away in the sun, great on 4x4 trails, but not really interested in expeditions.
    2. I have never seen a picture of a Wrangler embarking on a Trans-African Expedition, loaded up to the hilt, roof rack, roof top tent etc. (Although this month's Leisure Wheels does show expedition accessorised Wranglers in the Northern Hemisphere).

    The June issue Leisure Wheels magazine shows three Wranglers with roof racks, and it was interesting to see that they were not supported on the roof, but rather by vertical supports that were bolted directly into the vehicles' bodywork. It is apparent that due to the removable nature of the Wrangler’s roof configuration, it cannot accommodate a roof rack.

    My ultimate conclusion is that the Wrangler is not viewed by the 4x4 community as a serious “expedition style vehicle”, which makes up a large percentage of the 4x4 community. This is where the Cruiser 70 and the Defender have captured the market – the ultimate expedition vehicles.

    If Jeep really wanted to crack a spot on the hard roading podium, they should seriously consider expanding the Wrangler’s reputation to include overland expeditions, with viable and affordable accessories to go.

    Just tell me why the Defenders and Cruiser 70 are so much more expensive than the Wrangler. Defender are pricing themselves out of the market and I can see customers moving to Jeep all the time due to its attractive pricing and HUGE bonus of a roll cage and airbags on a brilliant vehicle that costs less!

    Would appreciate hearing thoughts from Defender, Cruiser 70 and Wrangler owners. Cheers.
    Last edited by Defenderman; 2009/06/13 at 11:14 PM.

  2. #2
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    The 70 wagon is still to new. The 80 and the 60 are the 2 that have the reputation for being the overlanding kings in the LC stables at least. But yes, the 70 is really following in their older brothers boots very well.

    My only objection about the 70 is that it has blades in the back and not coils.

    My vote is for the LC.

    Maybe somebody should change this to a poll.
    Last edited by Henris; 2009/06/11 at 06:11 PM.
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  3. #3
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    I won't get into what is the best because all three are in a league of their own. In SA we are not accustomed to seeing JK's overlanding, and yet a few of the forum members have been to Botswana, Moz, Namibia, etc without incident.

    Overseas they seem to be a bit more popular on the overlanding/expedition trips. The mods are still fairly expensive here because the market is not as big as the LR and Toyota markets.

    And yet the die hards will go to extremes to get their Jeeps kitted.




  4. #4
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    Personally I'm a Defender man through and through. I have always loved the look of the Jeep Wrangler but have zero experiance with them.

    For me one of the important points to look at is service intervals and the cost thereof and the fuel consumption.
    For services,
    Defender every 10 000 km, Cruiser 70 every 5000 km , Jeep I don't know.
    The cost,
    I've heard that the Jeeps services are pretty steap, but have no facts to back this. I believe that 2 Cruiser services should probably cost more that 1 Defender service.

    Fuel consumption,
    Not sure of Jeep,
    The Cruiser, Eish.
    Defender around 10 km/l

    Another important point,
    For a vehicle intended for overlanding and in need of a servise every 5000 km, Mmmmmmmmmm. Basically you could void your guarantee if you go overlanding for to far!!!!
    2007 Defender Puma
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    I looked at all the vehicles mentioned here when I considering trading in. The heart wanted a Defender, but I was not prepared to spend such a stupid amount of cash on a new Defender.

    I also looked very closely at the LC70, but was advised by numerous people to rather stear clear, the new LC70 price is also pretty hectic.

    I eventually settled for the Wrangler Unlimited, and yes, from a space viewpoint you definitely cannot compare it to a Defender 110 or LC70 as an overlanding vehicle. But that said, how many members here actually use their vehicle for that purpose?

    I will most probably drive the cash for 5 years (if the fuel consumption (petrol) does not drive me to bankruptcy before then that is). During that period I am hoping to do at least 3-5 long trips. For me long trip is most probably 14-21 days.

    During a long trip I will use my offroad trailer, so space in the vehicle is not such a concern. The boot space in the Wrangler is similar to that of the Disco.

    Regarding a roof rack, officially you cannot fit one. Front Runner however have a roof rack available that works on exactly the same principle as a canopy roofrack. The hard top is definitely not made for heavy load carrying, but I think you can certainly use it to get rid of the items like your camping chairs etc. If you fit a roofrack with the body supports then I think you are able to carry a whole lot more on it.

    From a day to day drivers I do not think you can even start to compare the Wrangler to the Defender, I drove with both within a week. The Wrangler is just so much smoother to ride. Never driven a LC70, but I heard it is a donkey!

    This is a very difficult subject, for me I had to use financial common sense as well. (well not sure where that common sense was when I said Yay I now have a 3.8 petrol engine )

    That said, one day when I am big I will still buy me a 90!

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    I am currently looking at these 3 vehicles as a daily driver & for trips in SA and neighbouring countries.

    So far my choice is the Defender but if there was a diesel Rubicon I would probably change my mind - it is easily the best daily driver out of the 3. Even my TJ is better than the other 2

    IMy biggest problem in the TJ has always been how to carry enough fuel. There is no easy way except jerrys inside which takes all your space. I see there is a long range tank available for the JK & it should go a long way towards making it more expedition friendly.

    The service costs at Jeep are not that high - R1300 or so for minor service for petrol although the diesel should be much higher. Land Rover salesman said about R4500 for the Puma Defender.
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  7. #7
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    The Jeep is a porno lifestyle vehicle Giegiegie!!

    Maby in Africa we like the LC and LR brands for overlanding because of spares availability?

    I like Jeep. Looks cool, modify easy, capable. Would love to have one, but since there is only place for one 4x4 in my life its going to be the Landy. Nothing else.

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    Ill buy a jeep. From capable to lifestyle, to nice. Too young for a kroozer and too bad mechanic to own a landy [i like dry feet]
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    Personally I like all 3 vehicles, and would be in the market for any one of the 3. I have, however, bought the Wrangler.

    From experience I've learned that it is definately more difficult, but possible to get a Wrangler unlimited "overlanding ready". Especially if you don't mind a lighter load on the roof and a offroad trailer.

    It really depends on your personal preference at the end. I chose my Wrangler because:
    Better ride quality as a daily driver.
    More "oomph" with the 3.8 V6 more around town, and on the highway.
    I've got the Rubicon, so it's very capable offroad (standard front and rear diff locks, active swaybar, stronger transfer case, no electronics like electric windows that can pop due to water damage, etc).
    It's just a super cool looking vehicle! :-)

    Is it heavy on fuel? Yes, it certainly is! *digging out my company petrol card*

  10. #10
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    I thought my two cence worth will add something here. I bought a PUMA around three weeks ago, after doing a full on case study of all three.
    Although this is highly personal choice, the thought process may be of use.

    LC:
    Pros - nice rear door for loading, lots of engine compression for braking, huge windows for passengers front and back, space, diff locks as standard, modification ease
    Cons - Price (480k for a bush car is a little steap in my mind), service intervals, no turbo so the engine is huge, and fuel consumption suffers as a result and others - these are just my views remember

    Rubicon:
    Pros - Price, best 4x4 ride x far, looks the best, drop roof oodles of fun on a beach holiday
    cons - you can't have a diesel engine and top of the line off road capability, panel beaeting i've heard is very expensive, part availability i've been told is a problem, packing space and modification ease

    PUMA:
    Pros - everything about it 8). no i'm kidding. Traction control, best fuel consumption of the three, 20k service intervals, new facade makes a lot of the old draw backs a thing of the past, modification ability, alluminum body = no rust - this is important cause theres always water everywhere in the car, part availabilty, packing space
    cons - everything about it... narrow rear door makes bulky loading difficult, air tight as a mosquito net, uncomfortable seating in the back, leg room for tall persons. I'm 5'9, so i'll be ok..

    I think the toyotas are pricing themselves out and I fully agree that the Jeep will win more and more fans, especially if they bring out a diesel rubicon. however, for my money the best all round deal was the PUMA. although not the cheapest it still hasa legacy of reliabilty, dispite the leaks, jokes and breakdowns, and in my mind (and I am not a mechanics floor rag) is the only one I can fix while in die bos.

    cool! Nice thread by the way

  11. #11
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    Default Jeep 4 door wrangler diesel overlander

    Guys as far as a Wrangler overlander goes the new Jeep J8 military spec has got to be the choice - it is available in SA by special order. This Jeep is bulletproof, only comes with a diesel option and is designed to carry serious loads. Just check out the specs, Dana 60 rear, heavy duty dana 44 front, 545 auto box (same as commander V8)), powerful diesel motor, the towing and load capabilities are huge due to the rear leaf spring suspension. Ask your local dealer for pricing and spec's.

  12. #12
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    confront most Landy owners and they will quietly admit they respect the Toyotas. the same can be said for Toyota drivers respecting Landys. each has it's strengths and weaknesses but there is so little between the 2 that it comes down to personal taste.
    (still love my Landy!)

  13. #13
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    Default Wrangler

    This topic can go on forever!!!

    Like farmers (and others) about their vehicles - Isuzu vs Toyota, BMW vs Mercedes, etc, etc, etc.

    Have a look at the latest Leisure Wheels where 2 Jeep Wranglers do "a bit" of overlanding.

    http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs...SS03/904160320

    http://my.off-road.com/_8-tires-on-a...869/27589.html

    http://jeepworld.wordpress.com/2009/...y-postpone-it/

    Here is one for the Land Rover guys!!!

    http://www.autoweek.com/article/20070510/FREE/70507014

  14. #14
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    On the side of comfort the Jeep and Defender would win. Yes the LC70 is a donkey and on a 4x4 weekend by Toyota it struggle with the diesel motor being to sluggish for some of the dunes. We did however pit it agaist a couple of 4.5l Petrol LC's. If the LC70 was available in petrol it would be my first choice by far!


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    I agree with most of the posters here, the Wrangler is undoubtedly the one to go for, value for money, ruggedness and all round performance, so my next choice of vehicle has to be the Sahara Unlimited, EXCEPT......

    Having had 3 jeeps already, one which blew a gearbox at 90,000, another that popped both front and back diffs 2 months apart on 115,000 and the latest blowing its head and water pump at 67000 I am currently looking at any other model BUT THE JEEP!

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    It's like trying to compare an apple, pear and an orange. Ones for pie, one for canned fruit and the other for marmelade. Who gives a rats what anyone thinks about what you drive. As long as you are happy with your wheels who cares.......
    They should kill all these "which is the top dog type threads"..... won't waste time reading any of the post as it's a waste of time. I'll just waste my time to type this reply.
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  17. #17
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    So far my choice is the Defender but if there was a diesel Rubicon I would probably change my mind - it is easily the best daily driver out of the 3. Even my TJ is better than the other 2

    As some of you must have noticed I hav been in Lesotho this last weekend . The one thing that you cannot mis regardless of your view of a 4x4 is the only local vehicles you see in Lesotho are Toyotas.

    I find it very difficult to get into a argument or a debate of which one of the 3 is the best but please be realistic.

    Although not a big Landrover fan I do have a feel for these vehicles for what they have proved over the years nothing else.

    The only Jeep I saw in Katse dam was not loaded with gear but with attitude. Jeep Rubicon

    I rest my case your honour.
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    I agree with Henris.. my vote is on the LC70.. but also depends on which 70 series you choose..

    LC79 4.2D Pick Up is a real donkey but one off the strongest vehicles ever build..Fuel consumption is still better than the EFI..

    LC79 4.5 EFI Pick up also very nice and just as strong.. If you can afford the EFI.. you can afford the petrol..

    LC76 SW 4.2D is a really nice vehicle and feels like a porsche compared to the 4.2 D Pick up.. Just as strong but very good fuel consumption.. now by good I mean 7-8km/l..

    Jeep is also very nice vehicle.. good friend of mine.. Willie Randles from Wild Africa 4x4 has a competition running on the new Jeep..



    After seeing this vehicle I'm struggling to decide between the LC & Jeep.. I'm a big LC fan but this Jeep looks really nice..

    For Overland vehicle there can't be a better vehicle than the LC (my opinion ) but for just having a vehicle for weekend fun and 4x4 trials.. i would go with the Jeep..

    Regards

    Neil
    Last edited by Dirk; 2009/06/22 at 12:51 PM.

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    Having owned a Jeep, my only reservation is not on the capability of the vehicle, but in the service in SA. I wouldn't touch another one again - for that reason alone.
    Gavin

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    When I bought my Sahara CRD in 2008, the LC 70 and the LC bakkie were also considered. In the end value for money (and my bias toward Jeep) was the deciding factor. So far I haven't regretted my decision.

    So far space hadn't been an issue on weekend excursions, but admittedly, we are only 2 people in the Jeep most of the time. With the rear seats removed or folded down, everything needed for the weekend fits in easily.

    Sometimes I wonder whether I should've bought the LC bakkie, but on days like today, visiting the game reserve with friends and having a picnic basket and Engel fridge in the back, I am happy with my Jeep.

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