New Ford Bronco '21 vs. New Land Rover Defender '20

My current SUV is 6 years old with about 50,000 miles. Next year, I’ll be ready for something new. I’m looking at the recently re-introduced:

'21 Ford Bronco and '20 Land Rover Defender

I would only consider the 4 door version of either one. At first blush the Ford looks much cheaper, but by the time you upgrade the engine and additional comparable options, they are somewhat similar in price.

I will test drive both before I make my choice, but while I was initially leaning toward the Defender, the ability to remove the roof panels and doors of the Bronco has me leaning towards Ford.

Both vehicles are very utilitarian and while I will off-road from time to time, it will primarily be my daily commuter to/from work. The Defender has a much larger towing capacity, but I don’t really tow anything.

Any thoughts, criticisms, or cautions are welcome.

Aren’t Land Rovers kind of known to be money pits that break down a lot, or is that information out of date?

All I really know about them is what I’ve read in car blogs, but are you considering the Bronco or Bronco Sport? Since you mention the removable roof panels, I assume the Bronco. My understanding is that the regular Bronco is meant to be the serious off-roader, a competitor to the Jeep Wrangler. Which is to say it sacrifices comfort for off road capability. Whereas the Bronco Sport is more like the Grand Cherokee, more comfort oriented but still capable of some light off-roading. I don’t really know enough about the Defender to compare it to either of the Bronco models. But I guess you should ask yourself just how much off road capability you need, and how much comfort you are willing to sacrifice in your commuter vehicle in order to get it. (But who am I to talk? I commute in a Miata, not exactly a comfortable car either.) I guess I didn’t really answer you question, since I only really compared the two Bronco models.

And then there is reliability. I’ve heard the same thing as pool, that Land Rover is way down at the bottom of the pack in that regard. I’ve always understood Fords were reasonably reliable. Just for that reason alone I would lean towards the Ford.

I am looking at the Bronco, also. I actually put down my $100 to reserve my place in line. If I may ask, why are you looking at the Bronco, as opposed to a 4WD or AWD SUV like a Santa Fe? If you are rarely going to go off-road, the Bronco seems like a poor choice. Although, as you mention, it is significantly less expensive than the Defender. Even the base Bronco would give you all the off-road you probably need. The reason it gets more expensive is mostly due to additional off-road capability (I am looking at the “Black Diamond” version - which adds bash plates and a wash-down interior). I don’t intend to do any extreme off-roading, but I would like to be able to go places that I currently can’t, mostly for astrophotography. I also want a vehicle that is easy to clean up after carrying the dogs.

It’s a new car, so data is lacking, but Ford makes better vehicles, especially in the larger segment. Even if reliability is identical, you will find more support for the Bronco. Granted, in a couple years it will likely be harder to find your car in a parking lot than a LR.

OP, if you haven’t reserved your place in line, be prepared for a long wait:

You know, The Queen of England rides around in a Rover. You know why? Because she don’t have to fix it our care what it costs to do so.

Bronco. Hands down.

The Queen of England trained in Automechanics during the war.
They always say that about her in bio-s.

Not all those people will end up buying one. The deposit is refundable and the it’s a marketing ploy. There will be plenty in late '21 once they start rolling off the factory floor.

It’s claimed that every Land Rover should come with a Toyota RAV4 that you tow around for when the Land Rover breaks down. I’ve known 2 Land Rover owners. Both said they liked the truck when it was new, but that so many electrical issues developed, they’d never own one again. Lots of weird stuff, like the radio wouldn’t work unless the wipers were on.

I once saw a bumper sticker on a Land Rover: “I’d rather push my Landy than drive a Cruiser.”