2022 Ford Bronco Badlands 4-Door vs 2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4xe Rubicon
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2022 Ford Bronco Badlands 4-Door vs 2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4xe Rubicon

Two iconic off-roading nameplates each with a modern touch, we pit the new Bronco Badlands in 4-door form up against Jeep's first plug-in hybrid Wrangler Rubicon.

Jeep has been evolving its venerable Wrangler model for more than 80 years, refining it and making it more capable with every generation. It’s been a tremendous success for the brand, creating not only one of the most recognizable shapes the auto industry has ever known, but increasing its appeal not just for hard-core adventurers, but for countless other folks who use them as daily drivers.

It’s no wonder that Ford wanted a piece of this lucrative pie and after many years of development, has brought back the storied Bronco, available now for the first time in a four-door variant seen here – including the smaller Bronco Sport 4-door we reviewed here.

It’s a lofty ambition to take on Jeep at its own game, but Ford has done its homework. Here’s how the top-of-the-line 4-door Badlands shapes up with the plug-in hybrid version of the 4-door Wrangler Rubicon.


  • Our Pick:  Wrangler
  • Why we like it: once the novelty of the new Bronco wears off, its slab-sided appearance isn’t as interesting as the Wrangler

2022 Wrangler Unlimited 4xe Rubicon | Photo: Jeep 

Ford’s done a great job creating a modern interpretation of the classic 1960’s era Bronco, especially from the front, replete with its fender-top tie-down points hinting at all sorts of outdoor adventures this rig can enable. Riding on the giant 35-inch tires from the Sasquatch off-road package, the Bronco looks appropriately butch, and giving it a stance that’s taller than the Rubicon. 

But only hardcore off-roaders (and those who want to pretend they are) will order those big tires and every Bronco on smaller donuts looks more like a Lego version of a Ford Flex than a serious trail blazing machine.

The angles of both of these SUVs are very square and boxy, but the Bronco’s slab-sided doors and fenders are plain compared to the Jeep with its classic exposed hinges and squared-off front fenders. The Jeep’s 7-slot grille and pair of round headlights is about as iconic a design as one can get, recognized the world-over.  


  • Our Pick:  Bronco
  • Why we like it: more comfort, space and a contemporary design make the Bronco an easy pick here

2022 Ford Bronco Badlands 4-Door vs 2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4xe Rubicon interiors | Photos: Ford, Jeep 

Designed to get out into the wild and get dirty, both of these sport utes have very functional interiors designed for durability and easy clean-ups, especially after a day of playing in the mud with the roof and door panels pulled off. 

The Bronco’s cockpit wears a lot of cheap-feeling plastics and seats finished in vinyl, whereas our Jeep tester featured a leather package that made it decidedly more upscale. The Bronco and Wrangler each had heated front seats, and even for lengthy road trips, proved to offer good support and comfort.

Expect more cargo space and better cabin tech in the Bronco

Unlike their two-door counterparts, the four-door Bronco and Wrangler offer three-abreast rear seating. The Bronco’s rear cargo hold swallows a lot more gear than the Jeep’s, whether the rear seat is up or folded.  

Both rigs offer plenty of grab-handles for off-roading, and each offers primary audio and climate controls managed by large, simple knobs, just as they ought to be. Where Jeep places its off-road controls down low on the central dash, Ford has put them on top of the dash where they’re easier to find. But it’s the infotainment screens where the Ford really leaps ahead with its 12-inch touch screen and latest Ford SYNC system being a more modern system than Jeep’s 8.4-inch Uconnect system.


  • Our Pick:  Bronco
  • Why we like it:  The Wrangler can’t come close to the Bronco’s handling and ride quality 

2022 Ford Bronco Badlands 4-Door | Photo: Ford 

There’s a drivetrain to suit pretty well any Wrangler-buyer’s wishes. From a simple normally-aspirated V6, to a turbo-diesel, to a turbo four-cylinder and for this year, even a monstrous V8, the Jeep comes in plenty of flavours. Most unique is our tester with its turbocharged 2-litre four cylinder aided by a plug-in hybrid system that enables more than 30 km of pure EV mode per charge.

It’s a unique experience piloting the Wrangler off-road in EV mode with the only sounds being the distant hum of the electric motor and the skid plates clanging off big rocks below. The 4xe (as the PHEV version is known), is quite spritely, too, accelerating with considerable authority despite its portly curb weight of nearly 2,400 kg.  

Ford offers a 2.3L turbo four-cylinder as the base engine in the Bronco, but our test truck had the optional twin-turbo 2.7L V6. It’s a great engine that delivers 330 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque which is plenty to move the big Bronco along swiftly and power up rocky hills when off-road. Its multiple drive modes (or GOAT modes as Ford calls them) enable a driver to select the best set up for the scenario they’re driving, whether mud and ruts, rock-crawling or blasting through the desert. 

Both the Bronco and Wrangler made short work of every trail they faced during our test week, easily climbing up, over or through things that most other SUVs couldn’t begin to tackle. 

Jeep fanatics have called out Ford for fitting an independent suspension under the Bronco versus the Wrangler’s old-school (but time-tested) solid-axle setup. Since Ford has had ample experience building suspensions for their Raptor pick-up trucks that can withstand a serious beating, we see no reason to believe the Bronco won’t be able to manage some rock-crawling. 

But the significant upside to Ford’s suspension set up is its vastly superior on-road manners. Unlike the Wrangler which wanders around at highway speeds, the Bronco tracks straight and true, handling more like a sportier crossover than a rugged off-roader.  

Verdict & specs: Range-topping Bronco Badlands or plug-in hybrid Wrangler?

Even though most buyers of the Wrangler and Bronco are unlikely to ever test their machines off-road, both Jeep and Ford continue to make them evermore capable no matter how tough the terrain. Where the Jeep requires a driver to understand when to best use each of the Rubicon’s off-road features like low-gear, locking differentials, and disconnecting sway bar, Ford automates most of the experience with simplified drive modes and simple push buttons.

Considering this is Ford’s first attempt to compete with the Wrangler for many years, the new Bronco does a formidable job of offering what most people love about the classic Jeep, like the ability to pull the roof and doors off, the macho styling and the promise of go-anywhere capability. 

The Ford is also easier to live with on a daily basis for most drivers thanks to its better handling and smoother ride. Given how closely these two are matched otherwise, it’s the Bronco’s more modern suspension set up and infotainment system that earn it our pick by the slightest margin in this test.  

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Specs: 2022 Ford Bronco Badlands 4-door vs 2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4xe Rubicon 


2022 Ford Bronco Badlands 4 door

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4xe Rubicon

Base Price




2.7L V6 twin-turbo

2.0L I4 turbo, PHEV


10-speed automatic

8-speed automatic


4WD with 2-speed transfer case

4WD with 2-speed transfer case

Peak Horsepower

315 hp

375 hp

Peak Torque

430 lb-ft

470 lb-ft

Fuel Economy

14.0 / 13.9 / 13.9 L/100 km cty/hwy/cmb

11.6 / 11.9 / 11.7 L/100 km cty/hwy/cmb 4.8 Le /100KM

Cargo Space

1,085 L seat up, 2,350 L seat down

784 L seat up, 1,908 L seat down

Towing Capacity

1,587 kg

1,587 kg

Ground clearance



Max. Water Fording Depth



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