Lego Technic Ford F-150 Raptor vs Lego Technic Land Rover Defender: which classic off-roader is best?

The Technic Ford F-150 Raptor and Lego Technic Land Rover Defender are two great Lego vehicles with a big price difference, so let's explore what they each give you

Lego Technic Ford F-150 Raptor vs Lego Technic Land Rover Defender
(Image credit: Lego Group)

For those looking for one of the best Lego Technic sets to pick, and who love off-road ready cars, then the Lego Technic Ford F-150 Raptor and Lego Technic Land Rover Defender are both extremely tempting models to pick up.

Both make for cool Lego Technic models to display in your home, with impressive functions and mechanisms, but the difference is more than just going for the all-American classic or the British stalwart.

The Lego Land Rover has a lot more pieces than the Lego Ford F-150, includes more complex functions (including both gearing and differential), and so is more expensive. We'll explain exactly what both sets offer, so you can decide which gets the most traction with you.

While these two models are just for display, Lego does make Technic vehicles with motors and app-based remote control, and that includes models designed for off-road fun. See our Lego Technic Off-Road Buggy vs Lego Technic 4X4 X-treme Off-Roader guide for a comparison of two of the best.

And don't forget to take a look at our overall best Lego sets guide, and our best Star Wars Lego sets guide, for more great builds.

Lego Technic Ford F-150 Raptor vs Lego Technic Land Rover Defender: Price & release date

The Lego Technic Ford F-150 Raptor is brand-new at the time of writing – so new that it's not out until October 1st 2021. It will cost you £129.99/$99.99/AU$249.99 – there's something very appropriate about a gas guzzler getting such a relatively cheap US price.

The Lego Technic Land Rover Defender was released in October 2019, and officially costs £159.99/$199.99/AU$329.99. Again somewhat appropriately, this is more of a bargain for the Brits, given the small price difference yet nearly double of the number of pieces, as we'll come to.

The Lego Ford F-150's price is pretty well in line with the Lego Porsche 911 RSR, which is similar in terms of functions and the number of pieces.

Lego Technic Land Rover

(Image credit: Lego Group)

Lego Technic Ford F-150 Raptor vs Lego Technic Land Rover Defender: Size & features

The Ford F-150 comes in at 42cm (16.5 in) long and 18cm (7 in) wide and 15cm (6 in) tall when full. This makes it a pretty satisfying size – big enough to really stand out, and to feel hefty and solid in the hand, but not so large that it's hard to find a good display spot.

The Land Rover Defender is a pretty similar size at 42cm (16 in) long, 20cm (7 in) wide and 22cm (8 in) high. You've got a bit of extra volume, but not much – however there's a lot more pieces in there, so it's even more of a dense beast.

The Ford F-150 Raptor has just enough mechanical features to feel like a worthy Technic product. There's suspension on all four wheels, you can turn the front wheels, the hood opens to reveal a V6 engine with moving pistons, all four doors open, and the tailgate drops down.

The Land Rover Defender has a lot more stuff to draw in those who like their Technic models be very technical. For a start, there's the highly complex gearbox, which features two levers for selecting high or low gear ratios, plus then a selector for four different gears. And the all-wheel drive system with three(!) differentials, plus independent suspension on each axle.

You've also got the 6-cylinder engine with moving pistons, a rotating winch, a working steering wheel, opening doors, folding rear seats, opening doors (including the tail door), and removable roof rack with equipment.

Lego Technic Ford F-150 Raptor

(Image credit: Lego Group)

Lego Technic Ford F-150 Raptor vs Lego Technic Land Rover Defender: Build and complexity

The Lego Ford F-150 is built from 1,379 pieces, and Lego rates it as being for ages 18+, which seems a bit steep to us – mid-teens should really be able to handle something like this.

The look is pretty great overall, from the rich orange colour to the decals. There's a pretty faithful interior too.

Because this has fewer Technic functions, it's massively the less complex build of the two cars here, for better and worse. It's still big enough and with enough going on to be a great Technic build, but you're unlikely to fall into any horrible traps where two things don't line up and the mistake was hours ago. Of course, the flip side is that it's not as satisfying for those who go to Technic models because they love the complexity.

The Land Rover Defender is beautifully complex, though. It's made from 2,573 pieces, and is rated by Lego for ages 11+. That actually seems like it's maybe a little too far the other way – it's perhaps a little young, at least without some support from an adult for the most complex parts. As ever, it'll depend on the kid, though.

The gearbox is a major build in itself, full of tiny pieces in an intricate web, and getting it wrong would be a pain. Then you've got the differentials, steering, suspension and more. It's more work, and more reward.

We also think that it's a more impressive recreation of the actual vehicle than the Ford, though perhaps that will come down to your taste.

Lego Technic Ford F-150 Raptor vs Lego Technic Land Rover Defender: Verdict

This may well come down to which of the original vehicles floats your boat (or your off-roader) – especially in the US, where the doubly-low price and truck heritage of the Lego Ford F-150 might well put it over for you.

But if it comes down to which is the more satisfying and elaborate Technic build, then the Land Rover definitely wins. And it's arguably better value in the UK, since it's so much more Lego for only a minor price increase. The Land Rover also often receives discounts, which can be pretty major.

Matthew Bolton

Matt is T3's former AV and Smart Home Editor (UK), master of all things audiovisual, overseeing our TV, speakers and headphones coverage. He also covered smart home products and large appliances, as well as our toys and games articles. He's can explain both what Dolby Vision IQ is and why the Lego you're building doesn't fit together the way the instructions say, so is truly invaluable. Matt has worked for tech publications for over 10 years, in print and online, including running T3's print magazine and launching its most recent redesign. He's also contributed to a huge number of tech and gaming titles over the years. Say hello if you see him roaming the halls at CES, IFA or Toy Fair. Matt now works for our sister title TechRadar.