HP is a USELESS number, period. Regardless of the application the important data is the slope of the TQ curve, where the peak is in relation to RPM+gearing, and the total area under the TQ curve. Everything else is the wool they pull over your eyes to sell you something.
The "better" engine is the one that gives you what you need, where you need it, for what you use it for.
For some, it is easier to kill the light inside of themselves than it is to fight the darkness all around them.
How about a show of hands. Who here with a 4.0 wishes they had a 2.5 instead?
Lol, easiest way to get an actual answer..
1998 Jeep Wrangler
4.0 : 5 Speed : Green with Black hard top : 33X12.50 Parnelli Jones Dirt Grip's on Eagle Alloy 15x7's : e-AutoGrille's Rock Crawler front bumper with an Engo E9000 with synthetic line
It depends what type of off-roading you do. For mud bogging, you'll want lots of wheel speed and need lots of horsepower, so you wouldn't want anything less than the 4.0L. For general trails and even rock crawling, the 2.5L does very well--partly due to weighing 200 pounds less than an equivalent 4.0L, partly due to its slightly more aggressive axle gearing from the factory.
I have owned multiple examples of both engines, and I have wheeled and rock crawled them all. (I never mud bog.) The only time I have found a 2.5L lacking was when climbing steep hills on the freeway. On the trail, I had no complaints at all about the 2.5L.
__________________ Dempsey Bowling
My fleet: 91 Miata, 98 Wrangler Sport, 06 Mustang GT, 01 Suburban 8.1L, 14 Forte EX
Jeep mods: 4" longarm + 1" BL, 35" KM2s, 4.56s with dual ARBs... and lots of scratched armor
4 cylinder geared properly is great for wheeling. The only time you really appreciate the 6 cylinder is highway speeds. I have had both and I need the 6 cylinder for I drive on the highways and also pull a small motorcycle trailer which I would not attempt with a smaller engine.