The Bronco is back, and off-road lovers will rejoice. With a retractable top and doors for an open-air drive that embraces the outdoors, this SUV offers substantial capability when you leave the roadway.
For a new generation of off-road aficionados, the 2021 Ford Bronco signals the rebirth of this cherished vehicle. With great off-road capability across the entire portfolio, it keeps loyal to its heritage. It’s available in two-door or four-door versions this time, with a comfy cabin with changeable doors and roof panels. It comes with multiple powerful engines, a well-equipped infotainment system, and a lengthy list of standard safety measures. It also has distinct style that sets it apart from the multitude of SUVs now on the market. If you’re looking for an SUV, there are plenty of options, but few match the style, capability, and versatility of the all-new Ford Bronco.
The Jeep Wrangler, which combines similar off-road prowess with the optional plug-in hybrid, performance V8, and diesel engine not found on the Bronco, is one of the most formidable opponents. The Toyota 4Runner offers good off-road capability and extra cargo space, but its interior design is outdated. The Land Rover Defender, which has superb off-road capability, tough design, and a modern cabin, is on the more expensive side.
Trims and Costs
Base, Big Bend, Black Diamond, Outer Banks, Wildtrak, Badlands, and First Edition are the seven trim levels available for the Ford Bronco. All have a removable roof and doors and are available in two-door or four-door configurations. Our recommendation is the Outer Banks. We’ll explain why in a moment.
The entry-level trim costs $29,995 (plus a $1,495 destination fee). A 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine, seven-speed manual transmission (two-door), ten-speed automatic transmission (four-door), five drive modes, four-wheel drive with part-time selectable engagement, 16-inch wheels, hill start assist, hill descent control (manual transmission only), front and rear tow hooks, pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking, trailer sway control, and an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen are among the standard features.
A hardtop (four-door), 10-speed automatic transmission (two-door), 2.7-liter V6 engine, skid plates, advanced four-wheel drive with automatic on-demand engagement, heavy-duty front bumper, brush guards, roof rails with crossbars, Ford Co-Pilot 360, trail turn assist, trail one-pedal drive, Trail Control, and the Sasquatch package are among the available options. 35-inch tires, 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels, front and rear locking differentials, Bilstein position-sensitive monotube shocks, 4.7 final drive ratio, and high-clearance fender flares are all included in this package.
Big Bend is a state in the United States.
This specification includes six drive modes, 17-inch wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, LED fog lights, and tinted glass for a starting price of $34,880. Tube stairs, heated front seats, remote start, and the Mid package are all available options. Ambient footwell lighting, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, remote start, reverse sensing system, GPS, Ford Co-Pilot 360, auto high lights, and a rearview camera with assist grid lines are all included as part of the Mid package.
Diamond in the Dark
The Black Diamond comes standard with seven drive modes, a heavy-duty modular front bumper, a powder-coated steel rear bumper, rock rails, heavy-duty skid plates, auxiliary switches in the overhead console, marine-grade vinyl-trimmed seats, and rubberized washout flooring, with a starting price of $37,545. The Big Bend trim comes with the same features as the Big Bend, but without the heated front seats and remote start.
The Outer Banks are a group of islands off the coast of
Six drive modes, 18-inch wheels, LED headlights and taillamps, powder-coated tube steps, fabric heated front seats, and the Mid package are included in the base price of $40,450. Leather-trimmed seats, the High package, and the Lux package are all available choices. A 12-inch touchscreen, 360-degree camera, increased sound deadening, forward sensing system, and sideview mirror LED approach lights are included in the High package. Adaptive cruise control, a 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen music system, evasive steering aid, a heated steering wheel, a universal garage door opener, two more front USB charging ports, voice-activated touchscreen navigation, and a wireless charging pad are all included in the Lux package.
Because of its low price and broad list of standard features, including the Mid package, this is our favourite of the Bronco lineup. It also mentions the Lux package, which is available to purchasers who want more interior features.
A Badlands specialized suspension system with front stabilizer bar disconnect, heavy-duty modular front bumper, powder-coated steel rear bumper, auxiliary switches in the overhead console, and marine-grade vinyl-trimmed seats with rubberized washout flooring are included in the Badlands ($43,590). Leather-trimmed seats are available, as well as four distinct packages: Mid, High, Lux, and Sasquatch.
The Mid and Sasquatch Packages, a 2.7-liter engine, 10-speed automatic transmission with trail control, advanced four-wheel drive with automatic on-demand engagement, seven drive modes including Baja, a modular Shadow Black hard top, Wildtrak hood graphics, carpeted flooring, and heated cloth front seats are all included in the Wildtrak trim, which starts at $48,475. Leather-trimmed seats, the High package, and the Lux package are all available choices.
With only 3,500 units made, the Bronco First Edition ($58,410) is a limited-production vehicle. The Lux and Sasquatch packages, First Edition hood and bodyside graphics, a modular Shadow Black roof, safari bar, carpeted flooring, distinctive interior details, leather-trimmed front seats, a 10-way power driver’s seat, and heated front seats are all included in the equipment list.
The Jeep Wrangler also comes in two- and four-door versions, with more engine options and equivalent capability, and is available in a wider selection of trims. The Toyota 4Runner comes in nine trim levels, but with fewer options.
Performance and Engine
The standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine produces 300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, which are amazing numbers for such a little engine. It comes with a seven-speed manual transmission or a 10-speed automatic transmission. The Bronco readily accelerates to freeway speeds, leaving enough of power for passing on the highway. Off-road driving is simple with the control needed to navigate difficult terrain thanks to the same power and torque. A 10-speed automatic transmission is offered with the 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine. It has 330 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. The extra horsepower is minor, but the increased torque is crucial. It improves the Bronco’s off-road capability by giving the grunt needed to handle more difficult terrain while keeping the driver in complete control.
Off-roading with the Bronco is simple and enjoyable thanks to standard four-wheel drive and unique optional features such as trail turn assist and trail one-pedal drive. Water, slick rocks, and thick muck are all fiercely managed. The Bronco is up to the task no matter what kind of off-road adventure you have planned. It drives like an off-roader on the road, so it’s bouncy compared to a pavement-focused SUV. This is especially true when driving at faster speeds or on curving routes. With the soft-top in place, there’s also a lot of wind noise.
The Jeep Wrangler is available with a larger selection of engines, including a plug-in hybrid for a quiet off-road ride. The regular V6 engine in the Toyota 4Runner produces less horsepower and torque than the base Bronco engine, but it has better on-road qualities.
In the two-door form, the Bronco seats four passengers, while the four-door model seats five. The two-door is a tight fit, with rear seats that are best suited to occasional use. For drivers who frequently travel with a larger group of companions, the four-door is a superior option. While the front seats are comfy for long driving, the back seats are stiffer and still not suitable for extended journeys.
The interior of the Bronco is prone to get dirty because to the removable doors and roof. The materials are made to withstand some mud and water. The marine-grade vinyl seats are a good alternative for drivers who want to slog through muddy terrain.
Despite its practical off-roading considerations, the Bronco boasts a stylish cabin with heated seats and leather accents for those who want a little more comfort in their off-roader. The Jeep Wrangler, with its removable roof and doors and flip-down windshield, is another vehicle that strikes a nice mix between comfort and durability. For rear passengers, the Toyota 4Runner is more spacious and comfy.