Ford has let out its ultimate prizefighter to take on the Jeep Wrangler

After being in production for over three decades, the Bronco went down in the history books as one of the most hardcore SUVs that mankind had ever seen. The SUV was developed as an off-roader to take on the Jeep CJ-5, and it succeeded to a large extent. However, the company decided to put down the model in 1996 to make way for a newer lineup. Purists and enthusiasts hoped the model would make a comeback, and after 20+ years, the moniker has come back from the ashes.

Rumors about its reincarnation started many years back, but the company didn’t confirm its existence until less than a year before it was unveiled. The wait was not easy, but it was worth it. The company launched the rugged, off-road Bronco in two- and four-door configurations, to go with an urban version with an off-road bias called the Bronco Sport. Ford will offer hundreds of optional accessories right from its launch as well. Despite all this, does it have in it to take on the undisputed king of the segment, the Jeep Wrangler?

  • 2021 Ford Bronco
  • Year:
    2021
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    10-speed automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    270
  • Torque @ RPM:
    310
  • Energy:
    EcoBoost
  • Displacement:
    2.3 L
  • Top Speed:
    130 mph (Est.)
  • Layout:
    Front Engine; 2WD, 4WD
  • Price:
    29995
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:
  • Overall:
    8/10

What does the new Ford Bronco Look Like?

  • Round LED Headlights
  • Steel bumpers with integrated winch-mounting capability
  • Removable bumper side caps
  • 16- to 18-inch wheels as standard, 17-inch Beadlock optional
  • Removable roof and doors
  • Wing mirrors mounted underneath the windshield
  • Doors can be packed and stowed away in the cargo area
  • Towing capacity of 3,500 pounds on both the models
2021 Ford Bronco Exterior Wallpaper quality High Resolution
- image 919918

The 2021 Ford Bronco is a boxy off-roader with a strong old-school vibe to it. The circular LED headlights wrapped within the grille along with the “BRONCO” lettering make it stand out. It comes with steel bumpers and skid plate underneath that gives it the hardcore off-roader persona while enhancing the approach and departure angles. The tow hooks are easy to access, and the bumpers have integrated winch-mounting capability. You can even mount other aftermarket accessories. On some of the trims, the bumpers have removable side caps for better approach angles.

2021 Ford Bronco 2-Door Dimensions
Base Big Bend Wildtrak Badlands
Length 173.7 Inches 173.7 Inches 173.7 Inches 174.8 Inches
Width 75.9 Inches 75.9 Inches 79.3 Inches 76.3 Inches
Height 71.9 Inches 72.9 Inches 75.2 Inches 73.8 Inches
Wheelbase 100.4 Inches 100.4 Inches 100.4 Inches 100.4 Inches
Front Track 65.0 Inches 65.0 Inches 66.9 Inches 65.0 Inches
Rear Track 65.0 Inches 65.0 Inches 66.9 Inches 65.0 Inches
2021 Ford Bronco Exterior Wallpaper quality High Resolution
- image 919921

There is a modern high-strength steel roll cage with curtain bags equipped in it to protect the occupants from side impacts. The fenders with trail sights also double up as tie-down points here. The Bronco will ride on 16- to 18-inch wheels as standard. On the higher trims, however, you can have the Bronco with 17-inch Beadlock wheels wrapped in 35-inch mud-terrain tires. The flared out wheel arches and high ride height makes this possible. The higher trims also come with a front bash plate and protective shields for the engine, transmission, transfer case, and fuel tank. You can opt for the side rails as an accessory that are strong enough to withstand the weight of the SUV even if it leans over under any circumstance.

2021 Ford Bronco Exterior High Resolution
- image 919928
2021 Ford Bronco Sport 4-Door Dimensions
Base Big Bend Wildtrak Badlands
Length 189.4 Inches 189.4 Inches 189.5 Inches 190.5 Inches
Width 75.9 Incges 75.9 Inches 79.3 Inches 76.3 Inches
Height 73.0 Inches 72.9 Inches 75.3 Inches 73.9 Inches
Wheelbase 116.1 Inches 116.1 Inches 116.1 Inches 116.1 Inches
Front Track 65.0 Inches 65.0 Inches 66.9 Inches 65.0 Inches
Rear Track 65.0 Inches 65.0 Inches 66.9 Inches 65.0 Inches
The 2021 Bronco comes with a removable roof and doors, thus making those off-road, open-air adventures all the more interesting.

The doors can be removed and stowed into the cargo area itself, but not the roof. Another interesting thing is that the roof has no beam and gives a great top aerial view. The roof on the two-door models is divided into three sections, whereas the four-door models have a four-section removable roof. Unlike the Jeep Wrangler, the wing mirrors are not mounted on the doors. They are placed underneath the windshield on the cowl, so even if you remove the doors, you will still be able to use them.

2021 Ford Bronco Exterior Wallpaper quality High Resolution
- image 919913
Ford Bronco Sport Off-Road Specs
Base, Big Bend, and Outer  Banks Badlands and First Edition
Ground Clearance 7.8 Inches 8.8 Inches
Approach Angle 21.7 Degrees 30.4 Degrees
Breakover Angle 18.2 Degrees 20.4 Degrees
Departure Angle 30.4 Degrees 33.1 Degrees
Maximum Fording Depth 17.7 Inches 23.6 Inches
Maximum Suspension Travel 7.4 Inches (f) 8.1 Inches (r) 7.4 Inches (f) 8.1 Inches (r)

How Is The New Ford Bronco On The Inside?

  • Switches and knobs have a retro feel
  • Layout reminiscent of the previous Bronco
  • Multiple interior themes
  • Railing on the dash for mounting cameras, mobiles, GoPros, etc.
  • Bronco-branding all around the cabin
  • No beam on the roof
  • Waterproof seats and flooring with drain holes on a few trims
2021 Ford Bronco Interior High Resolution
- image 919904
On the inside, the Bronco looks plush, contrary to the general notion that off-roaders are only about their mechanicals and ruggedness.

We won’t be able to comment on the comfort and space yet, but from what we’ve seen so far, it scores good marks. The overall layout of the switches, dials, and buttons gives you the retro feeling. The full-width instrument panel will remind you of the original Bronco. There are multiple trim options to choose from. So far, the company has showcased two themes - a distressed brown with black and yellow accents and a white with gray and red accents. The lighter shade may not be the most practical option for an off-roader, but it looks swell, nevertheless.

2021 Ford Bronco Interior
- image 919891

Ford has installed a railing on the dash that allows you to mount all sorts of accessories like mobile phones, navigation devices, GoPros, etc. There are 12-volt power connections available as well. All the auxiliary and powertrain switches are silicone-encased, thus making them less prone to damage under harsh weather conditions. There are a lot of Bronco reminders in here. The biggest one is embossed on the passenger’s side dash, then are Bronco-stamped screws, etc.

The two-door Bronco comes with a hardtop as standard, whereas the four-wheel model features a soft top from the factory; but, you can have the latter with a hardtop as well.

Are the Bronco’s roof and doors easy to remove?

2021 Ford Bronco Exterior High Resolution
- image 919929

The Bronco’s roof and doors are fairly easy to remove and don’t require a lot of hands or tools to dismantle. Ford has equipped frameless doors that make the process easier. The tools to dismantle are provided with the SUV. As mentioned earlier, the doors can be removed, packed into the storage bags and snuck into the cargo area, but you’ll have to leave the roof back at your place.

Is the Ford Bronco Waterproof?

2021 Ford Bronco Interior High Resolution
- image 919910

The Ford Bronco 2021 receives rubberized, washable flooring and marine-grade vinyl seats that can be washed down on two out of the six regular trims – Black Diamond and Badlands. There are integrated drain holes as well in the flooring to drain out the water after a thorough wash. We’re yet to hear from Ford if the controls also are waterproof or not.

New Ford Bronco Technology

  • Trail Toolbox package for low-speed driving
  • Eight-inch touchscreen with SYNC3 infotainment system as standard
  • Optional 12-inch touchscreen with SYNC4 infotainment system
  • GOAT Modes
  • Co-Pilot360 safety system
2021 Ford Bronco
- image 919896

The 2021 Ford Bronco comes with a lot of tech features as well. These are not just for in-cabin entertainment, but also for the driver’s assistance and off-roading prowess. Some of them are:

Trail Toolbox (Trail Control, Trail Turn Assist, Trail One-Pedal Drive)

2021 Ford Bronco Interior High Resolution
- image 919911

Ford has offered the Bronco with a driver assistance package called the Trail Toolbox. It includes:

  • Trail Control which is cruise control for low-speed trail driving.
  • Trail Turn Assist that tightens the turning radius through torque vectoring.
  • Trail One-Pedal Drive that lets you accelerate and brake using a single pedal for speeds of under 20 mph. It will most likely be available only when the Rock Crawl mode is engaged.

Infotainment System

2021 Ford Bronco
- image 919894
The new Bronco comes with an eight-inch touchscreen with a SYNC3 system as standard, while a 12-inch touchscreen that runs on the SYNC4 infotainment system is optional. Both of them support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

It also comes with Topographic Trail Maps that contain over 1,000 curated trail maps. This is a boon for off-roaders and a feature the owners will look forward to. Apart from this, there’s also a 360-degree camera system that displays what’s underneath the front wheels. This will be immensely helpful while rock crawling.

GOAT Modes

2021 Ford Bronco Interior
- image 919871

The GOAT Mode is a fancy name given to the Bronco’s different drive modes as an ode to the original Bronco which was nicknamed the GOAT, which was an acronym for “Goes Over Any Terrain”. Here, it stands for "Go Over Any Type of Terrain". The different driver-selectable driving GOAT modes offered on the Broncos are:

  • Normal
  • Eco
  • Sport
  • Slippery
  • Sand
  • Baja
  • Mud/Ruts
  • Rock Crawl
2021 Ford Bronco Exterior
- image 919885

Although all the Broncos feature GOAT mode, only a couple of trims feature all the modes. Rest all have either five, six, or seven modes.

The Bronco also comes with Co-Pilot360 system for the standard level of safety equipment, but you can choose to upgrade to the Co-Pilot360 Assist 2.0 that adds semi-autonomous driving features like lane keep assist and blind-spot detection. The Bronco is also equipped with Trail Turn Assist that tightens the off-roading turning radiuses through torque vectoring.

Base Five out of eight GOAT modes
Big Bend Six out of eight GOAT modes
Black Diamond Seven out of eight GOAT modes
Outer Banks Six out of eight GOAT modes
Wildtrak Seven out of eight GOAT modes (without Rock Crawl)
Badlands All the eight GOAT modes
First Edition All the eight GOAT modes

What Powers The New Ford Bronco?

  • 2.3-liter, four-cylinder EcoBoost engine
  • Makes 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque
  • 2.7-liter, V-6 EcoBoost mill
  • Makes 310 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque
  • 10-speed automatic gearbox as standard
  • Seven-speed manual transmission can be mated to the 2.3-liter engine only
  • Two different four-wheel-drive systems on offer
  • Equipped with a solid rear axle and independent front suspension system
  • Claimed front articulation of 10 inches
2021 Ford Bronco Exterior Wallpaper quality High Resolution
- image 919915
The new Ford Bronco will be offered with two engine options - the standard 2.3-liter, four-cylinder EcoBoost engine that makes 270 horses and 310 pound-feet of torque, and a 2.7-liter, V-6 EcoBoost mill that produces 310 ponies and 400 pound-feet of twist.

Unfortunately, the Bronco doesn’t come with a V-8 engine - at least not yet, anyway. Aftermarket companies have already announced that they’ll offer a V-8, but there is no word from Ford about it. Jeep recently announced a Wrangler Rubicon with the 6.4-liter, V-8 engine, so the Blue Oval could offer it somewhere down the line. A Hybrid Bronco, however, is in the works and could be offered pretty soon.

New Ford Bronco Transmission

2021 Ford Bronco Interior
- image 919893

Coming to the transmission, the automaker is offering a 10-speed automatic gearbox with both the engines and a seven-speed manual with the smaller engine only. This may be a bummer for a few people, but we’ll have to live with it for now. Built by Getrag, the transmission has seven gears to offer, six of which are the standard gears and one is a crawler gear. This crawler gear, when mated to the advanced four-wheel-drive system that Ford offers, generates a ratio of 94.75:1. The automatic gearbox is quite competent, too, offering a maximum crawl ratio of 67.8:1 when paired with the advanced four-wheel-drive system.

Ford Bronco Transmission Gear Ratios
Seven-Speed GetRag Manual 10-Speed Automatic
Crawler Gear 6.588:1 N/A
1st Gear 4.283:1 4.714:1
2nd Gear 2.365:1 2.997:1
3rd Gear 1.453:1 2.149:1
4th Gear 1.000:1 1.769:1
5th Gear 0.776:1 1.521:1
6th Gear 0.646:1 1.275:1
7th Gear N/A 1.000:1
8th Gear N/A 0.853:1
Final Gear Ratio N/A 0.689:1
Reverse -5.625:1 -4.885/:1

New Ford Bronco Four-Wheel Drive and Suspension System

2021 Ford Bronco Exterior Wallpaper quality High Resolution
- image 919922

Speaking of the four-wheel-drive system, the Bronco comes with an option of two different setups – base and advanced. The base system makes use of a two-speed electronic shift-on-the-fly transfer case, while the optional advanced system features a two-speed electromechanical transfer case that adds an auto mode for on-demand engagement to select between 2H and 4H.

The company is also offering the Bronco with a HOSS – High-performance Off-road Stability Suspension – system. The off-roader is equipped with Dana 44 five-link, coil-sprung solid rear axle, and an independent front suspension. You can have the suspension setup with Spicer front and rear electronic locking differentials for improved traction over rough terrain and long travel, position-sensitive Bilstein off-road shock absorbers with end-stop control valves.

Ford has claimed a front articulation of 10 inches, which happens to be 17-percent more than the Jeep Wrangler.

A hydraulic stabilizer bar disconnect system is also offered that can be disengaged and engaged irrespective of the road conditions. Talk about beating the king at its own game!

2021 Ford Bronco
- image 919881
2021 Ford Bronco Wheel and Tire Packages
Size Diameter 30 32 32 32 33 33 35
Size Width 255/70R16 255/75R17 255/70R18 265/70R17 285/70R17 285/70R17 315/70R17
Wheel Size 16x7 17x7.5 18x7.5 17x7.5 17x8 17x8 17x8.5
Tread Type A/S A/T A/T A/T A/T M/T M/T
Supplier Bridgstone Bridgstone Bridgstone General Tire BF Goodrich Goodyear Goodyear
Brand Dueler H/T 685 Dueler A/T RH-S Dueler A/T RH-S Grabber A/Tx All-Terrain Ta K02 Territory Territory
Trim Level  Base Big Bend Outer Banks Black Diamond Badlands Badlands Optional Sasquatch,Wildtrack, First Edition

How Much Will The Ford Bronco Cost?

2021 Ford Bronco Exterior Wallpaper quality High Resolution
- image 919923

The Ford Bronco starts at a reasonable price, but as is with any Ford product, it gets expensive pretty soon. This is how every trim of the Bronco is priced:

  • Base - $29,995
  • Big Bend - $34,480
  • Black Diamond - $37,545
  • Outer Banks - $40,450
  • Badlands - $43,590
  • Wildtrak - $50,370
  • First Edition - $60,800

The First Edition is a limited-production model and the company announced 3,500 examples of the same. But, such was the demand that Ford decided to double this number, making this slightly less exclusive.

When can I order a new Ford Bronco?

2021 Ford Bronco Exterior Wallpaper quality High Resolution
- image 919920

The 2021 Ford Bronco’s booking is already open. You can reserve any of the two-door or four-door trim by placing a deposit of $100, however, as of the time of this writing, there is a reported 18-month waiting time for delivery.

What is the release date for the Ford Bronco?

The date isn’t officially announced, but the Bronco is still quite some time away. You can expect it to reach the dealerships in the second half of 2021.

Is the new Ford Bronco Out Yet?

2021 Ford Bronco Exterior Wallpaper quality High Resolution
- image 919933

The 2021 Ford Bronco is unveiled and open for bookings. The Bronco release schedule is still not out, but the deliveries are expected to begin in the second half of 2021.

Are there any accessories for the new Ford Bronco?

2021 Ford Bronco Exterior Wallpaper quality High Resolution
- image 919937

Ford has said that over 200 aftermarket accessories will be available right from its launch. The list is yet to be unveiled, but it will be very similar to the Mopar bible that the Jeep Wrangler has. A lot of packages will also be offered right from the launch, and one of them, called the Sasquatch Package, has grabbed a lot of attention.

Is the new Ford Bronco Really off-road-ready?

2021 Ford Bronco Exterior
- image 919864

The Bronco is off-road ready and comes with a lot of off-road equipment and technology. To make sure that even the customers opting for the base trims get all the fun, Ford is offering a ‘Sasquatch Package’. It can be had on any trim and will turn your Bronco into an extreme off-roader. It includes:

  • 1.2-inch Suspension Lift-Kit
  • Higher-Mounted Fender Flares
  • 17-inch Beadlock-Compatible Wheels
  • 35-inch Mud-Terrain Tires
  • Front and Rear Locking Axles
  • An Electromechanical Transfer Case
  • Heavy-Duty Position-Sensitive Bilstein Shocks
  • Shorter Final Drive Ratio

Is the new Ford Bronco Better than the Jeep Wrangler?

2018 Jeep Wrangler Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 748381

Jeep has been selling the Wrangler for over 30 years now, and in this segment, it is currently invincible. The Wrangler has faced a lot of competition in the past, but it certainly hasn’t come across anything like the Bronco. This rivalry is not new since the old-gen Bronco took on the Jeep CJ-5, which is essentially the Wrangler’s predecessor. The off-roaders go up against each other in the 21st century and the rivalry has gained a lot more heat.

The Bronco has taken on the Wrangler from all the angles. Stuff unique to the Wrangler, like the removable door and roof, off-roading prowess, etc. that lured in the customers is now offered on the Ford Bronco as well. The Bronco even has a nostalgic value attached to it. Looks are subjective, so we’ll leave that up to you to decide, but in terms of equipment, the Bronco is on par, if not better than the Wrangler. This goes for the stuff inside the cabin as well.

2018 Jeep Wrangler
- image 748484

The core of a vehicle in this niche relies on how it performs in the real world, so we’ll have to wait for the Bronco to hit the road. But in terms of specs and features on paper, the Ford Bronco will give a tough fight to the Jeep Wrangler. Jeep knew it had to act soon and announced a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon V-8 a few hours before the Bronco was unveiled. It has also been spotted doing test runs. So, point for Wrangler here. But, if you compare both the vehicles in theory, the Bronco, being a new and fresh product, will garner more interest for now.

Read our full review on the Jeep Wrangler.

Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
About the author

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