After being off the market for more than 20 years, the legendary Bronco returns to Ford’s lineup. It’s designed to be one of the most rugged SUVs you can buy. Not only is the new 2021 Ford Bronco a great off-road performer, which it’s also a good family vehicle for the everyday grind. Retro styling makes this SUV even harder to resist. Here’s why you should consider buying a new Bronco.
What’s New for 2021?
The 2021 Ford Bronco is an all-new model. This five-passenger SUV is geared towards families who enjoy an outdoor lifestyle.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2021 Ford Bronco – The Pros
1. Strong Base Engine
The 2021 Ford Bronco comes standard with a well-liked 2.3-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This is the same engine available in several other Ford vehicles, including the Mustang. In the Bronco, it is calibrated to churn out 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. Many automotive gurus praise this engine for its effortless power delivery. Drivers can look forward to enjoying excellent acceleration. While most people will opt for the SUV’s 10-speed automatic transmission, others will prefer the seven-speed manual gearbox.
2. Beefy V6 Engine
While the Bronco’s base engine proves to be a satisfying choice, some drivers will ultimately desire a bit more oomph. Upgrading to the twin-turbo V6 will solve the problem. It’s rated by Ford to produce an estimated 310 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. The extra power will make the Bronco feel genuinely quick off the line. Drivers can also use the V6-powered Bronco's extra muscle when towing. However, Ford will only offer this upgraded powertrain with an automatic transmission.
3. Comes Loaded With Valuable Off-Road Equipment
Even the base 2021 Ford Bronco can take you on an off-road excursion. Every trim level comes equipped with a robust 4WD system. Activating the 4WD system's low range gearing ensures better traction on muddy trails. Standard Dana front and rear axles further highlight the Bronco’s tough-nosed design. When traveling over rough terrain, drivers will appreciate the SUV’s heavy-duty skid plates. Buyers can opt for a Sasquatch package, which adds 35-inch tires and upgraded shocks.
4. Especially Adventurous Badlands Model
While all versions of the new Bronco are tough, the Badlands model is the most capable model in the lineup. It’s the best option for drivers who plan to travel in extreme environments. When encountering challenging landscapes, drivers can disconnect its front stabilizer bar for enhanced ground clearance. An exclusive suspension system aids this model’s ability to explore rural areas. Meanwhile, Ford’s rock crawling mode also helps drivers to topple the rough backcountry. Heavy-duty bumpers come standard.
5. Can Ride With the Top Down
Like the popular Jeep Wrangler, the new 2021 Ford Bronco has a removable top. This is a great feature for drivers who love riding with the top down. Although the top must be manually removed by hand, it doesn’t take much effort to do so. Outdoor enthusiasts will find the Bronco to be a perfect alternative to a convertible sports car. Ford also designed the Bronco with removable doors, thus allowing passengers to easily hop in and out of the cabin.
6. One of the Coolest-Looking SUVs Around
It’ll be hard to mistake the new Bronco for any other vehicle on the road. Ford gave it a retro look that pays homage to the original model of the 1960s. On the front, throwback headlamps and signature BRONCO lettering in the grille help this SUV to stand out. Some stunning paint colors are also offered, including Cyber Orange and Carbonized Gray. While the base wheels are a bit plain, upgraded wheels are on the list of options.
7. Family-Friendly Four-Door Model
Ford offers the new Bronco in two-door and four-door body styles. While the two-door version looks cool, families will prefer the four-door Bronco. It provides more space for passengers. Even tall friends can join in on the fun. Good headroom also make the Bronco a great vehicle for dog lovers. Furthermore, there’s more than 35 cubic feet of storage space in the back. From tents to hiking boots, families will be able to pack a lot of gear.
8. Adventurous Interior Features
The 2021 Ford Bronco offers some adventurous interior features. A special rack atop the dash allows you to record your driving experience using either a GoPro camera or smartphone. Rubberized flooring and marine-grade vinyl upholstery are offered as well. This means drivers will have more protection when traveling in wet environments. Adventure seekers will especially love the Bronco’s available off-road trail navigation system. Its preloaded trail maps will come in handy when traveling off the beaten path.
9. Modern Technology
There’s ample technology inside the new Bronco. Drivers will enjoy using Ford’s latest SYNC 4 infotainment system, which is a lot quicker than before. It also offers a larger 12.0-inch touch display with high-resolution graphics. Wireless smartphone connectivity is built into the interface. Everyone can take advantage of the SUV’s subscription-based Wi-Fi hotspot. A powerful B&O audio system is available for music fans who desire a bolder sound.
10. Advanced Safety Features
In contrast to the previous-generation Bronco, the new 2021 model offers advanced safety technologies. Highlights include forward collision monitoring with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot detection, and lane keeping assist. Parents who have a young driver at home will benefit from Ford’s MyKey system. It allows them to set a top speed and restrict the stereo system’s maximum volume.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2021 Ford Bronco – The Cons
1. Will Drive More Like a Truck
The 2021 Ford Bronco has many of the common features found on a truck, including a body-on-frame platform. While the Bronco’s truck-based frame adds an extra degree of toughness, it will somewhat hinder the SUV’s road handling. Drivers should not expect the Bronco to handle as well as a modern crossover SUV. Drivers who prefer a more athletic model should check out the smaller Bronco Sport, which is built on a car-based platform.
2. Long-Term Reliability Unknown
As previously mentioned, the Bronco is an all-new model. This means you can't completely predict the vehicle’s long-term reliability. Although the Bronco's available engines have proven to be dependable, the reliability of its other components are unknown. Remember, it's not uncommon for brand-new new models to have a few issues that need ironing out.
3. Upper Trims Are On the Expensive Side
Ford has priced the base two-door Bronco at less than $30,000. This is a fair price for such an adventurous SUV. Highly sought-after features also come standard. However, upper trims are a bit on the expensive side. Expect to shell out nearly $50,000 for a fully loaded Badlands model. The First Edition model, which has already sold out, carried an MSRP of more than $57,000.
4. No V8 Engine Option
The previous-generation Bronco allowed drivers to choose between two V8 engines. Unfortunately, Ford chose not to offer the new Bronco with a V8 engine. Some drivers will ultimately miss the sound and performance of a traditional V8 engine.
5. Lower Towing Rating
When it comes to towing capabilities, the 2021 Ford Bronco ranks behind many other SUVs. Drivers can use the Bronco to tow up to a 3,500-pound load. Even some of today’s car-based crossovers can tow up to 5,000 pounds. This could be a factor for drivers who need to pull campers and boats.
How It Stacks Up Against the Competition
2021 Ford Bronco vs 2021 Jeep Wrangler
The 2021 Jeep Wrangler is the Bronco’s closest competitor. It has long remained one of the segment’s most popular models. Not only is the Wrangler a legendary off-road performer, but it also now offers improved handling on the street. While the Wrangler matches the Bronco in most categories, Jeep doesn’t offer an off-road trail navigation system. Some people may also be more attracted to the Bronco’s exterior styling.
2021 Ford Bronco vs 2021 Ford Bronco Sport
When shopping for an off-road-ready SUV, many people will be choosing between the Bronco and the Bronco Sport. The smaller Bronco Sport has some advantages. It’s easier to park and offers extra fuel savings. Car shoppers will also notice the Bronco Sport's lower price. However, a truck-based frame makes the Bronco even more skilled at tackling challenging trails.
2021 Ford Bronco vs 2021 Toyota 4Runner
Another good option is the Toyota 4Runner. It ranks among the segment’s most reliable models. Some extremely rugged models are also in the 4Runner’s lineup. However, there’s more passenger room inside the 2021 Ford Bronco. Ford also offers the Bronco with a modern advanced infotainment system.
Outdoor lovers may consider the 2021 Ford Bronco to be their dream SUV. It’s tough, stylish, and load with the necessary high-tech features. The four-door body style is perfect for adventurous families. Some beneficial safety technologies are also available. Of course, no one can forget about the Bronco’s exclusive styling.
While the Bronco is a fine choice, drivers shouldn’t expect it to handle as well as a modern crossover. Ford also lists this SUV with a rather low tow rating. Nevertheless, these drawbacks are unlikely to deter most people.