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2024 Ford Bronco Pros vs Cons, & Competitor Insights

2024 Ford Bronco Pros, Cons, and Competitor Comparison
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By Norman Ruckpaul
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch
Published: Feb 5, 2024

Adventure seekers, unite! Craving untamed escapades with modern comforts? Enter the 2024 Ford Bronco, conquering trails with raw power yet surprisingly civilized for city streets. Forget compromise - the Bronco carves its own path.

Do you yearn for open-road freedom and daily driving ease? Explore the Bronco's pros and cons, and compared to rivals like the Grand Cherokee and 4Runner. Discover why the Bronco, balancing off-road mastery with on-road manners, could be your perfect adventure partner. Answer the call of the wild and beyond - buckle up, the trail awaits!

What we like: The Top Ten Pros

In this section, we'll explore the Bronco's standout strengths across ten key areas - from its customization options and powerful engine lineup to its abundant tech features and unstoppable trail talents. Read on to see why the new Bronco could be the ultimate outdoor partner for years of memories ahead.

1. Excellent Off-Road Capability

The Bronco makes going off the beaten path even easier thanks to its purpose-built 4x4 systems and helpful technology. This SUV comes prepared with robust hardware and smart aids to empower your adventures.

  • Two available heavy-duty four-wheel-drive systems let you pick the optimal gearing for different conditions - handy for conquering mud or rocks.

  • With the advanced 4x4 comes tech like Trail Control for cruise control off-road, and Trail Turn Assist to tighten the turning radius on loose surfaces.

  • For max traction, electronic locking differentials are available for both the front and rear axles. Now that's serious grip when needed!

  • The Bronco's Terrain Management System software offers up to seven drive modes to fine-tune the powertrain, transmission and traction controls for different terrain. There's even a Baja mode for high-speed desert running.

  • Ground clearance up to 11.6 inches, rugged 35-inch tire options, and Bilstein position-sensitive dampers help keep the Bronco planted and in control.

  • Lastly, Trail Toolbox takes the guesswork out of off-roading with features like a digital inclinometer to show the tilt angle of slopes and trails.

With its stout hardware and technology aids, the Bronco provides drivers with confidence and control for backcountry adventures!

2. Confident Handling On- and Off-Road

Don't let its rugged looks fool you. The Bronco delivers surprising ride quality with crisp on-road handling and off-road precision thanks to its:

  • Short 37.2 foot turning radius

  • Retuned chassis and suspension geometry

  • Standard independent front suspension

  • Available off-road optimized drive modes like Rock Crawl

Off-road its capabilities inspire confidence no matter how rough the terrain. On pavement the Bronco feels nimble and secure.

"The Bronco offers more natural steering and handling compared to the Jeep Wrangler, offering better handling and a more comfortable ride." (Reference: Autobytel)

3. Abundant Driver Assistance & Safety Features

The Bronco comes prepared with plenty of smart driver assists from Ford's Co-Pilot360 suite. These technologies look out for you on rugged trails and busy streets alike.

Ford's Co-Pilot360 suite offers the following::

  • Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking can detect impending collisions and brake automatically if needed.

  • When changing lanes, BLIS with Cross-Traffic Alert lets you know if someone's in your blind spots or approaching from the side.

  • The Lane-Keeping System gently steers you back if you start drifting out of your lane unintentionally.

  • Adaptive Cruise Control makes highway driving easier by automatically maintaining a safe distance from the car in front of you.

  • Reverse Sensing (rear parking sensors) and optional parking sensors alert you if obstacles are close by when parking or maneuvering.

For off-road, Trail Control handles optimized low-speed driving so you can focus on steering.

And the available 360-degree camera system provides complete visibility around the Bronco when parking or spotting tricky lines off-road.

With technologies like these, the Bronco aims to enhance your driving experience with added safety and confidence wherever you roam!

Car safety ratings are coming out. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the Bronco as "Good". (Reference: IIHS)

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not rated it for overall safety yet.

4. Removable Doors/Roof For Open-Air Motoring

The Bronco’s quick-release doors and hardtop sections easily transform it from an enclosed cabin to an invigorating open-air cruiser in minutes. Just be sure to secure the removable components when parked. Open-air freedom awaits!

  • Doors come off with just four bolts and store onboard

  • Hardtop sections stow away to create a big open sky

  • Even the fender flares pop off to accommodate larger custom wheels/tires

5. Eye-Catching, Heritage-Inspired Design

The Bronco turns heads out on the streets or trails with its sleek yet muscular form integrating:

  • Iconic round LED headlights and bold BRONCO grille lettering

  • Peaked fenders flaring out above big off-road tires

  • Available graphics packages to customize your ride

  • Two or four removable door configurations

It looks ready for adventure from any angle while paying homage to its 1960s forebears.

6. A Range of Powerful Engine Options

Under the hood, the Bronco packs some muscular engine options to back up its rugged looks.

The standard turbo 2.3L four-cylinder puts out a solid 300 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque. It's the only engine available with the row-your-own seven-speed manual transmission - for those who crave the control.

Step up to the available twin-turbo 2.7L V6 and you're looking at 330 horsepower and a stout 415 lb-ft of torque, paired to a quick-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission. Now we're talking!

But the ultimate powerplay comes from the Bronco Raptor with its exclusive turbo 3.0L V6, laying down an incredible 418 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque. This engine means business for intense off-roading!

Compared to rivals, the Bronco's base 300 horsepower turbo-4 out-muscles the V6 engines in the Toyota 4Runner (270 HP), Kia Telluride (291 HP), Jeep Wrangler (285 HP) and even the Grand Cherokee (295 HP).

7. Roomy and Comfortable Cabin

The Bronco brings plenty of interior space to keep you and your crew comfortable on rides near or far.

Available in two- or four door version, both body styles offer generous passenger room - up to 99 cubic feet in the two-door or 108 in the four-door Bronco.

Cargo volume is abundant too, with over 50 cubic feet in the two-door Bronco or 77 cubic feet in the four-door with the rear seats folded flat. Even with the back seats up you get 22-36 cubic feet to haul your gear.

Thoughtful touches make time in the Bronco even more comfy. Well-shaped front seats can be heated and ventilated. The heated steering wheel warms up too for chilly mornings. Dual climate control keeps temperatures just right. And storage bins give you places to stash personal items.

With seating for five, adjustable positions, ample leg and headroom and cargo space galore, the Bronco's roomy interior has space for every adventure!

8. Excellent Infotainment System

Inside the Bronco, tech and convenience features keep drivers and passengers happy on any adventure.

The centerpiece is a big 12-inch touchscreen with the latest SYNC 4 software. It makes navigating maps, music and settings super intuitive. SYNC 4 also offers wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so you can easily mirror your smartphone on the big screen.

Stay connected on the go with FordPass Connect remote vehicle management and the available Wi-Fi hotspot. Now your whole crew can stream tunes and shows out on the trails!

And music sounds amazing thanks to the optional Bang & Olufsen premium audio system - like your own personal concert. With multiple USB ports and 12V outlets scattered around, you can keep all your devices charged up and ready for the journey ahead.

The Bronco serves up the technology and convenience features you need, no matter how far off the beaten path you roam!

9. Tough, Durable Construction

The Bronco is ready to take on miles of abuse thanks to its rugged construction. This SUV is built Ford tough for off-road excitement now and down the road.

It starts with a robust body-on-frame design - basically a truck foundation that provides serious strength. Short front/rear overhangs and big ground clearance let the Bronco blast over rocks or through streams without smashing the bumpers. And its tight wheelbase allows for sharp turning on twisty trails.

The Bronco actually shares its platform with the capable Ford Ranger pickup truck. So just like a truck, its foundations are ready for adventure.

When you add steel bumpers, skid plates protecting the vitals, heavy-duty parts, and interior materials that can withstand some water and mud - you've got an off-roader prepared to take on the wilderness for years ahead.

10. Eight Trim Levels - Wider Range of Options

With eight trim options to choose from, the Bronco really lets buyers customize their ideal off-road SUV. Each trim comes with its own gear, features and personality. Here are the Ford Bronco models:

  • Big Bend - Starting at $41,025: The Big Bend trim level is the base model, starting around $41K. It gets you essentials like 4x4, cloth seats, an 8-inch touchscreen and driver aids. A nice affordable starting point.

  • Black Diamond - Starting at $44,725: Step up to the Black Diamond at around $45K and you add serious off-road upgrades like bash plates, rear locker for traction and heavy-duty parts. Made to play in the mud.

  • Outer Banks - Starting at $49,835: Prefer a more luxurious experience? The Outer Banks trim piles on heated leather seats, power adjustments, premium audio and more. All the comforts you crave for around $50K.

  • Heritage Edition - Starting at $49,950: The Heritage Edition is a throwback to the classic 1960s Bronco. Retro styling, trail sights and rubberized floors bring the vintage vibe back for also about $50K.

  • Badlands - Starting at $51,490: Need max off-road performance? The Badlands gives you advanced tech like front locking diffs and a lifted suspension ready to rock crawl for $51K.

  • Everglades - Starting at $57,615: The Everglades is designed for water with marine seats, snorkel intake and washout interior. It starts around $58K for Bronco's best water fording capabilities.

  • Wildtrak - Starting at $62,120: At the top end, the Wildtrak gives you a beefy twin-turbo V6, adaptive suspension, 360 camera and moonroof all for over $62K.

  • Heritage Limited Edition - Starting at $71,580: And for the ultimate luxury Bronco, the Heritage Limited Edition piles on leather everything, graphics and high-end additions but costs over $71K.

With such a wide range, you can find the Bronco that fits your lifestyle and budget. Take your pick for your perfect adventure partner!

What We Question: Five Cons to Consider

While its talents outweigh the downsides, the Bronco still has areas for improvement:

  • Mediocre fuel efficiency

  • Lengthy braking distances

  • Wind noise at highway speeds

  • Handling limits during aggressive driving

  • Basic interior ambiance

1. Lower Fuel Efficiency

EPA estimates of just 17-20 mpg combined fall short of less rugged competitors. The boxy shape, 5,000 lb+ curb weight and all-terrain tires hurt efficiency. But at least regular 87 octane fuel saves a few bucks.

As you can see, the competition is not much better:

  • Jeep Grand Cherokee: 17 to 22 MPG Combined

  • Jeep Wrangler: 14 to 21 MPG Combined

  • Toyota 4Runner: 17 MPG Combined

  • Kia telluride: 20 to 22 MPG Combined

The compromise to owning one of these rugged beasts is poor fuel economy.

2. Lengthy Braking Distances

Given its substantial weight and meaty tires, the Bronco needs over 140 feet to stop from 70 mph. Allow extra room when braking at speed, though the brakes feel solid around town. It's a tradeoff for off-road aspirations.

3. Wind Noise at Highway Speeds

Remove the roof/doors and be prepared for wind rush and noise over 50 mph. But open-air freedom does come at an acoustic cost. Even with the top in place, wind noise is noticeable at freeway speeds. It's not the quietest road tripper.

3. Handling Limits During Aggressive Driving

The Bronco naturally prioritizes off-road talents over on-road agility. Body lean and modest understeer remind drivers of the physics limits when pushing this 5,000 lb truck hard on winding roads. It's built for trails, not racetracks.

4. Basic Interior Ambiance

Given its price point, the Bronco’s plastics and furnishings seem basic versus luxury rivals. But heritage design elements have charm, and technology options allow for customization and upgrades. The focus is function over flash.

5. Just OK Towing Capacities

Properly equipped with the 2.7L twin-turbo V6, the Bronco can pull over 3,500 pounds - enough for most trailers, watercraft or recreational toys. The stout turbo V6 provides ample muscle for getting your gear to your adventures. Competitors like the Toyota 4Runner and Kia Telluride can tow 5000 pounds plus. It is similar to the Wrangler that pulls up to 3500 pounds but the Grand Cherokee pulls up to 7200 pounds.

How does the Bronco Stack Up to Its Rivals?

While masterfully blending off-road chops with on-road civility, how does the Bronco compare against key competitors?

Vs the 2024 Jeep Grand Cherokee

The Bronco pulls ahead for extreme rock crawling and mud running thanks to:

  • Greater ground clearance - 11.6 vs 8 inches

  • Manual transmission availability ideal for crawling

  • Easier removal of doors/roof for the open-air experience

However, the Grand Cherokee counters with a more refined on-road experience courtesy of its car-based architecture. It offers a smoother ride, improved interior luxury, better highway handling and higher tow ratings up to 7,200 pounds.

While both deliver 4x4 cred, the Bronco leans into maximizing extreme off-road performance, while the Grand Cherokee favors luxury and on-road manners over all-out trail domination.

Vs the 2024 Kia Telluride

Versus the road-focused Telluride crossover, the Bronco unsurprisingly provides greater off-road talent thanks to its rough-and-tumble body-on-frame design, two-door option, removable doors/roof and stout 4WD gear.

However, the Telluride fights back as a comfortable people hauler with available seating for up to eight passengers, abundant cargo room, and an available upscale SX model with Nappa leather trim and gloss black accents.

Vs the 2024 Toyota 4Runner

The Bronco clearly outshines the aging body-on-frame 4Runner on-road thanks to its more refined ride, cutting-edge tech features and far superior interior comfort.

However, off-road the 4Runner pushes back thanks to:

  • Better 36-degree departure angle clearing obstacles

  • Optional torquey 270 hp 4.0L V6 well-suited for rock crawling

  • Excellent 4x4 hardware like A-TRAC, rear locker and crawl control

  • Overall simplicity and durability decades in the making

The Bronco makes for a better balanced 4x4 rig for all purposes. But the 4Runner retains strengths for off-road purists valuing extreme articulation and unbridled customization above all.

The Verdict

We think the 2024 Ford Bronco reincarnates an off-road icon with its optimal blend of extreme 4x4 prowess and livable daily driving manners. No competitor quite matches its capabilities for those who regularly go off the beaten path but need comfort and room too.

While the Grand Cherokee, Telluride and 4Runner each excel in certain areas like on-road comfort, the Bronco stands apart in melding confident trail-taming talents with on-road civility. Take a test drive to experience this reborn legend’s unique capabilities. With the Bronco parked in your driveway, your next horizon-expanding adventure is only a trail away.