The 2021 Ford Bronco
- Styling and capability are true to the classic 1966-77 Bronco
- 2- and 4-door body styles appeal to a wide spectrum of buyers
- Best-in-class ground clearance, suspension travel, crawl ratio
- Quick-release removable doors and roof on 2- and 4-door models
- Advanced 4WD tech helps off-roaders of all abilities
- Only turbo engines, no diesel option
- Higher trim levels may get pricey
- Soft top is only available on 4-door models
- The Bronco is all-new for 2021
- Ford has never offered a 4-door Bronco before
- The new Bronco family also includes a smaller Ford Bronco Sport
Price: The 2021 Ford
Bronco base model starts at $29,995 for the 2-door model. A 4-door Bronco starts at $34,695. Here is a breakdown of the other models and prices:
- Big Bend: The 2-door starting price is $33,385 and 4-door is $35,880.
- Black Diamond: The 2-door starting price is $36,050 and 4-door is $38,585.
- Outer Banks: The 2-door starting price is $38,955 and 4-door is $41,450.
- Badlands: The 2-door starting price is $42,095 and 4-door is $44,590.
- Wildtrak: The 2-door starting price is $46,980 and 4-door is $49,475.
- First Edition: The 2-door starting price is $57,410 and 4-door is $61,605.
After years of anticipation, the 2021 Ford Bronco is here. Introducing a vehicle with a name as iconic as Bronco could have been risky, as there is a lot of nostalgia attached to it. Yet from our first impressions, the new Bronco has exceeded expectations. The Ford Bronco returns as a 2-door model – as well as a first-ever 4-door – with the power, tough off-road gear, and styling that will excite Bronco fans while encouraging new buyers to take a look.
The Bronco is an apples-to-apples competitor with the Jeep Wrangler, which is also an off-road specialist offered in 2- and 4-door models with a soft top and removable doors. The Toyota
4Runner is another model to consider if you want a 4-door off-road-capable SUV. You can also include the Land Rover Defender in the conversation, but it’s significantly more expensive.
- Read: A plug-in hybrid Jeep is coming. Check out the Wrangler 4xe
- And: See how the 2021 Bronco Sport compares with the 2021 Toyota RAV4
For those that may be concerned that the new Bronco is “all hat, no cattle,” this SUV is based on a fully boxed truck platform and is available with two highly capable 4-wheel-drive systems. Technology such as a Terrain Management System, Trail Control, Trail Turn Assist, and Trail One-Pedal Drive will make off-roading easier and safer. This Ford can tow up to 3,500 pounds. And the Bronco will come with a choice of two turbocharged EcoBoost engines, including a version of the excellent 2.7-liter V6 that’s in the F-150 and the 2.3-liter from the Ranger.
2021 Ford Bronco pricing
2021 Ford Bronco pricing starts at $29,995 for the 2-door model and $34,695 for the 4-door version. Those prices are mostly in line with Jeep Wrangler.
The interior of the Bronco is simple, with bold lines and easy-to-reach physical buttons and controls. The four key buttons for off-road endeavors, such as the differential lock and traction control, are rubberized and placed at the top of the dash. You can get an 8- or 12-inch navigation touchscreen. There’s wireless smartphone charging and Apple
CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity.
Choose from leather seats and easy-to-clean vinyl seats. There’s also a clever mounting bar along the top of the dash for smartphones and cameras. Color schemes include warm earth tones, as well as pale gray and black. The floor is rubberized and available with drain plugs, making it easier to wash out dirt and mud. The cargo area has a slide-out tailgate and a side opening door, and there’s a bottle opener integrated into the rear of the vehicle.
One interesting thing to note is that you won’t find the Ford blue oval on the Bronco. The styling pays tribute to the classic 1966-77 Bronco, so you get round headlights encased in a single-piece rectangular grille.
The 2-door comes with a modular hard top – there’s no convertible available with the 2-door. If you want that, you can choose a soft top or modular hardtop on the 4-door. You can easily remove the pieces of the hardtop, and the soft top is also removable. The doors, which are made of aluminum, come with quick releases that make it easy to take off the doors, and the side mirrors stay on the body. With the 4-door, there’s room to stow the doors on board. The Bronco’s vertical taillight design resembles the classic Bronco’s.
The new 2-door Bronco is significantly longer than the original, but is still shorter than the larger Bronco from the 1980s and 1990s.
Ford had a lot of fun naming trim levels, as you can see with the Sasquatch package. Available with every trim level, Sasquatch includes 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels, electronic-locking front and rear axles, the topline 4-wheel-drive system, and a high-clearance suspension. It also has HOSS, which stands for High-performance Off-road Stability Suspension. This system uses Bilstein position-sensitive shocks.
Trail Control is essentially low-speed off-road cruise control, and Trail Turn Assist can greatly reduce the turning radius when you have to maneuver on a tight trail. Trail One-Pedal Drive controls acceleration and braking. The Terrain Management system has G.O.A.T. (Goes Over Any Terrain) Modes that you can select for whatever terrain you’re on. There’s a 360-degree camera that includes off-road “spotter views” that show you what’s near the tires. And there are more than 1,000 trail maps available in the nav system, which you can also access off-line
The 2021 Ford Bronco comes standard with a 2.3-liter turbocharged EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine, a version of the same engine that’s in the Ford Ranger. (Also shared with the Ranger: the Bronco rides on a newer version of the Ranger’s fully boxed truck frame.) This engine produces 275 horsepower. Behind that engine is a 7-speed manual – six speeds plus a crawler gear.
The base 2-door Ford Bronco comes standard with a modular hardtop, where you can remove some or all of the pieces. Four-wheel drive comes standard on the Bronco, with a 2-speed electronic shift-on-the-fly system. The base Bronco has 16-inch steel wheels with 30-inch all-season tires. The Bronco has at least 8.3 inches of ground clearance, which goes up to 11.6 with 35-inch tires.
The 2021 Ford Bronco comes in six trim levels, based around what you want your vehicle to be capable of. The 2-door base model comes with a modular hardtop, and you can only get the soft top on 4-door models. Ford also anticipates there will be more than 200 accessories that can be installed by the dealer.
The base model is a starting-off point for no-frills off-road pursuits or for people who plan to modify their vehicle. Big Bend has more creature comforts, is available with 17-inch wheels and 32-inch tires, and Co-Pilot360 is available. Black Diamond adds a heavy-duty modular front bumper, a steel rear bumper, skid plates, and a rubberized floor. The Outer Banks is the model where you will find the most tech and creature comforts, including a 12-inch navigation screen and a Bang & Olufsen
audio system. We expect the Outer Banks will offer the 2.7-liter EcoBoost as an option. If that’s the case, this may be a highly popular Bronco model.
The Wildtrak has more of a high-speed desert off-roader feel to it. It comes with the 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6, which is related to the excellent engine in the Ford F-150. It puts out 310 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque, which should be plenty of power for high-speed desert adventures. This engine uses a 10-speed automatic. You can get the Wildtrak with 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels. There will also be a First Edition, limited to 3,500 units, that’s said to be a mix of Badlands features, the Outer Banks interior, and the Wildtrak exterior.
The ultimate Bronco off-roader is the Badlands model. This is the one with a choice of two types of 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels and 35-inch tires. There’s a front stabilizer bar disconnect and locking differentials. All Bronco models will be available with an advanced 4WD system with auto mode and a 2-speed electromechanical transfer case.
Add the Sasquatch package to any model, and you get 17-inch beadlock wheels, electronic-locking front and rear axles, the topline 4-wheel-drive system, high-clearance suspension, and High-performance Off-road Stability Suspension with Bilstein position-sensitive shocks. Add the Sasquatch and the uplevel 4WD system, and this model could very well be a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon fighter (yeah, I said it).
Engine and transmission
The 4WD-only 2021 Ford Bronco is available with two engines. The standard engine, a 2.3-liter turbocharged EcoBoost 4-cylinder, puts out 275 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque (or 300 and 325, respectively, with premium fuel). The optional engine, a 2.7-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo V-6, offers 310 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. The standard transmission, a 7-speed manual (six speeds + crawl), is only available with the 2.3-liter engine. Both engines are available with a 10-speed automatic. (This is a far cry from the 1966 Bronco’s 105-horsepower engine and 3-speed manual.)
2.3-liter turbocharged inline-4:
275 horsepower (300 with premium fuel)
315 lb-ft (325 with premium fuel)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/22 mpg (manual & automatic), 18/18 mpg (Black Diamond automatic, Sasquatch), 18/17 mpg (Badlands automatic), 17/19 mpg (Black Diamond manual), 16/18 mpg (Badlands manual)
2.7-liter turbocharged V6:
400 lb-ft of torque
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/20 mpg, 17/18 mpg (Badlands), 17/17 mpg (Sasquatch)
This story originally ran on KBB.com.