10 Things To Love And 10 Things To Hate About the New Ford Bronco
As one of the most significant new car releases of 2021, the Ford Bronco and Bronco Sport have been in the spotlight ever since Ford announced this legendary nameplate's return after a 25-year hiatus.
Once again, the Bronco is Ford's primary off-road model, designed as a true SUV -- not just as a lifted station wagon with tough looks and front-wheel drive. The last time we saw a new Bronco, the SUV class still featured some off-road usability and rugged charm. Today, most of the cars in this segment are nothing but modern-day station wagons with soft suspensions. Thankfully, the Bronco is here to make things right.
It's evident that Ford invested a lot of time and effort to make the 2021 Bronco and Bronco Sport distinct from the rest of the current SUV offerings. With the Jeep Wrangler as its only real competitor, the Bronco is clearly far superior to anything else on the road, regardless of price.
Even the Bronco Sport, which is still an urban crossover model, has managed to prove surprisingly capable on the trail. But we kind of expected it to be, and the fact that the Bronco is the new off-road king of Detroit is not really so surprising. We wanted to cover the ten things that make the new Bronco as great as it is.
However, since we still haven't had a chance to experience the 2021 Bronco in person, we can't really tell you firsthand about the ten things that Ford didn’t get right on this model. That's why we've posted a video review from Justin McBride, who drove the 2021 model and had a lot to say about it.
Things To Love:
It Captures the Essence of The Original Bronco
Even though most car fans were drawn in by the Bronco's retro-futuristic design, classic look, and stance, the truth is that Ford did so much more in capturing the spirit of the original Bronco.
First, it designed a brand-new platform for the model -- just like it did in the case of the original, back in 1966. Second, it made the Bronco affordable and obtainable to a wide range of customers. Third, it made it tough and capable, like all of its ancestors.
In the automotive industry, we often see car manufacturers bringing back famous nameplates from the past and using them on modern products that don't live to their heritage. The current Chevrolet Blazer is the perfect example. What was once a rugged Bronco competitor is now little more than a "soccer mom express" without any off-road usability. That's why the the fact that the new 2021 Bronco ably lives up to tradition and is worthy of its name tops our list.
The 2021 Bronco Is Full of Cool "Easter Eggs."
Ford knows that the 2021 Bronco is a lifestyle vehicle for a new generation of off-road enthusiasts, but it's also aware of the heritage that comes with this nameplate. That's why Ford's designers tried to incorporate all they could to show new owners where this model has come from and what it represents.
There's a small American flag on a gear lever, a Bronco logo on the steering wheel and seats, unique animation for the screen on the central console, and much more. However, what is likely the coolest touch of all is the design of the tailgate's inner side on the Bronco, which features the same pattern and font as the tailgate of the original 1965 model.
Three Distinctive Models are Available
Right from the start, the new Bronco is available in three body styles. When production kicks in -- which will be VERY shortly -- the standard Bronco will be made in both two and four-door versions, with or without the removable top. Of course, there's also the Bronco Sport, a five-door model with a fixed roof and built on the Ford Escape chassis, that represents a slightly more conventional and smaller SUV offering aimed at family buyers.
The three-model strategy is designed to provide customers with a wide array of choices. The two-door Bronco is aimed at the off-road enthusiast who is looking for a short wheelbase machine -- which is ideal for challenging tasks of rock-crawling or driving through the forest.
With its longer wheelbase, the four-door model is designed for owners who have active hobbies, like to travel with company, and therefore need more interior space.
The Bronco Sport, on the other hand, with its better road manners, is perfect as a family off-road SUV -- performing as a more than viable commuter vehicle during the week and an ideal companion for a camping trip with the kids on the weekends.
It's Perfect for Modifying
Ford is deliberately making the new Bronco easy to modify while offering it with an enormous amount of extras, dealer-installed options, and available aftermarket components. Fore realizes that few ownesr will be able to resist the temptation of modifying his or her Bronco to make it more usable, capable, or simply aesthetically cooler.
On the whole, most future owners will likely be satisfied with the addition of aftermarket wheels or other details. Still, we're sure that specialized shops are already preparing to offer significant chassis upgrades, engine modifications, and even full-on engine swaps. Since Ford will not be offering a V8 in the Bronco, we're also sure that there will be many ambitious owners looking to install a 5.0 in their 2021 Bronco regardless of the implications this may have on the factory warranty.
Even though the 2021 Bronco Sport is the only Bronco model currently on sale, and we'll have to wait until summer to get our hands on the two and four-door Bronco, there's already tons of add-ons already available for purchase, including official Ford parts, as well as inventory from numerous aftermarket companies. As a matter of fact, the best 2021 Bronco online shop is right here.
It's Available With A Manual Transmission
The 2021 Bronco is one of the rare vehicles which will be available with manual transmission. But it's not the standard five or six-speed you might be expecting -- it's even better. The standard transmission we're referring to is a 7-speed manual, which is already cool, since manuals have been mostly abandoned in the SUV market. However, this manual is a "6+1" type, meaning that it has six regular gears and one super-low gear for crawling.
Whether you're in high or low range, you can shift into "7th" (dogleg position on the shift pattern) and have an 11:1 gear ratio -- ideal for pulling heavy trailers uphill, rock crawling, or getting out of a muddy ditch. The Ford 10-speed is the optional transmission, and it's already known and proven in the F-150.
Also, there's a choice of two transfer cases for the new Bronco. One has a final ratio of 2.73:1 and the other 3.06:1.
The Sasquatch Package
Among the undeniably cool features of the 2021 Bronco is the Sasquatch package, which is available on all trim levels and with manual transmission. This is a dedicated off-road package that adds 35-inch all-terrain tires, Bilstein dampers, 17-inch wheels, special fender flares, front and rear locking differentials, and detachable sway bars.
This one is particularly interesting, since it equips you with the components that are of the utmost importance when rock crawling. You can detach the front stabilizer bar from the cabin and go off-road, and once you exceed 20 mph, the sophisticated electro-hydraulic system will re-attach it to give you better control and precise handling in on-road conditions. This option is standard on the higher trim levels or with the Sasquatch package.
Ford has done a pretty good job of convincing us that 2021 Bronco is one tough truck. Most buyers were already sold when they saw the official promotional shots and videos of Broncos jumping the dunes. However, real off-road enthusiasts are harder to convince, but Ford managed to do so with small but essential details.
Features like washable interiors, steel wheels offered on lower trim levels, and removable doors and roof show that Ford is not just playing around -- the Bronco really is designed to go off-roading, climb mountains, run through the desert and be the best modern off-road truck in America.
Every New Bronco Comes with The Bottle Opener
The new 2021 Bronco and Bronco Sport are full of exciting features and details that will make your life easier, both on and off-road. Apart from including ergonomically terrific interiors, lots of storage spaces, and other practical features, Ford outdid themselves with one particular thing – a bottle opener.
The 2021 Bronco and Bronco Sport both have a small latch on the side of the trunk, which you can use as a bottle opener -- just in case you forgot to stash one aboard before embarking on your Overlanding experience or camping trip.
While it's undeniably small detail, it still means a lot -- especially if you find yourself in the middle of nowhere and your beer is getting warm.
The 2021 Bronco Is Made Out of a New Type of Steel
We all remember the controversy behind Ford's decision to introduce an all-aluminum F-150 truck. More than five years later, we can justifiably say that this was a smart move, since it revolutionized technology in the segment and led to the best-selling pickup in the world that features both better driving dynamics and better fuel economy.
However, the 2021 Bronco will be nearly as revolutionary as the 2015 F-150, since it will feature special Gen 3 steel.
Called Fortiform 980 GI and produced by cutting edge steel company ArcelorMittal, this innovative material is known for being much more robust than regular steel and it's capable of being stretched into 35% thinner panels with no loss to its structural rigidity and strength.
This material is used for creating chassis, floor panels, and other structural parts of the 2021 Bronco. The result is weight savings of 150 pounds, which is substantial.
The Bronco Lifestyle
It's incredible how you find yourself becoming an instant off-road enthusiast simply by watching the Bronco's promotional video. Even though you might never even have spent the night outdoors before, you fantasize about campfires in the desert or exploring the wilderness. Of course, Ford's marketing department has a lot to do with this, but there's something irresistibly cool and inviting in the new Bronco -- even without its efforts.
The Bronco has rebel allure, bad-boy charm, and an off-road heritage like few other cars in the world. Just seeing it parked makes you want to leave everything and run through the forest while smelling fresh air and freedom. That's why this isn't just another Ford; it's a lifestyle machine and declaration of independence on four wheels.
Things To Hate: