The 10 Things You Should Know Before Buying The 2021 Bronco
Although we are still a few months away from the first 2021 Bronco deliveries, Ford is preparing to start full-scale serial production in May. Interestingly enough, Ford has made 99 of the 2021 Broncos in January, but before you get excited, those vehicles are just pre-production examples made for testing and promotional duties, which are likely to be destroyed after serving their purpose. Even though those Broncos are practically the same as the production versions, you cannot have one, and Ford cannot sell them to the general public.
However, if you have fallen for the irresistible charms and exciting appearance of 2021 Bronco or Bronco Sport, we totally understand you. Simply, there isn't anything so cool and so interesting in the SUV market at the moment, and we can indeed say that the new Bronco is a game-changer and Ford's home run. But, if you are planning to buy one, here are ten things you should know.
1. Three Body Styles
Right from the start, the new Bronco is available in three body styles. The standard Bronco will be made as two and four-door versions, with or without the removable top. There is a Bronco Sport, a five-door model with a fixed roof, built on Ford Escape chassis, representing a slightly more conventional SUV offering aimed at family buyers. The Bronco Sport could be considered a revival of Bronco II (made from 1984 to 1990), a smaller and less powerful alternative to the standard, V8-powered Bronco model of the day.
At the moment, there is no pickup version, not the Ford announced such variant. However, recently there was a leak showing drawings of the potential Bronco Pickup. We are sure that the truck version of the Bronco will appear in the foreseeable future since Ford needs to fight the Jeep Gladiator just like Bronco is attacking the Jeep Wrangler's position on the market.
2. Trim Levels
Incredibly, Ford had prepared six different trim levels along with the seventh, the "First Edition" model for Bronco. The Bronco Sport will also be available in four trims along with the "First Edition" limited-run model.
The trim levels for 2021 Bronco are Base, Big Bend, Black Diamond, Outer Banks, Wildtrack, Badlands, and First Edition (all 7000 planed are sold out). The trim levels for 2021 Bronco Sport are Base, Big Bend, Outer Banks, Badlands, and First Edition, which is also sold out, as well.
3. Bronco or Bronco Sport?
The three-model strategy is designed to provide customers with a wide choice. The two-door Bronco is aimed at the off-road enthusiast looking for a short wheelbase machine, 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 in a company, and need slightly more interior space.
The Bronco Sport, on the other hand, with its slightly better road manners, is perfect as a family off-road SUV, which can be a usable commuter vehicle during the week and an ideal companion for a camping trip with the kids on the weekends. The Bronco Sport is a more conventional SUV, better suited for everyday driving.
We are happy to announce that the 2021 Bronco is a very affordable model, at least in its lower trim levels. The 2-door Bronco in Base package retails at $28,500, while the Base 2021 Bronco Sport is $26,820. If you want a 4-door Bronco, be ready to pay few thousand more. The most expensive 2021 Bronco is the Wildtrack, which starts at $47,000. Technically, the Bronco First Edition is even more costly at $57,410, but it has been sold out. The most expensive Bronco Sport is Badlands, which retails at $32,820. The First Edition Bronco Sport was $39,000, but reservations are full.
However, although the prices are affordable, you have to consider the enormous amount of options Ford has prepared for both models, which are sure to raise the final amount. Also, since the 2021 Bronco and Bronco Sport are extremely hot at the moment, the dealer markups will be high, so if you want your Bronco immediately, be ready to pay a healthy premium over MSRP.
Ford was proud to announce that there are over 230,000 customers who reserved their 2021 Bronco and Bronco Sports so far. However, due to extreme demand and popularity even beyond Ford's expectations, it is not realistic to expect that all those customers will be getting their Broncos in 2021.
The Bronco Sport is already available, and the first models have been delivered in January, but the "big" Bronco is mid-year release, and there is no way that all of them could be made and sold in just six months. So, it is possible that if you order your 2 of 4-door Bronco now, you will be getting it in about a year, maybe even more. Unless you have good connections at Ford or are ready to pay the hefty premium, you will have to wait that long.
6. Sasquatch Package
Amongst the cool features of the 2021 Bronco, there is something called the Sasquatch package, and it 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, unique fender flares, front and rear locking differentials, and detachable sway bars (on some trim levels).
This one is exciting since it of the utmost importance when you go rock crawling. You can detach the front stabilizer bar from the cabin and go off-road. Once you go over 20 mph, the sophisticated electro-hydraulic system will attach it again to give you better control and precise handling in on-road conditions. The base price for Sasquatch Package is $4,995, but that is not all. If you want it, you have to get mandatory options of 10-speed automatic, which is $1,595, and Advanced 4x4 Package, which is $795. That makes the Sasquatch Package somewhat of a pricy but well-worth-it option at $7,385.
7. The 2021 Will Be Available with The Manual
The 2021 Bronco is one of the rare vehicles which will be available with manual transmission. But it is not the standard five or 6-speed you are expecting. It is even better. The standard transmission is a 7-speed manual, which is cool since manuals are mostly abandoned in the SUV market. However, this manual is a "6+1" type, which means it has six regular gears and one super-low gear for crawling.
Whether you are 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 the muddy ditch. The Ford's 10-speed is the optional transmission, and it is already known and proven in F-150. Also, there is 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.
8. Engine Options
For the 2021 model year, Ford will offer two petrol engines for the new Bronco. One is a 2.3-liter four-cylinder unit with 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, and the other is a 2.7-liter V6 with 310 hp and 400 lb-ft. Both engines are part of Ford's EcoBoost family, which means that they are turbocharged and equipped with modern technology and direct fuel injection. Many hardcore Bronco fans were expecting Ford's fantastic 5.0-liter Coyote V8 to make an appearance, but that didn't happen and probably never will as Ford designed Bronco with the fuel efficiency of the goals. However, the engines are currently offered more than capable of delivering decent acceleration and top speed; Bronco enthusiasts are already calling for a more powerful version. Thankfully, Ford had announced the Bronco Warthog, coming in a few years, which will have a 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 similar to the one in F-150 Raptor and at least 450 hp.
The 2021 Bronco Sport is coming with two gasoline engines – 1.5-liter, three-cylinder, and 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged units. The smaller motor is delivering 181 hp and 190 lb-ft of torque, while 2.0-liter produces a healthy 245 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque.
Interestingly, Ford didn't mention a diesel option, and that is probably because the new Bronco will not be offered in Europe, traditionally the biggest market for diesel SUV models. However, we can expect to see Bronco hybrid very soon, possibly for the 2022 or 2023 model year. Knowing that Ford is investing heavily in electric vehicles, the Bronco EV is impossible, but there is no information about that at the moment.
9. Endless Options
Ford is deliberately making the new Bronco easy to modify and offering it with an enormous amount of additional extras, dealer-installed options, and aftermarket items. They know that no owner would resist the temptation of changing his or her Bronco and making it more usable, capable, or cooler.
Most owners would be satisfied with aftermarket wheels or details. Still, we are sure that specialized shops are already preparing to offer significant chassis upgrades, engine modifications, and even full-on engine swaps.
10. It Is a Proper Off-Road Vehicle
It is hard to believe, but currently, there are over 100 SUV models (all classes) on sale. Most of them are front-wheel-drive people carriers and soccer-mom's wagons, and only a handful of them are dedicated off-road machines. It is clear that modern SUVs have abandoned the all-terrain usability and roughness for suburban customers, but Ford decided to get back to the basic idea, which made those vehicles great in the first place.
The 2021 Bronco is the first proper off-road Ford in decades and a vehicle designed to feel right at home in areas where your phone will lose reception. But this is not a rugged machine for extreme users. No, it is a perfect blend of everyday comfort and usability with fantastic off-road capabilities, which we craved for years.