Old fans of Ford and off-road vehicles have very strong opinions about the Bronco. For some, it is a nostalgia-charged happy memory of an adventure. Others think it’s a dinosaur that was left in the dust by the king of all off-road SUVs, the Jeep Wrangler. But no matter your personal feelings on the Ford Bronco, what cannot be disputed is the long-awaited return of this American icon. But before you charge off to your local Ford Bronco dealer, take a minute to get acquainted with your options.
In addition to the choice between a two-door and four-door variants, the 2021 Bronco has seven different trims to choose between. Unlike many vehicles, where each trim is simply a slightly better version of the one before it, the different Bronco trims are designed to appeal to different types of drivers. In fact, all the Bronco’s best performance features can be added to any trim by selecting the Sasquatch package. So let’s dive into the details.
Bronco vs Bronco Sport
Before we begin, it is necessary to mention that we are only covering the 2021 Bronco – not the 2021 Bronco Sport. Although these two vehicles share a name, they are two completely different models. The Bronco is a midsize body on frame SUV, while the Bronco Sport is a compact crossover SUV. If you are having trouble keeping the two straight, remember that the Bronco is big and boxy, while the Sport is small and sleek.
Something that Ford does incredibly well is outfit their vehicles for exactly what you need. They don’t make things overly complicated or messy for the sake of looking flashy without substance. A Ford at its most basic is still functional and elegant. This is true for the Bronco’s base trim, which is simply called “Base.” You can tell from looking at it how “back to basics” the designers really went in designing the Bronco. Even a glance at the interior shows you how barebones it can get.
Fortunately, the base trim of the Bronco is competitively affordable, starting at MSRP $28,500, which is very attractive for such a big name and returning model with so much right out of the box. Unlike many other models, the base Bronco also provides you with tons of choices for customization and available options to be added on and in your Bronco to make it uniquely yours. This is a fantastic option for buyers who might want to save money where they can and simply get the options they want from the Bronco a la carte.
Even at this level, the base trim of the Bronco has optional 2 and 4 door seating and up to 270 horsepower with a standard 2.3 liter Ecoboost engine, paired with a choice of 7-speed manual transmission or 10-speed automatic transmission. You get the flexible and sturdy 4×4 suspension standard with part-time selectable engagement for supreme torque control for sand, steep inclines, and rocky terrain. We would also be remiss not to mention the classic and to be expected, removable doors and roof, taking a very clear shot at Ford’s biggest competition: Jeep and the famous Wrangler.
The Big Bend trim is the first step along the luxury scale for a sport vehicle like the Bronco. Unlike the base trim, which is a blank canvass for maximum customization, the Big Bend comes with all your basic comfort features, such as a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The exterior gets aluminum wheels and a shiny new front grille that simply gleams. Other items include conveniences like remote start and a 110-volt power outlet.
All of the features that help make the Big Bend package are fantastic for people who admire the Bronco and want to aspire to its capability but who do not see themselves building a custom vehicle for hard-core off-roading. This model comes with everything you need and more at a respectable MSRP of $33,385.
If you’ve ever done winter sports, you may not need an introduction to this trim. The Black Diamond Bronco is the package to bring you incredible features designed to take you to your next off-road adventure. For rock crawling and incline climbing, the Black Diamond trim comes with a seventh G.O.A.T. (Goes Over Any Type of Terrain) drive mode not offered in the Big Bend. These different modes allow you to take full advantage of the powerful 4×4 SUV in all road, weather, and terrain types.
On the exterior, you get some enticing and practical additions such as steel front and rear bumpers, skid plates meant for heavy-duty exploration, and very helpful rock rails. There are also unique color and trim options for the interior with special marine-grade vinyl upholstery that is easy to clean and durable. If you plan on really putting the Bronco to the test for its adventure capabilities, at MSRP $36,050, this trim is a fantastic package to start from to get a reliable SUV for a confident ride where the roads end.
The Outer Banks is the flashy, high-end trim of the Bronco. Arriving at $38,955 MSRP, this level brings you off-roading in style and succeeds with flying colors (did we mention how good the cyber orange looks?). This trim comes with intimidating 18-inch bright-machined high-gloss alloy wheels, which give it an imposing stature and confident seating position. However, it is slightly lacking in off-road performance compared to the Black Diamond.
There really isn’t much that the Bronco does that the Outer Banks just looks cooler doing. It comes standard with LED headlamps and taillamps. It also has stylish fender flares matched to your paint job, which help give some pizazz to the boxy silhouette. Even the side steps on this trim come in powder-coated black. From the outside to the interior, the Outer Banks Bronco trim is dripping with style and is packed with available technology like the 12-inch LCD touchscreen and state of the art sound system from Bang and Olufsen.
If the Black Diamond still does not have every single off-road feature you could want or hope for, the Badlands will give you everything and the kitchen sink. The build of this trim is even more focused on giving you advanced systems and quality materials to make off-roading the best experience you’ve had in a long time. The Badlands features tons of great upgrades, such as the inclusion of Rock and Baja G.O.A.T. modes and front and rear locking differentials to maximize your grip in all terrains.
The Badlands Bronco also has a stabilizer bar disconnect, which adds additional articulation for even more capability to climb and crawl over any kind of terrain or obstacles. Additionally, it comes with a 4×4 automatic on-demand engagement two-speed transfer case. This allows the Badlands to operate as a traditional 4×4 in rough terrain or switch to all-wheel drive for high-speed driving. Being as advanced and as capable as it is, the Badlands is the first Bronco trim to break 40k with an MSRP of $42,095.
If the Badlands is your traditional rock-climbing monster designed to take on the Rubicon Trail, then the Wildtrak is a new breed of high-speed desert runners intended for the Baja 1000. If you prefer jumping sand dunes instead of negotiating rocky mountains, then the Wildtrak is the trim for you. Not only is it the only Bronco trim that comes standard with the optional 2.7L engine and Sasquatch Package, but the Wildtrack also has wild hood graphics and menacing black grille and wheels that give it a turbocharged look to match its powerful engine.
This trim comes with a lot of great features, but its key selling feature is the Sasquatch Package. This includes 35-inch tires over 17-inch beadlock capable wheels, locking differentials for front and rear axles, and the same powerful suspension as the Badlands. This is how the Bronco is meant to be experienced. From inside and out, the Wildtrak is the complete package of power and style and is well worth its $46,980 price tag.
The First Edition is a rare special edition that features a unique design that combines the greatest hits of the new Bronco lineup. These safari capable SUVs with custom grille and colors get the mechanics of the Badlands, the flashy interior of the Outer Banks, and the fearsome and wild exterior look of the Wildtrak. This trim is the collector’s piece that includes everything Ford has to offer at a starting price of $57,410. Unfortunately, there are only 7,000 units in the limited run, and the First Edition sold out within hours of the announcement.
The Bronco brings a lot to the SUV class. It’s energized return with effective marketing, unique style, and incredible performance that speaks for itself has set the returning off-roader for a highly anticipated launch with old and new fans coming together to form a new and enthusiastic Bronco nation. Now that you have a better understanding of the options available, it is time to visit your local Bronco dealer and get your hands on this vehicle for yourself.