Ford is a manufacturer with a lot of experience. If you’re looking for a vehicle with the utmost reliability coupled with excellent performance, Ford should be your choice. By searching online for the “closest Ford dealership near me,” you’re likely to spawn some results and find your perfect dealership to work with. Ford has a habit of setting the bar for versatile automobiles and promptly raising it from there. The lineups Ford offers are often met with critical acclaim, albeit some lineups such as the Ford Bronco had been lost to time, until now.
The original Ford Bronco had a production run that started in 1965 with a compact SUV, before transitioning to a full-size body SUV in 1977. The Ford Bronco continued production until a shifting industry rendered the Bronco increasingly obsolescent, and it was finally retired around 1996. The Bronco shortly after faded into obscurity, but a cult following was formed.
Fast forward to the current day; it has been roughly 25 years since Ford ceased production on the Bronco. This year, to the surprise of many Ford enthusiasts, a triumphant return has occurred with the 2021 Ford Bronco. This time around, the Bronco is a mid-size SUV that comes in 2 and 4-door configurations. The new Bronco gets a sporty look and it is perfect for off-roading as all four doors, as well as the roof, can easily be removed.
With a strong focus on off-roading, various trim levels of the 2021 Bronco allow you to switch between an astonishing eight drive modes, each suited for a different type of terrain. Ford has named this the G.O.A.T. system, which includes driving modes such as Normal, Sport, Sand, Slippery, Mud, Rock Crawl, Baja, and Eco. In addition to this, many changes have been made to the Bronco’s overall design to enhance its off-roading capabilities.
Upon release, there are six trims available to purchase with an additional trim exclusive to pre-order reservations known as the First Edition. The base Bronco trim is aptly named Base and starts at an MSRP of $28,500. Big Bend is the following trim, which it adds quality-of-life improvements such as heated seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and more. The next trim is the Black Diamond, which adds some extra flair to the exterior in the form of steel bumpers and rock rails.
Outer Banks is the next trim, which gives up some of the Black Diamond’s off-road performance in exchange for lavish interior and exterior upgrades. These include a high-quality sound system provided by Bang & Olufsen, a robust infotainment center featuring a 12-inch display, LED headlamps, and 18-inch wheels. The next trim, named Badlands, takes the vehicle to a new level with a host of off-roading upgrades such as a hydraulic front sway bar disconnect, front and rear locking differentials, and 33-inch all-terrain tires. Simply put, there’s a reason Ford describes Badlands as “Extreme Off-Roading.”
The last trim available to purchase, which serves as the pinnacle of the lineup, is Wildtrak. Wildtrak finds a healthy blend between excellent off-roading capabilities coupled with a powerful engine producing high speeds. Included with Wildtrak is the Sasquatch Package, which adds 17-inch wheels with 35-inch mud-terrain tires, and the same position-sensitive monotube shocks and locking differentials as seen in Badlands. Wildtrak sports a twin-turbocharged 2.7L V6 producing an ample amount of performance and comes paired with a smooth-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission.
Two engines may be fitted into the 2021 Bronco. Ford has also made mention of an upcoming hybrid Bronco, but the details on that are currently sparse. The engine that comes standard with the Bronco is a turbocharged 2.3L I-4, which can produce 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. These are respectable numbers for a 4-cylinder engine of this size, due to Ford’s excellent EcoBoost turbocharger. This 2.3L I-4 can be paired with either a 7-speed manual or a 10-speed automatic transmission.
The second engine you can fit your Bronco with is a twin-turbocharged 2.7L V6 that can produce 310 hp and an impressive 400 lb-ft of torque. Unlike the I-4, this engine can only be paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Both engines perform generously, but those looking for that extra bit of power will be drawn to the available V6. Drivers interested in light towing are also in luck as a properly-equipped Bronco can tow up to 3,500 lbs.
A Connected Vehicle For A Connected World
Since the original Bronco’s production came to an end, the industry has gone through some immense changes, notably the introduction of the world wide web. Sure, the internet was around back in 1996, but it wasn’t nearly as technologically advanced as it is today. Vehicle manufacturers have constantly been on a mission to implement the connectivity aspects of the worldwide web into the vehicles they produce. One significant way manufacturers have done this is by implementing infotainment centers into their vehicles. These infotainment centers allow you to answer phone calls or send text messages without ever having to reach for your phone, and serve as the gateway between you and the media you consume while on the road.
Ford knew this when redesigning the Bronco for the new century, and as a result, each Bronco comes standard with Ford’s new SYNC 4 infotainment suite. SYNC 4 is displayed on either a standard 8-inch touch screen or an available 12-inch display. SiriusXM radio is available for the Bronco’s infotainment center, granting you over 150 unique music channels, meaning you’re bound to find at least one channel you’ll enjoy listening to. In addition to FordPass Connect, which allows remote access to some of your vehicle’s functions straight through the smartphone app, 911 Assist also comes standard.
Keeping up with the times, we see the integration of both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which are both always highly sought after features amongst aspiring vehicle shoppers. CarPlay and Auto seamlessly connect your existing iPhone or compatible Android smartphone to the infotainment system. Once connected, you’ll be granted a whole new layer of accessibility and customizability as you’ll have full access to your address book, music, turn-by-turn navigation, and much more. Both CarPlay and Auto each feature an app store, allowing users to download more infotainment functions through apps. We’re very excited to see CarPlay and Auto come standard with the Bronco as some manufacturers omit these software suites from their base trims, or all together.
The Future Looks Bright
With the excitement following the reintroduction of the Bronco, Ford can rest assured that it made the right choice. There’s something to be said about bringing a classic lineup into a new light, comparable to a blockbuster film reboot. Ford’s choice shows to its fans that it hasn’t forgotten its legacy, and this has fans pondering on the idea of further reintroductions down the line. Ford has always been one to innovate, and giving new life to a classic lineup that had originally run out of fuel is innovative in itself. Ford’s excitement for the new Bronco is as palpable as the enthusiasm of the fans, and this bond between the manufacturer and the driver is something Ford knows best.