Even among off-road brutes, the Bronco’s efficiency is substandard. This is the rare gas vehicle that, in many trims, gets the same EPA fuel economy on the highway as in the city. Broncos with the V-6 wearing the 35s are labeled at 17 mpg city and highway. We got 18 mpg on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy loop, which equates to just 300 miles of range, both poor results and worse than every Wrangler we’ve tested save one, a two-door 2.0T Rubicon.
After the time-altering leap, plus slogging through bumper-deep water, scaling mud-slicked rock faces, and making some awful scraping noises while the underbody skid plates did their thing, what impresses us most about Ford’s reimagined Bronco is that it’s a friendly and refined softy—particularly on the road, where the majority of buyers will be driving most of the time. Don’t tune out and let its greatness pass you by.
Photography » Marc Urbano (Source » Car and Driver)
One big complaint about the new Ford Bronco is the wind noise that comes through the multipiece roof. Even with the optional Sound Deadening Headliner (which our example featured), at right around 70 mph the cabin sounds as if the windows are open. During a phone call while driving, the person on the other end asked if it was raining. Another person who came along for a ride—and who has a Bronco on order—asked, “Are you kidding me?” “Unacceptable” is a bit too strong of a word here, but there is a lot of room for improvement. Continue reading
TFL take the Bronco First Edition (with the Sasquatch package), the Wrangler Rubicon 4XE plug-in electric hybrid, and very expensive Defender up the Red Cone trail (Google Maps), a rather challenging, high clearance, off-highway vehicle mountain trail in Colorado. And in short order, they are forced to abandon the Defender in the woods.
One of the important takeaways from the video is that proper wheels and tires are important when going (smaller (steel) rims shodded with higher aspect ratio sidewalls would have helped)
It would’ve been easy for the Blue Oval to copy the 4×4 formula long adhered to by the Wrangler and various other hardcore SUVs that have come and gone — including Ford’s original 1966 Bronco. That stone-tablet blueprint calls for simple body-on-frame construction, solid axles front and rear, a removable roof and doors and recirculating-ball steering. Indeed, the 2021 Bronco has a separate body and ladder-style truck chassis, as well as a detachable roof and doors. However, Ford decided to go with an independent front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering. Both of these technologies are known for better control, precision and refinement, albeit at a higher cost and with relative question marks around durability (and, in the case of IFS, ultimate off-road wheel articulation).
In light of these design decisions, it’d be fair to wonder aloud if Ford elected to gear the Bronco more toward on-road polish than ultimate off-road capability. As I’d come to learn over the course of two packed days at Ford’s new Off-Roadeo driving camp, however, to doubt Ford’s engineers would be to make a very bad bet. This Bronco is truly formidable in the rough stuff and it’s also significantly better to live with on a daily basis.
I had the opportunity for a bit of comparison against a Wrangler and found the Jeep to be much bouncier on pavement and it head my head tossing back and forth more over trail bumps. To get the most capable off-road setup you also have to opt for the Rubicon model that starts at $41,000 delivered for the two-door soft-top. Ford offers the Sasquatch off-road package on all trims including the base. That combination is available for just over $38,000. The Jeep and Ford are similar in overall exterior dimensions, but most of the Bronco’s body extends out to the perimeter while the main part of the Jeep cabin is narrower with the fenders extending out. The result is that the Jeep feels narrower and more cramped inside than the Bronco.
For the first time in a long time, there is a real alternative to the Jeep Wrangler and its well worth a look.