2021 Ford Bronco Review, Pricing, and Specs (2024)

Starting at $29,995

9/10

C/D RATING

2021 Ford Bronco Review, Pricing, and Specs (1)

Specs

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2021 Ford Bronco Review, Pricing, and Specs (2)

Marc Urbano

|Car and Driver

9/10 C/D RATING

2021 Ford Bronco Review, Pricing, and Specs (3)

Specs

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  • Highs Surprisingly refined on the road, hugely capable off of it, more functional and practical than a Jeep Wrangler.
  • Lows Deserves more distinctive exhaust notes, interior lacks pizzazz on upper trims, frameless doors come with compromises.
  • Verdict The Ford Bronco makes an impressive return and looks to usurp the Wrangler as the must-have off-road SUV.
By Eric Stafford

Overview

The legendary Ford Bronco returns with cool retro styling, innovative features, and impressive off-road capabilities, all of which helped it secure a place on our Editors' Choice list for 2021. While purists will decry the absence of a V-8 option, they'll applaud the Bronco's optional manual transmission and many nostalgic details. Its interior layout is simple but loaded with technology, such as an available 12.0-inch touchscreen and an off-road performance app. The cabin also contains durable, waterproof surfaces that protect things when the doors and the soft or hardtop roofs are removed. Its convertible nature—along with two- and four-door body styles—pits Ford's most rugged SUV against the popular Jeep Wrangler. With a highly capable chassis and drivetrain, the 2021 Bronco has a legit chance to challenge the Jeep for the trail-rated crown.

What's New for 2021?

Ford resurrects the Bronco nameplate for 2021, and it emulates the old-school vibe and off-road pedigree of its iconic mid-1960's predecessors.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

The price of the 2021 Ford Bronco starts at $29,995 and goes up to $58,410 depending on the trim and options.

The base two-door Bronco starts at just under $30,000, but upgrading to upper trims gets expensive quickly. Our ideal configuration would be a four-door with the more powerful engine, and it needs to have the off-road hardware to live up to its roots. That points us towards the Bronco Wildtrack, which comes standard with 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels and huge 35-inch mud-terrain tires.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

Sorry, folks. The Bronco doesn't come with eight cylinders. Instead, there's a standard 300-hp turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder or an optional 330-hp twin-turbo 2.7-liter V-6. A 10-speed automatic transmission bolts to both gas engines, but a seven-speed manual is only compatible with the smaller one. Unfortunately, neither engine has an enthusiastic soundtrack. Every Bronco sends power to all four wheels, and its independent front suspension is more sophisticated than Jeep's front stick axle. Other noteworthy options include 35-inch mud-terrain tires, beadlock-capable wheels, electronic locking front and rear differentials, and a sway-bar-disconnect feature. After our first driving impressions, the Bronco most impressed us with its on-road refinement. Not only is its steering more precise than the Wrangler's wheel, but the Ford simply handles better overall. Of course, equipped with the largest tires and softest suspension, there's significant brake dive, and its body-on-frame construction isn't kept secret. Still, the Bronco isn't a one-trick pony, and it's capable of conquering truly treacherous terrain. Both the two- and four-door models are also rated to tow 3500 pounds—same as the Wrangler.

View Photos

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

The four-cylinder Bronco with the automatic transmission is the thriftiest variant, with ratings of 20 mpg in the city and 22 on the highway. Upgrade to the V-6 version with the Sasquatch package that includes aggressive, oversized tires and its fuel economy plummets to 17 mpg both in the city and on the highway. We've run automatic-equipped Broncos with both engines on our 75-mph fuel-economy route, with the four-cylinder earning 22 mpg and the V-6 earning 18 mpg. For more information about the Bronco's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

Available with two or four doors, soft tops or hardtops, and removable body panels, the Bronco offers the same open-air possibilities that make the Wrangler an outdoor person's delight. The Ford's interior has a few more innovations than the Jeep, too. For example, the Bronco has a rack built into the top of its dashboard that allows smartphones and GoPros to be mounted there. It also has frameless doors that are easy to remove. However, their long side glass can snag the weatherstripping and they allow extra wind noise to enter the cabin. Still, the extended-wheelbase four-door models have space on board to store all four doors. Since the exterior mirrors are mounted on the base of the windshield, they're still useable when the doors are taken off. When exposed to the elements, the cabin can be protected with the available rubberized flooring and marine-grade vinyl upholstery. Those who want a fancier environment can opt for leather seating surfaces, but the interior's expansive swaths of plastic look cheap on upper trims. Even in the two-door Bronco, there's enough space in the back seat to comfortably fit two adults. The four-door version alone has a third, middle seat in the rear and offers a hair more legroom, but most of its extra length applies to the cargo area, which is more than 50 percent larger than the two-door.

View Photos

Infotainment and Connectivity

Ford's latest in-dash Sync 4 software powers the 8.0- or 12.0-inch touchscreen that's embedded in the middle of the Bronco's dashboard. The setup allows over-the-air updates and can connect to the cloud and user's smartphone wirelessly. The infotainment system also supports a host of modern infotainment features that include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a subscription-based Wi-Fi hotspot. The unit can also be upgraded with desirable options, such as built-in navigation and a more powerful B&O stereo.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

The Bronco is available with a suite of driver-assistance technology, including automatic high-beams and parking sensors. It also has equipment that makes low-speed rock crawling and trail driving easier. For more information about the Bronco's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:

  • Available forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
  • Available lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
  • Available blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Ford provides a competitive limited and powertrain warranty that aligns with most of its rivals. However, it lacks the complimentary maintenance that some competitors provide.

  • Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
  • No complimentary scheduled maintenance

2021 Ford Bronco Review, Pricing, and Specs (6)

Specifications

Specifications

2021 Ford Bronco First Edition
Vehicle Type: front-engine, rear/4-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 2-door wagon

PRICE
Base/As Tested: $58,410/$59,410
Options: towing package, $595; Rapid Red paint, $295; entry keypad, $110

ENGINE
twin-turbocharged and intercooled V-6, iron-and-aluminum block and aluminum heads
Displacement: 164 in3, 2694 cm3
Power: 330 hp @ 5250 rpm
Torque: 415 lb-ft @ 3100 rpm

TRANSMISSION
10-speed automatic

CHASSIS
Suspension, F/R: control arms/live axle
Brakes, F/R: 12.2-in vented disc/12.1-in disc
Tires: Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT
LT315/70R-17 113/110S M+S

DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 100.4 in
Length: 173.7 in
Width: 79.3 in
Height: 75.2 in
Passenger Volume: 97 ft3
Cargo Volume: 22 ft3
Curb Weight: 4975 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 6.3 sec
1/4-Mile: 15.0 sec @ 91 mph
100 mph: 19.5 sec
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 7.4 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 3.4 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 4.4 sec
Top Speed (gov ltd): 106 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 197 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.71 g

C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 15 mpg
75-mph Highway Driving: 18 mpg
Highway Range: 300 mi

EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 17/17/17 mpg

2021 Ford Bronco Wildtrak
Vehicle Type: front-engine, rear/4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon

PRICE
Base/As Tested: $50,970/$58,420

ENGINE
twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve V-6, iron-and-aluminum block and aluminum heads, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 164 in3, 2694 cm3
Power: 330 hp @ 5250 rpm
Torque: 415 lb-ft @ 3100 rpm

TRANSMISSION
10-speed automatic

CHASSIS
Suspension, F/R: control arms/live axle
Brakes, F/R: 12.2-in vented disc/12.1-in vented disc
Tires: Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT
LT315/70R-17 113/110S M+S

DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 116.1 in
Length: 189.5 in
Width: 79.3 in
Height: 75.3 in
Passenger Volume: 104 ft3
Cargo Volume: 36 ft3
Curb Weight: 4971 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 6.2 sec
1/4-Mile: 15.0 sec @ 92 mph
100 mph: 19.1 sec
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 6.7 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 3.2 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 4.2 sec
Top Speed (gov): 100 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 189 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.71 g

C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 15 mpg
75-mph Highway Driving: 17 mpg
Highway Range: 350 mi

EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 17/17/17 mpg

C/D TESTING EXPLAINED

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About the Ford Bronco

The Ford Bronco is a legendary off-road SUV that made an impressive return in 2021 with cool retro styling, innovative features, and impressive off-road capabilities. It secured a place on Car and Driver's Editors' Choice list for 2021, showcasing its appeal and performance in the market. The Bronco offers both two-door and four-door body styles, with a range of trims and options to cater to different preferences and needs.

Pricing and Trim Options

The price of the 2021 Ford Bronco starts at $29,995 and goes up to $58,410 depending on the trim and options. The base two-door Bronco starts at just under $30,000, but upgrading to upper trims can get expensive quickly. The ideal configuration for many enthusiasts would be a four-door with the more powerful engine, and it needs to have the off-road hardware to live up to its roots. The Bronco Wildtrack, for example, comes standard with 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels and huge 35-inch mud-terrain tires.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The Bronco offers a standard 300-hp turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine or an optional 330-hp twin-turbo 2.7-liter V-6. A 10-speed automatic transmission is available for both engines, but a seven-speed manual is only compatible with the smaller one. The Bronco's independent front suspension is more sophisticated than the Jeep's front stick axle, and it offers various off-road features such as 35-inch mud-terrain tires, beadlock-capable wheels, electronic locking front and rear differentials, and a sway-bar-disconnect feature. The Bronco impressed with its on-road refinement and off-road capabilities, offering a compelling driving experience.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

The four-cylinder Bronco with the automatic transmission is the thriftiest variant, with ratings of 20 mpg in the city and 22 on the highway. However, upgrading to the V-6 version with the Sasquatch package that includes aggressive, oversized tires results in a fuel economy of 17 mpg both in the city and on the highway.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

The Bronco offers the same open-air possibilities as the Wrangler, with options for two or four doors, soft tops or hardtops, and removable body panels. The interior features innovative elements such as a rack built into the top of its dashboard for mounting smartphones and GoPros, as well as frameless doors that are easy to remove. The cabin can be protected with available rubberized flooring and marine-grade vinyl upholstery, and there are options for leather seating surfaces for those who prefer a fancier environment.

Infotainment and Connectivity

Ford's latest in-dash Sync 4 software powers the 8.0- or 12.0-inch touchscreen that's embedded in the middle of the Bronco's dashboard. The system supports modern infotainment features such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a subscription-based Wi-Fi hotspot, and it allows over-the-air updates and wireless connectivity to the cloud and user's smartphone.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

The Bronco is available with a suite of driver-assistance technology, including automatic high-beams, parking sensors, forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Ford provides a competitive limited and powertrain warranty that aligns with most of its rivals, covering three years or 36,000 miles for the limited warranty and five years or 60,000 miles for the powertrain warranty.

Specifications

The 2021 Ford Bronco First Edition, for example, is a front-engine, rear/4-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 2-door wagon with a twin-turbocharged and intercooled V-6 engine, 10-speed automatic transmission, and various dimensions and performance metrics.

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Car and Driver also provides information about similar vehicles, such as the 2024 Kia Telluride, 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander, 2024 Mazda CX-90, 2024 Ford Bronco Raptor, 2024 Hyundai Palisade, 2024 Jeep Grand Cherokee L, 2024 Honda Pilot, and others, offering a comprehensive comparison for those considering different options in the SUV market.

This information provides a comprehensive overview of the Ford Bronco, including its features, pricing, performance, and comparisons with similar vehicles.

2021 Ford Bronco Review, Pricing, and Specs (2024)

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