Ford Motor Company unveiled the all-new Bronco platform recently and it has definitely generated a ton of press. Is it what you hoped for? Is it better than expected? Will you buy one? Let’s discuss it!
Some good points.
Rugged styling, body on frame construction, proper 4 wheel-drive, and the option of a manual transmission.
The manual transmission features a lower crawl gear to give it a slight edge over the Rubicon crawl ratio. (Kind of, there are some conditions to get that better crawl ratio.)
The doors come off, the roof is removable, and the fender flares can cover a 35-inch tire that’s available from the factory on certain option packages.
The mirrors are body mounted so they stay on when the doors come off. This seems like it should never be the other way around.
The new Bronco is coming with a ton of off-road centric technology. Some may point to these as gimmicks but gimmicks sell. For me I will wait to see how they work. Ford touch screens and vehicle software are my least favorite automotive interfaces made.
Some not so good points.
These are obviously subjective and wholly dependent on your personal views.
Independent front suspension instead of a solid axle option. I get it. The IFS is better on road, and the better option given how the Bronco will generally be used. For those of us who do take our vehicles off-road and will definitely modify it the IFS is an unnecessarily complex suspension that makes lifting the Bronco more expensive, gear swaps exponentially more costly, and a ton more maintenance.
What’s the biggest limiter to custom Tacoma’s, full-size trucks, and everything but the Jeep Wrangler? If you said IFS get yourself a cookie. The Jeep-Killer Tacoma built by Fab Fours is a solid axle swapped Tacoma.
The manual transmission is only available on the 2-door Bronco and only with the 2.3L engine. Check the option box for more power or more doors and the manual goes the way of the DoDo bird.
Speaking of engines only two are offered, both are 4-cylinders and both are turbocharged.
Let’s compare some numbers between the new Bronco and the Jeep Wrangler.
That’s what we really all want to know right? So far on paper, there is not a clear winner. They have very similar specifications and with only minor differences it will come down to marketing and brand preference. Here are some side by side numbers so you can see what I mean.
|Bronco 2-dr||Bronco 4-dr||Wrangler||Wrangler Unlimited|
|Approach (deg. )||43.2||43.2||44||43.9|
|Breakover (deg. )||29.0||26.3||27.8||22.6|
|Departure (deg. )||37.2||37||37||37|
|Manual Crawl Ratio (Base Bronco without 35’s.)||94.75:1||67.8:1||84.2:1||84.2:1|
|Auto. Crawl Ratio||67.8:1||67.8:1||77.2:1||77.2:1|
|Ground Clearance (in. )||11.6||11.5||10.8||10.8|
|Towing (lbs. )||3,500||3,500||2,000||3,500|
When it comes to engines the Wrangler has the options over the Bronco. Starting with it’s own 2.0 Turbocharged 4 cylinder, E-Torque option, 3.6 V6, and the torque topping 3.0 EcoDiesel compared to the 2.3 EcoBoost and 2.7 EcoBoost. What I really want to see is a dyno chart showing where that power is. The diesel is the king of low end torque and generally turbocharged motors don’t make boost at just off idle where you really want to use that crawl ratio.
What do you think of the new Bronco?
Will you be an early adopter or will you wait? Will you buy a Jeep Wrangler instead? Will you change your mind about the Bronco if Jeep releases a Wrangler with a V8?