TodayApril 15, 2022

2021 Ford Bronco all-New 4×4 Off-Road SUV

2021 Ford Bronco off-roading World Premiere

  • Three models all meant for off-roading
  • With a base MSRP of $29,995 the 2021 Bronco comes in a two- and four-door SUV configuration
  • The Bronco comes with a 7-speed manual transmission
  • Customizable including being able to remove doors, body panels, and the roof
  • G.O.A.T. Modes include Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery, Sand, Mud/Ruts, and Rock Crawl
2021 Ford Bronco all-New 4x4 Off-Road SUV interior
2021 Ford Bronco all-New 4x4 Off-Road SUV interior

Ford is introducing its 2021 Ford Bronco today, and I have friends that have been waiting for this vehicle to come to market. One friend is looking at a diesel Jeep offering; another is waiting to see what the Bronco offers.

Wait no more! Well past the hype of the OJ Simpson chase is a vehicle whose return has been anticipated for a decade. The love affair of the Bronco nameplate is historied from the classic nostalgic 1960s to 1970s body styling.

My friends who off-road tell me that they feel the Bronco is one with the universe. The Jeep was born out of a military function, the International Scout, a terminator type vehicle. Different people buy different vehicles for the way they look and the way they drive, but there is a distinctiveness to the Bronco buyer.

How does the 2021Ford Bronco Sport Outer Banks edition drive?

Keith Turner takes us for a virtual spin through the Sierra Nevada California back roads in the 2021Ford Bronco Sport Outer Banks edition.

The Bronco is effortless and functional. Compared to the Jeep and the Scout, the Bronco lends itself to the Land Rover poise, more urban sophisticated with a bit of a bad boy thrown in. The off-road assurance and price lend itself to be a competitor of the Jeep. There are more women off-roading in today’s world. Will they prefer the Jeep or the Bronco?

The Bronco is back in an attempt to capture the hearts of the pre-Bronco II days. Will the new Bronco be the thoroughbred that can capture the hearts of the urban and city dwellers? Or will it try to take on the ruggedness of the Jeep? The excitement is building, and if the youtube video is any indication, there were 1,263,155 views after 15 hours of the unveil and over 3,700 comments extolling the excitement. The consensus is that on paper and looking at pictures, the Defender and Wrangler have a new competitor. On paper. We will need to drive it first to see if it is a Bronco or a quarter horse.

2021 Ford Bronco all-New 4x4 Off-Road SUV manual
2021 Ford Bronco all-New 4x4 Off-Road SUV manual

Built Wild

The new moniker is Built Wild. Expect all the commercials and marketing to be around the built wild image.

“We created the Bronco family to elevate every aspect of off-road adventure and equipped them with class-leading chassis hardware and exclusive technologies to raise the bar in the rugged 4x4 segment and take people further into the wild,” said Jim Farley, Ford chief operating officer. “They’re built with the toughness of an F-Series truck and performance spirit of Mustang – and come wrapped in one of the most stunning and functional off-road designs that’s true to the original Bronco design DNA.”

The all-new Bronco re-enters the scene with an all-4x4 lineup with production beginning in early 2021 and first models arriving in Ford dealerships next spring. Bronco owners can choose from an extensive lineup of more than 200 factory-backed accessories for maximum personalization, enabling dealers to provide outfitting-on-demand for each customer’s individual adventure needs.

Built Wild 4x4 confidence

Like the first-generation Bronco, nicknamed G.O.A.T., the mission of the all-new 2021 Bronco is to deliver maximum 4x4 go-anywhere, anytime capability and confidence. Bronco incorporates off-road mapping and drive technologies to give novice adventurers as much fun as hard-core off-road experts. This is great to hear as I would love to go off-roading but don’t know as much as my girlfriends about off-roading on the Rubicon, which is just miles away from my home.

“Bronco’s advanced four-wheel-drive technology is at the core of its off-road capabilities. At the heart of it all is Bronco’s exclusive Terrain Management System with G.O.A.T. Modes that is designed to help drivers better navigate any type of terrain,” said Mark Grueber, Bronco consumer marketing manager.

Up to seven driver-selectable modes are available, including Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery, and Sand, with Baja, Mud/Ruts, and Rock Crawl for off-road driving.

Two 4x4 systems are available on all Bronco models, a base setup, and advanced 4x4. The base system utilizes a two-speed electronic shift-on-the-fly transfer case. In contrast, the optional advanced system features a two-speed electromechanical transfer case that adds an auto mode for on-demand engagement to select between 2H and 4H.

Power distributes to a Dana 44 AdvanTEK solid rear axle and Dana AdvanTEK independent front differential unit – both with available Spicer Performa-TraK electronic locking differentials for improved traction over rough terrain.

Available segment-first

A Trail Toolbox gives Bronco owners a suite of exclusive technologies to elevate their off-road experience. This includes Trail Control – cruise control for low-speed trail driving. At the same time, Trail Turn Assist tightens off-road turning radiuses through torque vectoring, and the innovative Trail One-Pedal Drive acceleration/braking control makes for more precise and confident slow-mode rock crawling.

Segment-leading levels of off-road capability are possible thanks to Bronco’s available best-in-class 11.6-inch ground clearance, maximum 29-degree break-over angle, 37.2-degree departure angle. There is also the best-in-class water fording capability of up to 33.5 inches.

Exposed tow hooks further reinforce off-road capability in the front and rear and available heavy-duty modular steel bumpers with integrated Ford Performance accessory winch mount.

Bronco DNA – from nostalgia to today

Remember, I was talking about the classic styling of the ‘60-’70s Bronco? Well, thanks to Bronco’s legendary Baja racing DNA, each model brings forth a thrilling off-road experience and delivers it with modern, heritage-inspired style. It all began in a Ford design studio with a life-size digital scan of a first-generation model that served to influence the proportions and design of the all-new Bronco for maximum off-road capability and performance.

“Similar to the first-generation model, Bronco’s square proportions, short overhangs, and wide stance optimize for off-road adventure,” said Paul Wraith, Bronco chief designer. “The side profile features a flat, no-nonsense surface with clear-cut edges and robustly flared fenders. Large, open-wheel wells are a modular design with a quick-release attachment for simple customization.

The all-new Bronco architecture for two- and four-door models is based on a fully-boxed, high-strength steel chassis that delivers available best-in-class suspension travel. There is 17 percent more front and rear over the closest competitor.

To deliver thrilling high-speed off-roading and overall driving performance, every Bronco comes standard with an independent front suspension for improved control, confidence, and comfort. At the rear, a rugged solid-axle design featuring coil springs with five locating links delivers both strength and off-road control.

Segment-first 35-inch off-road tires direct from the factory are available on every trim level of two- and four-door Bronco. In contrast, available are segment-first bead-lock-capable wheels that allow customers to elevate off-road capability, regardless of price point.

“Race-bred EcoBoost engines and the segment-first 7-speed manual and available 10-speed automatic transmissions give the all-new Bronco the optimal combination of power, torque, and gear ranges to perform in a wide variety of terrains and uses,” said Pericak.

Best-in-class projected gasoline-powered horsepower and torque are available with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine, which is projected to produce 310 horsepower and 400 lb-ft. of torque, while the 2.3-liter EcoBoost is targeted to deliver best-in-class four-cylinder torque of 310 lb.-ft. with an expected 270 horsepower.

2021 Ford Bronco all-New 4x4 Off-Road SUV
2021 Ford Bronco all-New 4x4 Off-Road SUV

For maximum low-speed rock-climbing capability, a segment-first 7-speed (6+1) manual transmission paired with the available advanced 4x4 system with automatic on-demand engagement generates a class-leading available crawler-gear ratio of 94.75:1. An available segment-first SelectShift® 10-speed automatic transmission makes for easier driving on- and off-road, while offering a maximum 67.8:1 crawl ratio with the available advanced 4x4 transfer case.


The Bronco two- and four-door models make the open-air experience quick, easy, and fun. Two-door models come with a standard three-section roof system, left and right front sections, and a rear section – molded-in color. There is also an available premium painted modular top with four parts that add a removable panel over the rear seats and cargo area.

Four-door models have four removable roof sections – left and right front panels, a full-width center panel, and a rear section. One person can remove roof panels on all models by unlocking the latches from the interior. First-row panels stow away onboard on two-door models.

All modular hardtops have rear quarter windows that are removable in three easy steps – snap, push and lift away in a fraction of the time it takes for competitors – without removing the roof panels.

By locating the sport bar behind the second row, both Bronco’s two- and four-door models offer the largest overall open-top view in its class to take in the sunshine or to gaze at the stars at night.

A soft cloth top, standard on four-door models, provides easy access to the open air and a unique tilt-up function for quick access to the rear cargo area. The four-door model can be optioned with both a soft or hardtop.

Every Bronco comes with class-exclusive frameless doors that make them easier to remove than what competitors offer. On four-door Bronco models, all four doors can be stored onboard with protective door bags. Trail sights on the front fenders also serve as tie-downs, reminiscent of the first-generation Bronco, have a 150-pound capacity for securing longer items like canoes.

High-tech interior designed for the outdoors

Inside, all Bronco models are purpose-built and ready for action. The instrument panel is inspired by the first-generation model, with gauges and controls visible and intuitive. Natural palettes and outdoor gear inspire colors and materials. With off-road functionality paramount, materials are sturdy and rugged.

A multifunction color LCD instrument panel is front and center with the transmission shifter/selector and G.O.A.T. Modes controller in the center console. Available grab handles are integrated into the modular instrument panel and center console, while available MOLLE hooks mount in the seatbacks.

Attachment points are built into the instrument panel to mount a bring-your-own-device rack, with 12-volt power connections to easily mount cameras, navigation units, phones, or other devices.

There is an available segment-exclusive 12-inch SYNC 4 system with over-the-air updates and seamless integration to the FordPass Performance app with off-road navigation Bronco class-exclusive feature that allows owners to plan, navigate and share their off-road adventures easily.

The SYNC system also displays the available 360-degree camera system with class-exclusive off-road spotter views to provide additional visibility in technical pursuits such as rock crawling.

Bronco’s advanced topographic trail maps and more than 1,000 curated trail maps are powered by class-exclusive trail content from NeoTreks’ AccuTerra Maps, Trails Offroad trail guides, and FunTreks trail guides.

“The trail mapping system available on Bronco is truly a game-changer in the off-road community,” said Grueber. “It works online or off on either of the navigation-capable 8- or 12-inch SYNC systems, allowing users to select one of the hundreds of available curated trail maps to map out and then track, capture and share their adventures with others.”

2021 Ford Bronco all-New 4x4 Off-Road SUV roof
2021 Ford Bronco all-New 4x4 Off-Road SUV roof

A modern high-strength steel roll cage with integrated side curtain airbags in the upper structure and seats helps protect passengers from side impacts and complements driver and front passenger airbags. Available Ford Co-Pilot360 driver-assist technologies plus standard AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control and Trailer Sway Control help instill driver confidence.

Equipment series redefines customization

Seven unique Bronco series are offered, with matched color and trim combinations. When combined with four content packages, numerous available options, 11 color choices, and more than 200 dealer-installable accessories, personalizing an all-new Bronco SUV has never been easier.

The models range from a base Bronco, a no-frills SUV for those who want to customize their own, Big Bend, Black Diamond and Outer Banks with a variety of options and colors, topping out with Wildtrak and Badlands for more extreme off-road adventuring. A limited-production First Edition will be offered at launch.

Reservations begin today

The fifth-generation all-new 2021 Bronco two-door and four-door models will be built at Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan.

MSRP for the base two-door Bronco is $29,995, including $1,495 destination and delivery. Reservations for Bronco two- and four-door models can be made for $100 at Click on “Reserve Now” and get the full pricing lineup. The prices below include the $1,495 destination and delivery charge.

2021 Ford Bronco models and pricing:

2021 Ford Bronco Base 2-Door $29,995
2021 Ford Bronco Big Bend 2-Door $34,880
2021 Ford Bronco Black Diamond 2-Door $36,545
2021 Ford Bronco Badlands 2-Door $43,590
2021 Ford Bronco Wildtrak 2-Door $50,370
2021 Ford Bronco First Edition 2-Door $60,800

2021 Ford Bronco 4-Door
2021 Ford Bronco Base 4-Door $34,695
2021 Ford Bronco Big Bend 4-Door $37,375
2021 Ford Bronco Black Diamond 4-Door $38,955
2021 Ford Bronco Badlands 4-Door $46,085
2021 Ford Bronco Wildtrak 4-Door $52,865
2021 Ford Bronco First Edition 4-Door $64,995

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

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