Although my normal blog is about the Veteran community, I love cars! I’m guessing most of my readers also love them, too.
The original 1965 Bronco was the first vehicle called out as a “Sport Utility Vehicle” even though they did not invent the first SUV. Ford witnessed the success of the Jeep CJ and wanted to compete. I’m not sure what took Ford so long to build the 2021 Bronco, but they are ready to compete with the Jeep again. This time they exceeded all expectations.
The hype around the new Ford Bronco had me worried. They had a retro Bronco concept in 2004 and the excitement grew but then nothing! Then in 2017 they finally announced they would produce a new Bronco. Of course, we all wondered when it would be real and what the final version would look like. Now we know and after a ton of delays, the first ones have been delivered. I ordered my Bronco almost a year ago and was lucky enough to receive it a few weeks ago. Below are some observations.
Styling - Ford did an amazing job with the design. Not only does this Bronco pay tribute to the original but it’s very functional. The first thing most people do when they purchase a Jeep is replacing parts to make it unique. Ford made it easy to remove the whole outer skin of the SUV and replace parts quickly. Not only does Ford offer an impressive line of accessories, but they have also made it easy for after-market companies to flood the market with cool Bronco upgrades.
Handling - I have owned Jeeps in the past and the Bronco flat out is just a better product. In all fairness, I haven’t driven a Jeep since 2017 but I’m sure they handle the same now as then. The Bronco is very capable off-road but can easily be a daily driver. The V-6 twin-turbo 2.7 has 330hp so you have all the power you need. The precision of the steering is immediately noticeable. The independent front suspension along with the rack-and-pinion steering make this a great daily driver. I plan on using the 4-door Black Diamond for my daily driver and a 2 door Outer Banks (when it finally arrives sometime in 2023 or beyond) for off-road adventures.
Interior - Another home run. I chose the mid-grade Bronco. Instead of leather, I have marine-grade vinyl seats. Besides looking great, they are as functional as the rest of the Bronco. The interior is designed so you can grab your water hose and start spraying without fear of damage. The floor has drain plugs and the electronics are safe. I will say the vinyl does get hot quicker than cloth and leather so be careful in your shorts because it is HOT in Alabama, where I live. I’ve already experienced the unpleasant heat a couple of times.
Off Road - I was able to attend the Bronco Off-Rodeo in Texas. It was a great experience. I was also lucky enough to have a trail guide who served in the Marine Corps for 10 years. Working with Veterans is always a bonus. This 2-day event takes you from basic safety and off-roading and quickly has you rock crawling. Every single member of my group was surprised by the performance of the Bronco. No way would I have attempted some of the obstacles in a stock Jeep. At the conclusion of the event, you also get the opportunity to have a professional take you on a “hot lap”. They put the Bronco in 4 high, push the gas, and you are immediately above 50mph on a small dirt track and even a banked turn. FUN!
Personally, my favorite off-road feature is the quick stabilizer bar disconnect. With a push of a button, the stabilizer bar disconnects even when you already have one of your front tires off the ground. Unless you’re doing some serious rock crawling you may not need it but if you are then I highly recommend it.
The Soft Top - My last Jeep had a hardtop and although it looked great, it was heavy and just plain hard to take on and off. I opted for the soft top for convenience. I knew I would have some road noise but wanted to be able to quickly have the top off or back. We live about 8 miles from the beach, and we want the doors off and top-down for most of the year. The top is very easy to take off and on. I will say that you need to be careful because you can easily scratch your roll bar. There have also been complaints about it rubbing the paint, but I haven’t had this happen yet.
On a personal note: While riding on the Talladega Nation Forest 600-1 trail with the top off, a spider fell in my wife’s lap. I can personally tell you that the doors open quickly and you can hear screaming over the stereo.
The Bad - The stereo quality isn't good but this is a known Ford problem so I'm not surprised. The back seats are uncomfortable. They sit almost straight up. If you are taking a long road trip with family, be prepared for some complaining from the back and your stereo won't drown it out.
Overall - Well I think you already know the Bronco is a great SUV. The overall value far exceeds any SUV on the market. With the demand so high, I’m not sure how Ford keeps the prices they currently have so if you don’t have one already on order my guess is you’ll end up paying a lot more soon.
Although my normal blog is about the Veteran community, I love cars and I’m guessing most of my readers also love them.
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