The Ford Bronco and the Jeep Wrangler have been tough competitors for a very long time. They share the same off-road vehicle category and they attract pretty much the same crowd. Given that the similarity of interest of these 2 vehicles' buyer base, it's tempting to think that they are basically one and the same, the only difference being the brand or logo of the specific vehicle you're thinking of buying.
Well, these differences go beyond the superficial. The Ford Bronco is built in Michigan while the Jeep Wrangler is made in the great state of Ohio. It's very easy to mention both in the same breath because they're almost always being compared. This is due to the fact that both have a lot of bragging rights when it comes to off-roading performance.
But if you're looking for a basic overview of these 2 off-roading brands offerings, here is just a quick summary of what they bring to the table. You can compare these factors together to highlight each model's strength and possible areas for improvement.
At the end of the day, you're going to have to square these features with what you're looking for in an off-road vehicle. Different people have different needs. It also depends on just how active of an off-roader you are.
The 2021 Ford Bronco
The Ford Bronco has a powerful turbocharged inline for cylinder projected 2.3-liter engine. This engine cranks out 270 horsepower and it also has an optional twin-turbo version. This 2.7 liter V6 option can crank out 310 horsepower.
When it comes to the transmission system, the Ford Bronco comes with a 7-speed manual transmission. A lot of off-roaders prefer more manual transmission options so they can get a real feel for the road. The fewer speeds, the more constrained they feel.
This also goes a long way in terms of driving psychology because as conditions change on the road as you make your way from point A to point B, you want to feel that you have as many manual speed options at your disposal.
The 2.7-liter engine version has a 10-speed automatic transmission system.
In terms of drivetrain, the Bronco uses data supplied units in the front and rear and has 4 final drive ratios. The manual transmission versions of this vehicle get a ratio of 4.46:1 and the automatic transmission version has 2 ratios available: 3:73.1 and 4.27:1 gears.
In terms of suspension, the Ford Bronco suspension assembly is located in its back in this rear area along the trailing arms and pan hard rod. When you look underneath the Bronco, this is very hard to miss.
It also uses a coil cover damper configuration with a front anti-roll bar disconnect. It also uses a hydraulic controlled bar.
Ford Bronco is available in 3 different wheel sizes and offers 5 tire models you can choose from. These tires come from different manufactures. So if you have a preference for a certain tire manufacturer that's historically been a Ford supplier, you may be in luck.
As for the exterior dimensions of the Bronco, the wheelbase is measured at 100.4 inches for the 2 door model and 116.1 inches for the 4 door model. When compared to the Jeep, the Bronco looks taller and longer.
For towing, the Bronco is good for up to 3,500 pounds. While prices are quite dynamic, the 2 door Bronco starts at $29,995, and the 4 door unit starts off at $34,695. Just how upgradeable or optimizable is the Ford Bronco? Let's put it this way. The typical upgrade package for the 2021 Ford Bronco has over 200 option items. That's a lot of customization.
Built in Ohio, the Jeep Wrangler also boasts of a turbocharged engine. Either an inline 4 cylinder model or a V6 engine on standard models. The base engine is a 3.6 liter V6 set up with up to 285 horsepower and a 260-pound foot torque output.
The optional engine is a turbo 2.0-liter inline engine 4 cylinder engine with 295 pounds per square foot of torque or turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel engine capable of outputting 260 horsepower. This translates to 442 pounds per foot torque.
When it comes to its transmission system, the jeep has an 8-speed transmission for its base engine. The drivetrain of the Jeep Wrangler is the same as the Ford Bronco and uses dana-supplied units both in the front and the rear.
It comes in a 3.34:1 ratio for the standard version while the Supreme Wrangler has a 4:10.1 ratio and its diesel models clock in at a 3.73:1 ratio. The Jeep Wrangler's suspension system is placed in the live axles in the rear assembly. This unit uses a separate coil spring and damper configuration.
The Jeep Wrangler features an electronic actuator. For its tires and wheels, the Jeep Wrangler has 5 different tire options from different tire manufacturers just like the Ford Bronco. If you have a preferred tire maker, chances are you can get a nice configuration for your Jeep Wrangler.
In terms of dimensions, the Wrangler has 118.4 inches for its wheelbase, which is longer than the Bronco. It also has a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. Not too shabby.
When it comes to pricing, the Jeep Wrangler compares favorably to the Bronco because the Jeep Wrangler's 2 door base model is slightly cheaper coming in at $28,295. If you're looking for the 4 door model, it is still more affordable than the Ford Bronco because the Wrangler 4 door will only set you back $31,795.
Of course, just like the Ford Bronco, the Wrangler also has its own list of options that you can use to customize the specific vehicle you buy from the dealer.
The final word on Ford Bronco vs Jeep Wrangler
All told, the Jeep Wrangler and the Ford Bronco offer off-roaders good value for their hard-earned dollars. They just need to compare the level of customization as well as the base configuration that you have in mind and line this up with the typical off-road plans that you may have for your new vehicle.
Once you get all that information lined up, choose accordingly.