Ford brings back the Bronco 4x4 with modern looks, more powerful engine

Dave Kunz Image
Thursday, August 5, 2021
Ford brings back the Bronco 4x4 with modern looks, modern engines
It was rumored for years, then delayed for months, but it's finally here: The revival of the Ford Bronco.

It was rumored for years, then delayed for months, but it's finally here. The revival of the Ford Bronco.

There may be a little confusion, because late last year Ford brought out the Bronco Sport, a smaller crossover-style SUV, as part of an overall Bronco family.

But this newest one is the big boy, designed to do battle with the Jeep Wrangler for sales in the lucrative off-road market. A modern take on the original Bronco that came out in the 1960s, up to date for the 2020s and beyond.

Base price for the two-door version is $28,500 before destination and options. The four-door version starts at around $33,000.

Ford Bronco returns for 2021, starting with the compact Bronco Sport

After being off the market for the past 25 years, the Bronco is coming back, initially with the smaller Bronco Sport model.

So now that it's here, people seem to have a lot of questions.

1. Is it a real 4x4?

You bet. It's got a truck-type frame, a transfer case with low range, and even optional locking differentials. Again, Jeep's Wrangler is the obvious target.

2. Is it available with a V8 engine?

No, just a turbocharged four cylinder with 270 horsepower, or a twin-turbo V6 with 310 horsepower. A V8 might fit in the engine bay, but the more powerful current engine, the 2.7 EcoBoost, produces more horsepower and torque than any V8 Ford ever put into a Bronco previously.

3. Is the hardtop removable?"

Definitely. Part of the plan from the get-go. The doors can be removed too, and in the four-door version, you can even stow the doors in the back, behind the rear seat

The two-door looks a little sportier, and marks a return of a choice in two-door SUVs, something that's been gone from the market for a while.

And along those lines, Land Rover is back in the two-door SUV game as well, with the Defender 90, a shorter version of the four-door Defender 110.

One small problem here is that access to the rear seat isn't great. However, Land Rover lets you choose a three-across front seat, perhaps making the back seat less of a necessity. The Defender 90 has a base price of $46,100 before destination and options.

One thing's for sure, Ford's new Bronco is arguably the "it" vehicle of 2021. It has attributes in spades, and an intangible coolness that many people seem to gravitate to as soon as they see it.

But if you're suddenly smitten with it, you might be waiting a while to get one. Ford had tens of thousands of pre-orders, then production was delayed by several months. If you're not already on one of those order lists, you might just have to bide your time.