Off-road vehicles are more popular than ever, and the latest trailblazing, tough performing SUVs can endure more challenges. Thanks to superior engineering, recent releases from Jeep and Ford are hardy enough even for newcomers to try out all-terrain driving. However, you may be paying a premium to get the best and latest features from each vehicle. Take a look at the 2021 Ford Bronco vs 2021 Jeep Wrangler; these new SUVs have the potential to be pricey, but one may be worthier of your investment.
The new Bronco is a much-anticipated SUV, brought back since its discontinuance several decades ago. It’s certain to fill what’s been a hole in the Ford family: an SUV that’s about as tough as a Ford truck, about as spacious as the Explorer, and as capable off-road as the popular F-150 Raptor. However, we’re going to break this vehicle down and evaluate if it’s worth the money and the hype.
As for the 2021 Jeep Wrangler, this staple of the Jeep brand is a standout in a family full of rough-and-tumble vehicles. Does the classic Wrangler have enough new, exciting features to warrant its potentially high price tag depending on the trim you buy? From performance and technology to safety and price, we will decide which of these two off-road SUVs is a good investment.
Even if you have your eyes on an off-road vehicle, you still need good performance on the ho-hum asphalt streets. Unless you live in the woods, you need a way to get your car to the trailhead and back, after all. Previous editions of the Jeep Wrangler and Ford Bronco weren’t particularly recognized for their excellent drives. However, one is certain to outperform the other. All things being equal, both Jeep and Ford are separate companies taking a stab at new off-road SUVs.
The 2021 Ford Bronco has several available powertrains, the standard being a surprisingly potent EcoBoost inline-4. It’s capable of producing 300 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque for powerful on-road driving out of an economical, low-cost engine. In fact, this is the best 4-cylinder gas engine in its class, capable of far more than flimsy V-4s of the past.
Upgrade to the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 for even more power as you take on the streets: 325 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque. That torque rating is high enough to compete with some large pickup trucks, meaning your Bronco will deliver consistent, satisfying power to the wheels, even if you’re trailering or driving off-road. When paired to the 10-speed automatic transmission, your daily commute will feel smooth and accelerate with ease.
Meanwhile, the kmif cv has a surprisingly middling V-6, which delivers 285 horsepower despite having a large capacity of 3.6 liters. Other editions include a 4-cylinder hybrid, diesel V-6, and 6.4-liter V-8. Of the selection, the diesel seems the most balanced, with a fuel economy rating of up to 29 MPG on the highway. However, it does come at a premium. All Wrangler powertrains accelerate quickly, though, especially when connected to a smooth-feeling 8-speed automatic transmission.
Opt for the V-8 in the Rubicon 392 trim to get up to a thrilling 470 horsepower in this top-level Wrangler. Don’t get us wrong, those are some outrageous figures, enough to compete with many sports cars, but your full-throttle Wrangler is going to cost you luxury-level prices. Rates vary, but you could pay more than double the price of the base model for a little extra zoom.
This is what you paid for, so let’s see which one actually delivers on their promises. Several vehicles on the market claim to offer off-road capability when all they’re referring to are some nice tires and decent ground clearance.
The 2021 Ford Bronco hasn’t just been revived; it’s been reinvented for the 2020s. This model has innumerable off-road features, starting with a 94.8:1 crawl ratio. This means your Bronco can successfully take on large obstacles and sharp inclines with ease. The outstanding 4×4 is hooked up to an electromechanical transfer case, so you can adjust the drivetrain for various functions. Go off-road with power to all four wheels, switch to front-wheel drive for city driving, or tow with ease in the transfer case’s neutral position. Other exciting features include its massive water fording depth of up to 33.5 inches.
There are unlimited ways to modify, customize, and power up the 2021 Bronco, thanks to its ample amount of trims and specialty packages. Upgrade to the Sasquatch package – should be easy enough to remember – for specially tuned, High-Performance Off-Road Stability Suspension. It also includes 35-inch tires on uniquely designed 17-inch wheels, front and rear locking differentials that stabilize your drive, and much more. By popular demand, this package will also be available with a manual transmission by 2022. You can add this package to any new Bronco for a great price or get these features standard in the Wildtrak trim.
The 2021 Jeep Wrangler has the same classic, militaristic look as always. Only now, it’s enhanced with better tech, including an available rear-view camera and optional Rock-Track 4-wheel drive with superior traction in daring conditions. One of the best offerings in the Jeep is standard part-time 4-wheel drive, which means that you opt into high-performance 4-wheel when necessary, then switch back to 2-wheel to save fuel.
The Jeep Wrangler is famous for its removable doors and optional canvas roof, which are easy to modify to your liking. High-performance wheelbases, meanwhile, allow for precision steering that keeps you in control. Specially engineered suspension and axle articulation help balance your ride and keep all 4 wheels in contact with the ground, even if the ride on the new Wrangler feels unfortunately harsh.
Ultimately, both the new Wrangler and revived Bronco have so much to offer in the off-roading field that we couldn’t possibly list them all. If you’re looking to navigate through the embarrassment of choices, we’d suggest that you talk to a dealer about building your own SUV. They can walk you through the offerings that suit your off-road intentions, like camping, water fording, or rock crawling. Both the Ford and the Jeep are sure to satisfy.
If you’re car shopping on a budget, beware the hidden price hikes and fees in the new Jeep Wrangler. The basic version is so poorly equipped – it lacks air conditioning, power locks, automatic headlamps, or other basic conveniences – that it’s only usable off-road. While there are enhanced tech features to adore in the higher trim packages, including an upgraded infotainment screen, Jeep is stingy with its pricing. Sure, the top-tier trims offer outstanding selections of off-road equipment, but given its imported luxury prices, why would you put something so costly through that much abuse?
Overall, the 2021 Ford Bronco is the better value. Not only does its stripped-down, basic Sport version include more than the similar Wrangler, but its incredible variety of trims and equipment packages enable you to customize to your heart’s content without too much of an extra investment. It’s available as a spacious 4-door or compact and discounted 2-door model, each of which is roomy and comfortable to drive. As with the Wrangler, you can remove the doors and windows and feel the open breeze (only in Ford’s version, you get to keep your side mirrors). However, if you want a more luxurious, well-appointed interior, options abound for less money than similar versions of the Wrangler.
We can’t help but note that both the 2021 Jeep Wrangler and 2021 Ford Bronco are built to rule the off-road, but the Bronco manages to do just as much as the Wrangler for less. Anticipation has been high for the 2021 edition of the Bronco, and it definitely doesn’t disappoint. The Ford Bronco gets our recommendation.