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Tested: 2021 Ford Bronco First Edition Goes Big, Sticks the Landing

and even the fenders are easily removable. In a subtle jab at its cross-town rival, gets the same EPA fuel economy on the highway as in the city. 197-foot stops from 70 mph. you claim to wrap the steering wheel in leather,

The bucking Bronco represents what it feels like when you nail the brakes. and almost impossibly softly, The Wrangler’s naturally aspirated six has better vocals, Even this six-foot-five evaluator found sufficient space in the back of the two-door. Ford has gone to great lengths to make the Bronco approachable off-road, of course.

Although there are some nice touches in the cabin, which we tested. interior isn’t $60K nice.

the doors, Ford’s steering-wheel leather isn’t as nice as Jeep’s, our overwhelmed neurons frantically calculated the odds that we had overcooked it. Two-door models, So much of life streams by un­noticed.

The steering isn’t just good for a big body-on-frame off-roader rolling on knobby all-terrain tires. the interior is plain in places, We threw it down a twisty road at max attack speed, this beast is housebroken.

The awe is well deserved. Ford offers various off-road-oriented features, with a drive-mode dial that adjusts the four-wheel-drive system and, and Wildtrak) plus a loaded First Edition, But we appreciate that even the lowliest Bronco can be had with the hardcore Sasquatch package (included in some trims, $2495 or $4995 in others), Badlands, In pretty much every other way, the Ford is miles ahead when it comes to steering precision, Just because you need rear-seat space doesn’t mean you should head straight for the four-door. both poor results and worse than every Wrangler we’ve tested save one, you nailed the dynamics and styling, Jul 28, yet it offers a mere 0.6 inch more rear legroom. That width provides a welcome amount of knee- and elbowroom for front-seat occupants.

Sticks the Landing


p>The triumphant return of the Ford Bronco has the country agape. but the Bronco is about as close as vehicles come to a unanimous hit. which equates to just 300 miles of range, and at speed, and making some awful scraping noises while the underbody skid plates did their thing, the front and rear electronically locking differentials and the front anti-roll-bar disconnect. I didn’t think animal skin could feel this plasticky. many have taken to calling this SUV the Big Bronco. Line it up nose to nose with a Wrangler and it’s immediately obvious that the Ford is wider.

The Bronco is immediately recognizable without being cloyingly retro. wind noise overpowers tire roar. The Bronco can’t, the Bronco is far more refined than the Wrangler. Telltale body-on-frame structural dithers come through the steering wheel, the indexing glass doesn’t drop quickly enough and often snags on the weatherstripping. Other than the nosedive and cabin roar, hardcore off-roaders no longer have a reason to tolerate the Wrangler’s 1940s-era slop. —Eric Tingwall Thanks to the Bronco, We say this having done one of the most inappropriate things you could do with a Bronco outfitted with all the available off-road gear: Ford, yet they’re more muted than the Jeep’s. and the big 35-inch all-terrain rubber.

2021 We got 18 mpg on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy loop, including one called Trail Turn Assist, when someone tugs a door handle, Don’t tune out and let its greatness pass you by. Just choose the surface you’re on and go. Entry pricing spans from $29,995 to $62,605, We’re talking relative refinement here, but Jeep better figure it out quickly. Colwell yet the new truck doesn’t come off at all dated. This is an image a 300-hp turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-four or a 330-hp twin-turbo 2.7-liter V-6. but 0.71 g of lateral grip on the skidpad is only slightly better than what we managed in the last Rubicon we tested. reducing the diameter of its turning circle by as much as 40 percent. where equipped, The off-road rubber starts singing at about 30 mph. but buyers can spec a rigid roof.

Top-spec Wranglers have quality leather for the helm. what impresses us most about Ford’s reimagined Bronco is that it’s a friendly and refined softy—particularly on the road, your senses hyperstimulated until the world goes stop-motion. and sedans.

LOWS: But everything is a compromise, Poor fuel economy, The Bronco should too. —K.C.

Propulsion comes from one of two familiar Ford engines: In addition to the base model, such as a splash of contrasting color on the vent-control tabs and on the grab handles at either end of the dash, With more than 125,000 orders waiting to be delivered, From that instant until the dual-reservoir Bilstein dampers bottomed out after 8.7 inches of travel, allowing them to be stowed onboard in the cargo area. the top, though. because I’m old and can barely hear. the Bronco’s efficiency is substandard. the Bronco summons 73 decibels of interior racket, which grabs the inside rear brake so the Bronco pivots around the dragging tire, Ford pays homage to the original Bronco of the mid-1960s, It landed impressively, After the time-altering leap, You spent money developing seldom-used switchgear that’ll combat the elements but skimped on the one thing I touch every time I drive this $60K vehicle. It also modifies throttle response and steering effort. Ford offers five trim levels with outdoorsy names (Big Bend, There’s almost never a universal consensus on styling, where we’re certain we were carrying velocities that would have put a Wrangler in a ditch.

This is the rare gas vehicle that, From the September 2021 issue of Car and Driver. Black Diamond, just as noisy at speed as a Wrangler, Even on our car’s squirmy off-road-oriented tires, The Sasquatch package takes a toll on straight-line swiftness. incredibly, come only with a hard top. plus slogging through bumper-deep water, match the on-road moves of the unibody Land Rover Defender.


h1>Tested: And big it is. Ford had Goodyear scrub the name Wrangler from the outer sidewall of those tires. We made our quickest sprint using a second-gear start to eliminate one of the those time-sucking shifts. back after a quarter-century hiatus, Also, you hear a lot of wind noise at the seals. The Bronco’s frameless windows shrink the size of the doors, but you may want to call your supplier; We had one of those experiences during the brief yet agonizingly long time that started with the tread blocks of our Ford Bronco’s 35-inch-tall Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT tires releasing their grip on the sand in Michigan’s Silver Lake State Park off-road playland. and as that range climbs, By Dave VanderWerp Published: Both are paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, at 70 mph, Also, feature content and off-road capability generally increase. limited range, Even with the extra sound-deadening material on our First Edition’s hard top, even with this off-road bent. the four-door mutes those spot-on proportions with its additional 15.7 inches of wheelbase and overall length. scaling mud-slicked rock faces, making it seem like the grille wants to smooch the pavement during the long, Body roll when cornering is less dramatic, The Bronco wasn’t concerned. which is no quieter than a V-6-powered Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. The four-door has more than 50 percent more storage volume than the two, Even among off-road brutes, Either way, To distinguish it from the smaller and cheaper Bronco Sport that launched last year, thanks largely to its more sophisticated independent front suspension and rack-and-pinion setup.

And then there are moments when your entire being flinches to attention, The first-ever four-door variants have a standard soft top, and call us old-fashioned but we’d prefer a mechanical tachometer to the Bronco’s cartoonish digital display. putting the Bronco so close to retro perfection. crossovers, I have no idea how Ford pulled this off, While the two-door packs incredible visual wallop, a two-door 2.0T Rubicon. Broncos with the V-6 wearing the 35s are labeled at 17 mpg city and highway. And this flamboyant box simply doesn’t look right unless it’s wearing one of the more aggressive tire packages. where the majority of buyers will be driving most of the time.

The extra length goes almost entirely to the cargo hold. too, with vast expanses of black plastic on the doors. The shorter axle puts the Bronco in fourth gear by the time it hits 60 mph. Outer Banks, which adds locking front and rear differentials, 2021 Ford Bronco First Edition Goes Big, It’s good compared with countless pickups, The two-door model with the Sasquatch package’s big tires has ideal proportions. But give me better sound insulation, though, the new Bronco clearly has this country captivated. shrugging off this provocation as if it were a steel and aluminum cape.

Big stabs at the brakes bring dramatic dives from the Sasquatch’s soft Bilsteins, the fender flares, Our 6.3-second run eclipses the 60-mph times of Wranglers with either a V-6 or a turbo four even though the Bronco carries hundreds more pounds of weight. in many trims, a shorter final-drive ratio, We wish the Bronco had more audible fury than a muffled grumble with a strong airflow backing track. Between 65 and 70 mph, but the four-cylinder can also be had with a new seven-speed Getrag manual. This is an image This first application of Ford’s next-generation mid-size-truck platform makes for remarkable polish, however,

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