SUVs are ideal for traveling, backroad driving, poor weather conditions, and even daily commutes. However, some SUVs perform much better than others. These high-performing models are designed to handle rough terrain, and they can go places that most vehicles can’t. They’re also widely customizable, even offering removable doors, tops, and windshields. You may think we’re talking about the Jeep Wrangler, but there’s a new off-roading SUV on the market that strikes competition with the classic Wrangler model. Today, we’re telling you about one of the best new off-roading SUVs out there, the 2021 Ford Bronco.
While this is a new model, it has deep roots. The Ford Bronco goes back to 1965 when it was named the first sport utility vehicle, commonly known as “SUV,” ever. Even from its early beginning, the Bronco bears a striking resemblance to the Jeep Wrangler, and there’s a reason for that. It’s because Ford actually helped develop the first Wranglers. After seeing how successful the Wrangler could be, Ford wanted to build a similar vehicle with a sportier appeal. So, Ford then developed the MUTT, which eventually led to them developing the Bronco. Now, after years of Hiatus, the Bronco is back and better than ever. We’re excited to show you exactly why.
The Bronco comes in seven different trims. However, the First Edition trim is already sold out, so we’re only looking at the main six trims here. Each of the trims is designed to cover a different aspect of off-roading and adventure. So, choose which model you want wisely.
First, we’ve got the Base model, aka "The Essential Bronco." This is the lowest tier 2021 Ford Bronco available. It comes with a standard 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, a 7-speed manual transmission with crawler gear or 10-speed automatic transmission, and of course, the Bronco’s unique terrain management system. This model includes 5 of the 7 available G.O.A.T modes, which include Sand, Slippery, Sport, Eco, and Normal.
The standard Base Bronco also comes with a 4x4 part-time selectable engagement. If you want to step up the game, you can swap out the 2.3-liter engine with a 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine and go up to a 10-speed transmission. Similarly, you can upgrade to an advanced 4x4 system with automatic on-demand engagement. Instead of manually engaging from two-wheel drive to four-wheel drive yourself, the on-demand engagement system will automatically switch for you. So, if you still like the aesthetic appeal of the Base trim but you’d like better performance, there’s always an option to upgrade it.
Now, let’s take a look at the Big Bend trim, which is advertised as the model for "mainstream off-roading." This model includes all the same stuff as the Base trim, except it offers 6 G.O.A.T modes and the same add-on options as the Bronco Base. The Black Diamond, good for "adventure off-roading," includes all this, plus 7 G.O.A.T modes. Moving up, we’ve got the Outer Banks model, which actually includes only 6 G.O.A.T modes. This model is designed for "off-roading in style," with more tech upgrades and desirable options.
The Badlands is your "extreme off-roading" model that adds its own suspension, including a front stabilizer bar disconnect, allowing you to remove the sway bar and better tackle rough terrain. This is something you’ll want to remove with driving over higher rocks and logs but keep it on at all other times since it helps prevent rollovers. Finally, the Wildtrak model is for thrills with a standard 2.7-liter engine with 10-speed automatic transmission. It comes with 7 G.O.A.T modes, including Baja, meaning it’s best for high-speed off-roading.
Overall, every 2021 Ford Bronco model performs excellent off-road. However, some models are more powerful than others. If you want the full off-roading experience, going with a higher trim is ideal. But if you’re more into mild off-road adventures, stick with the lower trims to save some cash.
Technology is helpful to most drivers, while others feel that the less tech there is, the better. If you’re one of those who prefer fewer electronics in your vehicle, the Base is the trim for you. It comes with remote keyless access and push-button start, an 8-inch color LCD instrument panel, USB charging ports and 12-volt ports, power windows, a SNYC 4 Infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and options for 911 Assist and FordPass Connect. It also has SiriusXM with 360L, which includes pre-recorded content streaming.
The Base Bronco definitely comes with all the essentials, but it doesn’t add anything that will wow more tech-savvy drivers. The Big Bend model comes with the same tech features, but its SYNC 4 includes optional voice recognition and a voice-activated navigation system with pinch-zoom. Otherwise, its tech options are similar to the Base trim. The same goes for the Black Diamond Bronco.
However, as you go higher, each trim does include more charging ports. The Outer Banks trim is designed for tech-savvy drivers that love to travel with style inside and out. It includes all the aforementioned tech features, with an additional wireless charging pad and a B&O 10-speaker sound system and subwoofer. From here up, the Badlands and Wildtrak trims include all the same tech option availabilities, following in the Outer Banks trim’s tracks. There isn’t a Bronco option that offers zero tech features. That said, the lower-tier trims are definitely more suitable for those who prefer just the basics.
There are many available safety features on the 2021 Ford Bronco. Let’s review what you can expect to see on the lower trims: Base, Big Bend, and Black Diamond. As part of their Personal Safety System, these models include several airbags, including first-row driver and passenger dual front and seat side airbags. It also includes a safety canopy airbag and a side-curtain with a rollover sensor on all rows. The system also includes a spare tire with a matching wheel, lower anchors, and tether anchors for children passengers, a tire pressure monitoring system, and a seatbelt alarm. These trims also include a perimeter alarm and LED headlamps, with an optional keyless entry keypad.
The Ford Co-Pilot360 driver-assist features include trailer sway control, auto high-beam headlamps, and AdvanceTrac with roll stability control. This traction control system paired with roll stability control helps prevent rollover accidents. All in all, the 2021 Base, Big Bend, and Black Diamond Ford Broncos are well-equipped with safety, especially for their price. The Badlands and the Wildtrak include the same safety features, with an additional 360-degree camera option.
The driver assist features vary according to trim. The Base comes with post-impact braking, a rearview camera, trail control, trail turn assist, trail one-pedal driving, and pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking. The Big Bend and the Black Diamond trims include all of this, with several more features, including a lane-keeping system that can redirect drivers if they unintentionally drift into another lane. The blind spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert monitors the Bronco’s blind spots and alerts drivers when a vehicle is approaching. A reverse sensing system is also included.
The Outer Banks model comes with all this, plus adaptive cruise control, which is cruise control that adjusts based on traffic flow, and a forward sensing system that can detect objects in front of the vehicle and send alerts to the driver if they get too close to an object. The top-tier Badlands and Wildtrak trims include a variation of all these features. If you are going to be leaving the highways for the thrill of adventure off-road, then you are going to need some extra safety features, and the 2021 Ford Bronco has you covered.