2021 Ford Bronco Review, Pricing, and Specs

2021 Ford Bronco Review highlights: 

  • 2021 Ford Bronco ($29,995 – $60,800)
  • 2022 Forbes Wheels of the Year
  • Pros: Responsive steering, enhanced off-roading tech, comfortable on and off the pavement 
  • Cons: Loud interior at highway speeds, weak fuel economy 
  • MotorBiscuit Expert Rating: 8.9/10. 
2021 Ford Bronco on a gravel road
2021 Ford Bronco | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

The Ford Bronco has returned from the grave and inspired us to share some horse knowledge. Bronco refers to a wild or half-tamed horse in the western United States. It’s an unbroken or imperfectly broken horse, meaning cowboys are attempting to tame it. 

A mustang refers to a free-roaming horse in the western U.S. They descended from horses brought to the Americas by the Spanish. Mustangs are sometimes referred to as wild horses, but because they were once-domesticated, they’re feral.

Now enough horsing around! The 2021 Ford Bronco is back to fight the Jeep Wrangler for the title off-roading king with a retro look that pays homage to the original design. It has enhanced on-road driving manners with advanced off-roading equipment to tackle the wild. 

The Bronco is easy to strip down with hard and soft tops and removable doors. The interior is durable with a simple design for optimal functionality. Plus, it’s easy to customize your Bronco to create a unique rig and can be enhanced with the optional Sasquatch package that includes better tires, upgraded suspension components, and more. 

MotorBiscuit gives the 2021 Ford Bronco an overall rating of 8.9 out of 10 

Our Ford Bronco review determines that the 2021 Ford Bronco is an incredibly capable off-roader that’s extremely easy to customize. We started planning to ad side steps and a light bar because the standard auxiliary switches make things pretty straightforward. 

However, there are a few drawbacks to consider. While the Bronco has excellent driving manners on the pavement, the interior gets pretty loud at highway speeds, and this beast isn’t exactly fuel-efficient. 

But overall, the Bronco is fun, engaging, and comfortable. Every aspect of its design, from multiple driving modes, available off-roading packages, and character, was well thought out to provide one of the best SUVs you can buy. 

What’s new for the 2022 Ford Bronco? 

The 2022 Ford Bronco is primarily a carryover model. You can now pair the manual transmission with the Sasquatch package. 

Aside from that, there haven’t been significant changes to the lineup, except for the edition of the Ford Bronco Raptor that’s designed for high-speed desert racing and rock climbing. 

The Ford Bronco Everglades Edition just made its debut. It’s designed for dominating muddy and swampy areas. It can ford water up to 36.4 inches and includes a snorkel for bringing in clean air. 

How does the Ford Bronco drive? 

The 2021 Ford Bronco comes with a standard 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine with 300 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. You can upgrade to the 2.7-liter V6 engine for 330 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque. We tested a Wildtrak Sasquatch model with the 2.7-liter engine. 

With the V6 engine, the Bronco can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 6.7 seconds. The acceleration is fast, smooth, and exciting. The 10-speed automatic transmission is quick and responsive. 

Even though the Bronco sits high on tires with a soft suspension, there isn’t noticeable nose dive if you have to hit the brakes hard. You can easily come to smooth and controlled stops with confidence. 

The Bronco provides responsive handling and precise steering. It’s relaxing on the freeway and exciting on curvy roads. The Bronco corners well and doesn’t have any noticeable body roll around curves. This is one well-planted beast. 

We found the Bronco to be surprisingly agile. The four-door model is pretty long, but it has a nimble turning radius. The 360-degree overhead camera and the parking sensors make it easy to navigate tight city areas and narrow trails. 

RELATED: 2021 Ford Bronco Sport Review, Pricing, and Specs

How comfortable is the Ford Bronco? 

The 2021 Ford Bronco is exceptionally comfortable. The massive front seats are well-padded and supportive for long drives. The back seat is quite cozy, but passengers may want a little more legroom. 

Because the Bronco has an independent front suspension, it provides a fairly smooth ride over the pavement. The stiff suspension may be a little bumpier compared to other SUVs, but not enough to negatively impact your experience. 

However, at highway speeds, the Bronco is quite loud. The larger tires, removable roof, and square shape make it more prone to wind and road noise at higher speeds. Also, with hard accelerations, you may hear an occasional engine roar. This is a positive feature because it sounds great. 

The dual-zone climate control provides plenty of fast-acting comfort. The Bronco can be heated or cooled instantly. The heated steering wheel is nice and toasty, and the heated seats can make you forget how cold it is outside. You can opt for ventilated seats for more relief from the heat during warmer months. 

Does the Bronco have a nice interior? 

Yes, the 2021 Ford Bronco has an upscale yet durable interior. The marine-grade vinyl upholstery and rubberized flooring make it easy to clean. We can confidently say that the interior stands up to red mud, snow, dirt, and rain without any issues. 

The dashboard consists of textured materials for a unique look and feel. You can upgrade to leather seats for a more premium feeling. Removing the roof panels and doors takes a matter of seconds if you want to connect with nature, and there’s plenty of space to store them in the rear. 

You’ll find that the Bronco feels massive thanks to its tall roof. Also, the interior has a convenient layout that places everything you need in reach. The extra length of the four-door model primarily contributes to the cargo area instead of additional passenger space. 

But the Bronco is tall. Depending on your height, climbing in or dropping down can be a hassle. Plus, the high liftover height might make loading heavier items a hassle. We recommend adding running boards or steps. Also, the grab handles can be challenging to reach. 

How is the Ford Bronco’s tech? 

The 2021 Ford Bronco comes with a standard 8.0-inch infotainment display. You can upgrade to the 12.0-inch unit. The latest Ford Sync 4 software powers it. The graphics are clear, and the software is fast. Accessing different menus and settings is pretty straightforward. 

Modern infotainment features include wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Connecting your phone is simple, and the setup allows for over-the-air updates and cloud connectivity. You can opt for the wireless phone charger, built-in navigation, and the Bang & Olufsen audio system. It has an excellent sound quality that’s crisp and immersive, but you may have to turn it up to cover wind noise. 

The 6.5-inch digital gauge cluster can be customized to display crucial information, such as your pitch and roll while off-roading. The front-facing camera displays what’s ahead on the trails, and the Trail Turn Assist helps you pivot around obstacles without having to make a three-point turn. 

Does the 2021 Bronco have enough storage? 

The 2021 Ford Bronco has plenty of storage, but it can only tow up to 3,500 lbs like its main rival, the Jeep Wrangler. The four-door model has a payload capacity of up to 1,493 lbs. 

With the two-door model, you get 22.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats with up to 38.3 cubes total. 

The four-door Bronco provides 52.27 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats with up to 82.97 cubes total. 

There is plenty of storage for smaller items. You’ll find cubbies built into the dashboard, center console, and more. However, the center console and glove box are a little tight. The netting on the door pockets can hold average-sized water bottles. 

Does the Bronco have a good fuel economy? 

The 2021 Ford Bronco has an OK fuel economy. It gets an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city and up to 22 mpg on the highway. During our week with the Wildtrak Sasquatch, we averaged 16.7 mpg. But it sits on 37-inch tires instead of the standard 35-inch set.

How safe is the 2021 Ford Bronco? 

The 2021 Ford Bronco has pretty good safety ratings from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) and hasn’t been tested yet by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA). 

In most crash test categories, the Bronco scored a ‘Good’ rating, which is the highest rating. The head restraints and seats received an Acceptable score. The Bronco earned a Marginal rating for its ability to protect the lower leg and foot in the small front overlap test. 

Not many safety features come standard, but you can opt for: 

  • Automatic high beams
  • Forward Collison Warning 
  • Automated emergency braking
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Lane-keeping assist 

Is the new Ford Bronco reliable? 

The 2021 Ford Bronco hasn’t been ranked for reliability yet. Based on Ford’s brand history, new model/redesign introduction history, and similar models, Consumer Reports expects the Bronco to be less reliable than other new vehicles.  

The annual Ford Bronco repair cost is about $502. Repair and maintenance costs may vary based on age, mileage, location, and shop. The average annual repair cost for SUVs is about $573. 

Which Ford Bronco trim is best? 

There are seven 2021 Ford Bronco trims to consider: 

Each Bronco model comes with hill-start assist, hill descent control, automatic emergency braking, trailer sway damping, and trail turn assist. 

Ford Bronco Base Model ($29,995) 

The entry-level Bronco starts off with the standard 2.3-liter engine, 16-inch steel wheels, tow hooks, LED lights, cloth upholstery, manually adjustable seats, power windows, 8-inch infotainment system, digital gauge cluster display, and the basic terrain management system. 

Big Bend ($34,480) 

Upgrading to the Big Bend trim adds LED foglights, a unique grille, tinted rear windows, 17-inch alloy wheels with 32-inch all-terrain tires, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob, a console-mounted grab handle for the passenger side, and an upgraded terrain management system. 

Black Diamond ($37,545)

The Black Diamond Bronco takes off-roading capability to the next level with heavy-duty front and rear bumpers, skid plates, a black grille, rack rails, 17-inch black-painted steel wheels, prewired auxiliary switches for custom equipment, vinyl upholstery, rubber flooring, and a seven-mode terrain management system. 

2021 Ford Bronco models
2021 Ford Bronco models | Ford

Outer Banks ($40,450) 

The Ford Bronco Out Banks increases creature comforts with the addition of luxury comfort such as dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, remote start, keyless entry, ambient light, rear parking sensors, etc. 

It also has body color-painted door handles, fender flares, mirrors, 18-inch aluminum wheels with all-terrain tires, sidestep rails, and upgraded LED lights. 

Badlands ($43,590)

The Badlands Bronco builds upon the Black Diamond by adding upgraded LED lights, the unique Badlands suspension, a front stabilizer bar disconnect, and 33-inch all-terrain tires. 

Wildtrak ($50,370)

The Ford Bronco Wildtrek is the comfortable desert running trim that builds upon the Outer Banks model with the turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 engine, unique graphics, prewired auxiliary switches, seven-mode terrain management system, and the Sasquatch package. 

With the Sasquatch package, you gain 17-inch Beadlock capable wheels wrapped in 35-inch mud-terrain tires, a shorter final drive ratio with electronically locking front and rear axles, a lifted suspension, and modified fender flares. 

First Edition ($60,800) 

The 2021 Ford Bronco First Edition only had 7,000 units built, and it is sold out. It provides extra luxury comfort such as adaptive cruise control, a 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, a unique leather interior, a heated steering wheel, a wireless phone charging pad, and the Sasquatch package. These features are included with the optional Lux package. 

We tested the 2021 Ford Bronco Wildtrak and find that it’s the best trim because it includes the best of each world. The Wildtrack has more luxurious comfort, the beefier engine, and the off-road chops to back up its name. 

Hopefully, we will be able to get behind the wheel of the 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor or Ford Bronco Everglades soon to see how the unique off-roading upgrades compare.

RELATED: Winter Is No Match for the 2021 Ford Bronco Wildtrak