Can the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX Out-GOAT the 2021 Ford Bronco?

The much-awaited release of the 2021 Ford Bronco approaches. Yes, we’ve seen the debut. We’ve pre-ordered the Bronco and we can’t wait to get behind the wheel and head out into the horizon. But does the newly unveiled Ram 1500 TRX Baja-inspired truck threaten the Bronco way of life? If the TRX dominates the Bronco GOAT modes off-road, we may find ourselves trading in our Broncos for a Ram TRX off-road truck.

The 2021 Ford Bronco two door model, which is set to compete against the Jeep Wrangler
The 2021 Ford Bronco | Ford Motor Company

Off-road warriors: Bronco vs. TRX

We know that the Bronco is designed from the ground up and inside-out for off-road adventure. The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX also claims off-road domination. However, there are some areas in which these two off-road warriors are drastically different.

First, we need to get it right out of the way one of the most defining differences between these two off-road beasts. The 2021 Ford Bronco comes with a manual transmission. For the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX, a manual transmission isn’t an option. For off-roading, manual shifting isn’t an absolute necessity. However, there are many off-road driving enthusiasts that would argue it’s a big deal.

The Ram TRX does, in fact, offer several drive modes. But does the Bronco’s GOAT mode give the off-road SUV an edge? It’s hard to say without a visceral comparison on the trail, but we can still compare some numbers and speculate. Which, while not nearly as fun, can still do much to inform your next off-road vehicle purchase.

Unparalleled power

The Ford Bronco has the manual transmission and its unique and off-road specific GOAT mode. However, the all-new 2021 Ram 1500 TRX harbors a Hellcat V8 engine under the hood. The Bronco doesn’t come close to the level of engine performance that a 702 horsepower V8 provides. But it’s not really meant to.

The 2021 Ford Bronco is equipped to run and romp in the desert or crawl over rocks like a mountain goat. The TRX is a big bad halo truck designed to challenge the likes of the desert-running F-150 Raptor. They are, in all reality, completely different vehicles. They can both off-road with the best of them.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX front view
2021 Ram 1500 TRX Launch Edition | Ram

The 2021 Ford Bronco GOAT modes

According to Top Speed, the Bronco has eight GOAT modes when fully equipped. There is a Normal mode, Eco, Sport, and Slippery modes for day to day driving needs. Then there are the Sand, Baja, Mud/Ruts, and Rock Crawl modes for off-road fun. The Rock Crawl mode is great for beginners looking to get into more extreme off-roading.

The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX drive modes

The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX has, according to Car and Driver, “Normal mode for on-road driving, it has Wet/Snow, Off-Road, and Baja settings.” There is also the cool feature of Launch Control that adds to the paved driving experience. It also has a mode called Rock Crawl for enhanced intense off-road moments.

press photo of a Ford Bronco four-door
2021 Ford Bronco | Ford Media

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Is the Ram TRX better than the Ford Bronco?

Overall, the two vehicles are so vastly different it’s actually difficult to say which one is better. Yes, they are both designated off-road trucks. But one the TRX is a grossly expensive beast of a pickup truck with a large and loud V8 presence. The 2021 Ford Bronco is definitely not low key, but it definitely has a far smaller footprint (and price tag) than the Ram 1500 TRX. For different people, these trucks will appeal in their own right for their own reasons.