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The Ford Bronco and Jeep Wrangler have been sparring over who gets to be off-road king-of-the-hill ever since Ford brought back its heritage SUV nameplate a couple of years ago. While the two are evenly matched, the Bronco has unseated its rival in one crucial category: resale value. 

With the Wrangler now trailing behind, the Ford Bronco’s resale value has climbed the charts at Kelley Blue Book. 

Wrangler cracks the top 10, but Bronco is still ahead

Kelley Blue Book (KBB) has released its projected top resale value models for 2023. The 2023 Wrangler ranks below the 2023 Bronco, according to the report. 

That’s not to say the 2023 Wrangler is a failure — far from it. Kelley Blue Book estimates that the Wrangler will bring back 61 percent of its value to owners, placing it in the top 10 of new 2023 models. 

Ranking in the top 10 for projected resale value shows how much value the nameplate carries. The off-roader is a perennial resale value juggernaut, commanding impressive prices on the used market. That’s precisely why some may find its position behind the Bronco surprising.

Bronco Ranks Number 4 for Resale Value Among all Models

A blue two-door Ford Bronco on display at an auto show.
Ford Bronco | Bloomberg, Getty Images

KBB’s projected 2023 Ford Bronco resale value is a hefty 65.4 percent. That number places the Bronco behind only the Tesla Model X, Toyota Tacoma, and Toyota Tundra. Count it up, and that’s rank number four out of all new 2023 models — not just SUVs. 

KBB’s Ford Bronco resale value outranks more off-road rivals than just the Wrangler. The 2023 Toyota 4Runner (another resale titan and stiff all-terrain competitor) slots in two places lower than the Ford. And Subaru’s plucky 2023 Crosstrek ties the Jeep Wrangler with a 61-percent estimated MSRP retention.

Why are Ford Broncos selling for so much?

Red Ford Bronco rolls down an assembly line ahead of a blue Ford Ranger.
2023 Ford Bronco | Bill Pugliano, Getty Images

Check the used market, and you’ll find that pre-owned Broncos are broadly supporting Kelley Blue Book’s resale value claim. Drivers demand Broncos, and prices reflect that.  

The industry’s off-roading trend surely has a part to play. The Bronco boasts a sterling CV for all-terrain activities: body-on-frame, high ground clearance, impressive approach-and-departure angles, locking differentials, standard four-wheel drive, and more. Ford designed it specifically for off-road use, and there are enough varying packages to satisfy a range of performance preferences. It plays directly into today’s popularity of off-roading.

Nostalgia is a heck of a value driver, too. Ford rolled out the first Bronco in the 60s, and until 2021 drivers had not seen a new one since the mid-90s. After nearly three decades, reviving the nameplate proved to be a strong strategy for Ford. The Bronco’s vintage appeal slides it neatly into the view of lifestyle shoppers.  

Finally, there simply are not enough Broncos out there to satiate the market. Over the last three years, supply chain crunches have limited automakers’ production capacity, and Ford hasn’t been immune. Now, it’s a matter of supply and demand. People want Ford Broncos. There are only so many on the market. So, used prices stay up. Ford has even offered to pay Bronco reservation holders to buy other models.

There’s no perfect crystal ball to predict a vehicle’s resale value. But considering the circumstances, it seems Kelley Blue Book’s projections for the 2023 Ford Bronco will likely hold true.