Is the Ford Bronco a Reliable SUV for 2021?
Editor’s note: This article was updated on 6/14/2023.
The new 2021 Ford Bronco SUV sped onto the scene with some interesting new looks. While the Bronco might be famous for its unofficial and unsavory link to O.J. Simpson, can the new Ford’s reputation be based on reliability? Check out some reviews of the newest Ford sport utility vehicle to see how it performed.
The Ford Bronco has some open recalls already
While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did not give a full safety rating, it shows three open recalls already. These are NHTSA recalls from January and February of 2021, which does not bode well for the rest of the year.
The recall includes the rear suspension, the front suspension (control arm), and the powertrain/driveshaft. For the rear suspension, there could be missing or loose bolts from the subframe. According to the second recall, technicians might have installed an incorrect control arm. This could impact the vehicle’s handling and increase the likelihood of a crash.
The final recall is about the driveshaft. The rear driveshaft could seize while driving, which could cause a loss of control or a crash. The dealership can fix this by increasing the lubricant level in the axle or replacing the whole axle. Three recalls seem high, but there is time for the Bronco to improve.
How much will the Ford Bronco cost?
Fortunately, there are many models for the 2021 Bronco. These models are the First Edition, Wildtrak, Badlands, Outerbanks, Black Diamond, Big Bend, and Base. So if the Bronco Sport doesn’t fit your needs, one of the other options will.
The MSRP of $28,500 was a big selling point, and the 2021 Bronco First Edition sold out. The Big Bend noted for “mainstream off-roading” was $33,385. The Black Diamond is for “adventure off-roading” and costs $36,050. The Outer Banks model, apparently ready for “off-roading in style,” is available for $38,955.
A limited Badlands edition is slated for “extreme off-roading” for $42,095. And finally, the Wildtrak version. This one is meant for “high-speed off-roading” and was the highest at $46,980. These are offered with two- and four-doors, which slightly change the price for each model. Most models are available for reservation with a refundable $100 deposit.
Is this new off-road-ready SUV a reliable option?
As with any new model, there will be some revisions after the first year. Based on an initial review by U.S. News, the 2021 Bronco has good features for off-roading, a solid engine, good handling, and intuitive technological features.
U.S. News noted that the back seat felt cramped for passengers, and the starting price was a bit high. The Bronco might be harder to get your hands on now, which could work to your advantage. As the various models trickle throughout the year, more reviews will emerge.
As always, you are the best person to determine if a car or SUV is reliable enough for your family. It might be worth a test drive if you mostly plan to take your Bronco on off-road adventures!