The Ford Bronco is here, and it’s good. Like, really good.
It’s also no secret exactly where its sights are squarely aimed: the Jeep Wrangler. And the truth is that there are at least a few ways it has the upper hand, but there are a bunch that still favour the Wrangler.
So, let’s take a look at three ways it’s better than the Jeep Wrangler, and three it isn’t.
1. The Bronco’s Objectively Better to Drive
These two may be very similar off-road machines, but one of the biggest ways they differ is in the ways they drive. Even the most diehard Jeep loyalists are going to notice how much better the Bronco is on the road – and let’s be real: that’s where you’re going to be spending most of your time anyway.
Since the Bronco uses an independent front suspension instead of a solid axle, it doesn’t wander the way the Wrangler does – it just tracks true without the need to constantly tug at the wheel.
2. It Feels Way Roomier Inside
Whether it has two doors or four, the Wrangler isn’t exactly roomy inside. The stumpy little dash puts front-seat occupants right up against the windshield, while the narrow cabin puts them up close and personal with each other.
But the Bronco has all the space you could want in an SUV like this, and it’s obvious from inside that it’s based on a midsize truck. The dash is deep, the cabin is wide, and even the two-door model has enough space to sit comfortably (getting back there is a different story, though).
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3. The Mirrors Are Bolted to the Body
OK, you might think this one’s a little specific, but if you’re driving an off-roader that you can pull the doors off, you should be able to do it safely. With the Wrangler, doing so is a bit of a problem since the mirrors are attached to the doors, but the Bronco team bolted them right to the body. That way, if you do decide to take the doors off, you can still use the factory mirrors.
1. All the Accessories
OK, if you really want to take your Wrangler’s doors off the safe way, there are tons of mirror kits out there – but that’s because there’s an entire corner of the aftermarket industry dedicated to this so-called Jeep thing.
Obviously, it doesn’t stop at just mirrors, and you can get lift kits, performance adders, styling upgrades – you name it. Who knows – maybe the Bronco will get there eventually, but for now, if you want to make your off-roader your own, the Wrangler’s the way to go.
2. Plenty of Power to Pick From
Make no mistake – the two turbocharged engines to choose from in the Bronco have more than enough output to work with. But it’s the Wrangler’s sheer variety that gives it the upper hand.
Of course, there’s the classic Pentastar V6 that you can get with either manual or automatic transmissions; but there’s also a diesel option, a turbocharged four-cylinder, and a plug-in hybrid.
3. Established Capability
There’s no reason to doubt the capability of the Ford Bronco, and it has all the right stuff to make quick work of some pretty challenging obstacles. Don’t believe us? Then go watch our review, where we spent some time with the good folks from the Central Ontario Off-Road Jeep Club (COORJC) out on the trail.
But there’s something to be said about the Wrangler’s years of proven capability. That doesn’t just happen overnight, and the Bronco has a long way to go to make up for 80 years or so of Jeeping.
It’s probably a little unrealistic to expect the Bronco to ever dethrone the Wrangler outright, but it’s definitely got the right stuff to create some healthy competition between them.