By on January 11, 2017

Ford Everest Front 3/4, Image: Ford

Update: TTAC has received information refuting the claims below. You can read the update here.

While Ford finally confirmed the return of the Ford Ranger and Bronco at the North American International Auto Show earlier this week, the automaker remains stingy with details on the reborn models.

Ford aficionados — and Bronco lovers especially — want to know if the resurrected nameplates will offer the same magic as their dear, departed forebears. Perhaps eager to quench the public’s thirst for information, a shadowy Ford employee posted juicy — and potentially disappointing — details during a Reddit AMA.

On the Ford Ranger Reddit subreddit, a poster who claims to be a designer at Ford’s Product Development Center in Dearborn, Michigan, performed a question-and-answer session last night. Road & Track uncovered the thread earlier today.

If there’s truth to the comments, it looks like Ford hit the “easy button” on this project.

The Ranger details aren’t shocking. We already assumed the upcoming Ranger, due out in 2019, would simply be a facelifted version of the existing overseas-market T6 Ranger. That, apparently, is the plan, according to the designer. Don’t expect any cute regular cab versions to roll out of the Michigan Assembly Plant, either — extended and crew cab models only, the poster claims.

2014_ford_everest_suv_02-0813-930x584

Drivetrain choice hasn’t been nailed down, though Ford is apparently keeping a close eye on consumer demand for manual transmission and diesel variants of the Chevrolet Colorado. Given the 2019 Ranger is a game of catch-up, it makes sense to mimic your closest competitor. It’s ballsier, of course, to be first in the game.

As for the Bronco, due out in 2020, Ford calls the upcoming SUV “a no-compromise midsize 4×4 utility for thrill seekers who want to venture way beyond the city.” What does that actually mean? Will the Bronco stand as a legitimate Jeep Wrangler challenger? Will it come with two doors? Will a removable top give carefree owners access to Vitamin D whenever they wish?

Maybe, no, and no, according to the Reddit user, who claims to have carefully concealed his or her identity.

Bronco fans hope and pray for a return of the boxy, slab-sided SUV of yesteryear, but the Ford worker claims the new model will simply be a facelifted Ford Everest SUV. Take one peek at the Everest (seen above) and feel the enthusiasm drain out of you. Yes, the Everest is an overseas-market, four-door, fixed-roof SUV based on the Ranger frame, sporting generic Ford styling cues. While a slight facelift for the North American market is expected, the poster says, there’s no retro bodystyle in the works.

(We’ve heard a rumor that Ford will potentially wait until the second generation of the model to give it some old-school flair.)

While there’s no doubt the upcoming Bronco will have off-road abilities, a warmed-over Everest wouldn’t be a Wrangler-fighter. A midsize body-on-frame, closed-cabin design makes the Everest a challenger to the Toyota 4Runner at best, at least in the design department.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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100 Comments on “Ford Bronco Will Be More 4Runner Than Wrangler Competitor, Redditor Details...”


  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    I know Mark is especially excited to see it’s going to be four doors and fixed roof. Excited and not angry at all.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Me too. The Wrangler Unlimited has significantly less cargo room and passenger comfort than the 4Runner, something I’d definitely want in a do-it-all daily driver/road trip/camping rig. Add to that the inability to carry a canoe on the roof without expensive add-ons to the Wrangler.

      A luxed-up Everest could play in the Grand Cherokee/GX/4runner Limited field nicely as well.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        I’d be more likely to buy a 4Runner competitor than a Wrangler Unlimited competitor. The 4Runner used to be very offroad capable but has become more civilized.
        If this is to be the new Bronco it could be developed to be extremely offroad capable. Raptor’ize’ the thing. Same can be said for the 4Runner. Build a truly capable version.

        • 0 avatar
          brandloyalty

          Seems to me the current 4Runner is more capable offroad than the original.

          • 0 avatar

            I would prefer a first gen off road just do too clearance and size issues, but A trac and the locker on the newer ones would be nice.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            To clarify, the 4Runner has gotten bigger and IMO, all of the plastic fascia and a lack of bumpers would make it more vulnerable to damage offroad. That may be more “image” related than an actual deterioration in ability.
            Another point that may be “old school” in nature but solid axles tend to allow for more articulation and generally makes suspension mods easier and cheaper to perform.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          “The 4Runner used to be very offroad capable but has become more civilized.”

          It is definitely more civilized, but I fail to see how the current generation in Trail guise is any less capable than earlier generations aside from being physically larger which is obviously a potential liability. Aside from more vulnerable body colored plastic bumpers, parking my 3rd gen next to a refreshed 5th gen is reassuring to the off-roader side of me. Clearance everywhere underneath is about the same, approach/departure/breakover are all about the same, 3rd gen probably has an advantage on approach but 5th gen is still very good.

          I’d put a 5th gen Trail up against any stock 1st gen 4Runner (yes even one with a solid front axle) and watch the 5th gen come out on top thanks to the rear locker, A-TRAC, and better rear axle articulation (coil springs vs leafs). Heck the IFS on a 5th gen might have similar wheel travel to a stock gen 1 SFA truck.

          4th gen 4Runners definitely were a downgrade from gen 3 in terms of stock-vs-stock offroad capability owing to reduced clearance and angles and loss of a factory diff lock (except for the final year unicorn “Trail Edition”).

        • 0 avatar
          White Shadow

          I don’t think there was ever a 4Runner that was more capable than today’s 4Runner. Have you seen the TRDPro 4Runner? Or even the Trail version?

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        gte,
        Read up on the Everest Platinum. That’s quite lux’ed up.

        On the road here they are around $75k or $55k US and that’s made by the Thai’s.

        A US version to be cheaper will lose the “lux” or off road capability.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          “$75k or $55k US”

          I honestly have a hard time believing that. You sure you’re not listing AUD prices?

          Looks like a pretty basic Land Cruiser Prado 150 “GX” goes for $61k AUD MSRP, so obviously the prices don’t translate exactly. A loaded up 4Runner Trail Premium goes for about $40k USD, so you can correlate it that way. Sounds like they’re in the same ballpark, so Ford would have to price a 4wd “XLT” trim truck with some sort of gas motor (guessing 3.3L NA) at about $35k MSRP.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            75k AUD is around 55k USD.

            1AUD is just under 75cUS.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Oh, the Ranger and Everest are the most expensive vehicles by comparative size, trim, features.

            Toyota is cheaper since competition is driving down Toyota pricing and moving other brand prices up.

            Toyota is still “expensive”.

            The Ranger is nipping at the Hiluxes heel. Toyota needed a cheaper SUV so they have the Hilux based Fortuner as well as tje Prado and 76 Series Wagons.

            The Everest pricing and equipment, etc is verging on Disco prices. Apparently, so is quality and off road prowess according to some motoring journo’s.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            I see I misread. Well $55k sounds right for a top-trim variant, but boy that’s a hard sell IMO.

  • avatar
    Adam Tonge

    Welp, time to buy a 90s Bronco. Prices are going to go up even more.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    This sounds pretty awesome actually.

  • avatar

    I’m so f—ing mad.

  • avatar
    JMII

    Oh goodie another CUV thing. Ford could have built something interesting here: 2 doors with removable top. Attempt to grab some of the Wrangler market. However as mentioned it appears they took the easy button / conservative approach. Similar to how nobody tries to out Miata Mazda.

  • avatar
    Nostrathomas

    Did anyone honestly expect otherwise? If you’re a corporation and already have these vehicles ready to go in other markets, why exactly would you go and spend a not insignificant amount of money to build something that’s not wildly different?

    The world-market Ranger seems to be a competent product, and the “Bronco” was always going to just be a branding exercise.

    Considering there aren’t many true 4Runner, never mind Wrangler, competitors out there now anyway, I’ll take it.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Nostrathomas
      Easy, the Bronco does not exist outside NA. So Australian Ford is developing a Bronco based on a SWB version of the Everest

    • 0 avatar
      TheDoctorIsOut

      The truest version of the old 4Runner that Toyota offered for a few years was the late and seemingly unlamented FJ which was quite common here in LA for the few years it was made. Though Toyota said all along it was going to be a “one and done” model with no plans for a successor they didn’t really seem to market it much anyway. This would probably have been the natural competitor to a modern Bronco and it was far from an unqualified sucess, I wouldn’t expect a modern Bronco to be more than a small 2 door/2 box CUVlette with maybe bumpers shaped like faux brush guards and appealing to college aged girls.

    • 0 avatar
      quaquaqua

      The reason you spend a “not insignificant” amount of money on a somewhat niche model is because you’re FORD. You’re a gigantic, multinational corporation who has the cash to do this. If Kia can build the Stinger, Ford can freaking build a proper Bronco.

  • avatar
    ajla

    4Runner is still too on point. Make it a KL Cherokee competitor instead. 1.5T only.

  • avatar

    Nice to have another real SUV and about what I expected but still a little disappointing

  • avatar
    Tinn-Can

    Explordition? Doesn’t make sense…

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    I don’t believe any of it for an instant. The big clue is that the person says that the new Ranger will just be a face lifted version of the current vehicle. Sorry but Ford doesn’t keep an important vehicle like than around for that long. Certainly it will be a similar size, the styling evolutionary rather than revolutionary and some or all of the power trains will be carry overs the first year or two but it will be riding on a new frame, with a new cab structure sitting on top.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    I just bought a 4Runner and didn’t even consider the Wrangler because it is far too single-purpose for a daily driver. So this looks good to me.

    Jeep sells far more Wranglers, but 4Runner sales have doubled since 2013 and it’s an old design. I wonder if it weren’t far more cost effective to just bring over an existing vehicle to grab a piece of that 4Runner pie than to invest in a Wrangler competitor.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Whoooooooooooo that’s what I wanted. (I know I’m in the minority.)

    4Runner is basically in a class of one and priced to match. I’ve read (Australian) reviews of the Everest and I’d be very happy with something like that.

  • avatar
    whitworth

    Isn’t the Ford Explorer already a competitor to the 4Runner?

    Seems to be a really redundant.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      No. Explorer = Highlander

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Oh yes I would absolutely go bashing a current Explorer around the same trails as a 4Runner.

      Right after I follow a Wrangler up Moab with a Terrain.

      • 0 avatar
        toxicroach

        It’s cute how people act like the off roading thing actually matters.

        The most cross shopped vehicle with the Wrangler is the Mustang. The appearance of ‘off road’ is all that really matters. If the vehicle is ok on ice and can handle gravel roads that’s all 95% of buyers need or want in terms of off roading.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      I’d say not really, the Highlander is a more direct competitor to the current Explorer. The next Explorer will be a more likely direct competitor to the 4 Runner while the new Bronco will be aimed more at the Wrangler. This so called designer is more likely a Janitor at Ford if he actually works at Ford and is not a 16 year old troll.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m not sure this plan makes any sense either explorer sells great as a 3 row CUV, I would see no reason Ford would want 2 off-road ready SUVS after years of none.

        • 0 avatar
          quaquaqua

          I’m sorry, but the whole 2 row/3 row thing is not the main reason people pick SUVs over each other. It’s just not.

          • 0 avatar
            WalterRohrl

            Yeah it is. There is a HUGE population of people with three kids. They buy plenty of SUV/CUV’s and don’t bother looking at the 2-row ones. But the families with two kids or just one look at both and have a wider variety as a result.

            If you build a mid-size and don’t offer a third row, no matter how tiny it is, you’re a fool.

            My school pickup line is in about equal proportions Highlander, Pilot, Explorer, and 4Runner. The majority of the 4Runners have the third row even though it’s pathetic. Grand Cherokee is under-represented. Mercedes GL is much more common than Mercedes ML even though the front 75% is identically size and it’s $20k more. X5 not nearly as much as Q7. Zero Durango for some reason.

          • 0 avatar

            My kids school has more Durnagos but were in a lower income area. (not many Germans in the pickup line that’s the next town over)

          • 0 avatar

            I’m guessing you don’t know any one with kids? But my main point was that the 3 row CUV market is much larger then the offroad ready SUV market so changing would be a bad idea on Fords part.

        • 0 avatar
          thattruthguy

          Because the SUV market today and for the foreseeable future is red hot, and off-road ready SUVs are a prime slice of it.

          Ford’s only decision is whether to add capacity to build more of exactly the same models or to add capacity to build additional models.

          • 0 avatar

            4 runner and Wrangler are really the only 2 midsize offroad SUV’s out there right now, the wrangler has been trending higher for a long time the 4runner is a recent deal, and coincides with the death of the FJ and Xterra. I think making 1 off road ready SUV is a good idea but 2 models would be a bit much to test a market, when you already know that CUV’s sell like crazy.

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    The Everest is a nice vehicle. I mean come on, if you want a Jeep, go buy a Jeep. Anyone screaming “I want a Jeep but I want it to be made by Ford because Ford” should be slapped with a dead fish. A wet dead fish.

    If there was any money in Wrangler-fighters GM would have kept the Tracker around.

  • avatar
    zoomzoomfan

    I can already envision 10-12 of these idling in the child pick-up line at the elementary school close to my neighborhood. I am sure they will become another model with intense off-road credibility and about 5-10 minutes of life (if the owners have to park in the grass somewhere) actually “off-road.”

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Plenty of that going on with Wrangler Unlimiteds and 4Runners around here, what’s your point?

      • 0 avatar

        My kids school has become an odd haven for third gen 4runners. Including one on mud terrains and a 3″ lift and a winch, seems to be mom’s daily driver.

      • 0 avatar
        zoomzoomfan

        That was my point. The Bronco will join the Wranglers, 4 Runners, Range Rovers, etc. as purely on-road used off-road vehicles. And I predict, like the others listed, it’ll sell like hot cakes.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Despite the very real plurality that use them as simple family haulers, there is a) a not-insignificant portion of people that buy these things new and use them as intended, and b) a much larger group of guys (like me) waiting in the wings to pick these nicely maintained and not-abused mall-rigs and use them as intended. Just like guys scoop up clean low mile 911s and put them through their paces on the track or elsewhere.

          I guess I take issue with the needlessly condescending tone.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            gtemnykh – the point that gets lost upon the critics that say all of these vehicles are just “posermobiles” is this: the reason why they sell to posers is because they have legitimate off-road abilities.
            Odd, no one calls a Corvette Z06 or Mustang GT350 a posermobile but that title or implication often gets trotted out for offroaders and pickups.

          • 0 avatar
            thattruthguy

            ZO6s and GT350s are actually intended to operate on pavement; except for rough ride, fuel economy, and cost, every upgraded feature makes them better for pavement driving.

            A refrigerator white 2WD XL is better than a Raptor at *everything* on pavement.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @thattruthguy – I’d have to disagree. A fleet spec truck is going to be worse to live with day to day than the Raptor other than the extra width of the Raptor. That minimalist fleet spec 4×4 truck with an 1,800 lb payload rating is going to ride rougher than a Raptor.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            I’ll echo what Lou said about the Raptor’s insanely nice ride, and pose this question: on broken up pavement in many urban centers in northern cities, how would a sports car with a low-hanging chin, vulnerable low-pro tires, and insanely stiff ride at all be the more logical/rational choice than something like a 4Runner/Bronco/Tahoe/etc? Beyond the US, the point can be made even more strongly:

            youtu.be/VYPL32zJ0QY?t=30

            Wow that e-class merc is so well designed to operate on that pavement! The guys driving Nivas, Prados and Fortuners in the video are such poseurs!

  • avatar
    Jagboi

    If that’s the plan for a Bronco (and I doubt it is, I can’t imagine a design employee risking their job to leak something) I would have expected a new Bronco to be like the old one: Based on the F150 platform. Maybe the Expedition is really a Bronco XXXL?

    I can’t see yet another 5 door SUV being needed between the Explorer and Expedition; it doesn’t strike me as different enough to avoid cannibalizing sales from the other 2.

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    That looks like a concept from 2007/8.

  • avatar

    Hey, if it stays Wrangler priced then I’ll be happy. I am sick of tech packages on everything raising the price. The Ford Tremor was a neat platform, but the thousands of required tech made it completely unappealing to me. I’m a utilitarian type of guy (crank windows and manual transmission in my ’15 Fiesta). I would get this as my family vacation vehicle in heartbeat if they make a simple cheap option. Wrangler unlimited starts at $29k, and that’s a convertible!

  • avatar
    ilkhan

    Anybody who expected a drop top Bronco was insane. Or anything other than an international Ranger and an Everest, for that matter. Both are good options, and will sell well with minimal investment cost. They’ll be more American-ized for the next generations.

  • avatar
    LuciferV8

    In other words, the new Bronco is the old Explorer – a Ranger based SUV.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    That isn’t a Bronco, not even close.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Were people actually that stupid to think Ford could build something that could adequately compete with the Wrangler? Come on folks, time to step back to reality.

    Ford, instead, and in typical Ford fashion, is introducing a product nobody wants or is asking for. They’re introducing an Edge with a full frame under it. Welcome then, to the rebirth of the 1996 Ford Explorer!

    And here I thought Ford couldn’t get any worse than when Big Al was running the show…oops.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      “Welcome then, to the rebirth of the 1996 Ford Explorer!”

      I’m sure Ford would welcome the return of a massively profitable BOF SUV that they could sell 400k+ units of annually if they could.

      Sorry is that not the point you were trying to make?

      I personally would take a factory-fresh ’96 Eddie Bauer V8 Explorer over just about anything in Ford’s current lineup short of an Expedition or Raptor.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        Should we go back to 2010 as Ford was preparing the limp wristed Explorer we have now for sale and read how they trashed the old BOF Explorer and it’s terrible engines, terrible ride, terrible everything?

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          “it’s terrible engines, terrible ride, terrible everything?”

          The final BOF Explorers were actually pretty nice trucks, aside from fairly chintzy interiors. I spent 15 hours in the back of one in a straight shot drive to IL from NY one summer for summer job related travel. Quiet, roomy/comfy second row, we were getting an indicated 20mpg at about 75mph with the A/C cranked from the SOHC 4.0L motor. IRS was well tuned as I recall, nowhere as stiff as something like an IRS Pathfinder.

          Looking at some numbers:
          Total passenger volume (cu ft)
          2010: 145.4 2011: 151.7

          Cargo cu ft (second row up/all seats folded)
          2010: 45.1/85.8
          2011: 43.8/80.7

          The newer truck might edge out the old one on third row comfort, that’s about the only practical advantage I can think of. MPG is pretty similar I think, the last Explorer Limited I rented got about 21mpg on a all-highway trip going 72ish.

      • 0 avatar
        Shawnski

        We had a ’96 just as you described, and currently have an Explorer Sport. Other than the precieved strength of body on frame, the ’96 is not really close in terms of wheel travel, room, quietness and FE.

  • avatar
    Trucky McTruckface

    None of this is surprising. Why would the Ranger be anything other than a clone of the formula used by the successful Colorado/Canyon twins, i.e. selling a slightly Americanized variant of a global pickup platform?

    A two door retro Bronco would likely be a flash in the pan, at best, with prohibitively expensive development costs. The Wrangler is a woefully impractical, cumbersome-to-drive vehicle that sells like gangbusters right now mostly because of image, but how long is that honestly going to last? I wouldn’t be shocked if by the time Ford a direct competitor that the bottom completely falls out of that market.

    Selling something like a facelifted version of the Ranger-based Everest makes much more sense, because, if nothing else, it’s a low cost investment. If it’s remotely successful, you can bank on the global TrailBlazer making an appearance here within the next five years.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Well ….. I told you so.

  • avatar
    anomaly149

    Ever watch someone willingly torch their own career? This is gonna be funny to watch, this guy is clueless. He’s left WAY too much of his own identifiable information in the reddit thread.

    EDIT: best guess, this is probably a scrub level D&R trying to look cool on the internet.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    so some anonymous as*hole on reddit says something, it’s automatically accepted as a “Ford source” and worth posting about?

    “Fake news” sinks its talons deeper into our collective flesh.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Don’t automatically assume the worst of everyone. I was there
      >when the AMA thread started. The mods requested proof, and
      >he gave it. Of course, we could have been collectively
      >bamboozled. About a day later, the guy deleted his account
      >and the mods locked it, but there’s no indication that there
      >was anything malicious about the whole thing. Honestly, when
      >you boil it down, he didn’t say much.

      https://www.reddit.com/r/fordranger/comments/5n1qxp/
      >i_am_a_designer_at_ford_motor_company_product/dc7zwy1/

      Edit: Why did this not wrap correctly? Let’s try some arrows.

  • avatar
    Kato

    Looks good to me. 4-Runner is too big and ugly, Wrangler Unlimited is too optimized for offroad to be a good all-rounder. Nothing else for reasonable money has any off-road chops. The Everest with a 250-300 horse V6 would do nicely. Don’t forget the full-time AWD, the transfer case, and the 6-speed MT.

  • avatar
    Kato

    Got a link to specs? Can’t find the weight anywhere..


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