By on July 1, 2021

Ford Bronco

Seeing the response to a Right Spec analysis to last week’s Wrangler, our fancy-pants Managing Ed rightly suggested we go ahead and examine the Bronco. Fresh off a couple of days wheeling it around the sagebrush of Texas, he was ready to declare the long-awaited Blue Oval bruiser lives up to all the hype.

But what the correct mix of options? What’s the Right Spec? Let’s crack open the configurator and find out.

Any off-roader worth their salt (or at least their weight in axle grease) will tell you a locking differential can mean the difference between getting back to camp for dinner and spending a couple of hours looking for traction in a difficult spot. This requirement precludes a couple of trims unless the pricey Sasquatch package is added. Similarly, your author is a firm believer in the power of a disconnecting stabilizer bar to provide better wheel travel and potentially keep a wheel on terra firma where it otherwise might not be possible. This points us to the Badlands trim (or the First Edition if they weren’t all sold); perhaps surprisingly, the much-ballyhooed Wildtrak trim doesn’t have this feature.

Ford Bronco

Badlands it is, then, with a starting price for an Antimatter Blue 2-door checking in at $42,095. Front and rear locking diffs are standard here, even without the Sasquatch package, as are heavy-duty steel bash plates and heavy-duty modular front and rear bumpers. At this level, 33-inch all-terrain tires on 17-inch machine painted alloys are standard kit, though 33-inch mud-terrains of equal stature are optional as a stand-alone option. If you can handle road noise on pavement, go for the latter.

Ford Bronco

Powertrain choices are where many arguments will be had and friendships damaged. While the 7-speed manual transmission is big news and very welcome in this segment, it must be said that the optional 10-speed automatic permits the presence of Trail Control and Trail Turn Assist features, the latter of which is not unlike the so-called ‘rear dig’ performed by professional off-roaders when they want to get around a tight turn (or to simply show off).

So we’ve agreed to disagree on the $1,595 10-speed. But what about spending a further $1,895 on the 2.7-liter EcoBoost? While 30extra horses isn’t a lot, a further nearly 100 lb-ft of torque certainly is. While it’s unlikely you’ll ever miss that power if all you ever drive is the four-banger, there’s a good chance you’ll want to run your shiny new Bronco through a shredder should you ever find yourself behind the wheel of someone else’s V6.

Ford Bronco

As for the interior, this trim comes with so-called marine-grade vinyl seats, making them an easy-to-clean proposition after a day’s wheeling. Leave the pricey Mid, High, and Lux packages for someone else, since they only add creature comforts best suited for an Explorer or F-150. No one’s buying a Bronco for towing (only 3,500lbs), so the $595 trailer hitch and wiring stays where it’s at as well.

Spending $2,495 on the aforementioned Sasquatch package is tempting but, in Badlands form, the level of off-road capability is already quite high. Yes, it’ll add a high clearance suspension and 35-inch mud-terrains. Judge yourself accordingly.

That’s it for us. What’s your pick of the Bronco litter?

Please note the prices listed here are in American dollars and currently accurate for base prices exclusive of any fees, taxes, or rebates. Your dealer may (and should) sell for less (obscene market conditions notwithstanding). Keep your foot down, bone up on available rebates, and bargain hard.

[Images: Ford]

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22 Comments on “The Right Spec: 2021 Ford Bronco...”

  • avatar

    It’s interesting that the Right Spec Bronco is right around $10,000 more expensive than the Right Spec Wrangler. I wonder how the two would match up head-to-head?

  • avatar

    I’d be inclined to add the tow package. This might be someone’s only vehicle. Having a trailer hitch provides an additional secure recovery point. A receiver winch is also an option with a receiver hitch.

    • 0 avatar

      Yep trailer hitch is always a good idea offroad.

    • 0 avatar


      If for no other reason, then to mount a bike, or light motorbike, rack.

      Also, 3500lbs (2800+in addition to trailer weight), is more than bed payload of even most 3/4 tons…

      And, critically, as much as even a 12K payload rated halfton has any business towing down the sort of trails a Bronco can go. With lockers and a disconnecting stabilizer, it may tug as hard at a trailer on a technical trail, as a heavier, more powerful halfton with less traction. While stability is, in real life for non-lunatics, what limits halfton towing on highways, traction is what limits it over difficult terrain. Across such terrain, 3,500 lbs is quite a bit, for anything with less weight distributed across pulling contact patches than a Power Wagon.

  • avatar

    Damn that’s pricey.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Can you update to show the total price? I’m getting about $45585 – pretty dear.

    My Right Spec price would be a lot lower, since I have no interest in off-roading. Then again, the Bronco wouldn’t be the right vehicle for my needs at any price.

    But personally, any vehicle I get in the future will include a trailer hitch if possible.

  • avatar

    Bronco option packaging seems less flexible then wrangler. Tried a few different variations on 2 door versions of each and Bronco come out pricier, 4 door they seem a bit closer.

  • avatar

    I don’t get it – the right Wrangler has no locking diffs, no electronic disconnecting swaybar, and does have the hitch/wiring, but the right Bronco has the opposite? Confused.

  • avatar

    Another miss, having to spend big bucks to get heated seats/wheel. On a Wrangler you can (I did) get that with the Cold Weather package and it’s $700.

    A 2dr Rubicon with LED, steel bumpers, heated seats/wheel, and trailer/tow is $46k. Ditching the LEDs and bumpers will save $3k, and spend that on an aftermarket bumper and 35s. And you can sell the 33s

    I have a 2019 SportS and was considering the Bronco for the next one in a couple years, but I’ll be keeping it or getting another one if I need to spend huge dollars to have warm hands in a Bronco.

  • avatar

    Black Diamond 4-door
    Velocity Blue
    Hard top
    floor liner
    Mid package
    Towing package

    Now that is different (and more expensive) than my Wrangler Islander build, but even though they are in the same segment they have different things I’m interested in. I don’t think my Ram, Silverado, F-150 preferences would all be the same either.

  • avatar

    Too much gasoline. I’ll wait for the partly or (preferably) fully electrified variants.

    If you held a gun to my head and said I had to buy one today, it would be a Black Diamond with the 2.3, the stick, and every interior option. 2- or 4-door would depend on whether it was replacing my family car or not.

  • avatar

    The Right Spec
    Base 2 door, Silver

  • avatar

    If I got a Bronco, I’d use a Bronco. There’s a lot of trails to the east of here where fun can be had! But it ain’t cheap:

    Badlands, 2-door
    Velocity Blue Metallic
    High Package (the Lux package is just way too much money)
    Standard engine w/ manual transmission

    And that should do.
    All for $46,380 but Edmunds is reporting to pay more than MSRP, as expected right now.
    You get a good trail mule and a comfortable ride to and from. And since I don’t put people in the back seat constantly, I’d do with the 2-door. I like the looks.

  • avatar

    The right spec? Walking into the Jeep dealer and avoiding all the quality issues.

  • avatar

    Base model, 2-door, velocity blue, 2.3 manual. Because Steelies rock and this would still be far more capable off road than I will ever use. Still under $31k including destination.

  • avatar

    Wait until 2022 when the Sasquatch package is available on the 4 cyl manual trans model. (At least you can’t configure that right now on the “build and price”).

    Get base model manual trans 4 cyl with hard top and Sasquatch package. Done.

    Though I’d still rather spend that kind of coin on a sports car.

  • avatar

    The right spec is the 5.0 V8 and a manual

    All we get is a cheetah fart 4-cyl or a pathetic automatic scum v6

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