5 of the coolest features on the new Ford Bronco — including waterproofing and a trip to off-road school
- The Ford Bronco is back after 25 years off of the car market to rival the Jeep Wrangler.
- Like the Wrangler, the 2021 Bronco is a hardcore off-roader with a long list of off-road perks.
- Here's some of what you can expect from the new SUV, from its curated off-roading experiences to its interior waterproofing.
The Bronco — Ford's iconic off-road truck — has been off the market for 25 years, allowing the Jeep Wrangler to reign as king in the off-roading segment. But now the Bronco is back, and Ford didn't just resurrect the nameplate for shallow pomp and circumstance. It went all out to make the 2021 Bronco a modern off-roader's dream.
The new Bronco has miles of optional features and parts for owners to add and buy. It has apps. It has an off-road camp included in its MSRP.
If you're thinking about ordering one or already have, we reviewed it earlier this year. Here's what you're in for.
Curated off-road experiences
Buyers of the 2021 Bronco, as well as buyers of the Badlands and First Edition trims of its smaller counterpart, the 2021 Bronco Sport, also get a ticket to Ford's "Off-Roadeo" (travel and lodging not included).
At the Off-Roadeo, Ford provides Broncos to use for rock crawling, creek driving, and other activities. There are four locations — Texas, Nevada, Utah, and New Hampshire — and participants can register online.
While you might think an included Off-Roadeo ticket just ups the Bronco's MSRP, remember: Modern vehicles are extremely capable but rarely used to their potential. Plenty of folks will buy the Bronco just because it looks cool. Incentivizing them to learn what it can do is something they — and their underused Bronco — deserve.
Plus, there's the FordPass app, which lets buyers find curated off-road trails and share their drives.
Cheaper trims and fancy packages
With a lot of vehicles, buyers are limited by trims — basically, automakers' fancy names for different versions of a car. A trim might have some of your ideal features but lack others, and you just have to pick your priorities.
But two of the Bronco's biggest selling features, its V6 engine and Sasquatch off-road package with 35-inch mud-terrain tires, are either included or optional on every trim — from the $28,000 base model up. That means you can spec your Bronco for the trails without having to upgrade to trims you don't want or need.
Something you can take apart and put back together
The new Bronco is kind of like a transformer, with doors and body panels you can take off and on.
And because it's always harder to put stuff back together, Ford has protective bags for the Bronco's doors, each featuring a QR code with assembly instructions. Easy!
Ford also likes to brag that you won't encounter certain hiccups you do with the Wrangler when taking the Bronco apart.
While the Wrangler's side mirrors are attached to its doors and come off with them, for example, Ford attached mirrors to the Bronco itself. That way, you can go doorless and still see behind you.
An open-air roof
Then there's the scenery. While there's a crossbar running between the front and back seats on the Wrangler, cutting the view in half with the roof panels off, Ford moved its bar behind the rear seats — leaving the Bronco fully open to the sky.
Enjoy the stars. Or the sunburn.
The Bronco isn't just about which parts you can remove — it's about which ones you won't have to remove and replace because you ruined them.
The Bronco can ford a claimed 33.5 inches of water with tires 33 inches and larger, thus it offers two particular options to keep dry: marine-grade seat vinyl, like the stuff used on boats, and a drain system to flush water from the inside of the car.
All of the fun of taking your car swimming with none of the permanent regret. It's a good deal.
Want to read the full review? Click here.