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The Ford Bronco gets compared to the Jeep Wrangler because has a lot of “Jeep features”. Meaning – it’s a square-bodied rugged 4×4 with a removable top & doors. Your hair blows in the wind, and your problems blow away. Both the Jeep and Bronco have a spirit & sense of freedom that resonates. And both have a way of genuinely enriching your life. But it’s just not fair to view them through identical-twin lenses. The Bronco is the same… but different. 

Ford Bronco review

Think of the Ford Bronco more like… 

A cross between a Jeep and a 4Runner (or new Land Cruiser). That’s not a bad place to be! Body-wise & lifestyle-wise, it favors the Jeep obviously. As mentioned, the Bronco is more modular – with doors, tops, (and even fenders/bumpers) that are easily removable, interchangeable, and configurable. But underneath the Bronco’s skin, it’s engineered much more like a 4Runner. The Bronco has independent front suspension (IFS), versus the Jeep Wrangler’s solid/straight front axle. And that makes it a ‘horse’ of a different color.

Volk Wheels

Almost every modern car, truck, and SUV comes with IFS these days…

IFS yields much better road manners, comfort, predictability, etc. In fact – in most instances, the Bronco is more comfortable off-road as well. On typical trails, forest roads, long distances, etc, the Bronco will be smoother & will absorb the trails better. The Bronco will be more comfortable on road trips, commuting, and overall less draining/fatiguing to drive long distances and/or at faster highway speeds. I’d even go so far as to say the Bronco is technically “better” for most current Jeep owners lol.

But – if you want the absolute best shot at conquering whatever comes across your path…

It’s still the Jeep Wrangler. With its solid/straight front axle, the Jeep is built to be off-road. It’s more capable at the extreme end of the spectrum. Here’s an example: Imagine being on a narrow, wet, ascending trail… when you approach a rut at your left tire, and a sizable rock at your right tire. Can you picture it? Well, with the Jeep’s straight front axle, as the right wheel begins climbing the rock in 4WD, the left wheel gets forcefully pushed into the ground as a response… gaining traction. In other words, the left wheel is being leveraged into the ground through the opposing right/rock-side wheel (like a see-saw or pry-bar). That gives the left/ground-side wheel more & more traction as the right/rock-side wheel continues to climb the rock, because it’s forcing that opposing left/rut wheel to dig into the ground as it crawls. AND simultaneously – the ground is pushing back against that tire, thus leveraging more grip on the opposing rock-side wheel as well… pushing that wheel into the rock as it climbs. 

See, with independent front suspension (IFS) you don’t have the benefit of that leverage, and/or see-saw effect. It’s not gonna flex like a Jeep. You can use lockers & traction-control technology to make-up some ground (Jeeps can also have lockers for even further capability). But the Wrangler has retained its straight front axle since WWII. And at the extreme edges of the spectrum… it just gets the job done. 

The interior of the Bronco is well-executed… 

It’s a blend of comfort-meeting-ruggedness, and of retro-meeting-modern. The waterproof sealed rubber buttons are a nice touch… pun intended. And it’s got an optional XL impressive screen if you care about that sort of thing, which still fits into the rugged cabin seamlessly. 

Bronco interior

Bronco screen

Bronco Interior

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I’m a fan of the frameless doors on the Bronco… 

It makes removing them easier than the Jeep, as the doors are half-the-size with no window frame. Ford even built-in handles underneath the doors to securely lift & ensure a good grip during removal. Also – the Bronco’s side-mirrors don’t leave the chat when the doors come off (like the Jeep does). The other side of the coin is: The Bronco mirrors are ugly… so there’s that. 

brono doors

Bronco Mirrors

The Bronco’s hardtop is not particularly quick or easy… 

As a soft-top Jeep owner, removing & reinstalling the Bronco’s hardtop-panels was kind of a bulky annoyance (especially the giant mid-section). It felt like something would inevitably get chipped, scratched, or dropped during ownership. But I’m sure the process gets more fluid with repetition. And hey – it’s not like a Jeep soft-top is effortless. Oh one more thing: The vinyl/waterproof seats in the Bronco certainly look the part… but get scorchingly HOT almost instantaneously under the summer sun. 

Bronco vs Jeep

This particular Ford Bronco had the 2.3 Ecoboost engine…

And I was actually pleasantly surprised at how sufficient the power was, especially with the larger/heavier optional 35” tires on the Sasquatch Package. Put it like this: I just naturally assumed it was the larger 2.7 as I was bopping around town… as usually the media cars are fully spec’d-out. Only later did I pop the hood to realize it was the smaller 2.3. 

In short, the Ford Bronco is a mega-strong contender… 

It gives up a little off-road capability on the extreme end of the spectrum… in order to gain more comfort & better road manners than a Jeep. Basically it gives up 10% of the stuff you probably don’t do anyway, in order to make the 90% of what you DO do… more comfortable. Likewise, the Ford Bronco takes the rugged appeal of something like a new Land Cruiser or 4Runner… and drops the top on it. And rest assured, it’s way cooler than any crossover lol. For a lot of potential buyers, the Ford Bronco is the best of both worlds.

2.3 Bronco Sasquatch

bronco sasquatch

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