Ford Bronco vs. Jeep Wrangler

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - March 17, 2021

The Ford Bronco is finally here! The rugged off-roader takes aim squarely at the Jeep Wrangler with a rugged design, a variety of off-roading components, removable body panels, and stout powertrains that are meant to tackle rough terrain. Both SUVs are offered in two-door and four-door configurations, too, but this comparison will look at the smaller, two-door versions.

While the Bronco and the Wrangler are both off-roading first SUVs, numerous differences separate the two vehicles. If you’re looking to go off-roading, which SUV should you buy? That’s what we’ll answer below.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Ford Bronco & the Jeep Wrangler »

What The Jeep Wrangler Gets Right

The Wrangler has the edge when it comes to powertrains. The standard motor in the Wrangler is a 3.6-liter V6 that makes 285 horsepower, while the Bronco’s turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder makes 270 hp. Both engines are available with a manual transmission for drivers that want to feel more engaged.

When tackling rugged terrain, the last thing you want to worry about is scraping your SUV on a boulder, tree, or sharp obstacle. The Wrangler’s smaller dimensions make it easier to drive on a tight trail than the Bronco. The Wrangler is shorter in length and smaller in width than the Bronco, which means small trails are easier to tackle.

What The Ford Bronco Gets Right

Equipped with the Sasquatch package, the Bronco is the more capable off-roader. The package brings 35-inch mud tires, 17-inch beadlock-compatible wheels, large fender flares, heavy-duty Bilstein shocks, more ground clearance, locking front and rear axles, as well as an electromechanical transfer case. With the package, the Bronco boasts more ground clearance, a better approach angle, a better departure angle, and more maximum water fording capability.

When it comes to available powertrains, the Bronco has an advantage. The SUV can be fitted with a turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 that makes 310 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. The Wrangler’s available turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder is rated at 270 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. While the horsepower figure is impressive, its torque that you want when off-roading, and the Bronco has a lot more of it.

If you’re the kind of driver that wants to enjoy nature to the fullest when off-roading, the Bronco is the winner. While both SUVs offer removable doors and a removable top, the Bronco has door mirrors that are built directly on the body, so the SUV is still road-legal with the doors removed. Additionally, the Bronco’s doors can be stowed away in the back for safekeeping. Unlike the Wrangler, the Bronco comes with removable fenders.

Old-School or New-School?

The Jeep Wrangler is an old-school SUV. It has live rear axles at both ends, making it uncomfortable and twitchy to drive on-road, but incredibly capable off-road. It doesn’t come as well-equipped as the Bronco either, so it will appeal to consumers that want something simple in a capable package.

Our Verdict: Ford Bronco

We didn’t even touch on the Ford Bronco’s impressive tech features, comfortable on-road, and nifty features like marine-grade vinyl seats. The fact that the Bronco is even more capable than the Wrangler makes it the far better option.

Take a closer look at the Ford Bronco »

Take a closer look at the Jeep Wrangler »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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