This year, Ford has welcomed back the legendary Bronco. Built on a tough platform that can handle its own off-road, this 4×4 also knows how to settle down and take it easy on your way back from a day in the woods.
There are six different trim levels on 2021 Bronco, ranging from an entry-level Base model to the fully-kitted Wildtrak. Somewhere in between those two bookends are options for those who’d like to belt themselves behind the wheel of a 4×4 with peerless off-road capability, plus a trim for customers who prioritize style and technology.
If you’re familiar with the Ford family of trucks and SUVs, it’ll not escape your notice that Bronco does not use traditional Blue Oval trim levels such as XLT or Lariat. Instead, a new lineup of trim names have been introduced. Also, know the beefy Sasquatch Package – which includes a yaffle of butch off-road gear including beefy tires – is available on every trim.
Which one’s right for you? Let’s walk through the trims and find out.
Ford wasn’t messing around with this one. Simply called ‘Base’, this trim level serves as a great no-frills canvas for people who wish to customize their vehicle for rugged off-road adventure. Standard gear includes the 2.3L EcoBoost engine and 7-speed manual transmission, plus the 4×4 grip you expect from Bronco. Still, the Base trim gives up little in terms of what has made the new Bronco famous, including easily removable doors and roof. If you’re planning on saying ‘yes’ to the entire Ford accessory catalog, then hitting up your custom shop for a jumbo set of wheels and tires, the Base is a great start.
If the Base model sounds attractive but you’ve a hankering for a few extra features such as a leather-wrapped steering wheel and snazzy LED fog lamps, be sure to check out the Big Bend trim. Priced about $1500 more than the Base, this model also adds larger 32-inch all-terrain tires on 17-inch Carbonized Grey aluminum wheels and a different grille design that proudly shows off the Bronco name. In short, it’s an excellent choice for anyone wanting to jump into the Bronco lifestyle with a few gnarly visual upgrades from the factory.
Here’s a rig designed for those of us who put our off-roaders through the wringer. Black Diamond comes standard with the type of gear many customers must add to their wheeler after they drive it home from the dealership. A locking rear differential means power will find its way to the dirt more easily, modular front and rear steel bumpers stand ready to protect your Bronco on that rock obstacle you didn’t see, while upgraded heavy-duty bash plates keep Mother Nature from causing damage to the underside of your rig while heading down an unfamiliar rocky trail. At the end of the day, marine-grade vinyl seat trim and a wash-em-down interior help make for easy cleanup.
There’s nothing wrong with a bit of luxury to go with your 4×4. Outer Banks brings the goods in the form of heated seats for front-row passengers, dual-zone automatic climate control, and intelligent access with push-button start. A standard remote start system helps warm up the cab before you hit the road to Keltic Lodge. That’s not to say the Outer Banks isn’t up to snuff off-road, however. While it doesn’t have the bash plates and steel bumpers of the Black Diamond, it does pack a Terrain Management System with six G.O.A.T. Modes and a set of 32-inch all-terrain tires on 18-inch black-painted machined-face aluminum wheels.
For customers who enjoy a day of extreme off-roading, along with a butch and rugged look, the Badlands has you covered. Auxiliary switches with pre-run accessory wires are located right there in the overhead console, allowing drivers to act out all their Top Gun fantasies (or at least correctly wire up accessory lights and a winch). The unique Badlands suspension has an electronically disconnecting front sway bar, permitting the front tires much greater vertical travel at very low speeds – such as when you’re trying to get over that big rock obstacle on your favourite off-road trail. Rubberized floors are easy to clean and a heavy duty modular front bumper is ready to take the off-road heat.
Standing atop the Bronco line in the mighty Wildtrak. It is equipped with the powerful 2.7L EcoBoost V6 as standard equipment, an engine that’s just itching to play off-road with the Wildtrak’s standard Sasquatch package. The latter shows up to your 4×4 party with locking front and rear differentials, Bilstein monotube shocks, beadlock capable wheels, and 35-inch tires just waiting to tackle the gnarliest mud pit you can find on Cape Breton island. An advanced four-wheel drive system with automatic on-demand engagement stands ready to help you out. Wildtrak includes interior comforts like dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, wireless Apple CarPlay, and several USB charging points.