The 2021 Ford Bronco is best acceptable to be cross-shopped with the Jeep Wrangler, and if not the Wrangler, again the Toyota 4Runner. But there’s addition new midsize off-road SUV on the arena – the Land Rover Defender – that has a agnate form-factor to the Bronco and elicits agnate animosity of old-school nostalgia. We haven’t absolutely had a adventitious to drive either agent yet, but actuality we’ll analyze the two to see how they assemblage up on paper.
What we like: Classic looks; adventurous off-road technology; disposable roof and doors; 35-in tires accessible on all trims.
What we would change: Likely won’t be accessible in ample quantities for over a year and dealers will try to allegation big markups.
Overview: After actuality discontinued in 1996, the Ford Bronco allotment as an all new booty on this allegorical vehicle. The new one is added carefully aggressive by the aboriginal Bronco from the 1960s than the F-series based Bronco fabricated acclaimed in the 1990s.
The new Bronco is aimed absolutely at the Jeep Wrangler, admitting it lacks the Wrangler’s solid advanced axle. That said, while the die-hards will complaining the Bronco’s absolute advanced abeyance setup, IFS is the bigger best for on-road driving, and the Bronco offers all of the Wrangler’s configurability, with a disposable roof and doors, but in a added modern, added avant-garde design.
It’s the aboriginal agent to ride on Ford’s next-generation midsize barter platform, and it’s offered with either a four-cylinder or six-cylinder engine, both of which are turbocharged. The four-cylinder can be had with either a ten-speed automated or a new six-speed chiral with a appropriate ultralow crawler gear, while the V6 comes accepted with the 10-speed.
Also see: The all-new Ford Bronco Sport: a abate Bronco with added accumulation appeal
The Bronco’s architecture is heavily aggressive by that of the original, which was awash from 1966 through 1977. Both two- and four-door bodystyles will be available. While it carries a starting amount of aloof beneath $30,000, in its best performance-oriented off-road trims, a Bronco will run you amid $50,000 and $60,000, pitting it adjoin the Wrangler Rubicon, the Toyota 4Runner TRD-Pro, and a Apostle with basal options.
What’s new for 2021: The 2021 Ford Bronco is all-new.
Features and technology: Ford advised a lot of new off-road tech for the Bronco. The vehicle’s capital affairs point for a lot of bodies will be its disposable roof and doors; which arise to action added versatility than annihilation abroad on the market. Beyond this, the Bronco will be accessible in a cardinal of altered trims, the best able of which are the Wildtrack, which prioritizes activity fast off-road, and the Badlands, which aligns carefully with the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.
Additionally, a ‘Sasquatch package’ is accessible on any trim akin and adds 35-in tires, locking advanced and rear differentials, an off-road suspension, and more.
Related: The 10 coolest things about the new Ford Bronco
There are additionally a cardinal of altered alive modes, a one-pedal alive features, an off-road about-face mode, and a disconnecting advanced amplitude bar that comes accepted on the Badlands.
Expect Ford to admission endless of accessories for the new Bronco as well. The Bronco additionally comes with the latest adaptation of Ford’s Sync infotainment system, which will action a cardinal of new appearance and assignment with altered mapping services, acceptance you to artifice out your off-road adventures afore you absolutely hit the trail.
What’s the approaching hold? While it’ll acceptable be a year afore you see a Bronco on the road, bottomward the activity alike added is acceptable a top-tier Raptor trim and allegedly a auto adaptation meant to attempt with the Jeep Gladiator.
Base price: $51,000
What we like: Like the Bronco, the Defender’s architecture leans heavily on its heritage; air abeyance is standard; appraisement allows it to be cross-shopped with high trims of boilerplate off-roaders like the Bronco, rather than aloof added affluence SUVs.
What we would change: Not as commonsensical as the original; unibody belvedere has added in accepted with the Explorer than the Bronco; Land Rover isn’t accepted for reliability.
Overview: The new Land Rover apostle is decidedly altered from the agent it replaces. The aboriginal Defender, which had been on auction aback the 1980s, but hadn’t been awash in the US aback 1997, rode on a body-on-frame belvedere with solid axles advanced and rear.
The new Defender, on the added hand, uses a unibody belvedere aggregate with the Discovery, Range Rover Sport, and full-size Range Rover, and uses a fully-independent abeyance setup. While it isn’t as asperous as the agent it replaces, the new Apostle will be an accomplished on-road vehicle, while still actuality able to accumulate up with Broncos, Wranglers, 4Runners, and G-Wagens in the majority of off-road environments, acknowledgment in allotment to a accepted air abeyance system.
See: The 10 coolest things about the Land Rover Defender
Like the Bronco and Jeep Wrangler, the new Land Rover Apostle is offered in both two- and four-door bodystyles, admitting we apprehend the all-inclusive majority of Defenders you see on the alley to be of the four-door variety.
Like the Bronco, the Apostle is accessible with two altered engines; a turbocharged four-cylinder and a turbocharged V6. An 8-speed automated is accepted beyond the board.
What’s new for 2020: Like the Bronco, the Apostle you see actuality is all-new.
Features and technology: The Apostle comes accepted with air suspension, which allows you to acclimatize its ride acme by up to 3 inches, authoritative for up to 11.5 inches of arena clearance.
The Apostle additionally packs a cardinal of accepted aisle modes, a locking centermost differential, and an automatically locking rear differential. Land Rover offers the Apostle with a cardinal of altered ‘accessory packs’ the best absolute of which adds a platform-style roof rack, a ladder for accessing said roof rack, a side-mounted accumulator box for gear, mud flaps, and more.
Additionally, The Apostle is accessible as a seven-seater, acknowledgment to an accessible third row on the 110 model, admitting it’s appealing bound aback there. What’s abnormally altered is that the Apostle is accessible as a six-seater as able-bodied acknowledgment to an accessible advanced bank bench – authoritative it the alone boilerplate commuter agent awash new in the U.S. today that seats three beyond up front. Additionally, a ample 10-inch centermost infotainment awning comes standard, while best every alive assurance affection you could appetite is available, admitting not all appear accepted – a archetypal upsell tactic back it comes to European affluence cars.
What’s the approaching hold? The aboriginal adaptation of the Apostle to go on auction in the U.S. is the four-door 110 model, but the adorable two-door Apostle 90 should be accession at dealerships by the end of the 2020.
No amount how charming, two-door SUVs tend to do ailing in the U.S. market, so we wouldn’t be afraid if the 90 is alone offered in actual baby quantities on this ancillary of the pond. Bottomward the line, we apprehend off-road ‘SVX’ and performance-oriented ‘SVR’ trims to be added to the lineup.
Either agent offers a go-anywhere attitude and the aesthetics to match. Additionally, both cartage are accessible as two-door models – adventurous moves on the allotment of Ford and Land Rover, as the all-inclusive majority of sales are assertive to be four-doors. Both cartage can be accessorized beeline from the dealership, and either can be had with a four- or six-cylinder turbocharged engine.
Altogether, while either one will blemish the itch, the Bronco is the added toylike of these two vehicles, while the Apostle is bigger declared as ‘rugged luxury’.
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Both action off-road capability, but the Bronco will booty you added into the asperous being acknowledgment to its solid rear axle, accessible 35-in branch tires, and assembly of off-road appearance like advanced and rear locking differentials and a cleverly-designed disconnecting advanced amplitude bar. And back you do accident to either agent on the trail, apprehend acclimation a Bronco to be a far easier, and far beneath cher endeavor.
That said, if you’re already adequate owning a European affluence car, the Apostle has its claim too; they aloof appear in the anatomy luxury, comfort, on-road performance, towing capability, and autogenous refinement, admitting Land Rover isn’t absolutely accepted for abiding reliability.
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Ford Bronco benefits: The best accessible account of the Bronco are its disposable doors and roof, bold that’s article that interests you.
The Bronco, a boilerplate vehicle, is additionally added affordable than the Defender, a affluence car molded into the anatomy of a asperous off-roader. A well-equipped (or alike absolutely loaded) Bronco will amount you about as abundant as a bare-bones Defender, admitting the Apostle does action added accepted features.
Additionally, while the Bronco acceptable won’t be accessible in ample quantities for added than a year, already Ford does admission up production, Broncos will be far added accepted than Defenders, with availability of parts, dealership access, and believability all falling in Ford’s favor.
Land Rover Apostle benefits: While it leans into its asperous roots, at the end of the day, the new Apostle is a affluence vehicle. This agency it comes with a nicer and quieter cabin, added adult design, and added accepted appearance than the Bronco.
Also, the Defender’s towing accommodation of 8,200 lbs. has a about 5,000 lb. bend over the Bronco, while the Defender’s accepted air abeyance agency you can acclimatize the ride acme while off-road, and accumulate things close to the arena back on-road; the Bronco will acceptable ride like a barter behindhand of the area you’re on.
Read: Four electric and amalgam SUVs that can tow some austere weight
Additionally, while pent-up address agency it’s still boxy to appear by, the Apostle is already on auction actuality in the U.S., acceptation you won’t accept to delay a year or so to get your easily on one like you will a Bronco.
While the Apostle acme out at over $100,000 in absolutely loaded form, what’s nice is that you can get one able to attempt with the best able versions of the Bronco and Wrangler – acceptation altered area modes, animate wheels, all area tires, the ‘Explorer’ accent pack, and not abundant abroad – for about $60k, putting it appropriate on par with America’s off-road bake bearers.
Once both accept been on auction for a year or so, the Apostle will appear as the added exclusive, added alcove of these two off-roaders.
Both of these two accept their merits, and both action above-average off-road capability, but they’ll ultimately address to altered buyers.
The Bronco will be purchased by adolescent bodies attractive for a toylike, alive agent to supplement their alive lifestyle.
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The Apostle will acceptable address added to an older, added flush chump abject who occasionally may do some off-roading, but don’t accomplish it their top priority. We’re aloof calling it how we see it though; a Bronco will assignment altogether accomplished as a pavement queen, while the Apostle is added than acceptable for overlanding duty.
Regardless, we’re animated that both of these cartage abide today, and alike added so by the actuality that they’re accessible as two-doors. Back it comes bottomward to it, the Bronco is the bigger value, but aural a brace of years, the Apostle will acceptable wind up the added absolute of these two off-roaders. Alone you can adjudge which is appropriate for you.
See a allegory of stats of these two cartage at Autotrader.com.