Retro Cues, Rugged Looks, And Modern Tech4 min read
The new Ford Bronco is as tough on the inside as it is on the outside.
The 2021 Ford Bronco (and the smaller Ford Bronco Sport) is finally here. After what felt like an eternity of teasers and leaked images, today we see the rugged SUV in the metal for the first time – and it looks great. Available in both two- and four-door options, the Bronco comes powered by your choice of two engines: a turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine or an optional twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter V6. The four-cylinder pumps out 270 horsepower (201 kilowatts) and 310 pound-feet (420 newton-meters), while the optional V6 produces 310 horsepower (231 kilowatts) and 400 pound-feet (542 newton-meters).
But equally important as what’s under the hood is what’s inside the new Bronco – and Ford made sure not to skimp on the details. The 2021 Bronco has a number of retro cues, rugged options designed for off-roading, and some of Ford’s latest technology available.
Design: Retro And Reconfigurable
Naturally, the inside of the Ford Bronco does have some retro touches. The layout of the knobs and dials, in particular, are nods to the original, as is the big “BRONCO” wordmark stamped into the passenger’s side dash. The Ford design team went so far as to bring a real first-gen Bronco into the studio for inspiration when designing the new one, ensuring that the throwback design elements were executed correctly.
But a lot of the Bronco’s throwback cues are subtle, Ford instead focused more on reconfigurability. Things like the grab handles and the Bronco-stamped screws are removable, as are the roof and doors, of course. There’s a unique dash rail to hold cameras and phones, and that includes an additional power source for both.
Buyers will be able to choose from multiple colors and trim options when building their ultimate Bronco. But for now, Ford is only showing two interior colors: a distressed brown with black and yellow accents and a white with gray and red accents. The white seating option even has a unique hexagonal design that extends from the upper portion of the seatback to the headrests.
Features: The GOAT Mode
Yes, the Ford Bronco really does have a GOAT mode – but it’s not what you think. GOAT in this case stands for “Goes Over Any Type of Terrain,” and represents all of the Ford Bronco’s available driving modes. Think of it as a renamed version of the Terrain Management systems in other Ford products.
Every Bronco variant gets five different driving modes: Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery, and Sand. The Bronco Badlands, Wildtrak, and First Edition versions, meanwhile, add more aggressive Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl modes on top of that. The Bronco also gets a unique Trail Toolbox, which adds Trail Control – sort of like cruise control for off-road driving – trail turn assist, and even one-pedal driving.
If the inside of the Bronco does get dirty (which it will), every switch and dial is rubberized. There’s also available marine-grade vinyl seat upholstery, as well as drains on the rubberized floors to get rid of any excess water.
Passenger Space: Wide Open Spaces
Ford hasn’t provided any official capacity figures for inside the Bronco, but we know one thing for sure: it will be airy. Like the Jeep Wrangler, the Bronco has removable doors and a removable roof. But unlike the Jeep, you will be able to stow the Bronco’s doors onboard with specialized bags.
Frameless doors and windows, meanwhile, and the lack of a center roof rail above the seats mean the Bronco is completely open to the elements for all five passengers. A soft-top roof comes standard on the four-door Bronco, while the two-door gets a standard hardtop.
Technology: Trail Mapping Made Easy
At the heart of every new Ford Bronco’s interior is either a standard 8.0-inch touchscreen or an optional 12.0-inch unit. The smaller screen runs Sync 3 while the larger unit runs Sync 4 software. Not only is that latter screen the biggest you can get anywhere in the segment, but it also has a class-exclusive 360-degree camera with off-road spotter views, and like the latest F-150, it offers over-the-air updates and FordPass smartphone app integration.
But the FordPass app is even more intuitive here than it is on other Ford models. No longer does it simply lock and unlock the vehicle or offer a readout for range, now the FordPass app can be used to plan and navigate off-road adventures with over 1,000 trail maps – and it works both online and off the grid. The Bronco also has an optional LCD digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel with a clean, comprehensive layout inspired by the first-generation model.