Bronco vs. Wrangler Comparison

Who is the Off-Road King?

            In 1945, the United States entered WWII against the strong German forces in Europe and the Japanese in the Pacific. During this war, the need for a strong vehicle to cover all forms of terrain was put to action. Both Jeep and Ford entered the scene with their stout all-terrain vehicles. Both served great in the war and later after the war the vehicle that Jeep produced brought a lot of attention to the public eye. Thousands of people wanted this new type of vehicle since it could go over all kinds of terrain, so Jeep got to work. They later came out with the iconic CJ-2A in 1945. For almost 20 years Ford focused on other vehicles, but in 1965 Ford introduced what they believed to be even better, more off-road capable, vehicle ever to be made called the Bronco. During those 20 years Ford went out to survey out the competition by finding all the flaws in the Jeep and other vehicles such as the International Scout. They took what they learned and improved on them creating a new line of vehicle called Sport Utility Vehicle or better known as SUV. Ford put their creation to the test on the Baja 1000 which a very rigorous 1,000-mile race in the desert. The Bronco surprisingly won by a long shot. Since that race everyone who wanted the Jeep switched over. For decades after Ford and Jeep have been neck and neck on who is the off-road king. Sadly in 1996 Ford halted production of the Bronco due to fuel price increases and new E.P.A standards. Jeep continued the fight and was crowned king of the most off-road capable SUV but for how long was the question. For one to be crowned king of off-road they must be equipped with the best off-road capabilities. This includes what is under the hood and underneath the frame. The next part of the criteria is how much fuel are they going to use. Lastly is that which one is going to be the best affordable option.

jeep comparison

            During early July of 2020 Ford unveiled the returning king of off-road. The new Bronco is loaded with all kinds of bells and whistles ready to take on the Jeep Wrangler, but Jeep is not going to go down without a fight. In both vehicles four-wheel drive is a standard feature along with removeable doors and roof. Both vehicles can either come in a two door or four door option.

What sets them apart is not what is on the outside but what is underneath the frame. The Jeep Wrangler comes with several different engine options based on which trim level you get. The newest they came out with is the 4xe which is a hybrid of a small engine with the added feature of an electric vehicle. Most people who buy a Wrangler just get the standard V6. Since the Bronco was just released it only has two engine options so far but have plans later in the future to make more. The biggest being V-6 with twin turbos and the smallest being a 4-cylinder with twin turbos. Even though these engines are small they still pack a punch especially when off-road.

Both vehicles have great off-road capabilities at base model trims but for people who want true off-road worthiness will look at the higher trims that being Jeeps Wrangler Rubicon and Ford Bronco Wildtrak. Both trims are built for the extreme such as deep mud holes to steep rock walls. In the Rubicon it comes standard with front & rear locking differentials which means that all wheels will apply force to the ground to gain traction. They also have a disconnectable front sway bar. This means that you gain more articulation in the front to help gain traction especially when rock crawling and you need a front tire on the ground. Only downside is that to disconnect it you must be on a very level surface and in neutral. Ford saw this and did the exact same thing with the lockers, but Ford did something different. The Bronco does not have the same front axle as the Wrangler, so they created a brand-new system but very similar to the front sway bar disconnect. They managed to create a front stabilizer disconnect which give a lot of articulation but what makes it different than the Rubicon is that it can disconnect anywhere in any gear. Ford saw this problem with Jeep owners and wanted to make sure that it was possible with their Bronco.

Over the years Jeep and Ford have proven their worth as one of the most off-road worthy SUVs on the market but the battle for what is the cheapest and most fuel efficient is where it is down to the wire. Many Jeep owners will tell you they love their Wrangler, but they all have one common problem, and the Wrangler is vehicle know for having horrible fuel economy no matter what engine option they choose. With the Standard V6 under the hood you get 23mpg on the highway and 17mpg in the city and being that the Wrangler is pretty much a block on wheels it is not as good as it seems. The Bronco with the standard V6 is projected put out 26mpg on the highway and 21mpg in the city. Even though the Bronco has better numbers a true off-roading person is going to put on bigger tires which will drop the fuel mileage. Since the Bronco was just unveiled the pricing will of course be a little higher than the Wrangler. The cheapest Bronco you can purchase has a starting out price of $28,500 and for the Wrangler the cheapest is $28,295. Not much of a difference but once you start adding and changing things it can get expensive.

Over many decades Jeep and Ford have been battling on who is the most off-road worthy. Now with the old king returning the competition is even more tense. Already on Ford’s website reservations for the Bronco are full. Many people love the idea of the Bronco making a return, and hopefully it will last longer than it did last time. Looking at both vehicles gives me mixed emotions. Jeep has proven itself time after time with newer technology and improved engines. Maybe it is time for something new, and so far, the Bronco is my ideal vehicle that I want to buy in the future. Who knows what changes will be made later but as of now I believe the Bronco will be back to being on top.

izzah ahmed

This is Izzah, a content writer and editor who creates SEO-friendly content and has experience in academic writing. Backed by 10 years of experience in writing and editing, she is equipped with the skill to create content that is backed by thorough research and has impeccable structure.

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