Ford Bronco vs. Jeep Wrangler

Ford Bronco vs. Jeep Wrangler

Bronco vs. Wrangler, oh we missed ye! The 21st-century return of the legendary Ford Bronco was a highly anticipated automotive industry event. Ever since Ford pulled the Bronco from its lineup in 1996, the Jeep Wrangler has been the undisputed champion in the rugged, off-road SUV market by default. With the next-generation Ford Bronco storming back to the trails and mountains, the Jeep Wrangler finally has to confront a true mud-slinging, rock-climbing rival.

The Jeep Wrangler has been seemingly pushed to the background during all the hype surrounding the Ford Bronco's reemergence. Is the Wrangler still relevant? Sure. Is it in for some stiff competition from the Blue Oval? You bet your ass.

Which off-roader is better in the Ford Bronco vs. Jeep Wrangler match-up? Read on as we break down these two off-road favorites.

By Lethal Performance

Under the Hood

Turbocharged inline-four or V-6 engines are available for the Ford Bronco and the Jeep Wrangler. What sets them apart in this Ford Bronco vs. Jeep Wrangler matchup is the engine that comes standard.

The new Wrangler comes standard with a 285-horsepower 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine with 260 lb-ft of torque, while the Bronco's base model is powered by a 270-horsepower turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder with 310 lb-ft of torque.

The new Wrangler comes standard with a 285-horsepower 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine with 260 lb-ft of torque, while the Bronco's base model is powered by a 270-horsepower turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder with 310 lb-ft of torque.

Both off-roaders have optional engines you can choose from, and this is where the Bronco shines. The Bronco offers an optional 310-horsepower twin-turbo 2.7-liter V6 with 410lb-ft of torque that comes standard with its top three trims.

In contrast, we see decreased horsepower in the Wrangler's optional 270-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 295lb-ft of torque. However, that's not the end of the story for Wrangler. There's also an optional turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel engine with 260-horsepower, plentiful bottom-end grunt, and 442lb-ft of torque.

Transmission

The Bronco's base models come equipped with a standard 7-speed manual transmission, so you can only get it with the turbocharged four. The Wrangler has a 6-speed manual transmission available for its base engines.

If you opt for the Bronco or Wrangler's optional engines, you'll have to go with their automatic transmission. Bronco's 2.7-liter engines come with 10-speed automatic transmission. You can option it on the base engine. All Wranglers above the base engine come equipped with an automatic 8-speed transmission.

Drivetrains

Dana-supplied rear and front axles are a common denominator in the Jeep Wrangler vs. Ford Bronco drivetrains. Electronic locking differentials at both ends are available with both models, depending on their trim.

There are four final-drive ratios available for the Bronco. The Badlands model is an exception using 4.70 gears. The manual Bronco gets a 4.46 ratio. If you opt for automatic transmission, you get two more ratios: the base model uses a 3.73 ratio. You get an optional 4.27 gears with the Big Bend and Outer Banks models.

It doesn't end there, the 10-speed Black Diamond and Badlands use 4.46 ratios, and the Bronco's Sasquatch package comes with 4.70 gears. By comparison, 3.45 gears come standard with the Wrangle, and the off-road supreme Wrangler Rubicon comes with a 4.10 ratio. The diesel Wrangler uses 3.73 gears.

You can option a limited-slip differential for Wranglers that don't come with locking differentials, but this hardware is missing from the Bronco. The Wrangler comes with three transfer cases, while the Bronco offers two. A shift-on-the-fly unit with a 2.72 low-range gear is the standard torque router available for the Bronco.

There's an electromechanical transfer case that allows 4 Auto. You can also leave it in four-wheel drive without worrying about the axles being an option available for all Broncos. This option has a 3.06 gear that has a 94.8 crawl ratio when coupled with manual transmission. You'll have to control all functions with a dial since they didn't include a floor-mounted lever for controlling the transfer case.

The Wrangler's Sport and Sahara come with similar transfer cases with a 2.72 gear. The Rubicon comes with a brawnier unit with 4.00 to improve creeping.

Suspension

Suspension is where we see some of the most significant differences in the Ford Bronco vs. Jeep Wrangler. The 2021 Ford Bronco and the 2021 Jeep Wrangler both have live axles located in the rear with trailing arms and a Panhard rod. However, the similarities end there.

The Bronco features independent front suspension (IFS). Many off-road purists prefer solid front axles. IFS has many advantages for drivability, including faster speeds. Although both vehicles feature live rear axles, the Bronco has an independent front suspension.

Dana 44s are the rear axles for the Bronco and Wrangler and are available with electronic locking differentials. Purists may prefer Wrangler in this category. Otherwise, the numerous benefits of IFS make the Bronco's suspension stand out for the modern enthusiast.

Wheels and Tires

The Bronco offers five tire models from four different manufacturers with three wheel sizes and three overall diameters.

With the Wrangler, you get tires from five different manufacturers. Jeep offers an optional mud-terrain on the Rubicon. Although nothing Jeep offers compares to the sturdy 35-inch wheels that come with the Bronco's Sasquatch package.

Exteriors

The Bronco and Wrangler come in two-door and four-door models, with the two-door models having better specs for off-roading and the four-door models catering more to passenger comfort.

The four-door models also have a better on-road ride with more storage, which is essential if you'll use them daily. The Bronco measures a bit larger than the Wrangler across all dimensions due to the additional room needed for the doors and roof.

Features

The Bronco features outstanding technology with its standard SYNC 4 infotainment system with an 8" standard screen. The Wrangler features the Uconnect system that comes standard with a 5" screen.

You can remove the doors and roof on both the Bronco and the Wrangler. The Bronco edges out the Wrangler here because you can store the removed parts in the back. The Wrangler doesn't have space to store any removed parts. The Bronco and Wrangler are available in hard and soft tops.

Towing

The Bronco and Wrangler can both tow up to 3,500 pounds.

Price

The Bronco and Wrangler don't differ significantly when it comes to MSRP, with the two-door Bronco starting at $28,500, a couple hundred more than the Wrangler Sport, which starts at 28,295. If the four-door model is more your speed, it starts at $33,200 compared to the four-door Wrangler's starting price of $31,795.

Upgrade Your Ford Bronco With Lethal Performance

We've waited a long time for a new Bronco, and Ford has not disappointed. In our 2021 Ford Bronco vs 2021 Jeep Wrangler matchup, the next-generation Ford Bronco edges out the Jeep Wrangler. The new Bronco has just about everything an off-roader could wish for at a very competitive price. But it can get even better when you choose to add parts and accessories from Lethal Performance.

Shop 2021 Ford Bronco Parts