Should I trade my wrangler for a bronco? Bronco Vs Wrangler

Is the Bronco better than the Jeep Wrangler? 

Yes, the new Ford Bronco is better than a Jeep Wrangler. From a technology point of view at least, the new Ford Bronco is light years ahead of a Jeep.  This alone will never change the mind of a Jeep Wrangler owner, and it’s for good reason too! 

How is a Ford Bronco better than a Jeep Wrangler? 

On paper, the new Ford Bronco will leave even the most die-hard jeep fan curious if they’ve finally been defeated. Yet this pipe dream would take a whole lot more than cool technologies and fancy touch screen radios. let me explain! Here are some exciting options the new 2021 Ford Bronco offers:

Options the new Ford Bronco offers over the Jeep Wrangler.

  • Front Dig
  • Coil-Overs
  • Cutting Brakes
  • New Off-road Technologies
  • Eco-boost Twin Turbo Engine
  • Manual Transmision in Higher Trims Above the Base Model
  • Factory 35″ Tires
  • Independent Front Suspension
  • Factory Lockers

These all sound like some really cool features in the Bronco, and they are! Let’s dig in a bit further.

Does this mark the end for Jeep Wrangler? 

This question makes me chuckle a bit. The fact of the matter is this marks a new beginning for the Jeep Wrangler.  A worthy rival has now come along to challenge and battle for off-road glory. With competition comes innovation! 

We have been lied to since we have been young. Being first is not important, having the last say is what is important. 

Ford has spent millions engineering world-class technology to make an unstoppable off-road machine. All Chrysler must do now is improve upon it for a platform known by all, loved by all, and driven by a true enthusiast. 

How will Jeep evolve in the coming years? 

It is hard to say at this point. For Jeep purists out there, innovation will not affect us. We are in CJ’s, Yj’s, TJ’s and even Jk’s. Those who want the latest and greatest every year will upgrade their Jeep just like when a new iPhone comes out. 

I expect Jeep to add many of the features Ford has brought to the table to their platform. Like: 

  • Front Dig 
  • Cutting brakes 
  • Coil-overs
  • Factory suspension options
  • More gearing options

Could the Ford Bronco replace the Jeep Wrangler? 

Anything is possible I guess,  but the wave thing is already taken, and the rubber duck thing is already taken. I guess it’s going to be a race of who can be the closest thing to a cult without being a cult. 

On a serious note, the Ford Bronco has been in hibernation for a long time.  You cannot discredit the Ford fans out there, there is a massive community that has been itching for a new Bronco. Luckily for them, they are not disappointed like those who anticipated the new Chevy Blazer. 

The Ford Bronco will never be in the realm of Ford Mustang popularity.  So as far as Jeep fans are concerned, for now, they have nothing to worry about. 

What does the new Ford Bronco have that Jeep Wrangler does not? 

What is Front dig?

Front dig for many years now has been a sought-after and worthwhile upgrade to any off-road rig. Traditionally this upgrade will require a new transfer case such as an Atlas II Twin Stick, new transfer case mounts and cross members, and drive shafts either extended or shortened depending on the application.

How does front dig work?

A transfer case with the front dig ability will allow you to control the front and rear axle independently, or together. May that be the front axle is in neutral while the rear axle is in a high range to give you a comfortable on-road experience. Or that may be the rear axle is in neutral while the front axle is in low range to give you the front dig feature like mentioned previously.

What does front dig do?

Front dig will allow the driver in a sticky or tight situation to use only the front axle to drag the vehicle sideways; or almost sideways. It will also allow the driver the ability to shorten the turning radius of the vehicle by a substantial amount. This will come in handy while driving over rocks, down a tight forest trail, or even between a rock and a hard place.

Does the new Ford Bronco use a 2-speed transfer case for front dig?

No, The new bronco will use their new technology called “Trail Turn Assist” This system will use the engine, transmission, transfercase, and the brakes together to accomplish both front dig, cutting brakes, and other features.

Does the Jeep Wrangler offer front dig?

At this time no. The newest generation/the newest year model of the Jeep Wrangler in both the standard package and the Rubicon package does not offer front dig. That is not to say Chrysler will never add this option for their following year model jeeps, which in my opinion this feature will be added by at least 2023 for the Jeep Wrangler lineup. If it does not come standard with a jeep wrangler, it will come equipped with the Rubicon trim.

What are Cutting Brakes?

Cutting brakes is another sought-after upgrade for the off-road enthusiast. While these systems are not as expensive as the previously mentioned front dig upgrade, nonetheless it is an upgrade that takes some seriously deep wallets to install.

How do Cutting Brakes Work?

To install cutting brakes via after-market means requires adding hand brake levers inside the cab to pressurize certain calipers on each side of the vehicle. Two levers are enough, one for the front and one for the rear, to get the job done. Once installed, you will then have the ability to pressurize just one brake caliper using the hand lever.

What do Cutting Brakes do?

Cutting brakes will allow the vehicle to make extremely sharp turns, essentially pivoting on the one brake locked down. If you want to imagine something, imagine a zero-turn mower. Just less zero turn

Does the new Ford Bronco use levers for cutting brakes?

No, the new ford bronco will use a new technology called “Trail Turn Assist”. As stated above this technology will use all systems together to give the vehicle the ability of cutting brakes.

Does the Jeep Wrangler offer cutting brakes?

For now, no the jeep wrangler does not offer cutting brakes or any technologies like the ford bronco for cutting brakes. I will assume this feature will be quickly added to future models of the jeep alongside the front dig option. More on this later.

Ecoboost 2.7l twin turbo in the Bronco: 

I am not so much of a ford guy, if I was, and if I planned to purchase the new Ford Bronco. I would make sure the 2.7L twin-turbo EcoBoost motor was in my bronco. My company truck currently is a 2018 F150 with the EcoBoost motor. I have had nothing but great luck and a powerful motor out of it. From towing to highway driving, my f150 can do it all.

Please don’t buy a Ford Bronco for the EcoBoost engine alone. Make sure this vehicle is exactly what you want before you pull the trigger.

Ford Bronco has a manual transmision in trims above the base model.

Jeep should be taking notes right about now. A manual transmission is exactly what the true enthusiast wants inside an offroad vehicle… Well that being said, I would say a true offroad enthusiast does not care about trim models above base anyways. So really it is awesome the bronco is offering a manual in trims above the base model. I doubt this feature will last very long considering the manual transmission has gone out of style. Will it ever come back? Probably not… With a manual, you have to drive the car, instead of texting while driving kind of.

Does the new Ford Bronco offer more gearing options than the Jeep Wrangler?

Yes, The bronco does offer more gearing options than a jeep wrangler; even the Rubicon model.

2021 Ford Bronco Axle Gearing:

Manual Transmision Gearing Options:

4.46 Standard

4.70 Option

Automatic Transmision Gearing Options:

3.73 Standard

4.46 Option

2021 Jeep Wrangler Gearing Options:

Manual Transmission Gearing Option:

3.45 Standard

3.73 Option

4.10 Option

Automatic Transmission:

3.73 Standard

4.10 Option

Rubicon trim

4.10 Standard

Bronco Bilstein Coil Overs

Does the new Ford Bronco offer Coil-Overs?

Yes, Bronco will offer Coil-Overs standard for this platform. These will be a welcomed upgrade compared to the Jeep Wranglers separate coil and shock system they have been using for decades now.

Are Coil-Overs Better than a Separate Shock and Coil Spring?

Yes, coil springs are extremely linear and do not offer any sort of tuning capabilities outside the separate shock. The factory shocks alone offered from the Jeep Wrangler are not tunable regardless, so it’s really a null factor.

Coil-overs on the other hand offer tons of tunability. Shock dampening, shock preload, ride height, and shock rebound can all be adjusted for the specific on or off-road situations you encounter most.

Does the new Bronco come with 35″ tires?

For some trims but not all, the Ford Bronco will come with 35″ tires. All trims featuring 35″ tires will come standard with suspension upgrades for appropriate tire and ground clearance.

It is nice to see Ford offering an option like this to have a turn-key offroad solution.

How is a Jeep Wrangler better than Ford Bronco?

This list is not limited by the information I have provided. These are just some measurable differences I have found that feature the Jeep Wrangler winning from an analytical perspective.

Transfer cases: 

Ford Bronco:

2.72:1 Gear Ratio Standard

3.06:1 Gear Ratio Optional  

Jeep Wrangler:

2.72:1 Gear Ratio Standard

4.0:1 Gear Ratio Rubicon

What does the transfer case gear ratio mean?

The gear ratio of a transfer case is important for offroad. Typically, the lower the gear ratio, the better.

2021 Ford Bronco Rear Axle

Front Solid axle: 

The Jeep Wrangler has been offered with a straight axle since the beginning of time. Really the precedent has been set for now that solid axles or “live axles” are the best for offroad situations.

Bronco uses independent front suspension kind of like Chevrolet on their trucks. The problem with independent front suspension is unless designed perfectly, with extremely long control arms. It will be impossible to match the articulation and solid front axle can provide.

On the other hand, the independent front suspension offers a much better and more comfortable ride for the driver and for its passengers.

For most, this fact alone that Ford Bronco is using IFS will turn a Jeep Wrangler driver away if looking to trade in for the Ford. This fact alone in my opinion tells the offroad community that the Ford Bronco is built for a soccer mom. Not going off-road.

2021 Ford Bronco Front IFS (Independent Front Suspension)

The Jeep Wrangler has a Longer Wheel base.. Kind of: 

2 door Bronco/Wrangler

Wrangler 96.8″

Bronco 100.4″ 

4 door Bronco/Wrangler 

Wrangler 118.4 “

Bronco 116.1″

Why is Wheel base Important?

Wheelbase becomes especially important in rocky terrain or terrain with a lot of ledges, drops, dips, and elevation change. Wheelbase affects approach angle and departure angle greatly, I’m not going to dig too deep into this in this article, but just know the following:

  • Longer Wheelbase = Stability
  • Longer Wheelbase = Lower Depature/Approach Angles
  • Shorter Wheelbase = Less stable
  • Shorter Wheelbase = Higher Depature/Approach Angles
  • Appraoch = Frontend clearence to ground on approach to an obstacle
  • Departur = Rearend cleanence to ground from exit of obstacle

Jeep Wrangler is less expensive than the Ford Bronco

Really by such small margins, the Jeep Wrangler’s overall price is less than the Bronco. We are not talking about tens of thousands, just up to about $1500-$2000 difference depending on the trim. This fact almost did not make it in my article, but here it is.

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