The 2021 Ford Bronco is finally here. After what looked like an eternity of teasers and image leaks, today we see the rugged SUV in metal for the first time – and it looks great. Available in two and four doors, the Bronco is powered by your choice of two engines: an EcoBoost 2.3-liter turbocharged engine or an optional 2.7-liter V6 twin-turbocharged. The four-cylinder delivers 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 what’s under the hood is just as important inside the new Bronco – and Ford made sure not to skimp on the details. The Bronco 2021 has a number of retro signals, robust options designed for off-roading and some of the latest Ford technology available.
Design: retro and reconfigurable
Naturally, the interior of the Ford Bronco has retro touches. The layout of the buttons and dials, in particular, is a nod to the original, as is the large wordmark “BRONCO” engraved on the dashboard on the passenger side. The Ford design team went so far as to bring a real first-generation Bronco into the studio for inspiration when designing the new one, ensuring that the return design elements were executed correctly.
But many of the Bronco’s return signals are subtle, Ford has focused on reconfigurability instead. Elements such as grab handles and Bronco stamped screws are removable, as are the roof and doors, of course. There is a single dash rail to hold cameras and phones, and that includes an additional power source for both.
Buyers will be able to choose from several colors and trim options when building their ultimate Bronco. But for now, Ford only shows two interior colors: an aged brown with black and yellow accents and a white with gray and red accents. The white seat option even has a unique hexagonal design that extends from the top of the backrest to the headrests.
Features: GOAT mode
Yes, the Ford Bronco really has a GOAT mode – but it’s not what you think. GOAT in this case means “pass over any type of terrain” and represents all of the Ford Bronco’s available driving modes. Think of it as a renowned version of the field management systems in other Ford products.
Each Bronco variant has 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 has a unique Trail toolbox, which adds Trail Control – a bit like cruise control for off-road driving – assisting with cornering on trails and even pedaling.
If the interior of the Bronco gets dirty (which it will do), each switch and dial is rubberized. Marine grade vinyl seat covers are also available, as well as drains on rubber floors to remove excess water.
Passenger area: large open spaces
Ford hasn’t provided official capacity figures for the interior of the Bronco, but we do 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 can store the doors of the Bronco on board with specialized bags.
Frameless doors and windows, and the lack of a central roof bar above the seats mean that the Bronco is fully open to the elements for the five passengers. A soft roof comes standard on the four-door Bronco, while the two-door gets a standard hard roof.
Technology: simplified trail mapping
At the heart of every new Ford Bronco 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 the latter screen the largest you can get anywhere in the segment, it also has a handheld camera. Exclusive 360 degrees with off-road views and, like the latest F-150, it offers live update services and integration of the FordPass smartphone app.
But the FordPass app is even more intuitive here than on other Ford models. It’s no longer just locking and unlocking the vehicle or offering a range read, now the FordPass app can be used to plan and navigate off-road adventures with over 1,000 trail maps – and it works at both online and off-grid. The Bronco also has an optional LCD digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel with a clean and complete layout inspired by the first generation model.