You’re wondering, we’re answering. The long-awaited 2021 Ford Bronco is finally here, and it seems like a thoroughly impressive effort, yet it’s also quite obviously aimed at the Jeep Wrangler. The retro look, the removable roof and doors, the go-anywhere capability and attitude … the comparison is inevitable.
While we’ll have to wait awhile to get the two together in the flesh, we have enough info on paper to see how the new Bronco compares to the JL Wrangler. That goes for both their two-door and four-door versions, as well as their differing model lines that provide differing levels of capability.
Now I’ll shut up and let you behold the spreadsheet.
First, a word on the specs we don’t have here. The curb weight is still TBA, so although the Bronco has an engine advantage, it really won’t matter as much if it weighs substantially more. We also don’t have interior measurements, so we can’t be sure that the Ford’s larger exterior dimensions translate into appreciably more space inside.
Now, a few thoughts on what we do know. First, even with the curb weight caveat above, the Wrangler doesn’t come close to offering something on par with the Bronco’s available 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6. Oh sure, the Unlimited’s Diesel option smokes it in terms of torque, but it falls 50 horsepower short. We’ve also driven it and although desirable in its own right, the EcoDiesel isn’t exactly what we’d call a performance-oriented choice. May this spur an answer from Jeep? If only FCA produced higher-performance engine options …
Second, about those clearances. Simply put, most versions of the Wrangler will provide better clearance than most versions of the Bronco. The Ford’s unique 35-inch tire option ups its game significantly in this regard and opting for them is the only way to maybe clear something a Wrangler, even a Rubicon, can’t.
On the other hand, you get an extra 3.5 inches of water fording depth regardless of tires … although good luck using a tape measure in that river.
And finally, Ford provided a Ramp Travel Index (RTI) for both Bronco models: 471-610 for the Two-Door and 417-537 for the Four-Door. We don’t have such numbers for the Wrangler, although our Dan Edmunds has done an RTI test of the Jeep Gladiator as well as the Toyota 4Runner. Something to look for in the future, perhaps.
How the two (or four) compare in pictures
2021 Ford Bronco Two-Door
2020 Jeep Wrangler Two-Door
2021 Ford Bronco Four-Door
2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited