Ford came out swinging with the 2021 Bronco, there’s no doubt about it. This Jeep-fighter boasts impressive stats like deep crawl ratios and high approach and departure angles that have Ford fanatics eager to challenge Wranglers on the trail. Read the full article on Hagerty.com:
Neither offers a sufficient power plant. The 3.6 pentastar is old, tired, and not strong enough to push a 4 door wrangler. Once you add wheels, tires, custom bumpers and fenders, it's a 5,000 pound plus beast. Mine with dana 60 axles is pushing 6,000. A turbo with 400 lbs of torque sounds great, but it's only offered in an automatic (which I simply won't buy), and I'm curious where in the rev band it comes. If most of that isn't available by 1,500 RPMs, it may be fun on the street, but won't be useful on obstacles. It's also hard to put a snorkel on a turbo engine, and here in the east coast, wheeling almost always involves some water crossing and mud. How will a turbo and it's electronics react to being wet or muddy? An independent front suspension is going to make modification difficult, limits wheel travel and tire size. Also, ask the 'yota guys about how strong those front driveshafts are. I know guys that carry spares because they break so often.
Both jeep and ford miss the mark. They are capable vehicles in stock form, but the majority of owners modify them. Neither company seems to understand the market- just because it's cute and has off road capability, doesn't mean we like to be slower than a prius on the highway. We're also clearly not buying the least aerodynamic vehicle on the road because we want fuel economy. 35" tires may be big on a stock vehicle, but they are small on the aftermarket. all of these things lead me to a couple of conclusions: 1) they need to come with more power. 2) the body, frame, and suspension should be configured to allow the aftermarket to fit bigger rubber (I'm talking 44s, people). 3) The bigger engines and best options need to be coupled with a manual transmission. 4) the factory (especially jeep) should offer an upgraded axle option (Mopar itself offers bolt on dana 60s for the wrangler. Why can't I buy one that way?).
As an Appalacian Mountain native who has had Jeeps for a loonnnggg time, I completely agree! I know of maybe 2 trails within 100miles of me that do not have water somewhere which means lots of water! Jeep needs to bring back the old 4.0!
Should we be concerned that car company's best ideas are 50 plus years old? Broncos, jeeps, Challengers, Mustangs, Camaros. No wonder Tesla is the most interesting and highest valued car company today.