cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Review: 2021 Ford Bronco Badlands

It's been a long time since Ford showrooms had a Bronco, but it's been even longer since Ford envisioned the bucking-horse SUV as a Jeep competitor rather than a full-sized Blazer rival. How does this return to (kind of) compact form stack up against the class-standard Wrangler off-road?
https://www.hagerty.com/media/new-car-reviews/review-2021-ford-bronco-badlands/
36 REPLIES 36
gpsuya
Advanced Driver

Re: "breaking through the plastic wall and emptying several gallons of ATF". Yet another reason to outfit it with a manual transmission.
Sledogpilot
Detailer

I have an FJ40 but most hard core 4 wheelers are automatic now.
DaveA
Instructor

Unfortunately, manuals are a dying breed. There just aren’t enough people interested in manuals for most manufacturers to consider adding one to their current lineup. Besides, the current generation of safety deices (such as automatic emergency braking) are not compatible with manual transmissions.
ATLpaul
Detailer

I don't off-road at all but find this vehicle beautiful. I think Ford nailed the design inside and out. Tough looking and rugged. The want is strong with this one. May be I wait till Ford gets the roof noise issues fixed and there is a smaller waiting list. Gorgeous. Well done Ford.
phog
Intermediate Driver

I agree it's a rugged beauty. So beautiful that many buyers will no go off-road much! . I like the base model, which eschews the fancy wheel bling etc., and would love to see a completely stripped-down, bare bones base version without the carpet, and with crank windows, no SiriusXM, no automatic emergency braking, etc. One that you can clean out with a garden hose.
Sonnymccut
Pit Crew

I bought a 2-door base model, manual, delivered last week. The only option was all weather floor mats ($160). MSRP was 28,500 plus transportation, so $30k plus tax, title and license. Yes, I too wish it had crank windows (power mirrors are OK) no carpet, so it could be hosed out (like my ‘73 VW 161 Thing). I’ve only put 110 miles on it, all on roads so far, until I get more used to it. The 7speed manual transmission is great; the only way to go for me. I was pleasantly surprised with the ride and lack of road and wind noise (up to 70, so far). Visibility is also excellent all around. The tailgate is a bit weird and will take some getting used to. Fit and finish are excellent. For $30k it’s a steal.
Flashman
Technician

A comprehensive, well-written article. But it would be better if you knew the difference between "compliment" and "complement".
Tim
Technician

That's just one of several grammatical errors. Sadly, it seems that online journalism doesn't allow time for an editor's review. (This isn't an issue solely at Hagerty.) Fortunately, the content of the article made it worth the read, although I'm still trying to envision the rear glass tailgate issue as it was not very clearly described.
MAXTHEAX
Intermediate Driver

Whatever happened to spell check?
bradfa
Advanced Driver

Awesome to see a REAL review of the Bronco, including real off-roading and mishaps! Keep reviews like this coming, it's a breath of fresh air in today's media scene and for people who are actually wondering about the real capabilities of vehicles, it's a great additional source of info beyond reading through hours and hours of forums.
Sledogpilot
Detailer

I like the “warts and all” approach. Haggerty is the best source for automotive journalism IMHO.
BeatCancer
Intermediate Driver

I rode in one with Baja driver Shelby Hall earlier this year. Ford has done a good, modern design. Now, if they can manufacture them with aplomb. It felt much bigger to me than a Wrangler. The screen in it was the most amazingly bright and clear screen I have ever seen. But, I am not a fan of screens, in general.
gfviperman
Detailer

There Is Only One JEEP!!!
Sledogpilot
Detailer

In the Black Hills of South Dakota, the narrower you are the easier it is to wheel. Trails that would be fun on a UTV have made me send the passengers out of the vehicle.
The tranny skid plate issue is easily fixed, the width is not.
So disappointing that a manufacturer can’t build a simple small 4 wheeler with a vinyl interior that can be hosed out like an original Bronco or FJ40 but let’s be honest- even the Broncos with lockers, sway bar disconnects and bead locks spend more time at the mall than the trail.
JGeske
Instructor

It is made, but not street legal, not to mention the legal issues Jeep is giving it: The Mahindra Roxor. Essentially a 1960s CJ with a diesel that is classified as a side by side. Best part, you get to row your own gears and enjoy that 3rd pedal! It even has a proper 2 speed transfer case, take that other UTVs! For those that miss the original CJs but cannot justify the cost to maintain one, this thing is great, especially for about $16k. Full disclosure, my dad and I bought one together to bring back the fun memories of his old CJ 5 that he sold when I was a kid, so I am a little biased.
Sledogpilot
Detailer

A little too slow to drive on many highways. Some states (not ours) won’t license I think?

JGeske
Instructor

Yeah, it is strictly a trail machine, unless you live in an area (as I do here in Northern Wisconsin) in which counties and municipalities allow ATV/UTV use on highways. Around here, getting stuck behind a Kawasaki Mule going 45mph on a county highway is normal.

acooper529
Advanced Driver

I always try to read.... WAIT.... and then (maybe) post a response.
I have 50+ years in everything that moves, but most of it was the 42 years in my own auto shop.
Who among your readers is seriously interested in a 60K Bronco... for real?
You guys have covered this like the second coming for so long that it COULD appear that you have a interest in pushing (selling) this thing or filling space?
1. I DO NOT think for one minute that the above is true, just the perception.
2. You are wearing me out with this thing. All (or most) prior Bronco models (from the beginning) were rusted out junk somewhere between their 5th and 10th birthdays, along with horrendous handling and poor to modest performance (and REALLY **bleep**ty gas mileage). What the hell?
How much copy has been dedicated to this NEW Bronco in your Mag and online so far?

All the haters can begin now with your responses, but what do the regular customers think?
And what if this thing turns out to be another FJ Cruiser? OH MY GOD... NO!
MATTMERICA
Technician

The prices for the new rigs are grotesque. Case in point - the cheapo transmission pan lol. I agree with you, the knee pads have been out for a loooong time on this "new" bronco, but the idiots at Ford put out the "sport" version first which literally looks like the honda element on roids, and I have yet to see anybody but a soccer mom driving it. I will refrain from any other comments, because the minute I saw the picture in the story with those rocks so close to he vehicle my hands started sweating. I like to fly over (in a plain) or hike over rough terrain - the thought of taking a $60k box out the scrape and gouge rock canyon makes about as much sense to me as bringing sand to the beach. But to each his own.
MATTMERICA
Technician

excuse the typos lol
50s60s70s
Detailer

A little harsh...not inaccurate. i actually like the first generation Bronco, it was everything you described for handling but the 289 and cover gave it an edge over an open jeep. No excuses for taste, I also collect Torinos..... I can remember as a kid riding in a 67 Bronco from Eastern Colorado to Colorado Springs in a blizzard under a blanket the back seat where the heater barely kept the front windshield clear and there was frost on the inside of the back windows 😳. Good old days?...not so much.
OldCarMan
Instructor

MEH.
Every comparison to a Jeep is "comparable" to, but not better. Designed for boulevardier wanna-bes. Yes, you can go off road, mostly. I don't see this being any more successful than Bronco 1.
MAXTHEAX
Intermediate Driver

As long as these stay off road and out of the passing lane, go ahead.
Rick2
Instructor

I really wanted to like this thing but the price, width and unnecessary silly issues have turned me off. I still like the looks but no high priced offroader for me.
gtokdx1
Detailer

I really like that Ford Bronco Badlands Sasquatch Diamond Plate vehicle equipped with the special Goodyear "Can't Say Wrangler" Terrain M/T tires!!!
MATTMERICA
Technician

I am not into this whole trail driving/crush mother nature with a vehicle thing, but seriously, a twig took this thing out, are you kidding me?!?
OMPguy
Intermediate Driver

The Pinzgauer is narrower than any Jeep.
DMcC
Detailer

Chuckle!
Maestro1
Technician

Phillip it's rude, fat, ugly, and no one except Ford would be dumb enough to have a plastic
transmission cover. It's also overpriced, and I'm sure I'll see millions on the road.
carguyjim
Detailer

Sorry, but without the expensive and depreciating-in-value goodies, these look SO cheap. Completely lacking in character. The "Bronco Wave" isn't an assured feature of ownership...
Oldroad1
Gearhead

Missing something of such importance as protection of a tranmission fluid pan is a typical example of factory obsolescence.
oldnasty1937
Pit Crew

Too many gadgets for my taste.
50s60s70s
Detailer

Truly NOT off road! To many things to break.
Heated seats! Really!!!! This is nothing more than another urban assault vehicle. Over priced, overly complicated, designed solely for bragging rights for those that can afford a $60,000.00 monster to fight for a Wal-Mart parking space.
Off road = simple, easy for field repairs, and designed to not leave you walking.
Johnnay
New Driver

"Real talk: This is the SUV the Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro wishes it could be." Seriously?? This statement will be hilarious in 5 years when all the mechanical problems with the Bronco kill sales, and the Broncos themselves..! I love the look of the Bronco, but reliability is crucial in off road situations. The only reason to get anything other than a 4Runner (pretty much any model) is if you actually need solid front axles.
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

Plastic parts in harm's way without any protection seems like a dumb idea. This is not the first time Ford Bean Counters put a plastic part where a metal one should have been.
brb
Instructor

Nice article and review. Too bad the new Bronco is oversized, like the JL. Smaller works better offroad. That said, I'm finding in Colorado that the UTV's and side-by-sides are getting so big that many former ATV trails can now be traversed comfortably in my Jeep TJ.