Ever since Ford confirmed the upcoming arrival of the 2020 Ford Bronco, the automotive world has excitedly been awaiting its debut with much conjecture and a collective held breath. The Bronco will be spawning several models such as 2 and 4-door models as well as likely a hybrid in the future.
Originally offered for sale from 1965 to 1995, Ford unveiled the new Bronco in 2017, initially to be released in 2019 and currently pushed back to spring 2020. Although based on the new Ford Ranger platform, the Bronco has been envisioned as a tough, go-anywhere SUV. Ford has apparently worked hard at creating a vehicle with serious off-road prowess while paying tribute to the original Bronco with some retro styling touches.
We think Ford may have an ace up its sleeve, but it may not all be smooth sailing for this midsize SUV. Here are some reasons why we are cautiously optimistic about the rebirth of an American icon.
20 It will be a Serious Off-Road Machine
Envisioned as a go-anywhere adventure machine, Ford has baked some serious off-roading DNA into the new Bronco. It’s a traditional body-on-frame SUV, with solid axles, generous approach, breakaway and departure angles as well as short front and rear overhangs to ensure it can tackle any terrain and hang with the Jeep Wrangler and the rest of the competition.
19 It's Based on the New Ranger
Introduced for the 2019 model year in the US, the new Ford Ranger’s truck-specific body-on-frame platform is the sensible starting point for the new Bronco. Ford will also use the drivetrain and many of the underpinnings of the Ranger for the Bronco rebirth. This will help save money and accelerate the initial production of the new SUV as it embarks on offering more variants in the future.
18 It will be a Real Body-on-Frame Truck
The Ranger-based SUV will sport a high-strength steel frame backbone in a rugged ladder-type body-on-frame setup which will help it compete with the all-conquering off-road machine that is the Jeep Wrangler. Although on-pavement ride quality will certainly be compromised, the trade-off is acceptable given Ford’s desire to build an adventure machine to take on the Wrangler in all areas.
17 Roof and Doors will Reportedly Come Off
Fans of open-air motoring who like rugged SUV’s can rejoice! There’s finally another alternative to the Jeep Wrangler if you want to go off-roading alfresco. The new Bronco will apparently have removable doors and roof, which can be conveniently stored in the cargo area. Now you can have your sun and stars while bathing in trail dust.
16 It will have a Turbo Ecoboost Engine
Most people in the know agree that the new Bronco will come with Ford Ranger’s turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder with 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. It will also feature Ranger’s 10-speed automatic transmission, and probably many other underpinnings from the pickup.
Plans to introduce other engines are rumored, however, including the aforementioned 2.7L Ecoboost V6. Stay tuned.
15 Tough, Rugged Styling
The teaser photos and silhouettes of draped vehicles released by Ford and renderings by informed and other plaudits alike point to a boxy, rugged and Tonka-truck shaped SUV. The shape is a nod to the past and only strengthens Ford’s desire to promote the new Bronco as a tough off-roader and a no-nonsense adventure machine of an SUV.
14 The Latest in Infotainment
Ford will surely equip this brand-new vehicle with the latest in technology and infotainment gizmos to ensure it meets or beats the competition. This will likely include Ford's upcoming Sync 4 infotainment system, which includes support for both wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The Bronco should also offer a suite of active and passive tech tidbits that are currently available on the Ranger, including automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist, according to cnet.com.
13 It will have a 10-Speed Automatic Transmission
Shared with the new for 2019 Ford Ranger, Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission is the only transmission initially available in the new Ford bronco. According to Ford, it’s also the only 10-speed transmission available in the segment, and paired with the Ecoboost engine, provides V6-type torque but with the economy of a 4-cylinder.
12 It will Spawn a Hybrid
A gas/electric hybrid version of the new Bronco is “definitely” in the works, according to Ford. While the exact details aren’t clear at this time, this is inline with Ford embracing hybrid and electric technology to enhance most of its lineup as it enters the new decade. It’s also good news for those looking for a traditional SUV that is friendly at the pump and to the environment.
11 There Might be a Pickup Version
Although the new Bronco is based on the Ford Ranger platform, Ford’s desire to go head-to-head with the Jeep Wrangler means that a pickup version of this SUV will possibly appear later to augment the lineup. It will be something along the lines of the Jeep Gladiator, and would be significantly different (and more expensive) than the Ranger.
10 It May Get a Manual Transmission
Seemingly a strange choice in a midsize SUV, the rumored manual transmission availability in the new Bronco only shows how seriously Ford intends to take on the Jeep Wrangler. If it does come, it will likely be a 7-speed manual, according to Jalopnik, although that would likely be paired with Ford’s 2.7L Ecoboost V6, which itself is rumored to be forthcoming later in the new Bronco.
9 It’s Already Racing!
Ford has already entered the racing version of the new Bronco - dubbed the Bronco R - in one of the most grueling off-road races in the world, the Baja 1000, exactly 50 years after having secured an overall victory in the event.
Although not nearly as successful this time around, Ford is intent on demonstrating the new Bronco’s prolific off-road capabilities and in the process, giving Jeep something to lose sleep over.
8 It will Cost Less than $40k
Although pricing of the new Ford Bronco has not been announced yet, one look at its competitors’ prices will indicate that the starting price of the new SUV will likely hover around $30,000, with top-of-the-line models squeaking in at under $40k.
Since it's an all-new vehicle and reborn icon, those insistent on getting their hands on early-production vehicles will almost certainly have to pay exorbitant dealer markups, however.
7 Retro Touches All Around
Although Ford has gone to great lengths to keep much of the design details of the new Bronco secret, all indications are that it has also worked hard to keep the new Bronco stays true to the original recipe for this iconic SUV. This includes retro styling touches on the exterior and interior of the vehicle from the boxy profile with a rear-mounted spare tire to the (likely) round headlights and evocative grill. All in all, chances are that it will be easily recognizable as a Bronco.
6 There will be a Baby Bronco
Ford’s quest to take on Jeep in this segment of the market will also help spawn a “Baby Bronco”, a unibody, small SUV which will be designed to take on the Jeep Renegade. It will likely be introduced at or before the unveiling of its bigger brother in 2020, and will probably be based on the FWD Ford Focus platform, according to Road and Track.
5 Reason To Avoid: New Truck Blues?
As with any brand-new, just-released vehicle, and especially on a new platform, the Bronco may be susceptible to first-model-year blues.
Glitches, issues and problems that may appear in such new-to-the-market vehicles usually rear their ugly heads during the first year or two before the manufacturer can address and rectify them.
4 Reason To Avoid: No Third-Row Seating
Designed as a five-seater, no third-row seating option will be available for the new Ford Bronco. This may disappoint some families and prevent them from opting for this new SUV, and others who may want to have this optional utility in their off-roader.
3 Reason To Avoid: 4-Wheel Drive Only
It seems that since Ford has positioned the Bronco primarily as a capable off-roader, it will likely not offer a 2WD option. For those who like the boxy and rugged looks of the new Bronco but hardly venture beyond the pavement and do not care for the added weight and expense of 4WD, this will be disappointing news.
2 Reason To Avoid: 4-Cylinder Engine (Initially)
Those hoping for a V8 or even a V6 may find it hard to settle for a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, even if it helps at the gas pump. Although a V6 is rumored to be coming along later in the new Bronco, new owners will initially have to “settle” for the 4-banger and await for Ford to up the ante in the future with more potent options.
1 Reason To Avoid: Boxy, retro styling
Although the retro styling may look avant-garde and sharp, it may not be to everyone’s liking and it also runs the risk of looking dated well ahead of its time. It will be interesting to see how consumers will respond to the looks of the vehicle upon its introduction and how well Ford will attempt to keep the styling fresh in the years to come.