2021 Ford Bronco vs. 2021 Jeep Wrangler: which really is the best SUV?

Presenting the 2021 duel between the Ford Bronco (left) and the Jeep Wrangler(right)

We all know that the SUV segment has literally exploded in recent years. In Blainville or St-Jérôme on the North Shore, or on the West Island, there's really something for everyone, whether it's a micro-compact, sub-compact, compact, mid-size or full-size one. On the other hand, despite this multitude of choices, only one can boast of having removable doors, roof and folding windshield. The 2021 Jeep Wrangler is the one and only that can claim such a feat.

Jeep DNA in the new 2021 Wrangler

The first Jeep vehicle appeared in 1940, intended for soldiers of the U.S. Army, and it was named Willys at the time. More than 80 years later, this Jeep SUV has retained its unique DNA while allowing itself to evolve to keep pace with the demands of drivers over the years. In 2020, the American automaker paid tribute to its forefather by presenting a Willys version, accompanied that same year by the Black & Tana Edition.

Still considered a timeless icon as well as an undisputed expert in off-road driving, the 2021 Wrangler now faces a new opponent, the 2021 Ford Bronco. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the Bronco arrived in 1966 and was abandoned in 1996, and you don't have to be a mind reader to know that the 2021 Bronco was designed and built to compete directly with the 2021 Wrangler.

2021 Jeep 
Wrangler SUV

Showroom image of the 2021 Jeep Wrangler

Starting at $37,070 + Sales Taxes*

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The 2021 Ford Bronco comes close but still second to the 2021 Wrangler

Since it is necessary to give credit where credit is due, we must admit that the Bronco has a killer look and its lines respectfully remind one of its predecessor, with a frankly successful modernized touch. Apparently, those in charge of its design were inspired by an old Bronco, which was left parked at Ford's studios for the entire time of its conception. Now, the question remains whether it has everything it takes to hurt the undisputed king of off-roading, so here's a Bronco vs Wrangler comparison.

First of all, the Ford will be able to get rid of its doors and roof and will be available in 2-door and 4-door versions for all models, just like the Wrangler, except for the windshield which remains fixed on the Bronco. It will be available in 6 variants, namely the Base, Big Bend, Black Diamond, Badlands, Outer Banks and Wildtrak. Its prices range from approximately $40,500 to just under $59,000.

2021 Jeep Wrangler Powertrain

Depending on your model, this 4x4 SUV offers 2 turbocharged engines: a 2.3-litre 4-cylinder engine with 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque, and a 2.7-litre V6 engine with 310 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. Either a 7-speed manual or a 10-speed automatic transmission are available.

At Jeep, there's no skimping choice, with 16 of them, namely the Sport, Willys Sport, Sport S, Islander, Willys, 80th Anniversary Edition, Unlimited Sport 80th Anniversary, Rubicon, Unlimited Sport S, Unlimited Islander, Unlimited Sport Altitude, Unlimited Willys, Unlimited Sahara, Unlimited Sahara Altitude, Unlimited Rubicon and Unlimited Sahara High Altitude, from just above $35,000 to slightly over $56,000.

Close-up view of the front wheels on the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
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Front view of the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

More powertrains are available, including the 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 with 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, the 3.0-litre EcoDiesel V6 with 260 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque, the 2.0-litre 4-cylinder Turbo with 270 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, not to forget the V8 monster with 470 horsepower and the same amount of torque, exclusive to the Rubicon 392. A 6-speed manual transmission or 8-speed automatic complete the picture.

Now that we know the models, prices and engines, what about their respective capabilities? Because looks alone certainly can't guarantee its prowess, which may or may not help it be the best SUV between the two.

All Ford Bronco models come standard with 4-wheel drive, and the base part-time 4x4 system is an electronic shift-on-the-fly 2-speed transfer case. As an option, you can get an advanced 4x4 system featuring a 2-speed electromechanical transfer case with automatic on-demand engagement. Also, the multi-terrain selector gives you up to 7 drive modes.

As for the Wrangler, it's renowned for its 3 super-efficient 4x4 systems, all equipped with a 2-speed transfer case; the Command-Trac is standard on the Sport and Sahara versions. There are also the responsive Selec-Trac, standard on Sahara models, and the very efficient heavy-duty part-time Rock-Trac with Tru-Lok electronic locking differentials and electronic front sway bar disconnect. Both can tow up to 1,580 kg (3,500 lb).

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Bronco vs. Wrangler: the 2021 Jeep Wrangler, better value for the money

Aside from the fact that the Wrangler will cost you less, it also offers you infinitely more choices in terms of versions and body colours, more powerful engines including a diesel engine as well as a 350-horsepower Plug-In Hybrid with 442 lb-ft of torque, and it provides more conveniences, including 8 speakers versus 6, Electronic Stability Control with Trailer Sway Control, a block heater and Hill Start Assist, among others. 

But the real question is, how can you compete with more than 80 years of experience in off-road capabilities, especially when you're part of a family with decades of expertise? It all sounds very interesting on paper, however, the real competition is on the field and as such, the Bronco has a lot to prove. A lot.

Come discover the new 2021 Wrangler in St-Eustache

It is certain that the Wrangler's aficionados will always swear by it; for others or "infidels", it remains to be seen whether the Ford will be able to live up to its pretensions. In any case, years from now, it is absolutely certain that the Jeep Wrangler will still be the champion of off-road driving, despite vain attempts from its detractors. And for those who've already understood this, come and choose yours at your Excellence Chrysler St-Eustache dealership, easily accessible from the West Island, St-Jérôme and Blainville on the North Shore.