Every once in a blue moon I go for an evening walk. Yes, that’s an odd way to start a column about a car but, just hear … er, read me out. I walk up my street and look to my right and there it is. A car I’ve never seen before. It looks like a Jeep and if I were to guess I would have said Jeep made it. The looks alone made me want it and I hadn’t even heard about the engine or for goodness sake even seen it move. The front of it read Bronco and the headlights depict the universal sign for power. Being born in 2001 means I’d never seen, nor heard of a Bronco until that night.
After the walk, I dove right into the depths that are the internet and began my research. See, Ford discontinued the Bronco in 1996 and replaced it with the Expedition. Which in my opinion looked a bit boring but consumer choice was changing at the time, and they are a business with sales numbers to meet. Ford brought back the Bronco in 2021 and it looks absolutely incredible! The Bronco was originally designed to compete with the Jeep which makes sense evident in its design. Short in length and big in the wheels which seems to add to its rugged and capable frame.
I was very eager to learn about what this 4X4 Ford can offer to the modern off-roader. One thing that stuck out was a camping package that allows a tent to be fitted to the roof of the vehicle. This of course only made me, and I assume most people who enjoy camping, want one even more. There are over 400,000 square kilometres of national parks in Canada and being able to step off the roof of your Ford Bronco, forget you’re on the roof of a car, and fall flat on your face into the road is definitely something I would pay for. I’m serious, it’s better to have a good story than a good time, even if it’s a story you're falling in.
I am genuinely excited about the Bronco leading a new era of off-road vehicles, but the only thing it really has on a Jeep is the fact that it’s modular and has fantastic packages. A Jeep is the ultimate off-road vehicle, and you can’t talk about the Bronco without talking about the Jeep, just like you can’t talk about burgers without fries. Wrangler is to Bronco as burgers are to fries and if you're going to compare them you might as well do it right. To get people to consider the Bronco, Ford needs those extras and striking design to create more buying incentive. In my case, it works. Jeep has the prestige of its brand to bring comfort to consumers when they dream of ramming it up hills only mountain goats dare to climb. I’m not saying Jeeps aren’t good, what I am saying is the Bronco looks just as good covered in mud as it does with a tent on top. Jeep wouldn’t be Jeep if they weren’t good at off-roading, they were in the war so I think they deserve it, but you can’t deny that over the years Jeep has gone the direction of a more relaxed SUV style than a rugged off-road machine, minus, of course, the Wrangler. Evidently that sells, but so do rugged off-road vehicles and Ford has decided to add a great one back into its lineup. Just like Toyota has the Landcruiser but doesn’t only make the Landcruiser.
However you see it, I think Ford has made a fantastic decision bringing back the Bronco and the presales show it. At the time of release (July 13) 150,000 people pre-ordered the vehicle and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of those people owned a Wrangler. Don’t worry Wrangler fans, Jeep sold about 201,000 Wranglers in 2020 so I’m sure the company’s safe … for now.