Performance Shoot-Out - Bronco vs. The Competition
From the very beginning of the sixth-gen Bronco saga, we knew that Ford was committed to building a true off-road category-killer along the lines of the model's famous predecessors. Making a proper all-terrain vehicle demands an entirely different approach and set of imperatives than making a modern, soft SUV.
This meant that the Bronco’s engineering team needed to aim for slightly different objectives, and that performance, comfort, or road manners might not be as potentially high on the list as some might have wanted.
However, as we can see, Ford did a brilliant job of merging all the attributes that fans of rugged SUVs would put a premium on, so the new Bronco is everything real enthusiasts hoped for. Among its many characteristics worth discussing, today we will cover performance figures -- an important aspect of any car -- and compare it to its biggest competitors.
Even though the new Bronco offers more than decent power output from both its 2.3-liter four-cylinder and 2.7-liter V6 engines, you simply can't expect it to be a Mustang. This vehicle is built for crossing jungles and jumping dunes and not for drag racing on the boulevard.
For those who are new to the whole Bronco story, the power output for both engines is 270 hp (or 300 hp) for the smaller, 2.3-liter unit and 310 hp (or 330 hp) for the bigger 2.7-liter V6. The difference depends on whether you use regular (87 octane) or premium fuel. The torque figures range from 315/325 for the four-cylinder to 400/415 lb-ft for the V6.
But, before we get into comparing the actual acceleration numbers with the Bronco's competitors, let’s remember that there is a significant difference between Bronco models that are powered by the same engines but feature different equipment packages. There's also a weight difference between the lesser- and best-equipped Bronco models, with or without the Sasquatch package.
Of course, transmission choice (manual or 10-speed automatic) will also play a big role .
According to the magazine testers, here are the real-life numbers:
Ford Bronco Black Diamond (two-door) with 2.3-liter and manual:
0-60 mph: 7.0 seconds
¼ mile: 15.5 seconds
Ford Bronco First Edition with Sasquatch Package (two-door) with V6 and automatic:
0-60 mph: 6.3 seconds
¼ mile: 15.0 seconds
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara (2.0-liter/270 hp) with automatic:
0-60 mph: 6.4 seconds
¼ mile: 15.1 seconds
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon (3.6-liter V6/285 hp) with automatic:
0-60 mph: 7.4 seconds
¼ mile: 15.8 seconds
Land Rover Defender 90 (2.0-liter/296 hp) with automatic:
0-60 mph: 7.6 seconds
¼ mile: 14.8 seconds
Toyota 4Runner (4.0-liter/270 hp) with automatic:
0-60 mph: 7.5 seconds
¼ mile: 16.0 seconds
So, the conclusion is pretty simple. None of these vehicles will offer back-snapping, muscle car-like acceleration or ¼ mile times, but they aren't meant to do that. These are true off-roaders, and they will prove their worth on the trails.
However, we can see that the V6-powered Broncos are very quick and that they can outrun their competition, for the most part, even though the Land Rover Defender 90 has the fastest ¼ mile time. On the other hand, the four-cylinder Bronco is still a bit slower than the four-cylinder Wrangler.
It's also important to note that both the Wrangler and Defender have V8 options with sublime acceleration and ¼ mile times, which offer their customers real, top-tier performance, but at a significantly higher price tag.
There's no doubt still plenty of room for improvement in the Bronco lineup in this regard, and we're confident that Ford’s engineers have several performance models in the pipeline -- the Bronco Warthog will probably be the first to appear. Still, we shouldn’t forget the potential Shelby Bronco.