2021 - Present Ford Bronco
The Ford Bronco was resurrected by the Blue Oval brand as a new SUV for 2021, following a 24-year absence. This sixth-generation Bronco was offered with the choice of two or four doors, a first for the nameplate. From the grille to the brake lights the styling cues paid homage to the original Bronco. The new Bronco was a true off-road vehicle developed to compete with the Jeep Wrangler and Toyota 4Runner.
The base powertrain was a 2.3-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine making 300 horsepower, an engine largely similar to those shared with the Ford Mustang and Ranger.
A 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged 330-horsepower six-cylinder was optional.
Both engines were paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission and all Broncos were four-wheel drive. Both the long and short-wheelbase versions of the Bronco were rated to tow up to 3500 pounds. Like the Bronco II of the past, a smaller SUV bearing the Bronco name was sold alongside the Bronco. The Bronco Sport launched in the same year as a small four-door SUV.
The New Bronco launched in a variety of trims aimed at different levels of off-road capability. Most notably a Sasquatch package was available with 35-inch tires and selectable off-road driving modes.
Two-door models came standard with a hardtop, while four-door models were standard with a soft top and a hardtop was optional. Unlike models throughout the history of the Ford Bronco, plenty of tech features were available including a standard 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto included. Active safety features were largely optional and included automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and blind-spot monitoring.
For the 2022 model year, Ford advanced the Bronco’s offroad credentials by launching the Bronco DR, designed to take on the Baja 1000. This offroad racing-ready vehicle had a starting price of over $200,000.
Ford also added the Everglades models, a street-legal off-roader that included a snorkel, winch, and model-specific 17-inch wheels with 35-inch tires. Also new for the model year was the Hoss 3.0 package which featured heavy-duty Fox dampers. An even more hardcore Bronco Raptor was launched featuring a 418 horsepower twin-turbo V6, 37-inch tires, and a long-travel suspension.
In 2023, the Bronco added a Heritage Edition with vintage-inspired white top, wheels, grill, and accents. Beyond that, a Heritage Limited Edition included special throwback badging and leather seats with plaid inserts.
For a full set of photos of the 2021 Ford Bronco, check out our gallery here.
1992 - 1996 Ford Bronco (5th Generation)
Ford updated the Bronco again in 1992, coinciding with the redesign of the new F-150 pickup truck. While the fifth-generation’s styling was again evolutionary, there were numerous safety upgrades over previous iterations. A center high-mounted stoplight was added, along with three-point rear seatbelts, driver's side airbag, and front crumple zones. The rear portion of the roof was also not intended to be removed any longer.
V8 engines became standard in 1994 with the discontinuation of the six-cylinder powerplant. Both a five-speed manual and a four-speed automatic transmission were available, and four-wheel anti-lock brakes became standard in 1993. The Nite Package was replaced in 1994 with the monochrome package on XLT Sport models. Leather upholstery was a new option for XLT and Eddie Bauer models.
Production of the Bronco ended in 1996, replaced by the four-door Expedition full-size SUV in a bid to compete with General Motors' popular Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon, as the market for two-door full-size SUVs had been shrinking.
Some Ford executives claimed at the time the Bronco’s discontinuation was hastened by the infamous O.J. Simpson chase, which featured a 1993 model year Bronco XLT. Another contributor may have been the introduction of the Ford Explorer in 1991, as consumers shifted to more family-friendly midsize SUVs.
1987 - 1991 Ford Bronco (4th Generation)
The fourth-generation Bronco appeared in late 1986, just as the F-150 was updated. Still based on the previous generation, the Bronco adopted a more aerodynamic exterior with flush-mounted headlights and smoother body panels reminiscent of Ford's passenger cars of the time. The interior was also updated with more car-like amenities and smoother designs for the dashboard and seats.
More feature-laden trims like the Eddie Bauer continued. A Nite package in 1991 added blacked-out exterior trim and period graphics.
New features included standard rear anti-lock brakes, while fuel injection became standard on all engines in 1988. A 4.9-liter six-cylinder engine, along with the 5.0-liter and 5.8-liter V8s, were offered, while a five-speed manual replaced the old four-speed unit. A new push-button four-wheel-drive system was offered, though a manual transfer case remained standard.
1980 - 1986 Ford Bronco (3rd Generation)
The second-generation Bronco was on sale for just two years before the third-generation Bronco appeared for 1980. It was slightly smaller, but had greater fuel efficiency than the previous model, and was now based on the popular Ford F-series pickup truck.
Under the skin, which was outwardly similar to the new F-150, the Bronco returned with a six-cylinder engine as its standard powerplant, although V8 power was still available. Fuel injection and a four-speed automatic transmission would eventually be available during the third generation's run. In a bid to make it more civilized on the pavement, the Bronco gained independent front suspension, while retaining a live rear axle.
While still a true off-roader, the Bronco added more car-like trim packages during this period. This included the introduction of the Eddie Bauer model, which boasted features such as plush upholstery and carpet and two-tone exterior paint.
In 1984 the Ford Bronco II was introduced as a midsize model, and would run alongside the fullsize Bronco until 1990.
1978 - 1979 Ford Bronco (2nd Generation)
The second-generation Bronco was completely updated for 1978, significantly growing in size and power. Now based on the full-size Ford F-100 pickup truck, the Bronco was only available with V8 engines and a choice of two four-wheel-drive systems. The new Bronco was a half-cab configuration with a removable hardtop over the rear portion of the vehicle, rather than a true convertible.
Styling also closely mimicked Ford's pickup trucks. The three-door wagon was now the only body style available, but it retained a partially removable roof for open-air driving. The wider body also made it possible to get a Bronco to seat up to six people for the first time.
New options included air conditioning, audio system, and tilt steering wheel, while the rear window could be lowered electrically.
1966 - 1977 Ford Bronco (1st Generation)
The Ford Bronco was introduced in August 1965. The first-generation Bronco was a rival to the Jeep CJ-5 and International Harvester Scout in a category that would much later be called sport-utility vehicles, the Bronco came with standard four-wheel-drive and a six-cylinder engine.
A V8 engine was made available during 1966. All models received a three-speed manual transmission and manual transfer case, although an automatic transmission was made available in 1973.
Three body styles were initially offered for the Bronco: a closed wagon and a pickup truck, both with two doors, and an open roadster that lacked any doors. On the closed wagon, the roof could be removed to make the Bronco an open-air vehicle.
Most Broncos were sparsely equipped like the rival Jeeps of the time but could be optioned with a rear seat, front bucket seats, various trim packages, and even a snowplow or a winch.
The Chevy Blazer was introduced in 1969 as the first major competitor to the Bronco in the full-size two-door SUV category.