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Kelley Blue Book: Which is better, the 2021 Ford Bronco or the 2021 Jeep Wrangler?

The 2021 Ford
F,
-1.71%

Bronco has classic roots in the world of off-roading, but the 2021 Jeep Wrangler has an even longer and more continuous track record of being America’s go-to off-roader. No matter which of these two mountain goats comes out on top, there’s one clear winner: The off-road enthusiast.

2021 Ford Bronco

2021 Ford Bronco starting price: $29,995

Above average: Styling and capability are true to the classic 1966-77 Bronco; advanced 4WD tech helps off-roaders of all abilities.

Below average: Higher trim levels can get pricey; big blind spots.

Consensus: The 2021 Ford Bronco is back with the power, tough off-road gear, and styling that will excite Bronco fans while encouraging new buyers to take a look.

2021 Jeep Wrangler

2021 Jeep Wrangler starting price: $28,295

Above average: Winner KBB Best Resale Value & 5-Year Cost to Own Awards; new 4xe plug-in hybrid and Rubicon 392 V8 models, Xtreme Recon package.

Below average: Spartan base model; on-road manners still compromised.

Consensus: The 2021 Jeep Wrangler is a satisfying mix of classic design and real-deal off-road chops with modern safety systems, amenities, and technology.

Don’t miss: The 10 most fun SUVs

Bronco vs. Wrangler: Challenging the champ

Ford Bronco

The Ford Bronco drives like a truck. It’s a bit bouncy on rough roads, and it exhibits notable body roll if you take a turn a little too fast. However, we wouldn’t call it uncomfortable, and its road manners are good enough for daily driving. Road noise isn’t too bad, and the Bronco is more composed on the highway than its chief rival, the Jeep Wrangler.

What the Ford Bronco lacks in on-road refinement, it more than makes up for in off-road capability. From the desert sand to muddy trails to technical rock climbing, the Bronco can pretty much do it all. Turn the dial to choose one of your G.O.A.T. (Go Over Any Type of Terrain) modes, and the Bronco will optimize things like throttle mapping, shift points, steering, and much more to give you the best experience on-road and off.

The 2021 Ford Bronco comes in six trim levels, based on what you want your vehicle to be capable of. The 2-door base model comes with a modular hardtop, and you can only get the softtop on 4-door models. Ford also anticipates it will offer more than 200 accessories that can be installed by the dealer.

The 4WD-only 2021 Ford Bronco is available with two engines. The standard engine, a 2.3-liter turbocharged EcoBoost 4-cylinder, puts out 275 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque (or 300 and 325, respectively, with premium fuel). The optional engine, a 2.7-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo V-6, offers 310 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. The manual transmission, a 7-speed gearbox (six speeds + crawl), is only available with the 2.3-liter engine. Both engines are available with a 10-speed automatic.

Learn more: Your guide to the 2021 Ford Bronco: models, Sasquatch package, pricing and tech

Jeep Wrangler

The 2021 Jeep Wrangler is now three years into its latest generation, known as the JL. It remains offered as a 2-door or the more popular and roomier 4-door Wrangler Unlimited. All models come with a soft top that can be removed (along with the doors) for open-air adventures. An optional hardtop is available.

All Wranglers are 4-wheel drive, and a variety of engines are available. A V6 is standard, or buyers can opt for a spunky turbocharged 4-cylinder, a V6 with mild-hybrid assistance, or a wonderfully stout diesel V6 that debuted last year.

The new Wrangler Rubicon 392 is a limited-edition model and an absolute powerhouse thanks to an SRT-tuned 6.4-liter V8 delivering 470 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. That’s enough to propel this Jeep to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds.

Also new for 2021 is the Wrangler 4xe, a plug-in hybrid Jeep with 21 miles of electric-only range. Intriguingly, it also will allow for up to a few hours of silent EV off-road motoring.

Late in 2021, customers also will be able to order a 2022 Wrangler with 4.88:1 final-drive gearing. When equipped with that low gearing and the 6-speed manual transmission, this Jeep becomes the first Wrangler to have a best-in-class crawl ratio of 100:1.

Similarities

High ground clearance; off-road-focused driving traits; excellent off-road capability; noisy on-road driving.

2021 Ford Bronco advantages

Available 7-speed manual transmission; best-in-class ground clearance, suspension travel, and crawl ratio.

2021 Jeep Wrangler advantages

More engine choices, including hybrid and diesel options.

Which one is right for me?

The 2021 Ford Bronco is a 2- or 4-door off-road-focused, pickup-based SUV with retro styling flair and cutting-edge software.

Read next: The Hummer vs. the Ford Lightning: 2 new electric trucks compared

The 2021 Jeep Wrangler also offers 2- and 4-door body styles. It’s an off-road-focused SUV with its own heritage styling and an impressive set of off-road software as well.

Compare the Bronco and the Wrangler:

2021 Ford Bronco

2021 Jeep Wrangler

Popular Powertrains

Engine

2.3-liter I4

3.6-liter V6

Horsepower

300 hp (premium fuel); 275 hp (regular fuel)

285 hp @ 6,400 rpm

Torque

325 lb-ft (premium fuel); 315 lb-ft (regular fuel)

260 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm

Transmission

7-spd manual

8-spd automatic

Fuel Economy

21 mpg (20 city/22 hwy)

20 mpg (17 city/25 hwy)

Also Available

10-speed automatic

3.0-liter turbodiesel V6; 2.0-liter turbo I4; 6-spd manual

Specs

Warranty

3years/36,000 miles

3years/36,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty

5 years/60,000 miles

5 years/60,000 miles

NHTSA Safety Rating

n/a

4 stars

Max Seating Capacity

5

5

Wheelbase

100.4-116.1 inches

96.8-118.4 inches

Overall Length

173.7-174.8 inches

166.8-188.2 inches

Width

75.9-79.3 inches

73.9 inches

Height

71.9-75.2 inches

73.6 inches

Turning Diameter

35.53 ft

34.5 ft

Headroom, Front

40.8-43.3 inches

40.7-42.6 inches

Headroom, Rear

39.8-41.1 inches

40.2-41.7 inches

Legroom, Front

43.1 inches

41.2 inches

Legroom, Rear

35.7-36.3 inches

35.7-38.3 inches

Shoulder Room, Front

57.1 inches

55.7 inches

Shoulder Room, Rear

51.8 inches

55.7-57.7 inches

Passenger Volume

103.7 cubic feet

103.7 cubic feet

This story originally ran on KBB.com.

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