Bronco vs. Wrangler – A battle a long time in the making
The Jeep Wrangler can trace its lineage back to the old military Jeeps. Rumor has it that in the 1960s, Ford wanted a bigger part of the military market (which Ford saw as potentially very profitable) and the original Ford Bronco was an attempt to lure the military away from the Jeep designs. If so, it didn’t work in that role. Instead, the Bronco thrived in other fleet use and among civilian purchasers.
Time marched on. The Bronco grew larger. So did the Jeep CJ. Eventually the larger Bronco was joined by a smaller Bronco II. Then both Bronco models left the market in favor of more refined SUVs like the Ford Explorer (modeled on the Jeep Cherokee). The Jeep CJ became the Wrangler and continued to grow in size and sales. Ford seemed content with more domesticated SUVs, and the Explorer sold quite well despite a tire-failures scandal.
Now it’s 2020 and the Wrangler and Bronco are ready to do battle again. Ford’s Bronco debut has been delayed due to the COVID-19 virus, so the comparison table below relies heavily on rumors and considers the upcoming larger Bronco only.
|Feature||Jeep Wrangler||Ford Bronco|
|Fun Color Names||Jeep has this covered with names like Sting-Gray, Bikini, Hellayella, and Punk'n.||Rumors are the Bronco will have colors such as Anitmatter Blue, Area 51, Cyber Orange, and others.|
|Body Styles||Jeep offers a two door Wrangler and a four door Wrangler Unlimited.||Bronco appears to be offered in two and four door versions as well.|
|Engines||Wrangler offers lots of choices. The 3.6L V6 (with ot without mild hybrid), a 2.0L Turbo (with or without mild hybrid), and a 3.0L turbo diesel.||The 2.3L turbo 4 is very likely and the 2.7L twin-turbo is rumored|
|Transmissions||All engines are available with an 8 speed automatic. The V6 can also be equipped with a 6 speed manual transmission.||Ford's 10 speed automatic is a likely choice. Rumor also has a 7 speed manual transmission will be offered with a "creeper" gear.|
|Front Suspension||Wrangler sticks with the tried and true solid front axle.||Bronco is likely debuting with an independent front suspension, but some sources still claim a solid front axle.|
|Tops||The Wrangler offers a soft top (regular and premium), a removable hard top with removable panels and, a power top (which is more like a really huge sliding sunroof or Targa top).||Leaked Bronco photos have shown both removable hard top and soft top options, but details have been scarce.|
|Premium off road versions||Rubicon has established itself as the most capable of all Wranglers.||Does Ford possibly have a Bronco Raptor up its sleeve?|
|Construction||Body on frame||Body on frame|
|Four wheel drive system||Two speed transfer case, part time 4WD full time 4WD optional||Two speed transfer case is rumored|
|Assembly||Toledo, Ohio||Likely Wayne, Michigan|