JL Wrangler vs New Ford Bronco

ThirtyOne

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So I got to "see" a couple of Broncos this past weekend. They were in a dealer's parking lot and were not allowed to be test-driven.

Both of the Broncos were 4-doors with soft tops. One was an Outer Banks and one was a Big Bend. The Big Bend had cloth interior and a manual. Outer Banks was automatic.

The interior was a little better than I expected. I liked the grab handles and some of the interior layout. The center stack has some really ugly Ford parts bin parts, for example the AC controls. The layout accommodates larger infotainment and a wireless charging pad for your phone, which I think integrates with wireless CarPlay and Android Auto. I like how the Aux switches are overhead. I didn't like the placement of the window switches and I don't like the rotary TC selector. I like how there is an option for charging ports at the top of the dashboard. Overall, I think the Wrangler interior is much better-looking, but Bronco has better tech.

The Outer Banks had gray/blue interior that was kind of vinyl/leather. It didn't look very good to me.

I also noticed that the doors don't require you to pull off trim pieces and remove bolts for the door checks to disconnect.

Visibility with the soft top down was terrible. Rear visibility overall was poor compared to Wrangler.

Turn indicators in the mirrors and body-colored mirrors on the Outer Banks looked nice. The fenders on the Big Bend didn't look as bad as I thought they would.

I'm a big fan of the frameless windows. Definitely feels and looks more open than a Wrangler with the top down and the doors on.

The interior was very open with the top down without the sport bar, but I think I would miss the dome light and speakers.

Lack of AC vents in the rear of the 4-door was a big miss.

I know styling is subjective. I like the grille and the overall shape and styling. But to me it doesn't look better than a Wrangler from any angle. Obviously the top is a little chopped compared to the Wrangler. The shoulder of the doors is a little higher on the Wrangler. The end effect is that the Bronco feels a little more low-slung than the Wrangler which is more upright, if that makes sense. From the rear they look almost identical. The Front-end has some issues. The bull bar covers the Bronco logo and the winch has to be mounted on top of the bumper (if the bumper even accommodates a winch).

That's all I can speak to without driving it. As it sits in a parking lot, it feels a LOT like a Wrangler. For the causal buyer I can't imagine not cross-shopping it with a Wrangler once it is generally available.





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BigGreen

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I know Ford is going after the Wrangler in marketing, but I don’t see them competing any more than the 4Runner competes with the Wrangler.
I think the 4Runner is going to get hit harder than Wrangler when these finally come out. But then it comes to perceived reliability. The Bronco will have to have an amazing test drive impression to outweigh the notorious reliability when compared to Toyota, even if that measurement isn’t what it used to be.
I know we have some die hard Ford fanbois on here, but the Bronco has a tough uphill battle. It’s the Dr Pepper in a war between Pepsi and Coke.
 

BuyHold

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So I got to "see" a couple of Broncos this past weekend. They were in a dealer's parking lot and were not allowed to be test-driven.
Wonder if these Broncos were even able to move under their own power. For a while Ford was sending out shell vehicles without working engines.
 

jonahgetz

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Y’all bring up great points.

Hey, at least Ford didn’t go the Chevy Blazer route.

It was good timing for Ford to start preorders when a lot of Americans were receiving stimulus checks.

They should have OJ drive the new Bronco down the i5 for a nostalgic ad campaign, it might backfire though.
 

SouthernJL

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So I got to "see" a couple of Broncos this past weekend. They were in a dealer's parking lot and were not allowed to be test-driven.

Both of the Broncos were 4-doors with soft tops. One was an Outer Banks and one was a Big Bend. The Big Bend had cloth interior and a manual. Outer Banks was automatic.

The interior was a little better than I expected. I liked the grab handles and some of the interior layout. The center stack has some really ugly Ford parts bin parts, for example the AC controls. The layout accommodates larger infotainment and a wireless charging pad for your phone, which I think integrates with wireless CarPlay and Android Auto. I like how the Aux switches are overhead. I didn't like the placement of the window switches and I don't like the rotary TC selector. I like how there is an option for charging ports at the top of the dashboard. Overall, I think the Wrangler interior is much better-looking, but Bronco has better tech.

The Outer Banks had gray/blue interior that was kind of vinyl/leather. It didn't look very good to me.

I also noticed that the doors don't require you to pull off trim pieces and remove bolts for the door checks to disconnect.

Visibility with the soft top down was terrible. Rear visibility overall was poor compared to Wrangler.

Turn indicators in the mirrors and body-colored mirrors on the Outer Banks looked nice. The fenders on the Big Bend didn't look as bad as I thought they would.

I'm a big fan of the frameless windows. Definitely feels and looks more open than a Wrangler with the top down and the doors on.

The interior was very open with the top down without the sport bar, but I think I would miss the dome light and speakers.

Lack of AC vents in the rear of the 4-door was a big miss.

I know styling is subjective. I like the grille and the overall shape and styling. But to me it doesn't look better than a Wrangler from any angle. Obviously the top is a little chopped compared to the Wrangler. The shoulder of the doors is a little higher on the Wrangler. The end effect is that the Bronco feels a little more low-slung than the Wrangler which is more upright, if that makes sense. From the rear they look almost identical. The Front-end has some issues. The bull bar covers the Bronco logo and the winch has to be mounted on top of the bumper (if the bumper even accommodates a winch).

That's all I can speak to without driving it. As it sits in a parking lot, it feels a LOT like a Wrangler. For the causal buyer I can't imagine not cross-shopping it with a Wrangler once it is generally available.

Great write up!
 

ThirtyOne

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Wonder if these Broncos were even able to move under their own power. For a while Ford was sending out shell vehicles without working engines.
The Bronco staff said they have been driving them across the country. So they are functional. But they did say they were pre-production and there may be some slight changes.
 

ThirtyOne

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I know Ford is going after the Wrangler in marketing, but I don’t see them competing any more than the 4Runner competes with the Wrangler.
I think the 4Runner is going to get hit harder than Wrangler when these finally come out. But then it comes to perceived reliability. The Bronco will have to have an amazing test drive impression to outweigh the notorious reliability when compared to Toyota, even if that measurement isn’t what it used to be.
I know we have some die hard Ford fanbois on here, but the Bronco has a tough uphill battle. It’s the Dr Pepper in a war between Pepsi and Coke.
Well I disagree on this. This is like a Ram 1500 versus an F-150. The Bronco is clearly head-to-head with the Wrangler.

While it's not a Jeep, it's a jeep.

And the Toyota reliability has been good for only about 130,000 sales/year for the 4Runner. It just doesn't matter in this segment. It is not a minivan.

I can't imagine not cross-shopping the Wrangler and Bronco.
 

BuyHold

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The Bronco staff said they have been driving them across the country. So they are functional. But they did say they were pre-production and there may be some slight changes.
That is cool! Hope I am not coming across as a Bronco skeptic; I am actually excited to see one once it is in the hands of the public. So far though the Bronco release has just been, in my opinion, an overly drawn out and excessively choreographed affair. The delays, to be fair, don't seem to 100% Ford's fault due to what I understand is unforeseen supply challenges. Just waiting for the time when Ford removes the "pre-production" disclaimers and lets some real consumers drive and truly review these things. I do expect them to be pretty good but we will see.
 

BigGreen

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Well I disagree on this. This is like a Ram 1500 versus an F-150. The Bronco is clearly head-to-head with the Wrangler.

While it's not a Jeep, it's a jeep.

And the Toyota reliability has been good for only about 130,000 sales/year for the 4Runner. It just doesn't matter in this segment. It is not a minivan.

I can't imagine not cross-shopping the Wrangler and Bronco.
Couldn’t be more wrong. The Bronco competes with the Wrangler in the same way a Raptor competes with a PowerWagon.
While they will probably be cross shopped to some extent, ultimately the Bronco will be swaying more 4Runner and Grand Cherokee buyers.
 

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I didn’t want to get involved in this debate, but I’ll chime in.

I just don’t like Fords. 🤷🏼‍♂️

Overall the Bronco looks nice and capable, but I DO NOT like or trust Ford motors. I’ve spoken to a few local mechanics as well as seen some YouTube’s videos, and the all seem to have a common opinion that Ford motors aren’t made well. If you take one apart you’ll see a lot of built up residue in the block that typically other motors wouldn’t have.

I really hope the Bronco is solid, because I want to see this platform do well and not give customers problems. I am skeptical of anything that’s extremely hyped, the marketing has been incredible to make sells, but does the mechanical aspect hold up long term? We shall see. I like to put my money where I know I get a lot for it, and I typically look for longevity with every purchase. I drive a JLU, all manual. I want the least amount of electronics and moving parts for that very reason. Call me an old soul.
Interesting as one of the first letters I got from Jeep was an extended 150k mile warranty on my heads. They don’t give these out unless there are problems. 12 JL Rubicon.
Also considering Ford sells about one million trucks a year I don’t think the problem is so widespread as you say. Have you seen the engine sign off test? It’s crazy!
At the end of the day, The Bronco will be a nice off roader. We just will not see many of them on the trail. It is kind of like the Toyota 4Runner. Great off roader, but you just don't see many of them on the trail.

I was up running trails over the weekend. Saw a lot of Jeeps, A LOT of Jeeps, and one 4runner. This will be the same thing with the Bronco.
The Bronco group and trail run group will be huge. Though it will take a few years for production to catch up. Raptor crew heading out....
Not sure about the Bronco's on trails as we don't have many major trails around here but I'm starting to see a few on the road. I have no problem giving credit where credit is due and when it comes to overall looks of the Bronco well lets just say there is no credit due.....they just don't have that rough and tough go anywhere kind of look. jmo
Are you speaking about oem? The base oem Jeep does not look go anywhere.
 

8flat

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I dont know that serious crawler and IFS go together. lol. The bronco will never be taken serious with IFS and tech. Now if they go super wide we might be talking, and it appears ford is experimenting with that. But reasonable width axles just wont cut it comparably and the reason they had to go GOAT to cover up its inadequacies.

The bronco will be fun as hell going fast though...but so will the 392. I just wish the bronco was better looking....not to mention on the show room floor...like 2 years ago. lol
I used to think that IFS was almost required for any high-speed off roading, until I pushed my JLUR to the limits on a real rough rocky backroad through the mountains......speeds up to ~50mph over a lot of big rock, small ledges, creek crossings etc.....and holy shit these things ride and perform better at speed than going slow. I was freaking amazed. I race dirt bikes (cross country) and have a good understanding of suspension performance over nasty terrain, I walked away super impressed.

My only complaint is wheel hop in sand and snow, other than that I'm not sure the bronco IFS will have a big advantage for the JL's SFA?? Thoughts?
 

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FYI i did succesffuly not on purpose jump my jeep bombing out on a riverwash in anzo borrego this weekend.. nothing broke except one of the straps i use to hold down my cooler, and the only damage from that was my buddies tuna fish sandwich exploded all over the back.. #jeepscanfly #neverallowtunainyourjeep
 

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Thus far all the Bronco represents is a concept vehicle with marketing hype. I am optimistic that the vehicle, when they actually build one for and deliver one to the public, will be good. The empty marketing is getting old at this point. Maybe just me.
Yeah, I think everyone has had enough of the pre-launch marketing at this point.

Even youtubers are openly acknowledging that Bronco Nation and other channels are part of a coordinated corporate campaign —albeit purposely designed to appear “independent.”
 

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FYI i did succesffuly not on purpose jump my jeep bombing out on a riverwash in anzo borrego this weekend.. nothing broke except one of the straps i use to hold down my cooler, and the only damage from that was my buddies tuna fish sandwich exploded all over the back.. #jeepscanfly #neverallowtunainyourjeep
HAHA!
I literally want to jump mine. Nothing crazy, maybe 18" of air, and get a mid-flight picture. I think it'll handle it fine depending on the on/off ramp setup
 

Nickp01

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That is cool! Hope I am not coming across as a Bronco skeptic; I am actually excited to see one once it is in the hands of the public. So far though the Bronco release has just been, in my opinion, an overly drawn out and excessively choreographed affair. The delays, to be fair, don't seem to 100% Ford's fault due to what I understand is unforeseen supply challenges. Just waiting for the time when Ford removes the "pre-production" disclaimers and lets some real consumers drive and truly review these things. I do expect them to be pretty good but we will see.
Dealership reps start driving them next week in Austin to get trained for sales. They are going to do that for the next month, customers will get their hands on them at the beginning of July is my understanding.
Couldn’t be more wrong. The Bronco competes with the Wrangler in the same way a Raptor competes with a PowerWagon.
Those are two vehicles that aren’t even in the same segment. The closest analogy is the Tacoma vs Gladiator and if you think those two aren’t competitors idk what to tell you. (Also the Bronco has a significantly closer feature set to the Wrangler than the Tacoma does to the gladiator.)
 

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