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8 SUVs Similar to the Ford Bronco

Ford Bronco

First introduced in 1965 and produced until 1996, Ford reintroduced the Bronco in 2021. Beginning as a compact SUV in 1965, the Ford Bronco grew to adulthood in 1977.

It remained there as a full-size SUV until discontinued in 1996. However, the newest rendition of the iconic Ford is a mid-size SUV that has much more competition today than it did at its inception.

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Three SUVs that can match the Bronco for over road ability and trim levels are the Jeep Wrangler, Land Rover Defender, and Toyota Four Runner.

Although the Bronco and Wrangler can have body parts stripped away, a door at a time, the 4Runner and Defender have fully enclosed bodies. The only available roof opening is an optional sunroof. However, they all have their place in the world of off-road vehicles.

Ford Bronco Features

As mentioned above, the Ford Bronco has a heritage almost as deep as a Jeep. The original vintage of the Bronco was short, with a rugged four-wheel-drive system, the used front locking hubs, and was powered by a 302 cubic inch small block V8.

The early Broncos were like riding a two-horse buggy on the road, but off-road, they climbed like goats and gave the Jeeps a run for their money.

Their short overhangs and length made them as agile on the trail as any Jeep. The 2022 Ford Bronco has the same panache as its predecessor; however, it is comfortable.

The dash is padded and comes in various colors, trim levels, and power options. With a base price of $30,800, the Ford Bronco is available in eight trim levels, three engine options, and a ten-speed automatic gearbox.

In addition, there is a seven-speed manual available on the Sasquatch model. Yes, seven speeds in a manual configuration. Now there’s something new!

The Raptor and Everglades are the newest additions to Fords’ stable of Broncos. The lineup starts with the two-door base, then moves up the line to the Big Bend, Black Diamond, Outer Banks, Badlands, Wildtrak, Everglades, and finally, the Raptor.

The standard engine in the Ford Bronco isn’t a small block V8. Instead, it is a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder that turns out an incredible 300 horsepower and 325 lb. feet of torque.

In addition, the available 2.7-liter V6 has two turbos bolted on, which give you another 30 horsepower over the four, giving it an output of 330 horsepower and 415 lb. feet of torque.

However, the Raptor that arrived for 2022 shows what Ford can do to build a trail-ready Bronco. Powered by a twin-turbo 3.0 V6, Ford has squeezed a remarkable 400 horsepower from the engine of the Raptor.

Along with beefier suspension and its 37-inch tires, it is a rock crawlin’ machine outside of the box. But, of course, all of these goodies come at a price, and the base price for this particular Bronco is tickling the seventy thousand dollar mark.

These SUVs are quick, and even the base model turbocharged four-banger can hit the 60 miles per hour mark in 6.6 seconds. However, the 2.7-liter V6 shaves off over half a second and can take the Bronco to 60 miles per hour in 5.9 seconds.

It’s pretty impressive for an SUV, but wait, the final number is that of the Bronco Raptor, and it can hit 60 miles per hour in 5.5 seconds and is one of the quickest SUVs in this group.

Fuel mileage for the Bronco is less than stellar, and the 2.3-liter base engine returns 20 miles per gallon city, 22 miles per gallon highway. Combined mileage of 22, which is not anything to brag about.

In its two-door configuration, the Bronco seats four. However, the four-door model will seat six when equipped with a front bench seat. There is no third-row seating offered on the Ford Bronco at this time.

The Raptors 400 hp, 3.0 liter V6 has the same torque as the 2.7-liter engine. As a result, the two and four-door models can tow up to 3-500 pounds when powered by the four or six-cylinder engines.

However, when powered by the Raptors 400 horses, the Bronco can pull 4,500 pounds.

Alternative 1: Subaru Forester

Subaru Forester

The Forester beats the Bronco at price, starting at just $25,195. The Forester also gets you 26 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. 

Why It’s Similar to the Bronco

The Bronco ranks second in front seat roominess only to Forester. You get 58.0 cubic feet of front passenger space in the Bronco but 60.1 cubic feet in the Subaru Forester. It also edges out the Bronco in rear-seat space with 51.6 cubic feet to the Bronco’s 49.5.

Vehicle Design Observations

The Forester provides a longer length, but also a skinnier width and taller height. While the Ford Bronco goes for a traditional Jeep body style, the Forester provides a station wagon design with rounded corners, much like its sibling, the Outback. Its compact crossover styling provides a more aerodynamic design. Available in five vibrant colors, two with a metallic element, two with a crystal element, and it is the only Subaru available in Dark Blue Pearl.

Speed/Time for 0 to 60 miles per hour: 8.5 seconds

Horsepower: 182 hp

Torque: 176 lb. ft.

Base Model Cost: $25,195

Seating Capacity: Five

Fuel Efficiency: 26 mpg in the city/30 mpg on the highway

Towing Capacity: 1,500 to 3,000 pounds

Alternative 2: Toyota 4Runner

Toyota 4Runner

You might not easily find an available 4Runner either, but you could land one that would let you go off-road by the weekend. Unlike the Bronco, you’ll need to add to the 4Runner to get it dirty off-road. Its standard trim works well in the city or on the highway. If you want to leave the pavement though, you’ll need to add its TRD Pro Fox kit or Factory lift kit.

You can purchase the TRD Off-Road for $41,000. To get the sway bars that reduce on-road lean, you’ll need the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System option. Despite paying more, even for its base model at $37,605, you get abysmal gas mileage – 16 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway.

Why It’s Similar to the Bronco

The look of the Bronco and 4Runner bear some similarities, although some Bronco models provide shorter in length. Both vehicles provide lots of ground clearance, but the 4Runner edges out the Bronco here with 9.6 inches of clearance to the Bronco’s 8.3 inches. The Bronco automatically provides four-wheel drive, while the 4Runner comes in either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.

Vehicle Design Observations

The boxy 4Runner offers lots of cargo space and seats five. The long body might remind you of the surfing hearse from the late 1960s song. Despite its voluminous size, it drives well and handles beautifully, according to actual owner reviews on the Kelley Blue Book website.

Experts ranked it a three out of five, but 4Runner owners placed it at 4.6 out of five, complementing its road warrior performance. The 4Runner provides a lot more engine power since it comes with a 4-liter V6, while the Bronco offers either a 2.3-liter or 2.7-liter turbocharged V6.

Speed/Time for 0 to 60 miles per hour: 8 seconds

Horsepower: 270 hp

Torque: 278 lb. ft.

Base Model Cost: $37,605

Seating Capacity: Five

Fuel Efficiency: 16 mpg in the city/19 mpg on the highway

Towing capacity: 5,000 pounds

Alternative 3: Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler

Old-school Bronco fans would likely never look at a Jeep Wrangler. However, because the new Bronco style borrows heavily from the old Wrangler style, you could just buy a Wrangler. Yes, you’ll pay more, but you will get the same body style and a design that has always been meant for off-roading.

You’ll pay a little less than $30,000 for the base model Wrangler.

Wrangler Rubicon. Grab the short-wheelbase model for its off-road nimbleness, stick with the V6 for its 6-speed manual transmission, and go easy on the options, since you’re probably going to treat it as an implement anyway. See 2021 Jeep Wrangler models for sale

Why It’s Similar to the Bronco

The body style falls roughly within the same range, with the shortest length of a Jeep Wrangler at 167 inches, while the shortest Bronco measures 174 inches. You’ll get slightly worse gas mileage in the city from the Jeep at 17 mpg, but you’ll get better mileage on the highway at 25 mpg. Both come with a four-wheel-drive, seat five, and come with a three-year warranty.

A Wrangler Rubicon with the short-wheelbase and the V6 six-speed manual transmission gets you a ride more like the Bronco.

Vehicle Design Observations

The Jeep gives you more engine power with a 3.6-liter V6 that generates 285 hp. With a torque of 260 lb. ft. you will only get to tow 2,000 pounds with your Jeep. Options let you upgrade the engine to increase the torque to 442 lb. ft.

Speed/Time for 0 to 60 miles per hour: 6.1 seconds

Horsepower: 285 hp

Torque: 260 lb. ft.

Base Model Cost: $29,995

Seating Capacity: Four or Five

Fuel Efficiency: 17 mpg in the city/25 mpg on the highway

Towing capacity: 2,000 pounds

Runners Up to the Top Three

Our top three vehicle alternatives to the Ford Bronco aren’t the only game in town. You might also consider these alternatives.

4. Ford Escape

Ford Escape

The Escape makes a great alternative to its sibling, the Bronco. It’s got less cache in the name and history, but it earned its chops as an SUV. You will vastly improve the gas mileage your vehicle earns with the Escape, but you’ll lose the jaunty off-road design.

You’ll pay a base price of $26,010 for the Escape’s rounded crossover styling and earn 44 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. You lose engine power since it comes with a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine. You can opt for a more powerful 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine though.

The smaller engine puts out 181 hp, while the larger engine produces 250 hp. Depending on the configuration choices, you’ll be able to tow between 1,500 to 3,500 pounds with the Escape.

5. Land Rover Defender

Land Rover Defender

The Defender outdoes the Bronco on pretty much every aspect except price and fuel efficiency. It offers comparable gas mileage of 18 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. The base model costs $48,700. This United Kingdom export isn’t a budget choice.

Its horsepower ranges from 296 to 518 hp, depending on whether you choose its 2.0-liter four-cylinder, 3.0-liter six-cylinder, or 5.0-liter V8 engine. Depending on the engine, your Defender will produce a torque of 178 to 260 lb. ft. The towing capacity ranges from 7,716 to 8,201 pounds, depending on the configuration. It seats five.

6. Mercedes Benz G550

Mercedes Benz G550

Nearly every Jeep fan knows that it got its start as a US military vehicle. The G550 got its start in the military, too, but in Albania, Mexico, and Canada. It looks more like a Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The sticker shock might kill you because this Benz starts at $133,250, but if you survive, you’ll net a vehicle that outdoes the Bronco on every item except gas mileage. It earns the same. The SUV comes with a 4.0-liter V8 standard that generates 416 horsepower.

Its torque lets you tow 7,000 pounds, and its nine-speed transmission will make it easier to handle loads. You’ll automatically get an all-wheel drive. From there, you can add options that make this Benz the luxury vehicle its manufacturers became famed for crafting.

7. Toyota Land Cruiser

Toyota Land Cruiser

The big, boxy, beefy Land Cruiser starts at $85,665, putting it far from the Bronco price range, but in design and gas mileage it bears a close resemblance. The massive Land Cruiser guzzles gas, earning 13 mpg in the city and 17 on the highway. Your ride will have power though, from its 5.7-liter V8 engine that produces 381 hp and 401 lb. ft of torque to haul an immense 8,100 pounds.

Four-wheel-drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission come standard.

8. Subaru Ascent

Subaru Ascent

Starting at just $32,295, Subaru offers a comparatively budget vehicle that earns a bit better gas mileage and comes with all-wheel drive. The base model earns 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. With a more rounded body style, it still takes on the general shape of the Bronco but curvier.

Its 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine produces 260 hp and 277 lb. ft. of torque, letting you haul 2,000 to 5,000 pounds, depending on the SUV’s configuration. You can seat seven or eight in the Ascent, depending on how you set up the seats.

Sources:

https://www.motortrend.com/reviews/ford-bronco-sport-spec-comparison/

https://www.autotrader.com/car-shopping/5-alternatives-to-a-new-ford-bronco

https://www.ford.com/bronco/