Why the Basic 2021 Ford Bronco Makes Us Happy

Why the Basic 2021 Ford Bronco Makes Us Happy

The Least Expensive Bronco Doesn't Make You Pay to Play

  • The entry-level Bronco offers both body styles and both engines.
  • The hilariously named Sasquatch package is also available and offers real off-road capability.

Though we are sometimes attracted to a base model's simplicity, or perhaps one of its standout features (like a manual transmission), most manufacturers don't take the base model very seriously. Entry-level variants are usually loaded (or un-loaded) with the chintziest upholstery, the dinkiest engine, the skinniest wheels and various other nagging reminders that you cheaped out.

But the 2021 Ford Bronco does the base model proud, and here's why.

Power to the Cheap People

Since the Bronco is kind of a light truck, you'd expect Ford to take a trucky approach to packaging body styles, engines and capability. But the base Bronco bucks (hey, it's been a rough week) that trend by offering both body styles as well as both powertrain options at the entry level. As refreshing as it is to have a manual transmission as an option, it's arguably even better to know you don't have to drop over $40K just to get 310 horsepower and 400 lb-ft from the up-level twin-turbo 2.7-liter V6 engine.

It's hard to say which of the powertrain options we'd go for (we are suckers for a manual transmission), but it's great to see that buyers who aren't flush with cash won't get stuck with a motor and transmission they don't want. Maybe someday they'll offer a V8 for the entry-level crowd, too. Hey, we can dream.

A Capable Canvas

Sure, you're not getting the full array of off-roading hardware in the base Bronco, but you're not exactly driving around in a postal-spec Jeep Wrangler either. Not only is four-wheel drive standard, but you also get a terrain management system (think of it as off-road stability control) and meaty tires mounted on way-cool steel wheels. And if you want even more off-road capability, Ford has made the Sasquatch package (yes, really) an option on the entry-level Bronco. That gives you legit off-road tires (35-inch mud-terrain units) mounted on equally impressive beadlock capable wheels. It also includes a different suspension for more ground clearance, heavy-duty skid plates, and a locking front axle for extra traction. The cost of all this extra capability? It's under $5K.

But if you don't have that kind of bread up front, you KNOW there will be a ridiculous amount of aftermarket support for the Bronco in the coming years. Saving a little money now might allow you to better tailor the Bronco to your needs in the future.

Edmunds Says

Opting for the base-level Bronco does mean you're going without leather seats, a larger touchscreen (the standard one is still a decent 8 inches) and some heavy-duty off-road hardware, but you still get a lot of bang for your buck. We like that you can get a full Bronco experience without breaking the bank. Stick with our 2021 Ford Bronco page for more pricing and trim updates.