Modern Classic: Ford’s Masterful Bucking Bronco

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Since its triumphant return back in 2019, Ford has built on the heritage of this American classic 4×4 and created a truly spectacular truck for the modern adventurer. Luxury, power, technology — and it packs a punch. And with a base price of around $28K, the Bronco is a sweet value. Like nearly all automakers, Ford is battling a semiconductor shortage, amid high demand for the new Broncos.

Currently there are four versions of the mighty Bronco. We saddled up a base model and once inside, the Bronco delivers a streamlined experience, designed for a true driver’s experience — with plenty of comfort and features an adequate 4.2-inch Instrument Cluster. Plenty of Powerpoint, including 12V (media bin and cargo area), Dual USB Type C, Std A (media bin, inside center console and back of center console).

Continuing the Bronco legacy

The Bronco lives on. Fully 4×4 capable and adorned with that distinctive safari-inspired roof and ready to rumble when we engaged the Bronco’s Terrain Management System featuring five “Goes Over Any Type of Terrain” modes, known as G.O.A.T. Cargo space is remarkably good, and Ford states it provides 65 cu. ft. of overall space. Plenty of room for the adventures in the mountains, the Keys — or shopping sprees.

Our base Bronco featured a 1.5L EcoBoost® Engine with Auto Start-Stop Technology, Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking, BLIS® with Cross-Traffic Alert, all impressive for it’s base price.

Continuing the Bronco legacy

The Ford Bronco was on the market for thirty years (1966-1996) and developed a legacy that has made the Bronco’s recent return a milestone in automotive history.

The team that brought the Mustang to the world — Donald Frey and Lee Iacocca, designed the Bronco as an off-road vehicle that could compete with the Jeep CJ. In 1966, upon its introduction, the Bronco was very small, mimicking the footprint of the Jeep CJ, and was available in three different body styles — station wagon, a half-cab, or roadster. And — the Bronco was designed to tackle any terrain and, despite its late entry to the market, became a serious competitor for the Jeep.

The first generation Bronco was spartan, with a wide-open cockpit. It’s exactly what Ford wanted — a rugged, powerful feel, without the frills of a family vehicle. In fact, very few frills at all. A variety of accessories was available for early Broncos, including a snowplow, a winch, and a posthole digger. It was the do-it-all go-anywhere vehicle. With the Bronco’s success, Chevy’s Blazer (or the GMC Jimmy) entered the SUV market in 1969.

The most popular year of Bronco was 1974, when the Bronco sold nearly 26 thousand units. Unfortunately, shortly after that sales began to taper off.

Remember the Bronco II?

The Bronco II was meant to provide a smaller alternative for young couples and single people. Significantly smaller than the Bronco, this compact SUV used the Ford Ranger as its base. Unfortunately, the Bronco II experienced safety issues and was cancelled in 1990.

The O.J. Bronco

The fifth and final generation of Bronco attained infamy when O.J. Simpson led the police on a car chase through L.A. Before that though, the three-door, hardtop SUV was geared more towards safety than previous generations of Bronco had been — from front crumple zones and three-point seatbelts to a driver-side airbag.

And by the way, contrary to popular thought, the O.J. chase in the white Bronco actually increased sales for that vehicle. O.J. didn’t kill the Bronco, the market simply shifted.  People wanted four-door SUVs, and Ford needed something to compete. They began to produce the Expedition.

 

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