The resurrected Bronco has clearly been designed to compete with the iconic Jeep Wrangler. We found the boxy Bronco to be a superior daily-driver to the Jeep in many ways, with better handling and a more comfortable ride, yet like the Jeep it’s an immensely-capable off-roader. Unusually long stopping distances in our testing, underwhelming fuel economy, and elevated wind noise compromise its road-test score compared to most other mainstream two-row midsized SUVs, although it’s competitive when viewed against off-road-capable models such as the Toyota 4Runner, Land Rover Defender, and Wrangler.
We tested an Outer Banks trim with the optional 315-horsepower, 2.7-liter turbocharged V6. This engine provides plenty of giddyup, including a gutsy midrange punch, and the Bronco galloped from 0 to 60 mph in 7.0 seconds, which is pretty quick for such a heavy SUV. The 10-speed automatic transmission upshifts smoothly, but some downshifts come with a slight jolt. Fuel economy was less impressive, the Bronco managing just 18 mpg overall in our testing. A 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 275 hp comes standard, available with either a seven-speed manual transmission or the 10-speed automatic. All Broncos come with four-wheel drive.
Despite its burly body-on-frame construction and suspension designed with off-roading in mind, the Bronco rides reasonably well, only feeling overly stiff and jiggly on bumpy back roads. Handling agility isn’t a strong suit, but it tracks better in a straight line than the wandering Wrangler, and it was predictable and forgiving—albeit with low limits—when pushed hard around our test track.