How the updated 2023 Jeep Wrangler stacks up against the Ford Bronco

The Jeep The Wrangler has a long heritage as a full-scale off-road vehicle, and with the latest models it has become much more suitable and premium for the urban environment. For a long time, the Jeep Wrangler existed as a niche offering at home in both urban and actual jungles. But the dynamic changed when Ford introduced the all-new 2021 Bronco.

The Jeep Wrangler and Ford Bronco are icons in their respective lines. Both are proper off-road vehicles from the start and are available with several variants and powertrains to suit everyone’s wishes. And both can be customized using numerous options to go the extra mile in visual appeal and performance.

Jeep also recently launched the mildly updated 2023 Wrangler with a couple of new colors and very minor cosmetic changes while remaining unchanged. Here we compare these true go-anywhere modern SUVs head-to-head to know how these two SUVs stack up against each other on every parameter.

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Jeep Wrangler V/s Ford Bronco: Butch and tough vehicles

Both the Wrangler and the Bronco carry on the legacy of their predecessors in a modernized form, which is evident in the way these SUVs look. In comparison, the Wrangler looks more nostalgic with the iconic vertical seven-slat grille with rounded headlights on the edges. However, the Bronco looks bolder and fresher with the broad “Bronco” text across the front grill.

Both SUVs get similar design cues, but in their respective shapes – rounded full-LED headlights with daytime running LEDs, flared wheel arches (checkered in the Wrangler and rounded in the Bronco), angular pillars and square window panels. Other common elements are the tailgate-mounted spare wheel and off-road-specific bumpers with tapered edges for better approach and departure angles.

While design is purely subjective, and both SUVs here have tremendous road presence, the Bronco looks modern and fresher, given that the Wrangler has now become one too.

Jeep Wrangler V/s Ford Bronco: The word “Premium” everywhere

Both SUVs here are available with several roof options such as a removable hardtop or a sunroof type, removable doors and rubberized floors with drainage plugs. Even the dashboards in both have upright layouts, which helps in forward visibility during careful off-road driving. However, the Ford succeeds in the space it offers, with more legroom, knee room, headroom and even cargo space.

If you compare the cabin of these two SUVs, you will immediately realize how the Bronco looks much more modern than the Wrangler, which is starting to show its age. The full-TFT instrument console and standard 8-inch touchscreen (optional for larger 12-inch touchscreens on higher trims) make the Bronco’s cabin feel more recent compared to the Wrangler. Jeep offers 7-inch and 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment units (depending on variants), although the center console looks a little old-fashioned due to the abundance of buttons. In addition to these touchscreens, the list of other features is also longer in the Bronco.

Jeep Wrangler v/s Ford Bronco: The Heart Of The Matter

Both of these SUVs get different potent engine options, though it’s the Wrangler that offers a diverse range of engines, including a plug-in hybrid and a diesel not found in the Bronco.

There are two main powertrains to choose from in the Ford Bronco – a 2.2-liter inline-four EcoBoost (275 hp of power and 315 lb-ft of torque) with a 7-speed manual or 10-speed automatic and a 2.7- liter turbocharged V6 (315 hp of power and 410 lb-ft of torque) with only the 10-speed automatic. The full-blown Raptor trim gets an exclusive 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 mated to a 10-speed automatic.

Jeep Wrangler offers a wider choice of powertrains across its range. The lineup starts with a naturally aspirated 3.6-liter V6 (285 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque) with a 6-speed manual or an 8-speed automatic. Then there’s a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four (270 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque) mated to an 8-speed automatic. This engine is also available in plug-in hybrid form in the Wrangler 4xe, where it is paired with a 17.3 kWh battery pack and produces 375 hp of power and 470 lb-ft of torque.

Then there are two more potent engine options in the lineup – a 3.0-liter diesel V6 (260 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque) and a 6.4-liter V8 (470 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque), of which the latter is only available in the full-scale Wrangler 392. Both of these powertrains get an 8-speed automatic as standard.

Related: Small SUV deal with a 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer and 2022 Ford Bronco Sport

Jeep Wrangler v/s Ford Bronco: Proper Go-Anywhere Machines

Both SUVs come standard with an all-wheel drive system across the range, making them focused off-road vehicles, whichever variant you choose.

The Ford Bronco has a part-time four-wheel drive system with 2 Hi, 4 Hi and 4 Lo modes. But if you want it more hardcore, you can opt for the Sasquatch package, which includes a raised suspension, larger 35-inch off-road tires, and locking differentials front and rear. The top-spec Bronco Raptor pushes the envelope further with 13-inch ground clearance, 37-inch all-terrain tires and specialized off-road shock absorbers as standard. The Bronco also gets selectable off-road modes, with the higher trims also getting Mud/Trail, Rock Crawl and Baja modes.

On the other hand, there are three types of 4WD in the Jeep Wrangler. The standard variants have the options of a part-time 4WD system and a Selec-Trac 4WD with automatic 4WD. There’s also a Rock-Trac system, which is exclusive to some Rubicon variants, including the Wrangler 4xe. The Rubicon variants offer front and rear locking differentials, front stabilizer disconnect and a lower gear ratio. Finally, an optional ‘Xtreme Recon’ package for Rubicon variants (excluding Rubicon 392 and Rubicon 4xe) adds 12.9 inches of ground clearance, 35-inch off-road tires and Beadlock-compatible alloys.

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