2021 Ford Bronco: Iconic first SUV returns after 25 years

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By James Raia

Nearly a quarter-century after it was last made, the 2021 edition of the iconic Ford Bronco debuted today, July 13, with as much anticipation as any new vehicle in recent memory.

Often cited as the first Sport Utility Vehicle, the Bronco has a loyal following and its new edition is likely to continue the iconic vehicle’s increasing legacy.

The 2021 Ford Bronco marks the return of the original SUV for the first time in 25 years.
The 2021 Ford Bronco marks the return of the original SUV for the first time in 25 years.

In its various model years, generations and trims, the Bronco has increased in value rapidly in recent years.

According to Hagerty, the Michigan-based automotive lifestyle company, the world’s largest provider of specialty insurance for collectible vehicles, the Bronco has a unique set of facts and figures:

* The average age of a Bronco owner is 54, seven years younger than the average collector car owner.

* The first generation of Broncos (’66-‘77) are the most valuable at a median value of $50,600. The ’73-’77 Wagon 4×4 with the 302 cid engine is the most valuable model with a median value of $60,200.

* The highest sale for an unmodified Bronco at auction is $143,000 for a 1971 Bronco Stroppe Baja Edition.

The 2021 Ford Bronco will be offered standard with the EcoBoost 2.3-liter turbo-four from the Ranger. In that pickup, the engine makes 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. A V-6, likely the 2.7- or 3.5-liter twin-turbo unit, could be offered as an option. The estimated debut base price in $32,495.

Towing capacity will be 5,000 pounds.

The only transmission available will likely be the 10-speed automatic found in the Ford F-150 and Ranger. Ford also confirmed that it will offer the Bronco as a hybrid.

The 2021 Bronco hasn’t been crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

James Raia, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, California, publishes a free weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter. Sign-ups are available on his website, www.theweeklydriver.com. He can be reached via email: james@jamesraia.com.

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MikeJ
26 days ago

I read on the Ford site that it is Flat Towable behind a MH. Personally I feel it will cost Jeep some sales, and I wish them both well.

Al H.
26 days ago

Yeah, the new “Blazer” was a big disappointment. It fills a niche that probably exists only in the mind of the marketing gugu who thought it up.

Bob p
26 days ago

Hate to burst your bubble but the Ford Bronco was not the first SUV, International’s Scout came out in 1960 six years prior to Ford. Ford was playing catch up then just like they are now trying to catch up with Jeep Wrangler, and GM, changing their Blazer into a FWD crossover, that was their demise. They truly are trying to run themselves out of business.

Troy
26 days ago
Reply to  Bob p

If you have looked at this new Bronco and all the capabilities it will have you will see that it’s going to FAR surpass the Wrangler. Not to mention it’s not a Fiat, so that alone makes it far superior to the Wrangler.

Alvin
25 days ago
Reply to  Troy

Yes Troy all full to the brim with elelctronioc crap and plastic that will keep those first editions passing the new stuff deep in the mountains and Valleys long before they are 10 years old.
These plastic fantastic’s like pretty much everything built today are boulevard playschools for Foster Grant sunglasses wearing wannabees.
The real boys (and girls) cancel the roadside assistance, find a decent Scout or 1st gen Bronc, prime it with Rustoleum,, spend about 10 G’s on mechs, tires and brakes etc, through the tent and grub in the back, and climb mountains and run rivers 50 miles deep in a land few will ever see, and no new Bronco/Blazer/Whatever will ever travel (or probably can) and returm over and over to do the same thing as many times as desired.