Base Camp: 2021 Ford Bronco Base
Every week, wheels.ca selects a new vehicle on sale in Canada and takes a good look at its entry-level trim. If we find it worthy of your consideration, we'll let you know. If not, we'll recommend one that earns a passing grade.
Believe it or not, there are occasions when a final product – be it a vehicle, movie, or new restaurant – actually does live up to the hype. The most recent example of this rare phenomenon? The 2021 Ford Bronco. We’ll make the final call about its off-road prowess after we drive it but, for now, let’s take a look at the features and equipment included on the Base model.
No, seriously – it’s actually called ‘Base’, giving the impression that Ford is making Bronco’s naming scheme as clear as its off-road intentions. The entry level two-door bears a sticker price of $40,999 and comes standard with the likes of four-wheel drive and the ability to shed its doors and roof. This is a very good start.
Its 4×4 system is a two-speed part-time system that incorporates three different modes – deep sand, heavy pulling, or steep grades – to vary wheel torque depending on demand. This is separate from the Terrain Management System that offers five modes to tailor the truck’s throttle response to whatever particular mire through which you’re trying to plow.
Spotting a Bronco Base in traffic will be easy, thanks to 16-inch silver-painted wheels wrapped in 30-inch Bridgestone all-season tires. They’re base spec and proud of it, too. Door handles and other trim is painted black no matter the body colour, while the BRONCO billboard in its grille is several shades darker than that found on other models. Speaking of paint, Ford has righteously opened up the Base palette to include tasty hues like Rapid Red and Antimatter Blue.
Under the hood is a 2.3L EcoBoost inline-four making 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. If that sounds familiar, send thanks to the current Ranger midsize pickup truck. Buyers will have the choice of a ten-speed automatic or seven-speed manual transmission with this engine, the latter of which includes a crawler gear that should permit Bronco to idle its way out of your favourite mud hole.
What we’d choose
While option pricing for Bronco hasn’t yet been released, we do feel comfortable making a couple of recommendations. It’s worth noting that the four-door model, expected to be about a $5,000 walk from the two-door, will have vastly more interior space for passengers and their stuff, to the point where Ford says owners will be able to store Bronco’s removable doors in the cargo area. Stepping up may be money well spent.
In addition, Ford is making the Sasquatch package available on all trims, cranking the off-road capability to eleven. It brings 35-inch Goodyear Territory mud terrain tires, 11.5+ inches of ground clearance, massive approach/departure angles, and front/rear locking diffs. If it’s in budget and you have any plans to take your new Bronco off-road, it’s likely to be an option box worth checking.