Bronk-No? If We Get a New Ford Bronco, You’re Going to Hate It
If there is one vehicle that everyone gets super excited about it’s the Ford Bronco. Even more than the potential return of the Ford Ranger, people are genuinely excited that Ford might be bringing that sport utility back into production. I’m here to tell you this right now fans, if Ford does decide to bring the Bronco back, you’re going to hate it.
It’ll Only Have an Automatic Transmission
This should be obvious to all of you, but the return of a modern-day Bronco means that it’ll only have an automatic transmission available. Why? Because nobody actually buys manual transmissions these days, so Ford stopped offering them.
Sure, amongst your enthusiast friends, many would want to have a row-your-own gearbox, but I’m willing to be every single enthusiast friend wouldn’t actually spend money and buy that Bronco if it were put on sale with a manual transmission.
Besides, in order to meet CAFE requirements, cars and trucks need to be the most fuel efficient possible. Modern day automatics, with computers smarter than you, are more fuel efficient than the manual transmission. While it might not be as fun to drive, it’s the way of things.
There Won’t Be a Raptor Version
Ford already makes a Raptor. It’s a pickup truck. It’s also a pretty badass pickup truck. But if Ford decided to bring a Bronco back, don’t expect to see a Raptor trim version. If the Bronco is based on the Ranger platform (which is the rumor), it wouldn’t be able to easily match components from the full-size pickup.
Even if they did manage to do a high-end, Raptor-like version, you’ll still hate it. Why? Because it’ll have the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 from the 2017 Raptor, and not a big V8.
It’ll Be Softer Than Before
A Bronco will have off-road chops, especially if the goal is to compete with the vehicles from Jeep, but it’ll still be softer than the vehicles that have come before it. Body-on-frame vehicles don’t typically meet the Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH) that modern buyers demand. That’s why there really is only one body-on-frame SUV still available, and that’s the Toyota 4Runner.
The Jeep Wrangler is body-on-frame, and it’s possible that Ford would target that Jeep as a benchmark, but I’d expect it to be more Cherokee than Wrangler.
There is one thing that the new Bronco would be excellent at doing, though, and that would be mall crawling.
It Won’t Be Cheap
A new Bronco won’t be cheap, even if it’s built on the Ranger platform. Why? Because midsize trucks in this country aren’t cheap anymore. If you think you’re going to get a $20,000 Bronco you’re sorely mistaken. The Chevrolet Colorado is easily priced into the $30,000 range, and I wouldn’t expect anything less from Ford.
Honestly, I think the likelihood of us getting a Bronco is slim. A U.S.-built Ranger would probably be on an entirely new platform, and there’s no telling if that platform would make sense for a Bronco. Besides, Ford already sells quite a few utility vehicles, and makes decent money from them. How big is the actual Bronco market?
What do you think? Let us know over in the forums!