Bronco vs. Wrangler: Comparing young gun with old faithful
Bronco vs. Wrangler: Comparing young gun with old faithful
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Bronco vs. Wrangler: Comparing young gun with old faithful

Cars
It's here. It's finally here. After what seems like an eternity of teasing us Ford has finally released the next generation Bronco and what a doozy it is. Now I haven't driven it yet, but looking at the spec sheet, the bronco looks like it's coming out of the chute reared up and raring to go. So let's take a look at the newest wild horse against the venerable Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and see how they stack up in size geometry engine options and that crucial crawl ratio. [MUSIC] The Bronco will be offered in seven trims but for this comparable we're going with the Badlands. Trim and that sassy Sasquatch package which adds larger tires. Both the bronco and the Wrangler are offered with two or four doors and we've decided to use the four door version of each. [MUSIC] When it comes to size, the Broncos numbers vary from trim to trim, but the Jeep retains its dimensions across the lineup. The Bronco Badlands has a wheelbase of 116.1 inches while the Jeep is at 118.4 inches. The track of the Bronco is 65 inches front and rear while the Rubicon track is 62.9 inches front and rear. Overall length of the Bronco is 190.5 inches. The Rubicon a little bit smaller at 188.4 inches. Inches. overall width of the Bronco is 76.3 inches. The Rubicon again just a little bit smaller at 73.8 inches. Finally when it comes to height the bronco is 73.9 inches off the ground. The Rubicon is at 73.6 inches When it comes to payload and towing the two are almost identical. Both can tow 3500 pounds. The Bronco can take a max payload of 1370 pounds and the Rubicon almost matches it at a max of 1351 pounds of payload. In theory, that longer overall length of the Bronco with the shorter wheelbase should give it a bit more interior room with a better break over angle than the Rubicon. So I'm gonna go give the wind here to the Bronco. Now when it comes to tire size, approach, break over, and departure angles, these numbers are key and offroading as they're a good indication of how easily a vehicle can climb up and over rocks or up and down steep hills without damage. And the first leading factor here is tire size. [MUSIC] The Bronco Badlands with the 35 inch tires, it goes big with 11.5 inches. Ground clearance, while Rubicon has got 10.8 inches of ground clearance approach angle on the Bronco is 43.2 degrees. The Rubicon has just as much more at 43.9 degrees. Break over angle is 26.3 degrees for that shorter wheelbase Bronco and that's compared with the 22.6 degrees of break over angle in the Rubicon. Finally, the departure angle of the bronco is 37 degrees matched by the 37 degrees of the Rubicon. The Ford can forward 33.5 inches of water while the Rubicon can cross water as deep as 30 inches. Again, I'm gonna have to give the win here to the bronco I mean sure the Wrangler beats it by point seven degrees and approach angle but. Bronco just stomped all over the rest of the Rubicon. [MUSIC] Alright folks, here is the big one we are talking power trains. The standard mill in the bronco is a 2.3 liter Eco Boost inline four cylinder engine, good for a projected 270 horsepower and 310 pound feet of torque It's paired with a seven speed manual transmission standard that includes six gears and one crawler gear or drivers can opt for a ten speed automatic through the con is offered with a 3.6 liter V six standard knocking out 285 horsepower and 260 pound feet of torque that's paired with a standard six speed manual transmission or an optional eight speed automatic transmission. In the optional powerplant in the bronco is a 2.7 liter EcoBoost v six, pushing out a projected 310 horsepower and 400 pound feet of torque. The 10 speed automatic transmission is the only transmission available for this larger engine. Optionally the Rubicon can be had with a two liter turbocharged inline four cylinder engine with 270 horsepower and 295 pound feet of torque Or a 3.0 litre Ecodiesel V6, knocking out 260 horsepower and 442 pound feet of torque. Both of these engines are only available with an eight speed automatic transmission. Now based on these numbers the Bronco comes out on top as that base engine throws more torque to the ground, which is key in off roading. I mean, sure, you can get a diesel in the Rubicon with 442 pound feet of twist, but it's also got a $4,000 upcharge. The torque and Ford's 2 point 7 liter is still a healthy 400 pound feet. I mean, that's not too shabby. And while we don't have pricing, it's doubtful that it's going to cost you an extra $4,000. Further that granny gear in the seven speed manual should be clutch if you'll pardon the expression when it comes to slow speed control. And Ford says that if you stall the manual in that granny gear, you don't have to push in the clutch to restart it. Just turn the key and you're golden. I mean, not that I ever saw a manual, but I mean hey, it could happen. Alright, let's look at crawl ratio. Now I know you didn't come here for math and frankly, I didn't either. All I'm here to say is that the crawl ratio represents how much the torque is multiplied through the axles before it hits the ground. The bigger the ratio, the more force applied to the ground and the easier it will be to slowly crawl over obstacles. So in the bronco with the uptrend transfer case you get a crawl ratio of 67.8 to one with the automatic transmission but hold up hold up hold up, you switch to the manual transmission and that ratio goes all the way up to 94.75 to one. I mean sure the manual transmission is only paired with a smaller engine with 310 pound feet of torque but After all the math is done. You can theoretically, put the bronco in gear jump out and just watch it drive away on its own. The Rubicon with the automatic transmission has a better crawl ratio at 77.2 to 1. Well in the manual it goes up to 84.2 to 1. Those ratios are the same for the 3.6L or the 2L turbo but the diesel has a crawl ratio of 70.1 to 1. Now the winner here when it comes to slow speed crawling actually isn't quite clear. The Bronco with a manual transmission can put the force down to the rocks with more gusto resulting in better capability. However, most people are going to opt for the automatic, which is where the Rubicon appears to have the edge but in both cases, the bronco starts with more torque in the first place and torque is God This is likely a case where we're going to have to drive it before we can make a decision. Now, I want to be clear that I have not driven the bronco yet, but on paper the bronco looks to be just stomping all over that Wrangler Rubicon. I mean, not only does it have better geometry gearing and engine options, but it's also loaded with some really cool tech features like a trail turn assist that will lock up a rear wheel for tight corners. Some really groovy map and route sharing capabilities. We expect that the Rubicon will get an update in 2021, which reportedly will include the offered mode as found in the jeep Gladiator, as well as a forward facing camera, but I'm just not sure that that's going to be enough to push it to the head of this horse race.

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