It’s time to spill the beans about the all-new 2021 Ford Bronco and how it drives off-road. This is Ford’s new Jeep Wrangler competitor and it aims to have the same off-road prowess or better. Tommy get to drive a Bronco 2-door with a Sasquatch package. This is the most off-road worthy Bronco package you can currently get from the factory.
The Sasquatch package includes front and rear locking differentials, 4.70 axle ratio, high-clearance suspension, unique Bilstein shocks, high-clearance fenders, special wheels, and 35-inch all-terrain tires.
The Bronco has an independent front suspension (unlike the solid front axle on the Jeep Wrangler). While this suspension design provides a very connected road-holding feel, it also provides slightly less “head toss” off-road than in a Wrangler. The “head toss” is a side-to-side head motion while driving over uneven terrain. This makes for a great first impression.
On the flip side, the new Bronco Sasquatch appears to have less overall suspension articulation than a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon I recently drove. What’s going on here? I did not have a steel ramp or another way to measure the Bronco’s Ramp Travel Index (RTI) at this event. Still, some obstacles I was driving over caused either one of the rear or one of the front tires to lift in the air. Is this a show-stopper? No. While the Bronco I was driving was not equipped with a disconnecting front sway bar, the Bronco felt unstoppable when using front and/or rear lockers.
The Bronco allows the driver to engage the rear locker and front locker independently or together. This provides great traction in any situation. The new Trail Turn Assist (aka. Rear Wheel Dig) works intuitively and makes any tight turn on loose terrain a breeze. When enabled, the Trail Turn Assist features remains in a stand-by mode. When the driver is going slowly and turns the steering to around 75-80% of full-lock – the inside rear tire is braked automatically. Once the driver applies some more throttle – the Bronco nearly pivots around that inside rear tire.
The Bronco has plenty of ground clearance (11.5 inches). The approach/breakover/departure angles are top-notch as well. There was just one instance when I touched the front skid plate on a rock. Otherwise, this Bronco Sasquatch simply walked over the terrain that Ford prepared for the event.
My first off-road impressions are very positive. The team at TFLstudios cannot wait to get one of the Broncos to Colorado and Utah, and put it to the test in real wild.
Tommy and I were very fortunate to be part of the Bronco first-drive event near Austin, Texas at the Bronco Off-Roadeo park. This is an off-road playground with several different trails where owners of a new 2021 Bronco can spend about a day and a half to learn the capabilities of their new SUV.