Bronco Base Sasquatch Delivers Incredible Value and Performance (But Get the Bigger Engine) – Ford Truck Enthusiast

The new Ford Bronco Base Sasquatch blends Jeep-like off-road performance with smooth on-road drivability and a heaping helping of fun factor!.

Built on the same body-on-frame platform as the current Ford Ranger, the mid-sized Bronco returns for 2021 as the heart and soul of Ford’s reinvigorated outdoor lifestyle brand, Built Wild. Seriously, not only are there seven trim levels offered, but you can get two and four-door variants, two engine and transmission options, and hundreds of add-ons and accessories designed to outfit your personal adventure style.

(And this doesn’t even include the Bronco SPORT, which is a small SUV that shares a platform with the Ford Maverick and Escape.)

 

With such a wide array of models and options, it’s impossible to review one loaner vehicle and come away with a sense of the entire series. But when offered a couple of different trim levels to review, I immediately jumped onto a Base model (aka the most affordable) optioned with the Sasquatch Package (aka the most off-road capable).

OUR BRONCO BASE SASQUATCH LOANER

For a detailed breakdown of each Bronco model, click HERE. For this review, Ford sent over a 2021 Bronco 4-Door Base series in Antimatter Blue with cloth gray/black seats. The base engine and transmission for this model are the 2.3L EcoBoost I-4 Engine and 10R80 10-Speed Auto Transmission. All Broncos are 4x4s.

Other standard equipment includes SYNC 4 with a six-speaker AM/FM/XM radio. A 60/40 rear-bench seats. Front and side-curtain airbags. Front and rear tow hooks. Antilock brakes and traction control. Tire pressure monitoring and rear-view camera. Cruise control. Single-zone heating and a/c. Front and rear USB A & C charging ports.

Bronco Base Sasquatch Review

All for a base price of $33,995.00. To this, our specific loaner added —
  • Sasquatch Package for $4,995
  • Front Bumper Heavy Duty Modular for $825
  • Hard Top Molded in Color for $695
  • Storage Bags Top and Door for $350
  • Sound Deadening Headliner for $495
  • Keyless Entry Keypad for $110

Toss in Destination & Delivery and the total MSRP is $42,960.00.

Bronco Base Sasquatch Review

SASQUATCH PACKAGE
  • 17” beadlock capable wheels
  • 35″ Goodyear tires (NOT Wrangler)\
  • Front and rear locking diffs
  • BILSTEIN shocks
  • 4.7 final drive ratio
  • Wider fender flares

Also worth noting — while the standard transmission on the Bronco Base 2-Door is the 7-speed manual, the 10-speed auto is the standard on the 4-door. Starting with the 2022 model year, however, customers will be able to opt for the 7-speed manual with the Sasquatch Package.

PERFORMANCE

Bronco Base Sasquatch Review

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4pyHtxjmUc

As noted, our loaner included the 2.3L EcoBoost engine. You’ll find this turbo-four in several other Fords, including the Ranger and Mustang. As configured in this Bronco running premium fuel, the engine is rated at 300 horsepower and 325 lb.-ft. of torque. Paired with the 10-speed auto, our Bronco ran (galloped?) to 60mph in 7.14 seconds.

Not fast by any means, but it launches pretty wheel when brake-boosting. And clearly, the full weight of the four-door model plus a hard-top roof plus large wheels and tires don’t help. In fact, if you remove all the doors and roof panels, the Bronco sheds 317 pounds (per Ford). Which makes the Bronco feel more like a lighter Ranger.

Ford also offers a 2.7L twin-turbo V6 for $1,895. This particular EcoBoost is quite popular in the full-size F-150, and makes 330 horsepower and 415 lb.-ft. of torque with premium fuel.

Given how much the 2.3L’s turbo spools up when climbing hills, upgrading to the larger engine feels smart for anyone interested in a little extra speed and capability. Especially for a vehicle of this weight. That said, the 2.3L provides plenty of power for on and off-road activities.

AMENITIES

Bronco Base Sasquatch Review

It’s no surprise that a Base model is spartan and simple. And still, I came away impressed with our loaner’s features, ergonomics, and amenities. SYNC 4 with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto comes standard (although the radio itself is lousy) and there are tons of charging ports. The digital gauge cluster isn’t my favorite layout, but it’s easy to navigate and customize. The seats are fine — not great, not uncomfortable — but more side bolstering would be appreciated.

Other base features include a backup camera and a side-curtain airbag system built into Bronco’s roll cage roof system. Speaking of which, whether you snag a hardtop or the canvas top, it takes only a few minutes to turn most Broncos into a convertible, which improves fun factor.

Doors are also easily removable — two bolts and a wired connection — but putting them back on can be a challenge as evidenced by the inner door jam scratches on our loaner.

Overall, the base trim is simple and spartan, and I dig its no-frill attitude.

OFF-ROAD

Bronco Base Sasquatch Review

We took our Bronco Base Sasquatch into the Angeles National Forest, playing around on a few trails and fire roads and atop some mountains not too far from Rower Flats OHV and Bouquet Reservoir. With Goodyear (definitely not Wrangler) M/T tires, I was eager to test its capabilities and took the first double black diamond trail I could find.

Five minutes in, we encountered a steep rock face on an already steep trail, locked the diffs, shifted into 4 Low, and crawled right up. I wasn’t looking at the gauges, but we were well over 30 percent grade for that part. And we climbed a few more obstacles in the 25-percent range.

Nothing earth-shattering. This wasn’t MOAB, of course.

But the Bronco flew up trails and fire roads where the 2021 F-150 FX4 package felt heavy, too long, and lacking a good tire. In that sense, I’m glad the new Bronco isn’t based on the F-150 platform as it was in the ’80s and ’90s. Mid-size, despite being rather large, seems to be the sweet spot and I was mightily impressed.

The Base Bronco Sasquatch is capable and fun and a joy off-road.

ON-ROAD

Bronco Base Sasquatch Review

Even better, unlike the Jeep Wrangler family, the Bronco also drives wonderfully ON road thanks to its independent front suspension. Have you driven a Ranger or Expedition lately? Then you probably have a pretty good idea as to how the new Bronco drives on road.

If you need a picture painted, the Bronco tracks straight despite large M/T tires. It drives smoothly over bumpy roads. And it tackles speedbumps with shocking speed. In other words, you won’t just be king of the hammers at the off-roadeo, you can also mall-crawl with the best of the boring minivans and crossovers.

The only downside is a slight bit of added wheel and wind noises at higher speeds, but it’s not terribly distracting. Nor does the noise prevent conversations. So, it’s there, but not a dealbreaker.

PROS & CONS

Bronco Base Sasquatch Review

LIKES
  • Visuals
  • Drop top and open door
  • Fun factor — take it apart, modular
  • Good value
  • Excellent suspension
  • Great size for a family of four / city & country

DISLIKES

  • No V8 Rumble
  • Odd rear door (the two-stop shock and you can’t open the rear glass with the door open)
  • Radio is pretty bad
  • Ford made door removal easy, but looking at this loaner, there’s already scratches from door re-attaching
  • Might not be big enough for larger families

BRONCO BASE SASQUATCH FINAL THOUGHTS

Bronco Base Sasquatch Review

I’m absolutely blown away with what Ford’s delivered in the new Bronco. As equipped with the off-road goodies and a no-frills interior, I think it’s an exceptional value for families who need a vehicle to do literally everything. Commuting. Kids. Weekend adventures on the trails. The Bronco Base Sasquatch blends utility with a fun factor that Jeep owners have been experiencing for years… in a vehicle that’s as smooth and direct ON paved surfaces as off.

Yes, the radio is pretty awful. There’s some added tire and wind noise compared to other Ford SUVs. And the base 2.3L EcoBoost engine won’t win you any drag races. But the compromises here are few.

If you can actually find a Bronco — or get on an order list — pick one up and enjoy. It’s the real deal. Highly, highly recommended.

Source: https://www.ford-trucks.com/articles/bronco-base-sasquatch-review/?utm_source=20211028&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=conte

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