Ford Bronco Vs. Jeep Wrangler

Originally published on May 3, 2023 | Updated on Oct 12, 2023

For years, the Jeep Wrangler has had little competition in the off-the-shelf 4-wheeler market. With rugged solid axles, coil-sprung suspension front and rear, a stout body-on-frame construction, and a slight, high-clearance design, the Jeep Wrangler has carved out a successful niche for dedicated wheelers and weekend warriors alike. However, 2021 saw the rerelease of an old rival: the sixth-generation Ford Bronco. 

This new model brings beefy independent front suspension, a solid axle, coil-sprung rear, a small form factor (based on the current generation Ranger), and three raucous, turbo-charged power plants to boot! 

While both platforms feature distinct pros and cons, which reigns supreme? That’s what we’re out to settle! In this article, we pin the new sixth-generation Ford Bronco against the tried and tested Jeep Wrangler JL to determine which model is superior. We compare everything from specifications–like powertrain, suspension type, and towing capacity–to trim levels, ensuring we answer all your burning questions and more! 


To kick off this grudge match, let’s take a look at our competitors' humble beginnings.

Jeep Wrangler

Though Jeep didn’t officially produce the “Wrangler” until 1986 with the release of the YJ platform, it’d be a disservice to begin the story there. The YJ is a direct successor to the hyper-popular Jeep CJ, which ran from 1955–1986 and included the CJ-5, CJ-6, CJ-7, and CJ-8 Scrambler. These models were the direct successor to the first civilian Jeeps produced by Kaiser/Willys, like the CJ-2A, CJ-3A, and CJ-3B; we know, lots of numbers. 

The classic Jeep recipe was conceived with the fears of WWII on the horizon. The first mass-production military Jeep–the bare-bones, 4x4 Willys MB–was born from necessity after the military requested 135 auto companies bid for a lightweight and durable ¼-ton reconnaissance vehicle. After the Jeep MB garnered its legendary status behind enemy lines, the desire for civilian 4x4s increased; thus, the civilian Jeep (CJ) was born! 

Back to the official “Wranglers”, the YJ gave way to the coil-sprung TJ, which transitioned into the JK in 2007. With the introduction of the JK came the addition of two rear doors in the Wrangler Unlimited; this generation stretched over a decade until the release of the JL in 2018, which brought a sense of refinement to the platform. The JL persists to this day, which brings us up to speed! 

Ford Bronco

While the Ford Bronco doesn’t have the same illustrious and awarded past as the Wrangler, the model has a rich history in the 4x4 scene. 

The Ford Bronco was first announced in 1965 for a release in the 1966 model year. With a small form factor, solid axles, and a torquey inline-6, the Bronco was marketed as a direct competitor to the Jeep CJ and International Scout. Ford’s all-terrain vehicle was originally offered in three configurations–roadster, wagon, and half-cab. 

After 12 years of production, the Bronco received its first generational update in 1978 which saw the model transform from a small, dedicated 4-wheeler to a full-size SUV that stole inspiration (and parts) from the Ford F-series. Though wildly popular for years, the Bronco lost momentum and was discontinued in 1996 after 5 generations and 30 years. 

But after a 25-year hiatus, the Bronco lives on in its sixth generation: a platform that harkens back to the initial days of the model.

Ford Bronco v. Jeep Wrangler: Specification Shootout


2023 Jeep Wrangler JL

2023 Ford Bronco


  • 3.6L Pentastar V6

  • 2.0L Turbo I4 

  • 3.4L EcoDiesel V6

  • 6.4L HEMI V8

  • 2.0L plug-in hybrid turbo I4

  • 2.3L EcoBoost I4

  • 2.7L EcoBoost V6, 

  • 3.0L EcoBoost V6


  • 6-speed manual

  • 8-speed automatic

  • 7-speed manual

  • 10-speed automatic

Front Suspension

Solid-axle 5-link

Independent A-Arm

Rear Suspension

Solid-axle 5-link

Solid-axle 5-link


  • 285 HP, 265 lb/ft

  • 270 HP, 295 lb/ft

  • 260 HP, 442 lb/ft

  • 470 HP, 470 lb/ft

  • 375 HP, 470 lb/ft

  • 300 HP, 325 lb/ft

  • 330 HP, 415 lb/ft

  • 418 HP, 440 lb/ft

Towing Capacity

3500 lbs.

3500 lbs. (4500lbs. in 4-door, 3.0L configuration)

Base Price



Trim Model Comparisons

Both the 2023 Bronco and Jeep Wrangler come in several trim options, ranging from the base, bare-bones models to high-spec, performance-oriented. While we won’t be comparing all models, let’s take a look at the equipment and features of both platforms' lowest, and highest-end trims.

Base Models (Low-End)

Base models are on the low end of the spectrum, typically consisting of manual transmissions, smaller power plants, and few amenities. 

2023 Jeep Wrangler JL Sport

The 2023 Jeep Wrangler JL Sport is the entry-level wrangler for the 2023 model year. This package includes the venerable 3.6L Pentastar V6, 6-speed manual transmission producing a respectable 285 horsepower and 265 lb/ft of torque. 

Amenities are extremely limited in base trimmings, with the Sport featuring:

  • Manual locks

  • Manual windows

  • Manual cloth seats

  • Carpet

In base trimmings, the Sport has no CD player, keyless entry, air conditioning, or much of anything else; however, for a dedicated wheeler, the entry-level JL isn’t a bad option.

2023 Ford Bronco Base

For a low-end trim, the 2023 Ford Bronco Base is surprisingly well-equipped (especially compared to the Wrangler). The base features the 2.3L EcoBoost I4 producing 300 horsepower and 325 lb/ft of torque (premium fuel). The turbocharged 4-cylinder is mated to your choice of a 10-speed automatic or 7-speed manual gearbox. 

While not necessarily luxurious, the Bronco Base is far better equipped than the Wrangler Sport. Standard amenities include:

  • Manual air conditioning

  • Keyless entry with remote start

  • Wireless CarPlay and Android Auto-compatible infotainment system

  • Carpeted flooring and mats

  • 7-speaker audio system

  • Terrain management system

And more! 

High-End Trims

For high-end trims, we’re looking at both platforms' priciest and best-equipped models.

2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

Credit: Stellantis

The 2023 Wrangler Rubicon 392 is the pinnacle of JL performance, powered by the legendary 6.4L HEMI V8 producing 470 horsepower and 470 lb/ft of torque. Besides the upgraded powertrain, the Rubicon 392 is suspended by an off-road-tuned suspension, including Mopar/FOX shocks, sway bar disconnects, and Dana 44 differentials with Tru-Lok electronic lockers. The Rubicon 392 rolls on rugged beadlock-capable 17-inch wheels and 33-inch BF-Goodrich tires.  

Amenities-wise, the Wrangler 392 packs nearly every option in Jeep’s catalog. Heavily-bolstered, leather-wrapped, full-power seats provide exceptional comfort and security on the trail, while a U-connect premium infotainment system provides entertainment. Other features include:

  • Paddle shifters

  • 7-inch digital gauge cluster

  • Dual-mode exhaust system

  • Premium air-induction hood

And more!

2023 Ford Bronco Raptor

Credit: Ford

For just over $1,000 more (starting MSRP), Ford’s Bronco Raptor is a direct competitor to the Wrangler Rubicon 392. While the Bronco Raptor doesn’t sport a solid front axle, it's equipped with the Hoss 4.0 suspension system, featuring FOX LiveValve 3.1 internal bypass dampers at all four corners producing 13 inches of front and 14 inches of rear travel. A front stabilizer bar disconnect and electronic-locking differentials make for impressive off-road performance. 

Under the hood, the Bronco Raptor packs Ford’s twin-turbocharged 3.0L EcoBoost V6 pumping out 418 horsepower and 440 lb/ft of torque! While not as powerful as the Wrangler’s 392 HEMI, the Raptor has plenty of power to dominate the trail, dunes, or highway.

Amenities-wise, the Bronco Raptor sports: 

  • Marine-grade vinyl seats

  • 12-inch digital gauge cluster

  • 12-inch capacitive infotainment display

  • Wireless CarPlay and Android Auto 

  • Keyless entry with push-button start

  • Remote start

  • Terrain management system with 7-modes

And more! 

Which Platform is Better? 

So, which platform should you choose if you’re in the market for a new 4x4? While we’d love to give a simple answer, both models have pros and cons. 

The Jeep Wrangler JL is a tried and tested platform. The solid front axle, 5-link front and rear suspension are a must for several die-hard off-roaders, especially for low-speed crawling. The platform also features naturally aspirated, diesel, and hybrid powertrain options, while the Bronco is limited to three turbocharged gas engines. 

The Bronco, on the other hand, is a feature-packed SUV fresh out of the gates, even in base trimmings. In an amenities showdown, we have to give the Bronco a major edge over the Wrangler. On-road comfort is another area where the Bronco shines as the independent front suspension floats effortlessly over highway expansion joints and rough roads. The Bronco Raptor also excels in high-speed dirt sections, whereas the Wrangler is geared more toward low-speed obstacles. 

When it comes down to it, both models are rich in history and performance. Choosing one over the other is like picking your allegiance to one of the big three American pickups; it’s all a matter of opinion! Whether you opt for a sixth-generation Bronco or Wrangler JL, you’ll surely be ecstatic with either.

And as always, for any aftermarket components like lift kits, wheels and tires, and lighting, be sure to check out our extensive inventory! 

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