Ford revived the iconic Bronco nameplate for its sixth generation after a 25-year hiatus. The new vehicle was an immediate hit when it hit the market. It now poses as the most attractive off-roader with attractive styling featuring elements of its classic siblings, loads of usable tech, versatility, and rugged, go-anywhere demeanor that made the vintage Bronco a timeless legend.
Ford built this tough SUV for adventure; any enthusiast will enjoy taking it for all sorts of new adventures. Also, the Bronco comes in many trim levels, with the new 2023 model offered in 10 trims ranging from the Base to the hardcore Bronco Raptor. The Outer Banks is the mid-range offering that seeks to strike a balance between practicality and off-road supremacy. In this article, we pit it against the Bronco First Edition, exclusive for the 2021 model year in limited units, and posing as the one Bronco to rule them all.
10/10 Ford Bronco Outer Banks: Peppy Turbocharged Engine
The 2023 Ford Bronco Outer Banks comes standard with the 2.3-liter turbocharged EcoBoost I-4 engine paired with a 7-speed manual or a 10-speed automatic, making 275hp and 315lb-ft of torque on regular fuel.
These are great figures for an engine of its size, and while it isn’t the fastest SUV on the market, it is peppy enough to provide zero to 60mph sprints in 6.5 seconds. And you can opt for the more powerful engine options.
9/10 Ford Bronco First Edition: Torquey V6 Power
The Bronco First Edition gets the 2.7- liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 making 315hp and 410lb-ft of torque, rising to 330hp and 415lb-ft -f torque on high octane gas, and paired with the 10-speed auto transmission.
That is incredible power and torque for on-road and off-road driving, and it should crawl over any rock without breaking a sweat. Also, while towing isn’t the Bronco’s forte, the First Edition offers a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds when paired with the Class II Trailer Yow Package.
8/10 Ford Bronco Outer Banks: Healthy Set Of Safety Tech
The old Bronco was deemed unsafe at several points throughout its lifetime, but Ford worked to remove most of the safety concerns with each iteration. The new iteration is different as it deploys a healthy set of safety tech and driving aids.
Standard safety features on the Outer Banks include the Personal Safety System and individual tire pressure monitoring system. Also, there is pre-collision and lane-keeping assist, cross-traffic alert, and the Safety Canopy Side-Curtain with a rollover sensor.
7/10 Ford Bronco First Edition: Looks Great In The Exclusive Lightning Blue Paint
The standard Bronco comes with a standard palette of 11 paint choices. Still, the First Edition trim got the exclusive lightning blue paint, arguably the coolest shade among them. It is a familiar color featured on the F-150 Raptor, Mustang Shelby GT350, and the Ford Ranger.
It helps the most expensive Bronco stand out, and you can add the distinctive First Edition hood and bodyside graphics to match.
6/10 Ford Bronco Outer Banks: Spacious Interior
Ford offers the Bronco Outer Banks in 4-door and 2-door configurations. Whatever your choice, you have a roomy cabin with sufficient seating at the front and rear. But the 2-door option has only two seats in the rear, with the other option offering three seats.
Customers get cloth seats, heated front seats, 10-way power driver seats, and 6-way manual seats for the driver and passenger. Also, you get 38 cu-ft of cargo space on the outer Bank with all seats up, which rises to 83 cu-ft with the seats down for the soft top variant.
5/10 Ford Bronco First Edition: Stand-out Exterior Styling
The Bronco First Edition gets more exterior styling upgrades besides the Lightning Blue paint job, which help it stand out further from the crowd. Passerby won’t get enough of this Bronco with its boxy proportions, long hood, and short wheelbase, and the arrow-straight beltline complements the rounded wheel arches to strike a perfect balance.
The design is closer to the more rugged Wildtrack model with the addition of the safari bar, unique hood, body graphics, and a black-painted hardtop.
4/10 Ford Bronco Outer Banks: Great Daily Drivability
The Outer Banks Is the luxury-oriented trim of the Bronco stable in the mold of the Jeep Wrangler Sahara. It combines off-road prowess with better road manners than any of its siblings while making it the best Bronco trim for a daily driver.
Adding up-to-date tech and a spacious interior enhances its daily drivability, and it feels at home driving around town as it crawls over rocks.
3/10 Ford Bronco First Edition: Superior Off-Road Performance
On its part, the Bronco First Edition is the perfect match for the wild and best captures the spirit of the original Bronco. Many will probably use their First Edition Broncos on normal roads, but it is the perfect choice for those who prefer to live in the wilderness.
It comes with all the rugged goodies offered in the Wildtrack trim, including the Sasquatch Package, which comes with 35-inch tires on 17-inch Beadlock-Capable wheels, and electronic-locking front and rear axle. These improve off-road performance when required. Also, you get 11.5 inches of ground clearance.
2/10 Ford Bronco Outer Banks: Cheaper To Buy Than The First Edition
Those in the market for a Ford Bronco on a budget can opt for the base car that starts at $32,295 in the 2-door configuration. Upgrading to upper trims gets expensive quickly, with the Range-topping Raptor going for $73,780. Our sweet spot is in the mid-ranges, where the Outer Banks offers good equipment and practicality.
1/10 Ford Bronco First Edition: Most Equipped Bronco Trim
The Bronco First Edition was the top dog when it came out in 2021. The ‘kitchen sink’ Bronco combined the best off-roading features of the Wildtrack, the Badlands mechanicals, and the Outer Banks’s posh interiors.
It was the most equipped and the ultimate Bronco for 2021, and its limited status made it more desirable.