Large SUV; Built in USA
  • 2-door wagon
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,200 – $3,100*


1991 Ford Bronco 4WD


1992 Ford Bronco Nite


1993 Ford Bronco


1994 Ford Bronco XLT


1996 Ford Bronco Sport

Pros:
  • Cargo room
  • 4WD traction
  • Trailer-towing capability
Cons:
  • Fuel economy
  • Maneuverability
  • Ride/handling

With only two side doors, a Bronco is less convenient for family use than a 4-door Grand Wagoneer or smaller Cherokee/Wagoneer.

Overview

Ford’s full-size 4-wheel-drive utility vehicle could hold more than 100 cubic feet of cargo or seat six people in a roomy interior. It could also haul as much as 7800 pounds. Essentially a Ford F-Series pickup truck with expanded passenger area and fiberglass rear-roof section, Broncos came only in a 2-door body style, with a 2-way tailgate. Antilock rear braking was standard by the late 1980s, operating only in 2WD. A 4-speed automatic transmission edged aside the 3-speed unit, starting during 1990 as a running change. Base engine until 1993 was a 4.9-liter inline 6-cylinder, packing 150 horsepower, with a choice of optional V8s. A 185-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 was standard on the Eddie Bauer edition, optional on others. Also available: a 210-horsepower 5.8-liter V8, offered only with 3-speed automatic. Standard on-demand, part-time 4WD (not for use on dry pavement) had a conventional transfer-case shift lever on the floor.

Yearly Updates

1991 Bronco
An anniversary-edition model marked the Bronco’s 25th season. The 3-speed automatic transmission had disappeared, making an electronically controlled 4-speed unit available with all engines.
1992 Bronco
Front ends featured a new grille and rounded sheetmetal. Mirrors also were new. The 5.8-liter engine dipped from 210 to 200 horsepower. An XLT Nite model flaunted a monochrome black exterior and Nite insignia, but would last only a single season.
1993 Bronco
Four-wheel ABS was installed in ’93, replacing a 2-wheel setup. The 5.0-liter V8, at 185 horsepower, became standard. This year, the regular XLT got a monochromatic exterior (but black was not the only color offered). All but the Custom could have Touch Drive, which required an automatic transmission.
1994 Bronco
A driver-side airbag came in ’94. The 5.0-liter V8 added 20 horsepower and the 5.8-liter reverted to 210 horses.
1995 Bronco
A new sport trim package for the XLT included a body-colored grille and bumpers, new running-board steps, and deep-dish aluminum wheels. The Eddie Bauer got a new bumper with air intakes.
1996 Bronco
As an industry first, Broncos got optional futuristic mirrors that displayed turn-signal pointers in the glass surface. Bronco was replaced by the New Ford Expedition for 1997.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive

Since 1993, when the 6-cylinder engine disappeared, 5.0- and 5.8-liter V8s have been the sole engines. The 5.0-liter V8 gained 20 horsepower in 1994, but put out 10 fewer horses with automatic than with manual shift. By 1996, that engine was rated 199 horsepower with either transmission. Auto-lock front hubs were standard by 1994, with manual hubs a credit option. Upscale Broncos with automatic might have pushbutton-controlled Touch Drive. Others use a floor lever to shift the transfer case. The 5.8-liter V8 came only with 4-speed automatic; others could have manual shift.

ohv I6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.9/300
Engine HP 145-150
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 260-265
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
4-speed automatic
14/17
NA
14/18
ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.0/302
Engine HP 185-205
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 270-275
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
4-speed automatic
14/17
NA
13/17
ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.8/351
Engine HP 200-210
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 300-328
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
3-speed automatic
4-speed automatic
NA
12/16

Road Test

Even the 6-cylinder engine provides sufficient power for adequate acceleration, though we prefer V8s for their stronger performance. Best all-around choice is the 5.0-liter, providing satisfying acceleration and relaxed cruising ability, without using much more fuel than a six. Gas mileage with either V8 is poor. A light throttle foot is needed to keep from dipping into single-digit figures in city driving, and 20 mpg on the open road is about the best most drivers can hope for. Four-wheel antilock braking is safer than 2-wheel, maintaining better steering control in panic stops. It works when the vehicle is in 4WD, when conditions may make it most beneficial.

Capping the rear portion of the Bronco’s cabin with a fiberglass shell promoted squeaks, and offered much less isolation from road and wind noise than the full-metal body of a Blazer or Yukon.

Space for six adults, ample cargo capacity, heavy-duty towing power, and rugged off-road capabilities are Bronco’s main attractions. Minuses include unwieldy size (clumsy in urban driving), a jouncy ride, and poor fuel economy. Tall and bulky, a Bronco is difficult to maneuver through dense traffic. Occupants also face a rather tall step-up into the interior.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1996 Ford Bronco 5.0-liter

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 4
40%
Fuel Economy - 3
30%
Ride Quality - 2
20%
Steering/Handling - 3
30%
Quietness - 2
20%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 4
40%
Room/Comfort Front - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Rear - 3
30%
Cargo Room - 6
60%

Other

Value - 4
40%

Total: 36

Specifications

2-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
104.7 183.6 79.1 74.4
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
101.4 32.0 6
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
41.2 39.3 41.1 37.7
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1996 Bronco 2-door wagon

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 5
100%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 82
Injury 71
Theft 190

Trouble Spots

Automatic transmission
Description: Shifting problems occur when water seeps into the sensor that reports the position of the shift lever. A service kit is available to fix it. (1990-94)
Brakes
Description: The parking brake pedal spontaneously drops to the floor because the adjustment pawl does not engage. (1992-94)
Brakes
Description: The transmission may be able to shift out of park without the brakes being applied if the center high-mount stoplamp is burned out or missing. (1994-95)
Engine knock
Description: A knocking sound on startup on 5.8-liter engines is likely due to a problem with the secondary air pump. (1995-96)
Engine knock
Description: A knocking noise on vehicles with the 4.9-liter engine may be due to insufficient oil requiring a new filter mounting insert and antidrainback oil filter. (1990-95)
Engine noise
Description: The drive belt on 5.0- and 5.8-liter engines chirps because of misalignment caused by the water pump pulley. (1990-94)
Audio system
Description: Whining noises in the radio speakers are caused by the gas tank fuel pump. An electronic noise filter must be installed on the fuel pump. (1990-96)

Recall History

1990-91
Description: Ignition switch could short-circuit, causing smoke and possible fire.
1992
Description: Door latch mechanism may malfunction in below-freezing temperatures.
1992-94 w/manual shift
Description: Parking brake pawl can slip; brake might not hold.
1993 w/Touch Drive
Description: Transfer case can slip out of 4×4 high-gear position during coasting in forward gears or with power applied in reverse.
1993 Bronco w/speed control system
Description: The speed control deactivation switch may, under certain conditions, leak internally and then overheat, smoke, or burn. This could result in an underhood fire. Dealers will install a fused wiring harness.
1993
Description: This vehicle was previously repaired using a wiring harness that is not compatible with the vehicle circuit polarity. Dealers will install a new wiring harness, or replace the mating electrical component.
1994-96
Description: Cruise-control deactivation switch may overheat, smoke, or burn.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.