The 2021 Ford Bronco Black Diamond Off-Road SUV: Five Standout Features

Woman Standing In Front Of Ford Bronco Black Diamond
Five standout features of the 2021 Ford Bronco Black Diamond ? Jill Robbins

Wanna turn heads? Buy a new Bronco.

And then drive it in Michigan (or anywhere, for that matter). I drove the 2021 Ford Bronco off-road SUV around Detroit for a week. I don’t think I’ve ever driven a car that’s garnered that much attention! Priced at about $33,000 to $49,000, it has a 300 horsepower 4-cylinder engine. In a city full of Ford loyalists (my assessment based on what I saw on the roads), driving the 2021 Ford Bronco Black Diamond definitely felt like showing up to the party with the cool new guy (or gal) everyone wanted to talk to. While my highway and city driving didn’t even begin to put this stunner through its off-road paces, here are five standout features that speak to the new Bronco’s everyday capabilities.

Even if you’re scoping out the new Ford Bronco off-road SUV with visions of scaling rocks and conquering creek beds (as you should be), odds are your new Bronco isn’t going to be 100% about playtime. Here’s what stood out to me.

(If I’d had the opportunity to take this beauty off-road, this list would be three times as long.)

Related: First Drive Review: Five Reasons to be Wild About the 2021 Ford Bronco

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1. It’s a head turner

If you’re looking to blend in, don’t buy this one. Everything about the new Bronco is bold and unique. I’ve test driven a lot of vehicles, and I think this one ties the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon for the car I’ve received the most questions about from random people. See also: admiring (and perhaps envious) glances.

The gorgeous color on this off-road SUV is called Area 51. It’s not quite a true blue yet definitely not a gray. Still, it manages to be eye-catching without screaming “Look at me!” However, you’ll have several different options to customize if you fancy a bolder color.

It’s kind of fun to drive the belle of the ball, not gonna lie.

Related: Ford Is Getting Serious About Off-Roading With the Bronco Raptor and the New Expedition

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Are people staring at me or at this stunning new Bronco Black Diamond? Photo: Jill Robbins

2. Affordable price tag

The starting price of the Black Diamond edition is $36,050. Not only does this model contain all the basics, but it’s in the range of what most people would consider affordable. However, there’s some price variation across other Bronco models:

  • Base model starts at $28,500 and has just what you need, including removable door and roof panels
  • Big Bend starts at $33,385 and has a few more luxuries like a remote start system and rear seat power ports, including a household outlet
  • Outer Banks starts at $38,995; you’re there for the fun and the luxury, so leather seats and running boards are included
  • Badlands is priced from $42,095; destined for the true wilderness with enhanced skid plates, standard advanced on-demand 4-wheel drive, and marine grade upholstery
  • Wild Track starts at $46,980 and is top of the line with all the off-roading technology
  • First Edition is priced from $56,915 and includes even more features, including the largest stock tires and the Sasquatch package

2021 Ford Bronco Customization

Additionally, there are some other customization options:

  • For an additional $1,895, each model offers two other engine options. Choose from a 300 horsepower 4-cylinder Ecoboost engine or a 330 horsepower 6-cylinder Ecoboost engine
  • Part-time selectable 4-wheel drive is standard. Buyers can upgrade to full-time advanced on-demand 4-wheel drive for an additional $5,790. However, this comes standard on Badlands and above
  • Manual transmission is standard on the Base, Big Bend and Black Diamond editions, though automatic transmission is available for $1,595
  • Two-door versions of all Broncos can be had for a discount ranging from $1,695-$4,150 off, depending on the model

On the (maybe?) downside, there’s a lack of frills on the Black Diamond. You may not favor this if you’re used to having lots of bells and whistles. Unfortunately, I did notice the lack of features such as heated seats. As a Texas gal, this was not ideal for my Michigan adventure. Also, there was no lane-keeping assist that I’d become used to in other cars. I think it would definitely be an adjustment to not have those features on a regular basis. If that’s a deal breaker for you, you might be better served with an Explorer or Expedition.

Related: At Ford’s Pop-Up in Downtown Austin, TX, the Ford Bronco, F-150 Lightning and Mach E Are Giggly Fun

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The Bucking Bronco is displayed on the rear tailgate of the Ford Bronco. Photo: Jill Robbins

3. Bronco Easter eggs are everywhere

We learned to love Easter egg hunting when spending time in a Jeep. Finding the iconic Jeep logos and more became quite the game. Plus, they never let you forget you’re in a Jeep. Well, Bronco is taking it to the next level, and the unique Bronco branding is so well done. From the “Bucking Bronco” that welcomes you on the media screen to the Bronco on the rear tire and throughout the car, the branded icons are fun to discover. It’s everywhere but subtle at the same time.

Grille Of 2021 Ford Bronco Black Diamond

The distinctive front end is one of the things that makes the Bronco’s appearance stand out. Photo: Jill Robbins

The front grille boldly displays BRONCO instead of the traditional Ford emblem. You’ll spot a bucking bronco on the rear, on the gear shift and on the wheels. I really loved these touches. For me, it’s a part of what makes the Ford Bronco stand out.

4. A comfortable and functional family vehicle

Boy In Rear Seat Of 2021 Ford Bronco Black Diamond

There’s a ton of legroom back here! Photo: Jill Robbins

Yes, really!

This four-door model seats five people and has plenty of legroom for your average family of four. Although three adults in the back seat might be a little snug, there’s ample legroom.

City and highway driving felt surprisingly smooth for a vehicle designed to be rugged. My kids had a lot of room in the rear seat. They liked being up high as we explored some unfamiliar terrain. We live in Texas, and it snowed the day we arrived in Michigan. To say they enjoyed the snowy views is an understatement! Also, there’s plenty of floor space for bags and backpacks. This Ford Bronco definitely works as an everyday drive.

A downside for anyone of short stature, with mobility issues, or young children is the lack of side steps on this model. The Ford Bronco Black Diamond sits higher off the ground. You must be able to boost yourself up into the cab. My kids are 11 and could scramble into the rear seat just fine. Younger/smaller children would probably need a helping hand or a step stool. If you have (or regularly transport) kids who sit in child safety seats, I recommend giving your child’s seat a test run to see if you can manage it.

The Outer Banks trim level comes with powder-coated tube steps. You can also look into purchasing after-market steps to meet your needs.

Related: How Two Novice Moms Are Off-Roading Through The Rebelle Rally With The Ford Bronco Sport

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One of the features that really stood out to me as a parent was the safety reminder to check your rear seat upon stopping. Photo: Jill Robbins

5. Lots of rear space

If I were looking to buy this car, the amount of rear space would be a pretty big deal. While I doubt anyone rolls up to a Ford dealership with the notion of buying a Bronco because it has killer rear cargo space, new Bronco owners are still going to haul luggage and groceries and band instruments in addition to camping gear and other equipment.

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Whatever you’re taking with you, you’ll find the rear space to be very roomy. We also liked the height here – it made bags and packages easier to get to and rearrange. Photo: Jill Robbins

That said, there’s ample space back there to meet your day-to-day needs. Buyers still want and need that element of practicality. Their vehicle has to be a great fit for everyday life. The Bronco Black Diamond delivers.

2 Kids Standing In Front Of 2021 Ford Bronco Black Diamond

I have to tell a funny story about this picture: If the kid in the red seems unhappy, it’s because he was told he had to go sightseeing and miss the Lions v. Cardinals game on TV. Little did he know that this Ford was heading to Ford Field in downtown Detroit to see the game LIVE. Photo: Jill Robbins

Move over Wrangler?

Will the newly designed Bronco lure diehard Jeep lovers? Only time will tell, but Ford’s early indications show that buyers looking for off-road vehicles are taking advantage of this attractive new option. In the meantime, the 2021 Ford Bronco should certainly enjoy its time in the limelight as the new kid on the block.

Disclosure: Ford provided the Bronco for this story, but all opinions are my own.

Jill is the oldest mom with the youngest kids pretty much everywhere she goes. She has a 29-year-old daughter... More about Jill Robbins