2023 Ford Bronco: The One We’d Buy

The 2023 Ford Bronco is one of the most versatile vehicles on the market today. From the capable yet affordable base model to the high-octane Raptor at more than twice the price, there’s seemingly a Bronco to meet anyone’s needs and wants. But this breadth of customization can also make it difficult for shoppers to know where to begin. To help narrow down your choices, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to the 2023 Bronco, including our recommended spec and some others you might want to consider depending on your budget and requirements.

Without further ado, here are our favorites among the Bronco lineup.

Edmunds recommends the Heritage Edition

2023 Ford Bronco front 3/4

We’re going to start off by saying we love the base Bronco. It comes packed with standard features, including a handful that cost extra on a Jeep Wrangler. Still, it was the next-tier Big Bend that got our recommendation for the 2022 Bronco. The Big Bend costs a little more than the base model, but we thought the extra hardware (all-terrain tires, passenger grab handle and an additional off-road driving mode) was worth the minor uptick in price.

Our same logic applies to the new Heritage Edition model, which is Edmunds’ recommended 2023 Bronco spec. It’s based on the Big Bend trim with the feature-heavy Mid package and trail-conquering Sasquatch package — both of which are worthy additions to the Big Bend. From there, the Heritage Edition adds a white grille with a unique design inspired by Broncos of old. You also get a white-painted top and wheels, different bumpers, squared wheel arches, side steps, white and red interior accents, and gray/blue plaid cloth upholstery. It’s also the only way to get the Big Bend with the Mid package and a manual transmission; usually, selecting the Mid package requires adding the automatic.

The Heritage Edition is a little more expensive than a similarly equipped Big Bend, and we wouldn’t normally recommend a trim level that mostly adds appearance upgrades. But the Heritage Edition is just too cool to ignore. It leans into the Bronco’s retro theming while still being identifiable as a modern Bronco. And we happen to think it looks particularly fetching in Race Red and Azure Gray.

Our full build starts as a Heritage Edition model in Azure Gray with the automatic. We’d also spec the door bags for an extra $350, so you can protect the doors while open-air motoring. That’s it, no other crazy options or accessories. Clean, simple and — most importantly — relatively cost-controlled. A 2023 Ford Bronco so equipped will run you $50,830.

A more luxurious alternative

2021 Ford Bronco front 3/4

The Heritage Edition sounds awesome, but maybe you aren’t planning on buying the Bronco strictly for its off-road prowess. While we think the Heritage Edition is a great pick for most people, the included Sasquatch package’s giant all-terrain tires leave a bit to be desired when it comes to road comfort. If you’re planning to primarily stick to pavement and want a few extra goodies, the Outer Banks might be a more suitable choice.

Outer Banks models are based on the Big Bend, but painted exterior styling elements (rather than tough black cladding), side steps and high level of standard content clue you in to its on-road focus. It also has a more comprehensive list of optional features. The Outer Banks is available with the High and Lux packages, which add niceties like a 12-inch touchscreen, 10-speaker B&O audio system, a wireless charging pad and adaptive cruise control.

If your idea of adventuring is more dirt parking lot than dirt trail, the Outer Banks will likely suit your needs just fine. Our dream spec is an Eruption Green four-door model with the V6 ($1,895), Lux package ($3,195), hardtop ($695), and brown and black leather/vinyl seats ($2,195). Total spend is $54,020.

When money is no object

2023 Ford Bronco Raptor front 3/4

Price tag, shmice tag. New for last year, the Raptor is the perfect match for those seeking the most extreme Bronco in the lineup. This thing is an absolute beast, with a heavy-duty rear axle, Fox shocks, heavy-duty skid plates, 37-inch tires and taller fender flares to make high-speed desert running a reality. To that end, the Raptor is equipped with a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 with 418 horsepower — nearly 100 hp more than the 2.7-liter V6 available on other Broncos. The Raptor is truly impressive, as we learned on our First Drive.

Of course, the Bronco Raptor’s price matches its extreme performance. Prices start at $75,375. Opt for the awesome Code Orange exterior paint with matching seat belts ($395), and our nearly stock Bronco Raptor’s MSRP stands at $75,770.

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