Update 14/1/22: Ford has clarified the basic issue of the missing Bronco, and as it turns out, the cheapest Bronco isn’t going anywhere—rather, a website bug temporarily brought down the basic stallion. For context, though, keep reading below to see what all the fuss is about—and our speculation on what it might mean for entry-level Broncos.
A member on the Bronco6G forums noticed something slightly amusing recently: The 2022 Ford Bronco configurator no longer displays an image of the base-level Bronco, and entry-level models are no longer selectable at all. We took a look ourselves and found that, indeed, the base Broncos were missing and only price and words remained above the grayed out “image lost” chart. The same Bronco6G forum poster also mentions that the user’s local dealer explained their reasons behind the move.
Is There a Substitute?
As it appears Ford has removed the base Bronco from its configurator, we haven’t heard of any new official entry-level trim for the popular SUV. The post was made on January 11, 2022 and the last webpage browsing of the Internet Archive was back on November 19, 2021. We don’t know when this was changed and how long it’s been like this, although if you mess with Ford’s website URL to force it to show the 2021 Bronco configurator, the tile Bronco base appears normally and you can create it. It could be that ongoing supply chain issues (and hardtop issues) are impacting the base-grade 2022 model year Bronco, so Ford is putting the crap out of ordering it (it won’t be the first limit or delay Ford has levied on the Bronco’s intentions).
At the time of this writing we have yet to get official word from Ford about the reason the Base model is missing. Either way, the bare base Bronco leaves the two-door Bronco Big Bend version as the new price leader—though for 2022 it starts at $35,280, a far cry from the $30,795 listed for the base two-door version.
However, rumors are growing where the basic faint scent of Bronco is disappearing. On the same forum post, a member mentioned talking to their local dealer about the loss and what it would be like. (Again, we don’t have official word from Ford to verify this and so should be taken with a grain of salt.) The explanation is that dealers are having trouble selling base Broncos for a profit over other trims and aren’t ordering as much.
We find that a bit hard to believe, given the popularity of the Bronco and the stories of people willing to pay more for one—any Bronco, really. Ford doesn’t release monthly sales figures nor do they break down their quarterly figures, so the Bronco’s underlying fate in the hands of dealer order preferences or customer preferences is a mystery.
First Generation Callback?
One interesting theory, on the other hand, is the mention of a “Legacy Edition” to replace the base model. It was explained to forum members as a standard Bronco with a white roof, calling back to the original first-generation Bronco. Given Ford’s history of playing with its historic models, we can’t say that it’s not too much of an exaggeration. Again, we must stress that we have contacted Ford to confirm all of this—the loss of the base model and the introduction of the Heritage model—and, to date, Ford has not responded to our inquiries. So don’t jump to conclusions until we can confirm from Ford that it’s true.
Just a Mistake
As it turns out, deleting the base model has been a mistake on the Ford site all along. A company representative contacted us to confirm that Base Bronco would not be removed and that was an issue with Ford’s website all along. Unfortunately, the gremlin seems to continue as a different Bronco—Wildtrack—now doesn’t work. Hopefully, it won’t take too long to fix, but it makes us wonder: Why did Ford edit the Bronco page? Could the Bronco Raptor join the others soon?