Update of 01/14/22: Ford has cleared up the issue of the base Bronco’s disappearance, and it turns out the cheapest Bronco isn’t going anywhere — instead, a website bug has temporarily taken down the base Stallion. However, for context, keep reading below to see what it was all about – and our speculations on what it might have meant for the entry-level Bronco.
A member of the Bronco6G forum noticed something a little funny recently: the 2022 Ford Bronco configurator no longer shows the image of the base Bronco, and the entry-level model is no longer selectable at all. We took a look for ourselves and found that indeed the basic Broncos were gone and only the price and wording remained above a grayed out “missing image” chart. This same Bronco6G forum poster also mentions that a user’s local dealer explained their reasoning behind the move.
Is there a replacement?
As it looks like Ford has pulled the base Bronco from its configurator, we’ve yet to hear about a new official entry-level version for the popular SUV. The post was published on January 11, 2022, and the last webpage crawl from the Internet Archive was back on November 19, 2021. We don’t know when this was changed and how long it’s actually been around, but if you you mess with the Ford website URL to force it to display the 2021 Bronco configurator, the base Bronco tile appears normally and you can build one. Ongoing supply chain issues (and hardtop issues) may impact the base 2022 model year Bronco, so Ford is putting a stop to ordering one (this isn’t would not be the first such limit or delay that Ford has imposed on Bronco intentions).
As of this writing, we have yet to get an official word from Ford on why the base model is gone. Either way, the masked 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 version of two-door base.
A dealer rumor
However, the rumor mill picks up where the faint scent of Bronco base leaves off. On that same forum post, a member mentions talking to their local dealer about the loss and what was to come. (Again, we have no official word from Ford to verify this so it should be taken with a grain of salt.) The explanation is that dealers were struggling to sell the base Bronco for a profit per compared to other versions and did not command as much.
We find that a little hard to believe, given the popularity of the Bronco and the stories of people who were willing to shell out the cash for one – any Bronco, really. Ford doesn’t release monthly sales numbers or break down trim in their quarterly numbers, so the fate of the base Bronco at the hands of dealer order preferences or customer preference is a mystery.
A first generation recall?
An interesting theory, on the other hand, was the mention of a “legacy edition” to replace the base model. It was described to a forum member as a standard Bronco with a white roof, reminiscent of the original first generation Bronco. Given Ford’s history of playing its historic models, we can’t say it’s not too far-fetched. Again, we must point out that we have contacted Ford for confirmation of all of this – the loss of the base model and the introduction of a Heritage model – and, at press time, Ford has not responded to our questions. So don’t rush to jump to conclusions until we’re able to confirm from Ford that this is all true.
Just a glitch
It turns out that deleting the base model has always been an issue on Ford’s site. A company representative contacted us to confirm that the Base Bronco is not being phased out and that it was an issue with Ford’s website all along. Unfortunately, the gremlins appear to be continuing as another Bronco – the Wildtrack – is now down. Hopefully that won’t take too long to solve either, but makes us wonder: why is Ford editing the Bronco page? Could a Bronco Raptor soon join the others?