Ford Bronco compared to the Toyota Land Cruiser

Jan 03, 2022 - 4 minute read

a jeep driving down a dirt road next to another jeep driving down a dirt road next to a lush green field

Recently Toyota unveiled its small EV SUV concept vehicle. Toyota showed the Compact Cruiser EV. It's a battery-electric vehicle that will likely ride on one of Toyota's new 16 EV architectures unveiled, but we don't know when or if it will reach production. Much like Ford's historical legendary Full Size Bronco, the Compact Cruiser emulates the Land Cruiser into a smaller package.

According to Car and Driver experts, “We don't have any concrete information on the Compact Cruiser's powertrain or platform, but its design speaks wonders. With four doors, a tall and boxy body, short front and rear overhangs, and big fender flares, the Compact Cruiser looks off-road-ready and adventurous. It reminds us of Toyota's boxy FT4X concept from several years ago, but with even more FJ Cruiser-esque retro charm thrown into the mix. It looks like the Land Cruiser's mini-me and appears to capture a similar vibe as the popular Ford Bronco Sport.”

The original Land Cruiser has disappointed many Americans as of late with its uncertainty in the U.S. market. There is much speculation and frankly anticipation on what exactly the Compact Cruiser will entail and how it will compare with the baby Bronco, as the Bronco Sport has affectionately been called. We do not know the launch date or distribution locations however, we do know how the full-size Bronco of generations past compared as well as the 2021 compares with the Land Cruiser. We are confident the Bronco will outpace its Toyota counterpart yet again.

With our suspense heightened, here are highlights from a 2021 Full-Size Bronco vs 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser comparison. In most categories the Bronco's features and benefits exceeded that of the Land Cruiser, but clearly depend on what you value. Details ranged from a Bronco having a cap-less fueling system to noting that the Land Cruiser doesn’t offer a manual transmission. A 10-speed automatic is available on the Ford Bronco, only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Land Cruiser. Bronco’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Land Cruiser. The Ford Bronco’s wheels have 6 lugs. The Toyota Land Cruiser only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel. The Bronco’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions. The Land Cruiser doesn’t offer drift compensation steering. The Bronco 4-Door’s wheelbase is 3.9 inches longer than on the Land Cruiser. The Ford Bronco comes in four door and soft top bodystyles. The Toyota Land Cruiser isn’t available as a soft top. The Ford Bronco weighs about 700 to 1450 pounds less than the Toyota Land Cruiser. The Bronco 4-Door is 5.4 inches shorter than the Land Cruiser.

We also found a look back very interesting comparing the Legendary Ford Bronco of the 1970's to the Land Cruiser from the same decade in the Classic Off-Road SUV Comparison Test - Motor Trend, John Kiewicz, Julia LaPalme. "The term "sport utility vehicle" didn't exist back then. People were just realizing that vehicles designed for emergency crews and farmers also made for exciting off-road adventuring. The vehicles became so popular that sales increased by 700 percent between1961 and 1971, growing 31 percent every year in that period. SUVs soon replaced muscle cars as the hot niche."

Then: "The Land Cruiser's name accurately states its design and purpose. After operating the Toyota, it's easy to conjure up an image of a cloud of dust several miles away in the arid Sahara desert, finally emerging as the Land Cruiser. "—David Carlton,  MotorTrend, August 1975

Now: It's no surprise these 40 Series Land Cruisers are now so valuable. The model combines typical Toyota reliability, incredible off-road prowess, terrific looks, and easy modification. Too bad it's become almost too expensive to enjoy where it's most at home—off-road.

Introduced for 1965, the Bronco was the last to the party in this size category and had some catching up to do before even going on sale. But catch up it did. The Bronco received the most modern chassis, suspension, and cabin, and, by the end of its run in 1977, it boasted the likes of standard front disc brakes and two-speed windshield wipers. Equipped with the street-friendly 4.9-liter V-8, a pleasant step up from the base 89-hp inline-six. The eight's 205 horses and 300 lb-ft of torque—the best of the group—makes for easy-going street driving.  

Then: "The Ford Bronco can be a sturdy workhorse, but it's still a relatively comfortable vehicle to drive and ride in, even for long periods. Not too many off-road four-wheel-drive vehicles can claim this distinction. "—MotorTrend, October 1965

Now: The Ford Bronco shows the continuing evolution from off-roader to modern-day SUV. With a good combination of four-wheel-drive capability and plenty of comfort for the long haul, it's an excellent compromise."

The archives from the 1975 and 1965 Motor Trend article contrasted to the comparison of today tell us that these competitions and rivals in the market are as old as time and only improve the overall quality and experience for the consumer. As more information is unveiled on the Compact Cruiser as it compares to the Bronco Sport we will research and update our website. We know the Bronco Sport swept the market pleasing consumers, safety experts and environmentalist last year and will continue to do so in 2022. Check back with J.C. Lewis, your Bronco Headquarters, as we keep you updated on all things Bronco, 912.226.1334.

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