Bronco Badlands vs Outer Banks

Bronco Badlands vs Outer Banks

Last Updated February 16, 2024 | Nate Moonis

The Ford Bronco Outer Banks vs Badlands are significantly different, even if their price points would point to similar features. While one is geared towards the serious off-roader, the other is aimed at weekend overlanders or hobbyists.

In this article, we'll discuss the differences between these two Ford Bronco trim levels to help you make the right choice.

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Bronco Badlands vs Outer Banks Specs Comparison
Spec Bronco Badlands Bronco Outer Banks
Cost 2-Door: $49,595
4-Door: $50,885
4-Door: $47,940
Engine 2.3L EcoBoost
Optional: 2.7L EcoBoost
2.3L EcoBoost
Optional: 2.7L EcoBoost
Transmission 7-Speed Manual with Crawler Gear
Optional: 10-Speed Automatic with Trail Control
10-Speed Automatic with Trail Control
G.O.A.T. Modes Normal, ECO, Slippery, Sand, Mud/Ruts, Rock Crawl, and Baja Normal, ECO, Sport, Slippery, Sand, and Mud/Ruts
Wheels and Tires 17-inch Carbonized Gray-painted machined face aluminum wheels 33-inch LT285/70R17 all-terrain tires 18-inch black-painted machined-face aluminum wheels 32-inch P255/70R18 all-terrain tires
4WD System Advanced 4x4 with automatic on-demand engagement 4x4 with part-time selectable engagement
Optional: Advanced 4x4 with automatic on-demand engagement

Bronco Badlands

Extreme Off-Roading

The Badlands trim comes off-road ready straight from the dealership.

7 G.O.A.T modes, front stabilizer bar disconnect, advanced 4x4 with automatic on-demand engagement, and a locking front and rear diff are all awesome off-road features. If you want to do some serious off-roading, many consider this a step up from the Black Diamond trim level.

Even though this is a serious, off-road ready machine, you don't miss out on some important interior upgrades. You get an 8" SYNC 4 touchscreen with Apple Carplay and Android Auto as standard, along with rubberized flooring and carpeted floor mats.

If you're really serious about off-roading, this is a great investment with plenty of room to grow.

Front facing view of a 2021 Bronco Badlands

Bronco Outer Banks

Off-Roading in Style

Do you like off-roading but also like comfort? Are you the type of person who likes to bring a cooler full of steak and beer with you on your camping trips? Then you're going to want to consider the Outer Banks trim.

Some of the Outer Banks' luxury items are appearance upgrades. Body-color fender flares and signature LED headlights and taillights make this trim look nice. But you can also opt for a 12” SYNC 4 infotainment screen and a B&O sound system.

While most upgrades for the Bronco are a la carte, the 10-speed automatic transmission comes standard with this one. I mean, you can't select a new playlist and shift, right? If you're looking for a trim that you could take the family on vacation with (maybe to the Outer Banks?) and have everyone feel comfortable, this is a great trim option

Outer Banks Trim Level for 2021/2022 Ford Bronco

Bronco Badlands vs Outer Banks: Which Is Right For You?

In the grand scheme of things, the prices between these two trims are relatively close. The Outer Banks comes in at around $3,000 less than the Badlands. While features are important, so is price point.

The Badlands differs from the Outer Banks in that it comes from the factory ready to ford rivers, climb rocks, and rip through loose gravel. With a locking front and rear differential, getting your tires to grip on slippery rocks or loose gravel is much easier than the Outer Banks.

You also get the edition of the "Rock Crawl" and "Baja" G.O.A.T. modes. While the first is pretty self-explanatory, Baja could use a bit more of an explanation. It's purpose is to assist in driving quickly over loose surfaces like gravel and sand. So, if you're planning on going desert driving, the Badlands might be the trim for you.

Whereas the Badlands gives you a serious off-roader straight off the lot, the Outer Banks gives you many of the creature comforts found in modern day cars in a more casual package. The leather seats and the 12" SYNC 4 display are important aspects of having a comfortable daily driver.

None of this is to say that the Outer Banks can't be taken on the trails, but it's definitely less off-road oriented than the Badlands trim.

Still not sure if either of these trims is right for you? See how they stack up to these other popular Bronco trim options:

This article was researched, written, edited, and reviewed following the steps outlined in our editorial process. Learn more about CJ's editorial standards and guidelines.