Ask Nathan: 2021 Bronco I4 vs V6, Chevy ZR2 Overlander and Power Wagon Love?

2021 Ford Bronco

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • 2021 Ford Bronco I4 vs V6 2021 performance?
  • The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 an ideal Overlander?
  • Ram Power Wagon love?

The first question comes from a local fan who wants to know if he should get the 2021 Ford Bronco I4 vs V6.

Q:  I live just up the hill from your headquarters in Boulder and right at the bottom of the Ike Gauntlet in Silverthorne.

I have been obsessed with the Early Bronco’s since I got my license. Now with the new Ford Bronco coming out, some decisions have to be made. I’m getting one, that isn’t even a decision. It’s a done deal.

The decision is… I love driving stick and would love to get the manual in the Bronco, but I am concerned that the 4 won’t be enough power at altitude to tow a small trailer and still pass folks on I 70. What do you think?

Same engine as the Ranger correct? Does it have enough power at altitude or just go with the EcoBoost 6 and forgo the manual and call it a day.


A: Hi Flick!

Thank you for the email!

Bronco I4 vs V6 – eh? That is a great question, especially considering you cannot get the twin-turbo V6 with the manual transmission. That’s according to Ford.

The current Ford Ranger and the 2021 Ford Bronco have the 2.3-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder you were talking about. The good news is that, with 270 horsepower and 310-lb-ft of torque, it’s a little powerhouse.

Unlike all of the other gas V6 midsize pickup trucks out there, the Ranger is barely phased by high elevation. In fact, it’s the fastest midsize pickup truck we’ve tested up here – by far.

That DOHC, 16-valve EcoBoost is outstanding – honestly. When I think about regular, daily driving, the Bronco I4 vs V6 is simple, the 2.3-liter is more than adequate.

I would imagine that, paired to the seven speed manual, it will be very quick on our roads.

When we tested the Ford Ranger up here, it was a filly loaded FX4 that weighed about 4,400 lbs. While we don’t have specific data on what each variant (with trim) weighs, the Bronco is expected to weigh between 3,900 and 4,500 lbs. I would imagine the package you’re talking about would be on the lighter side of the scale. As such, it may even be faster than the Ford Ranger.

Obviously, I would suggest testing one before you buy, but that’s your call.

Fortunately, it is beginning to look like all of the Bronco choices are/could be good ones.

— N

The next question has to do with making the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 the best overlander.

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

Q: Hi there, Saw Nathan’s video about offroaders today and got me on a tangent about ZR2 since I’ve been eyeballing that vehicle for a while. 

I saw a couple things that seem interesting.  One is that 589 has some shock relocation brackets for like $400, which is amazing.  The other is that AEV now offers a ZR2 Plus version which has, of several other things, high mark fenders that can fit 35″ tires without a lift!!! 

Looks like it would be another $10k on top of either a Bison or regular ZR2 but combined with the relocation, would make the ZR2 much more capable, almost more so than the new Bronco.  Loving all the off-road SUVs and trucks we are starting to see and love that you all are reporting on them all because I think that makes people more excited and then forces companies to bring these offerings. 

Thanks for all that you do!


Image: AEV

A: Absolutely!

Ever since the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 came out, I thought of it as an ideal overland rig. Especially with that turbodiesel I4. The potential range is excellent, as it the torque. Still, the V6 is an an excellent choice as well.

There is something you should know, with all of the aftermarket upgrades all of us at TFL Studios have paid for (and done ourselves) there are addition details. For one thing, most upgrades require addition upgrades to do it properly. It could be brackets, back-spaced wheels, special (professional) welds and more.

I find that, with most aftermarket kits, it’s smart to double the price in your mind before pulling the trigger. That will compensate for all of the additional, possibly unseen prices. On the other hand, some aftermarket kits come entirely complete and simply require assembly.

I looked at 589fab and they do indeed have a relocation kit; however, it requires a lot of thought (and money) before you commit to it.

This is from the website:

  • Cutting and welding required! (Welding should be done by a qualified welder with knowledge of welding on modern automobiles)
  • Recommend 0 offset wheel with tires larger than factory size
  • Modifications required for use with GMPP Rear Jounce Shocks
  • For off-road use only

The High-Mark fender kit will allow you to bolt on chunky 35-inch tires, but there’s a catch.

This is from AEV:

*Compatible with Crew Cab / Short Bed models only. AEV wheels or wheel spacers are required. To maximize tire clearance and to achieve a level stance, AEV recommends installing a 1″ front leveling kit.

Once again, there is a lot more to consider over the base price of the aftermarket upgrade. Still, if you’re going to invest in upgrading an already amazing truck – the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 is a great place to start.

The last question (statement) comes from a fan who recently bought a Ram 2500 Power Wagon.

Q: Nathan, I have been a long time follower of your work, as well as appreciate the work of all your partners in crime there. 

Just wanted to reach out to extend a sincere thanks for the detailed work you guys do.

Specifically your love of the Power Wagon drove me to deeper into research & consideration for my 1st new vehicle in over 12.5 years. My late father having owned for 25 years an old RAM CHARGER when it was under DODGE this decision also has a slight nostalgic hint as well.  He passed last fall and his very last 2 words to me was ‘ Enjoy Life ‘ .    I had been looking at trucks for over the past 3 years. 

I sold my 2008 JKU Wrangler with 205k and special ordered the Power Wagon and could not be more pleased.  

While traversing various terrains effortlessly in the new ‘ Beast ‘ as my wife calls it –  I find myself turning to her and saying ‘ Power Wagon just don’t Care ‘ . 

I stop, think of your countless videos, and laugh that I am repeating it.  
Enjoy the work you all do, keep it up and know that work you did was a positive influence for at least 1 purchase of a Power Wagon!

Thanks –  Matt G ( Western North Carolina) 

A: Wow! What a great email! You’re right, “POWER WAGON DON’T CARE!!”

I am so happy to read that from you, and it’s awesome to hear that you are so pleased with your purchase. My favorite thing to tell people is, “Forget logic, if you’re happy with your ride, it was the right choice.” I know that might be an issue for some marriages and bank accounts, but I truly believe in happiness over logic.

People often ask me if I will get a Power Wagon myself. Honestly, I would have done that years ago, but life got in the way. Once the kiddos are gone, loans paid off, bills settled and whatnot – it will be on my shopping list for sure.

It is, and always will be one of my favorite trucks.


Speaking of big, bad off-road HD trucks…