Axial’s SCX24 platform continues to grow and impress with every new model. 2022 has delivered not one but two new models in the SCX24 lineup, the polycarbonate-bodied Jeep JT Gladiator ($149.99) and the hard-bodied 2021 Ford Bronco ($159.99).
After adding two Jeep JT Gladiator SCX24s to my lineup earlier in the year, I didn’t see the harm in adding another small-scale crawler to my R/C garage. I’ve become a fan of the modern-day Bronco and getting an up-close look at Axial’s first hard-body crawler was just too good to pass up.
What’s in the Box:
- 1 Axial SCX24 2021 Ford Bronco
- 1 2.4GHz, 4-channel Radio Transmitter
- 4 “AA” Batteries
- 1 USB Battery Charger
- 1 Instruction Manual
- 1 Decal Sheet
Let’s be honest; the body is the real star of this show. Until now, Axial had been producing polycarbonate bodies for all of their models, regardless of the scale. Durable and forgiving, polycarbonate is great for crawling, bashing, and just about everything else. However, if you’re gunning for something that’s got extreme-scale cred, you want a hardbody. An ABS body carries a bit more “up top” weight, trading performance for extreme visual detail, but you gain so much in terms of visual attractiveness.
No matter the angle, it’s hard not to be in awe of the styling and intricate details that have been baked into this Bronco body. Available in three color options, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a version that you won’t appreciate.
Axial has decked out its SCX24 2021 Ford Bronco body with a selection of details, including a rear-mounted full-size spare tire and a roof rack with sand ladders, fuel cans, and a toolbox. The interior of this rig is also detailed, using a similar polycarbonate interior to what’s found on the SCX24 Jeep Gladiator. Removing the interior for customization is a bit easier than the previously-mentioned model, thanks to the two screws that hold it into the body.
While all of these details are amazing, they come at the price of performance. Out of all the SCX24s I’ve driven, this is the only one with trouble staying on all four wheels. There are ways to improve performance, but in stock form, you might find yourself getting a bit frustrated with this rig. There are also a few features that I’m not particularly fond of such as the jutted front bumper and the exaggerated gap between the front bumper and the front of the body. Thankfully, these can be tweaked by moving the bumper inward and lowering the front body mount posts.
The foundation of this version of the SCX24 is the same that you’ll find on any other SCX24. Ladder-frame chassis, four-link suspension, and extremely reactive shocks. This platform is the best 1/24-scale crawler that I’ve ever encountered. Having that solid performer under a hardbody can only mean good things.
Controller & Electronics
Starting with the release of the Axial SCX24 Jeep JT Gladiator, Axial has set up its small-scale crawler with a new radio and ESC combination. More responsive and smoother than earlier models, the control performance on the SCX24 2021 Ford Bronco is quite good. So good that it makes me reach for the newer SCX24 varients when I want to go small-scale crawling.
The radio transmitter and receiver feature four channels for increased options, such as controlling LED lights or adding other accessories to your machine.
Performance on the Trail
Out of the box, onto the trail, and rolling down a pile of mulch…on its side. That’s how my experience with the SCX24 2021 Ford Bronco began. Once I understood how to handle the higher weight, I felt better wheeling this rig. Still, it’s a better trail rig than a crawler, at least out of the box. The top-heaviness of this rig makes it a bit difficult to side-hill, accent, or descent moderate-to-steep inclines. It’s not impossible, but it can be tricky.
Flat-terrain performance is solid. Running through grass or over dirt, you get an opportunity to watch the soft-springed suspension do its thing, and it’s easy to get lost in the moment.
What’s the Verdict?
While this isn’t the best performer in stock form, it’s hard to look past the visual beauty Axial has packed into its SCX24 2021 Ford Bronco. With a durable, well-detailed body, this tiny truck could quickly become a shelf queen as much as an indoor/outdoor trail explorer. While crawling performance isn’t ideal, it can be massaged by adding weight to the wheels, axles, and select areas of the chassis. Once you can reduce the tendency to roll, this rig becomes even more fun to drive.
If you put a premium on out-of-the-box performance, you may want to stick with a polycarbonate-bodied small-scale rig; however, for a blend of visual beauty and general trail handling, this is an excellent little machine.