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Reviews: 2022 Ford Bronco

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Pros

  • Awesome concept car looks
  • Rugged, versatile interior
  • Great tech features

Cons

  • Lacks the Wrangler's fold-down windshield
  • No available hybrid; diesel
  • Dubious build quality

It's not easy to reinvent an icon, but Ford has done it with the Bronco. After years of speculation, the Bronco made its debut for 2021, with retro-inspired styling that's a clear tribute to Broncos past. The new Bronco looks to be not only the most capable and high-tech Bronco ever, but one that raises the bar for every off-road oriented SUV on the market. The 2022 Bronco will be available in two- or four-door body styles, with standard 4WD and removable doors and roof panels.

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For the 2022 model year, Ford is expected to offer numerous new accessories to customize the Bronco's styling and capability. Plus, new color options join the lineup: Hot Pepper Red and Eruption Green.

Interested in the smaller Ford Bronco Sport? Check it out here. This Escape-based crossover has impressive capability in a compact package.

What We Think

It's back! The iconic Ford Bronco has returned, ready to tackle trails, bask in the sunshine, and be an all-around good time. We gotta say it looks rad, with styling that pays homage to the original Bronco yet retains a thoroughly modern appeal.

The Bronco won't just be a looker, though—it has the hardware to back it up. Locking differentials, 37-inch beadlock tires, and a trick seven-speed manual with a super-low crawling gear are some of its trail-ready accoutrements. Off-road purists may question the efficacy of the Bronco's independent front suspension. But in our First Drive review, we concluded that the Bronco feels every bit as capable off-road as the Jeep Wrangler.

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Even staying on pavement, the Bronco should charm driver and passengers. When we tested a two-door Bronco with the manual transmission, we praised its playfulness and short, precise shifts, although the clutch felt vague. Although the ride isn't as plush as it is in the Land Rover Defender, it's more comfortable than that of the Wrangler. The SUV's removable roof and doors provide open-air enjoyment, and a spacious cargo area should help it function well as a practical SUV.

Bronco and Bronco Sport: What's the Difference?

Ford brought a little pony to follow in the Bronco's hoofprints. It's called the Bronco Sport. Based on the Ford Escape platform, the Bronco Sport is a small crossover that's more of a do-it-all daily driver than a trail-ready beast. That's not to say that this so-called "Baby Bronco" is timid. Ford engineered the Bronco Sport to be much more capable off-road than its platform-mate. Plus it looks great, sharing clear stylistic ties with the butch Bronco. Yet there are more differences than similarities; the Bronco Sport has its own drivetrains, suspension componentry, interior layout, and more. Check out our in-depth explainer on the differences between the Bronco and Bronco Sport for a full breakdown.

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What Engine Does the Ford Bronco Have?

Given its G.O.A.T. performance approach, it's no surprise that every Bronco is standard equipped with 4WD.

The Bronco's standard engine is a 2.3-liter turbo-four that produces 275 hp and 315 lb-ft of torque on regular fuel, or 300 hp and 325 lb-ft on premium fuel. Transmission choices are a 10-speed automatic, or a seven-speed manual that's more like a six-speed with a super-low first gear for rock crawling. We estimate 0-60 mph acceleration to take about 8.0 seconds with the manual transmission, or 7.0 seconds with the automatic transmission. EPA-rated fuel economy should be in the range of 18/26 mpg city/highway.

2022 Ford Bronco Sport

  2022 Ford Bronco Sport Pros Stout off-road performance Quiet, comfortable on-road Useful storage solutions Cons Industrial-grade plastic cabin Back seat a little claustrophobic Middling fuel economy, no hybrid The Bronco Sport represents one half of Ford’s resurrection of the Bronco name. Sometimes playfully referred to as the Baby Bronco, the Bronco Sport is an off-road-capable compact crossover based on the Ford Escape. It's smaller and less off-road focused than the standard Bronco and uses an independent rear suspension instead of the Bronco's truck-like live rear axle.

A twin-turbo 2.7-liter V-6 is available as the upgrade engine. Output measures 315 hp and a healthy 410 lb-ft of torque on regular fuel, or 330 hp and 415 lb-ft on premium fuel. This engine is only available with the 10-speed automatic transmission. Acceleration from 0-60 mph should fall to the mid-6.0 to 7.0 second range depending on transmission choice. Fuel economy will likely be about 16/24 mpg city/highway.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport

  2021 Ford Bronco Sport Pros Standard AWD (two systems available) Flexible cargo area High ground clearance and approach / departure angle Cons Can’t tow as much as an Escape 1.5L delivers lower-than-average power and refinement No creeper gear / low-range simulation like Jeeps offer The Bronco Sport is Ford’s latest compact SUV, sharing rad throwback styling and an adventurous attitude with its larger, more rugged counterpart. Completely new for the 2021 model year, the Bronco Sport joins the EcoSport and Escape in Ford's crossover lineup.The Bronco Sport, however, has a smaller exterior footprint compared to its Escape sibling.

What Is the Ford Bronco Raptor?

The F-150 Raptor pickup truck is well-known for its widebody styling, powerful engine, and penchant for airborne antics. Ford has confirmed it will apply the Raptor nameplate to a future Bronco variant. Instead of picking down trails at a calculated pace, the Bronco Raptor will be tuned to just send it—and blast through sand dunes, river washes, and mud pits with aplomb. Details are scarce, although it appears the Raptor will be available only as a four-door. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Ford Bronco Raptor.

Is There an Electric Ford Bronco?

It's becoming increasingly clear that electrified vehicles can have distinct performance advantages—a notion that's starting to spread into the off-road realm. Although at this point it's pure speculation whether Ford will build an electric Bronco, its willingness to apply the iconic Mustang nameplate to an electric SUV makes us think it's possible in the long-term. The low-end torque and precise control provided by electric motors could increase its capability on technical terrain. In the meantime, the aftermarket has solutions for Bronco lovers who desire emissions-free off-road capability. Also, a Bronco hybrid has been confirmed.

Safety

Every Bronco is equipped with driver assist and active safety features as part of Ford's Co-Pilot 360 suite. Standard features on all models include front automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, and hill start assist. Optional or included depending on trim are adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, evasive steering assist, and rear cross-traffic alert.

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Towing, Payload, and Roof Load

If you're looking to tow, haul, and go off-roading, Ford has quite a few pickup truck options to choose from. But if you must have a Bronco, it's targeted to have a 3,500 pound maximum towing capacity. As with the 2021 model, payload should top out at 1,170 pounds in two-door 2022 Broncos, or 1,370 pounds in four-door Broncos. For overlanding enthusiasts who want to strap stuff to the roof, estimated roof loads are 110 pounds of static weight, or 450 pounds of dynamic load.


Video: 2021 Ford Bronco Media Drive (Motor Trend)

Technology

The Bronco's standard infotainment touchscreen measures 8.0 inches, while a 12.0-inch unit is offered or included depending on trim. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are on the features list. Besides the standard USB type-A and type-C ports, a wireless charging pad is available. The optional built-in navigation system can be equipped with more than 1,000 off-road trail maps. Auxiliary switches with pre-installed wiring are fitted so that accessories like lights or winches can be more easily installed. A rail system mounted atop the dashboard allows easy integration of accessories like a dashcam. An available 360-degree camera system aids in everyday parking maneuvers and spotting obstacles on technical trail driving. A six-speaker audio system is standard, and high-end trim levels are equipped with a 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium setup.

What Is the Ford Bronco Sasquatch Package?

Ford has tuned the Bronco to be a dominant force on the trail, and the automaker offers a plethora of hardware and software aimed at optimizing its off-road capabilities. Front and rear locking differentials, 4WD, a disconnecting front stabilizer bar, and integrated tow hooks are among its features. For drivers who want the ultimate in factory off-road capability, choosing the Sasquatch package is a must. The Sasquatch package adds 17-inch beadlock wheels with huge 35-inch mud-terrain tires and upgraded Bilstein shock absorbers. It's available or included on every Bronco trim level, and—praise be—is compatible with the seven-speed manual transmission. If somehow the Bronco Sasquatch package isn't enough, the aftermarket has solutions—don't think that Wrangler owners will get to have all the fun personalizing their rigs.

3 Reasons the Ford Bronco is Better Than the Jeep Wrangler – and 3 It Isn’t + Video

  3 Reasons the Ford Bronco is Better Than the Jeep Wrangler – and 3 It Isn’t + Video 3 Reasons the Ford Bronco is Better Than the Jeep Wrangler – and 3 It Isn’t + VideoIt’s also no secret exactly where its sights are squarely aimed: the Jeep Wrangler. And the truth is that there are at least a few ways it has the upper hand, but there are a bunch that still favour the Wrangler.

What Are the Ford Bronco G.O.A.T. Modes?

There's something to be appreciated about doing it live, but electronic aids can be a huge help—or stave off disaster—when the going gets tough. Various off-road modes, which Ford calls G.O.A.T. modes (Go Over Any Terrain), include settings for slippery terrain, mud, sand, rock crawling, and high-speed Baja-style running. But that's not the end of the Bronco's off-road technology. Trail turn assist holds the brake on the inside rear wheel to help the Bronco pivot around tight corners. A one-pedal driving setting activates the brakes as the driver lets off the accelerator to help hold firm on tricky terrain. Models with the manual transmission have hill descent control to keep things in check on steep stuff.

Trim Levels

The 2022 Bronco probably won't stray too far from the 2021 model's seven different trim levels, each tailored to different driving styles and performance. Check out our in-depth guide on 2021 Ford Bronco trim levels here. Based on 2021 Bronco content, here's what we expect:

2022 Ford Bronco Base

Exterior: 16-inch steel wheels, LED headlights, heated power-adjustable side mirrors

Interior: Cloth seating upholstery, manually-adjustable seats, 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen

Performance: 30-inch tires, part-time selectable 4WD, underbody skid plates

Convenience: Keyless entry with push-button start, single-zone climate control, one-touch up/down windows

2022 Ford Bronco Big Bend

Exterior: 17-inch alloy wheels, gray-painted grille, LED fog lights, tinted windows

Interior: Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob

Performance: 32-inch tires, six-mode G.O.A.T. drive selector

2022 Ford Bronco Black Diamond

Exterior: 17-inch black-painted steel wheels, heavy-duty front and rear bumpers, rock rails, heavy-duty skid plates

Interior: Vinyl seating upholstery, rubberized flooring with drain plug, auxiliary accessory switches, modular seatback organizer

Performance: 32-inch all-terrain tires, seven-mode G.O.A.T. drive selector

2022 Ford Bronco Outer Banks

Exterior: 18-inch alloy wheels, premium LED headlights and taillights, body-color door handles, side mirror caps, and fender flares

Interior: Heated front seats, footwell ambient lighting, auto-dimming rearview mirror

Convenience: Two-zone automatic climate control, enhanced driver-assist features

2022 Ford Bronco Wildtrak

Exterior: 17-inch beadlock wheels, hood decal, black-painted hardtop, high-clearance fender flares

Interior: Carpeted floormats

Performance: 35-inch mud-terrain tires, Bilstein shocks, suspension lift, front and rear locking differentials, seven-mode G.O.A.T. drive selector

2022 Ford Bronco Badlands

Exterior: 17-inch wheels, heavy-duty front and rear bumper

Interior: Vinyl seating upholstery, rubberized flooring with drain plug, auxiliary accessory switches

Performance: 33-inch tires, trim-specific suspension, disconnecting front stabilizer bar

2022 Ford Bronco First Edition

Exterior: 17-inch beadlock wheels, hood and body decals, black-painted hard top, high-clearance fender flares

Interior: Leather seating upholstery, heated power-adjustable front seats, heated steering wheel, 12-inch infotainment touchscreen

Performance: 35-inch mud-terrain tires, Bilstein shocks, suspension lift, front and rear locking differentials, seven-mode G.O.A.T. off-road drive selector

Convenience: Adaptive cruise control, wireless charging pad, 360-degree parking camera system, universal garage door opener

Key Competitors:

  • Jeep Wrangler
  • Toyota 4Runner
  • Land Rover Defender
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3 Reasons the Ford Bronco is Better Than the Jeep Wrangler – and 3 It Isn’t + Video .
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