Dwelling with the New Ford Bronco

When you’ve ordered a 2021 Ford Bronco, or are considering buy of a 2021 Ford Bronco, or—and I seethe with envy right here—are about to take supply of a 2021 Ford Bronco, I hereby predict that you’ll not be dissatisfied.

Granted, at this level, you most likely already know that, since Ford’s been slow-dripping Bronco information since Eddie Bauer was knee-high to a twin-traction-beam entrance finish. However simply whenever you assume your thirst for Bronco perception has been slaked, right here I’m to inform you that there is a lot extra to know.

For I’ve pushed a 2021 Wildtrak four-door greater than 600 miles, by all kinds of climate and throughout all kinds of terrain, each towing a trailer and never, with doorways and roof in numerous states of dismantlement, and all to establish whether or not the Bronco can presumably accommodate my mountain of expectations. And whereas the reply is generally sure, there have been a number of surprises. The next are observations you possibly can digest whereas considering the $20,000 “market adjustment” on the lone Bronco in your native showroom.

The Doorways Are Not At all times Straightforward to Deal With

2021 bronco with front doors off

Automobile and Driver

Earlier than I received my grasping arms on the Cactus Gray Wildtrack, I studied up on how one can take away the doorways. It appears straightforward: Roll down the window, unclip a wiring harness, drop two bolts and raise the door off the hinges. And that is the way it labored—on the entrance driver’s facet door. The passenger facet was a bit of totally different. By which I imply, even with the bolts eliminated, the submit for the higher hinge refused to relinquish its grip, such that I may rock the truck on its suspension with out the door budging in any respect. Ultimately, a mix of rage adrenaline and darkish incantations induced it to let go, but it surely was a battle. And placing it again on was the identical deal, in reverse. The subsequent time round, I soaked each hinges in WD-40, and that helped, although the combat was nonetheless harder on the passenger facet.

2021 bronco door hinge stud

To take away a Bronco door, it’s essential to defeat this remaining boss by soaking him in WD-40, Teflon, or clarified butter.

Automobile and Driver

Additionally: a number of days after reinstalling the doorways the primary time, that the motive force’s facet was groaning because it opened and closed. An inspection revealed a unfastened higher hinge bolt, and tightening it solved the issue. However that minor troubleshooting highlighted a truth of Bronco life: As soon as you’re taking the doorways off and reinstall them, the automobile is forevermore partially assembled by you. Hopefully your private meeting line has tight high quality management.

The Bronco Sport’s Second Is Over

The Bronco Sport loved a quick monopoly over the Bronco identify, one through which many, many individuals knowledgeable me that they’d seen the brand new Bronco and . . . it seemed type of small. The Sport is a worthy little crossover, with extra off-road cred than most, however its identify is now not doing it any favors. That is as a result of the Bronco, sans Sport, is so clearly the real-deal no-apologies inheritor to the badge. I’ve to assume that when the massive Bronco is ubiquitous, the Sport goes to return throughout as awfully wannabe, and it might get previous explaining that, no, your Bronco is not the one with the Sasquatch package deal and the detachable high and doorways. It is the unibody one. The three-cylinder one. The one which possibly ought to have been known as the Escape, or the maybe the Scout. As a result of inviting a direct comparability to the Bronco is not nice for the Bronco Sport. As my brother-in-law put it, “The Bronco Sport is like Danny DeVito in Twins.”

Ford Has Completely Screwed Up the Jeep Wave

Granted, my time with the Bronco usually coincided with torrential downpours and pea-soup visibility, however many a Wrangler driver threw me a Jeep wave earlier than realizing, too late, that the rectilinear, round-headlight SUV looming out of the mist was not, in reality, a fellow Wrangler. Till now, it has been completely straightforward for Wrangler drivers to acknowledge fellow members of the membership. And whereas it is not as if the Bronco appears identical to a Wrangler, there’s sufficient resemblance that to any extent further Wrangler drivers should assume earlier than throwing the wave. Or they’ll simply wave at Broncos, too. I do not care.

The Hardtop Will Be Nice, As soon as They Repair It

I’ve mates with four-door hardtop Wranglers, they usually by no means take away something besides the entrance two panels. That is as a result of the rest of the highest is a single gigantic piece that mainly requires a NASCAR pit crew and a Dutch gable hoist to take away. By including a second set of detachable panels to the second row, Ford made it straightforward to really open the roof over all of the seats, whereas additionally making the rear high part way more wieldy if you wish to take away the entire deal. I would nonetheless go together with a soft-top, as a result of I wish to throw the highest again on a whim, however the five-piece high is a sublime resolution.

water leaking into a 2021 bronco

Webast-oh no.

Automobile and Driver

That’s, assuming they’ll get the manufacturing kinks labored out with Webasto, the provider. As a result of, for all of the cleverness of the Bronco’s hardtop, it did leak. Throughout considered one of many downpours, I noticed water operating down the A-pillar like a tear. Or possibly sweat, contemplating all the purchasers whose Broncos are prepared apart from a revised hardtop.

The Bronco Has an Enemy: Puddles

a 2021 bronco splashing through a puddle

Splish splash, ahead visibility is dashed.

Automobile and Driver

With the Sasquatch package deal and its 35-inch tires, the Bronco can ford 33.5 inches of water. And I am positive that 33 inches of water at 5 mph could be no downside in any respect. However decrease the depth to shin-deep and up the velocity barely, and the Bronco reveals a problematic idiosyncrasy: a bent to throw water in its personal face like an old-timey drunk attempting to get up.

bronco front tire splashing a puddle

Automobile and Driver

Alongside Route 12 on the Outer Banks, days of rain induced sections of the highway to vanish underneath shallow ponds. It wasn’t something deep, and even sedans and minivans had been blithely plowing by. However the Bronco needed to tiptoe, as a result of that stubby entrance finish and lack of overhang meant that the tires would shoot a curtain of water straight up in entrance of the hood, which might then come crashing down on the windshield. And at lower than 20 mph. Apparently Wranglers do that, too, however I watched oncoming Wranglers dive into puddles with out struggling the drenching that the Bronco obtained. I believe we have to do a Bronco-Wrangler side-by-side puddle check to suss out what is going on right here—whereas additionally gleefully splashing water all over.

Hooking Up a Trailer Requires Some Creativity

Just like the Wrangler, the Bronco wears its spare tire proudly on its tailgate. And likewise just like the Wrangler, that spare tire is mere inches above the receiver for trailer hitches. Most trailer tongues flip as much as unlock, and within the case of the Bronco, there is not sufficient room between the tongue and the spare tire except the tongue lever is down within the locked place—which it may’t be till it is on the hitch ball. This presents an issue.

The answer is to choreograph a dance between the tailgate and the trailer, opening the tailgate sufficient to maneuver the spare tire out of the best way, hopefully with out the trailer interfering with the tailgate. Within the case of my utility trailer, the tailgate may open simply far sufficient to disclose the hitch earlier than the tongue’s jack deal with prevented it from opening any farther. This was comparatively straightforward to deal with with a light-weight utility trailer, the place I may decide it up and transfer it by hand. It will be much less handy with, say, a ship.

trailer interfering with bronco spare tire

The issue.

Automobile and Driver

bronco tailgate open with trailer hitched up

The answer.

Automobile and Driver

However when you’re attached, the Bronco is a cheerful tow rig. Although, just like the Wrangler, it is solely rated to tow 3500 kilos. That is a skinny quantity for a body-on-frame truck with—within the case of this Wildtrak—330 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque.

There’s Room for Extra Engine, however It In all probability Does not Want It

ford bronco v 6 engine

Loads of room to swap in turbos the scale of cantaloupes.

Automobile and Driver

I have never but pushed a Bronco with the two.3-liter four-cylinder, however all proof means that the V-6 does not make an enormous distinction. There’s solely a 30-horsepower hole—300 horsepower versus 330 horsepower—and in our testing of two-door fashions, a handbook four-cylinder did zero to 60 mph in 7.0 seconds and an computerized V-6 managed 6.3 seconds. No large whup.

Nevertheless, there’s loads of room underneath the hood for one thing extra. Look down the facet of the V-6, previous the turbochargers, and also you get a superb view of the bottom beneath the truck. Loads of daylight. And whereas Ford says it will not put a V-8 within the Bronco, that does not imply no one else will. Regardless of the future holds—3.5-liter EcoBoost, or hybrid, or full EV—the bottom engine is ok.

However if you wish to maintain out for one thing stronger, I will be glad to take your house within the present line.

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