The new Ford Bronco is the first serious off-roader Ford has made in a long time – but was it worth the wait? Mat gets behind the wheel of this revived all-American SUV to find out.
2.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol
0-60mph: 7.9 seconds
Price: from £45,000 (UK)
Ford Bronco design
At a glance, the new Ford Bronco looks like a big box with some wheels on it. But, that’s not necessarily a bad thing… After all, the latest Land Rover Defender, Mercedes G-Class and Suzuki Jimny have shown that a few retro touches can make even the squarest of SUVs look pretty eye-catching.
But, how does the Bronco compare? Well, it comes kitted out with the obligatory black bumpers, towing hooks and a boot-mounted spare wheel, but this particular Bronco is a convertible – none of those other SUVs come with the option of a folding fabric roof.
It’s also a high-spec ‘Outer Banks’ model, meaning it comes with painted wheel arch trims instead of plain plastic ones – something best avoided if you plan to do some serious hard-core off-roading.
Ford Bronco interior
The Ford Bronco’s interior looks just as boxy as its exterior. There’s a flat-faced dashboard with built in touchscreen display, and all the controls, switches and knobs have been made deliberately chunky so you can use them while wearing gloves.
There’s ample space in the back for lofty Stetson-wearing passengers and the wide, square boot is fairly easy to load, although the hardtop’s boot opening is larger than the one on this convertible.
Ford Bronco driving
The entry-level Bronco comes with a 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with 300hp and 400Nm of torque. Or, there’s a 2.7-litre V6 petrol engine with 330hp and a handy 560Nm of torque.
Four-cylinder cars come with the option of a manual gearbox but the V6 gets a 10-speed automatic gearbox as standard. Both cars come with switchable four-wheel drive that can selectively send power to just the rear wheels when you’re driving on-road to save fuel.
This Bronco comes with Ford’s interestingly named GOAT mode. No, that doesn’t stand for ‘Greatest Of All Time’ – rather it means ‘Goes Over Any Terrain’.
Like the new G-Class, the Ford Bronco comes with a ladder chassis, independent front suspension and a solid rear axle. As a result, it feels much less wayward to drive on the road than a Jeep Wrangler but stills shimmies and shakes slightly over larger potholes.
That said, if you plan to spend most of your time driving in town, the Bronco won’t give you a headache thanks to its raised ride height and large windows that make it very easy to see out of.
Ford Bronco verdict
If you’re looking to buy a Ford Bronco in the United States – just go ahead and do it. It’s harder to justify in the UK, because the cost of import taxes, shipping and a few necessary modifications can push the price up to £85,000. But, if you’re looking for something that’s a bit different from the usual crop of Jeep Wranglers and Land Rover Defenders, it could be right up your street.
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