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Is the 2022 Ford Bronco the perfect flat towable car? I test drove it to find out

Here was my experience on a 2022 Ford Bronco test drive. As a number of you know, and I am actually rather embarrassed that so many know, I am still looking after two years for the perfect, flat towable car.

Back in December of 2020, I reviewed several options. Then, I reviewed several Jeeps. And I also test drove and reviewed the Buick Encore GX. None of them were “the one.”

I think my wishes are rather simple:

Criteria

  • Flat, 4-wheel-down towable.
  • Automatic (I am so tired of shifting).
  • Convertible (I miss our 2001 Cabriolet convertible even if it was a stick shift!)
    • If not convertible, I’d like a full sunroof.
  • Backup camera.
  • Side collision alert.
  • Dual temperature control.
  • 4-door.
  • Burgundy or red.

Nice to have

  • Turbo 4 cylinder or V6.
  • GPS.
  • Good sound system.
  • Apple play.
  • Hatchback (cancels out convertible but not a sunroof).
  • Lane-keeping.
  • Leather seats.

2022 Ford Bronco

I have been on the lookout for a Ford Bronco for a year. I even regretted that I didn’t put some money down when Ford first started taking orders. But I have not tested the Ford Bronco. I hadn’t even SEEN the Ford Bronco in person until today. Out the windshield of the motorhome, I saw a Bronco—not the sport model—a real Bronco drive by. I literally ran after it. Needless to say, it could go faster than I could. I knew there was only one way out of the park and if he was just driving through I could catch him at the exit.

I ran back, out of breath, and held up my hands to stop him. He stopped and was delighted to tell me about his new 2022 Ford Bronco. He even offered me a ride. Throwing caution to the proverbial wind—I ran up to the motorhome and yelled to my husband that I was going for a ride in a Bronco. My husband responded, “Do you even know the man?” No, but I am going to drive!

Not a complete fool—I did mention my husband’s question to the gentleman and he replied that he had met my husband last year when camping here. When he knew my husband’s name and what city we used to live in, it was enough safety for me. Besides, there is only one way out of the park…

2022 Ford Bronco first impressions

Riding in the Bronco was a much smoother ride than the Jeep Wrangler we used to have. Tim (by now we are on a first-name basis) said it was because of the independent front suspension. Tim had owned many (14!) Jeeps and said there is no comparison on the ride. I wanted to see for myself.

Being camp hosts and very used to the gravel, bumpy roads here, I was amazed how the Bronco smoothed out the bumps, considerably better than our current KIA soul. It was comfortable! It steered like a car, not a lumber truck.

The Bronco has a soft convertible top, seats five (tightly), has cargo space, and was so cute in a rough-and-tumble way. It was also pretty basic—no electric power seats here! The G.O.A.T. modes offer a chance to manually pick what type of terrain—from normal to rock crawl—as well as the 4-wheel drive setting.

Tim really likes his new Bronco and travels with it as much as possible. They got the Bronco with the intention of flat towing when they trade their current Airstream for a motorhome.

2022 Ford Bronco base
2022 Ford Bronco Base, with proud owner, Tim. Photo credit: Nanci Dixon
2022 Ford Bronco Base
2022 Ford Bronco Base. Dash Photo credit: Nanci Dixon
Rear 2022 Ford Bronco
Ford Bronco Base. Photo credit: Nanci Dixon

The Bronco is in such demand that the dealers are up-charging. There is one at a local dealer at $14,000 over MSRP. Pay it or order and wait a year!

Full test drive

After an intensive internet search, I found two automatics at a local dealer. They were also coming in at a much higher price than MSRP but I wanted to test drive them anyway. Both of the vehicles had been enhanced at the dealership to be show cars and both had added around $20,000 – $30,000 to the original price.

Bronco 1

This Bronco sported a lift kit, a winch, bigger tires, new leather seats, and steps. With the lift kit, I needed the steps.

Getting in was a trial in itself, for both me and the salesperson. After pulling ourselves up, it was pretty standard inside. No bells and whistles here. Easy to drive but much rougher than the Base one I drove in the campground.

Nope. It wasn’t for me. Too rough and too expensive ($89,000!). I was ready to walk away.

Bronco 2

2022 Ford Bronco Big Bend. Photo credit: Nanci Dixon

Not to let a live fish off the hook, the salesman said he would bring the showroom Bronco out to test drive. This one I had immediately rejected because of the white decal wrap on the body and white rims. They had wanted to give it a nostalgic vintage look. It did, but vintage is not always good. When he said he would peel the white wrap off I decided to test it. Besides, it was $9,000 less than the other one. ($79,998 before tax and license!).

I was most concerned about highway driving. Our current KIA Soul is okay, but not comfortable for long trips on the highway.

Road test: Ford Bronco Big Bend

  • It was good on the highway but not great. It is a truck, after all, and while the ride was much softer with the normal 35-inch size tires, it was still somewhat rough.
  • Steering was great and it had a good turning radius.

The snazzy interior was upgraded to leather with red stitching

Interior Ford Bronco Big Bend upgrade. Photo credit: Nanci Dixon

Those wished-for extras

  • Blind spot Information: It’s there, but really hard to see on the mirrors
  • Lane-keeping: Check!
  • Pre-collision assist: Check!
  • Backup camera: Check!
  • Sound system: Check!
  • Dual control heat: Check!
  • Heated seats: Check!
  • Remote start: Check!
  • GPS: Check!
  • Power seats: Nope.
  • Convertible top: Yes. However, even though it’s much easier than the Jeep to put up and down, to be fully open you need to remove the back windows. It would be difficult for one person to pull up to close.
Ford Bronco Convertible Top. Photo credit: Nanci Dixon
  • Auto start/stop: Saves fuel, and cuts down on emissions. This was a bit disconcerting. It stopped good, but when starting it seemed to hesitate.
  • G.O.A.T. Modes: Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery, Mud/Ruts and Sand, as well as the control for 2W or 4W drive.
  • Transmission: 10-speed automatic.
  • Gas mileage: Bonk! Up to 20 mpg city.
  • Engine: 2.3L.
  • Fun factor: Very high! It was fun to drive.

Decision

In my constant quest for the perfect vehicle—this was not perfect. It was also way too expensive and, compared to the KIA, the gas mileage was dismal.

At my age, I’ve decided that comfort beats cool. Why would I spend that kind of money just to get an automatic and half the miles per gallon with gas prices soaring? Nope, not today.

I did ask him to find a Ford Escape hybrid, titanium trim in burgundy, though… None in five states.

More info on the Bronco can be found on the Ford website.

##RVT1056

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Jill Goldman
24 days ago

I read your requirements. I purchased a 2020 Ford Escape Hybrid – Titanium edition, to tow behind my 2003 Beaver Patriot. It has everything you mentioned and gets 35-40 mpg. It was used with only 5,000 miles when I purchased it June 2021 (the only one on the lot and priced at the cost of a new one) and it now has 12,500 miles. The road noise is there, but I was told I could invest ($500+) in additional insulation on the floor to help minimize this; I chose to turn up the radio. Good luck on your search.

Bill
24 days ago

I missed your review of the Encore gx, was wondering what you didn’t like. We’re full-time and have been flat towing ours for a year now everything on your list and 32 mpg.

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
23 days ago
Reply to  Bill

Hi, Bill. Here’s a link to Nanci’s review of the Encore GX: https://www.rvtravel.com/buickflattow982/ Have a great day. 😀 –Diane

Mike
24 days ago

U cannot flat tow a 10R trans

Please consult the manual

Richard
24 days ago

Kia Soul turbo. Dual clutch transmission can be flat towed and is a blast to drive.

Bob
25 days ago

Check out the new hybrid Ford Maverick. Flat towable. If you can find one or wait a year after you order one. People are flat towing them and are happy.

tom
25 days ago

The Ford Bronco and the Maverick, being similar in drive train are only flat towable in the 2 wheel drive versions.
I’m ordering my Maverick the day Ford opens pre-orders for the 2023’s. I can wait. This will replace my daily drive/towd, a 2010 Honda Fit and my 2012 Nissian Frontier. Combining both functions into one vehicle is a win-win for us.
Shame on your visited Ford dealer for his over MSRP pricing. Ford should pull his franchise.
I will not personally even visit any dealer who pulls this c***.

Member
Karel Carnohan DVM(@karel-carnohan)
25 days ago

Nancy, I got the Escape Hybrid FWD automatic to flat tow after Ford assured me it was the FWD and NOT the AWD that could be flat towed. I loved my 2003 Escape but this 2021 is really a car not an SUV and the interior noise and road noise is horrendous. It gets great gas mileage and is decent to drive (on smooth roads) but the noise……..!

Karel

Gary G
25 days ago

We got a 2019 F150 Limited, has all the bells and whistles mentioned in the story. Very comfortable to drive and ride, easy to tow 4 down.

Ken
25 days ago

Recently read about a NHTSA investigation started on the new Ford Broncos and some people experiencing catastrophic engine failure. Google it for details.

Phil Derr
25 days ago

Birthdays plus affordability is the answer. Our flat towed vehicle WAS a 97 Jeep Wrangler. 2019 changed when we purchased a Ford Explorer, Platinum model. This is the last year the Explorer can be flat towed, new models can not be flat towed. With our Motor Home, the extra weight our coach handles with ease. Now, we have a vehicle that has all the whistles and bells. It does require premium fuel, but now with diesel prices skyrocketing as well, sadly affordability to RVing is the elephant in the room.

Patty
25 days ago

We have flat towed a Ford truck, Lincoln Navigator and our car at the moment is a Lincoln MKX. We have been flat towing this car for 6 years, it has the RV tow set up that was the selling point and it’s a nice comfortable car for every day use. (We are not full timers). On this last trip about 350 miles into the trip we saw smoke coming from the car engine and pulled over. We were able to limp to a truck stop pulling the car. The transmission casting had melted and fluid was poring out. Somehow the transmission overheated and we have absolutely no idea how this happened. We did hit a huge dip on the freeway and thought the car bottomed out? We got it towed back home to the dealership we bought it from and they are trying to figure this out.

Bob M
25 days ago

Like the Bronco with the red and white. Have a 2021 F150 Hybrid. Dislike it because at $60,000. it don’t have automatic 4wd. Everytime you start it you have to put it in ECO mode and turn the cruise control on. If you had it in Eco mode and 4wd and forgot to hit the yes window, it turns ECO mode and 4wd off. Seems like everything is opposite of how other vehicles operate. Terrible owners manual and to much electronics. Had a night mare figuring out lights. If I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t have bought it.

Scott Davis
25 days ago

I like our Honda Passport. Has all of your requirements minus the pedigree of a Bronco.

Bob p
25 days ago
Reply to  Scott Davis

Passport no longer flat towable due to CVT transmission.

jeff hyslop
25 days ago

In your “constant quest for the perfect vehicle” – remember, the real is not ideal and the ideal is not real.

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