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.
I think my wishes are rather simple:
- 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.
- Burgundy or red.
Nice to have
- Turbo 4 cylinder or V6.
- Good sound system.
- Apple play.
- Hatchback (cancels out convertible but not a sunroof).
- 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
- 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.
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.