Ford Bronco Review | SUV has everything to dominate the market, but price will prevent

Originally launched in the 1960s in the United States, the Ford Bronco is one of the most iconic SUVs on the market and made history as one of Jeep’s main competitors in its home market. Since 1996 without an unprecedented model, Ford decided to revive it amidst the popular outcry and, in 2021, brought two new versions of the utility vehicle, now positioned as mid-size, quite different from its 1990s variant.

For the Brazilian market, Ford, aware that it has numerous competitors, decided to import the more urban version of the SUV, the Bronco Sport, equipped with an excellent package of equipment and which has both off-road appeal and for everyday use. And in a few days with this car, it was possible to see that it is a very well thought out product, extremely technological and that, if it cost a little less, it could certainly emerge as a sales success.

But, with Ford’s new strategy of only importing its cars and no longer manufacturing them here, the Bronco’s life should be made difficult, making it a niche SUV that should fight more expensive and refined models, such as the its closest direct rival, the Land Rover Defender.

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Canaltech spent some time with the Ford Bronco Sport and will tell you everything this SUV has to offer.

(Image: Felipe Ribeiro/Canaltech)

Pros and Cons Ford Bronco Sport

pros

Strong and agile engine; Impeccable finish; Excellent for off-roading; Family space; Great technological package; Design that exudes exclusivity.

cons

Very expensive; Small trunk, although usual; No diesel version.

Connectivity and security

The Ford Bronco Sport can be considered one of the most complete SUVs on the market, and part of that is due to its technological package. The assembler didn’t save money by equipping it with the best and most modern in driver assistants and a good set of infotainment, which helps in the day-to-day and makes the experience of having a vehicle of this level even better.

Speaking of safety, Bronco brings items such as adaptive autopilot, stay in lane assistant, frontal collision alert, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot alert, exit assist with traffic alert, traffic fatigue alert driver, rear view camera with 180º viewfinder and traffic license plate recognition system.

(Image: Felipe Ribeiro/Canaltech)

All of these features worked perfectly, but what impressed most in our tests was the adaptive autopilot. As much as Ford has not equipped the Bronco with the Pilot Assist, present in cars like Tesla and Volvo, it behaves very well when combined with the lane-stay system. If the Bronco’s cameras make the perfect reading of the road, you’ll practically let him drive alone, such is the efficiency of this tool.

As we always say here at Canaltech, you should never let the car do everything for you, no matter how advanced it is. But at the Bronco, this desire to let go of the wheel and see how he does the job is latent, despite the fact that the experience of driving it is extremely pleasant. So use this feature sparingly.

In the field of connectivity, no surprises. The well-known eight-inch SYNC 3 multimedia center does the trick, with great resolution and a good package of applications, such as native GPS and connectivity with Ford Pass, the automaker’s program that enables remote commands through an app on the smartphone . With it, you can start, control the climate and check where the Bronco was parked.

(Image: Felipe Ribeiro/Canaltech)

The blunder here is the lack of Android Auto and wireless Appe CarPlay compatibility, even with induction charging present. It doesn’t make much sense to make this facility available if we need to stick the phone in a USB port.

The technology and safety items are completed by the trail autopilot, stability and traction controls, multifunctional steering wheel, B&O sound system with 10 speakers, ISOFIX system and torque vectorization.

Comfort and user experience

Driving the Ford Bronco is a treat. Ford knows how to make comfortable cars with great performance, and this is even very evident in a product of this level. Around here, we have the well-known 2.0 turbo EcoBoost engine of 240hp, the same propellant that equipped the Ford Fusion, already retired in our market. With such power and excellent 38 kgf/m of torque, the SUV goes from 0 to 100 km/h in just 8 seconds, even weighing 1,718 kgs. A real club.

With that at our disposal, we have an extremely agile and pleasant to drive car, something quite common in the mid-size SUV category, but which, at the Bronco, we can say has reached an extra level of comfort. This can also be explained by the four-wheel drive, which comes on demand, and a great suspension setting, aimed at comfort, even in off-road situations. Consumption, always with gasoline, is around 7.5 km/l, suggesting that a diesel version would be very welcome.

(Image: Felipe Ribeiro/Canaltech)

And speaking of off-road, the Bronco also shines, as that’s its nature. On dirt roads and lots of rocks, he gets the job done and works with great confidence. It’s always good to remember that both this SUV and other cars more familiar and this proposal can face a good trail, but as long as there is not so much mud and huge puddles. To get out of this, use a tractor, and don’t get carried away by uninformed videos on the internet. Extreme heavy mud is not for urban pickup trucks and SUVs, okay?

In terms of comfort, the Bronco doesn’t look bad and has room for a family without any major problems. Its size is similar to that of rivals in the segment of medium SUVs and the cabin is very comfortable and quiet. The problem in terms of space and usability, however, goes to the trunk, which we consider a bit awkward. It has partitions that are quite interesting and useful for trail moments, but its size could be a little bigger.

(Image: Felipe Ribeiro / Canaltech)

Despite that, it has really cool items, such as flashlights, 110V and 12V outlets and even a bottle opener attached to the bodywork. Comfort features are complemented by digital and two-zone air conditioning, electric steering, automatic headlamps, rain sensor, reverse sensor, electronically folding mirror, auto hold function, electric handbrake, driving modes adapted for different terrains and start-stop system.

Design and finishing

It’s been possible to notice for a long time that, at least in its premium vehicles, Ford has always excelled in finishing — and with the Bronco it’s no different. The assembler’s care with this product is a sight for sore eyes, as there are high-quality materials all over the cabin. Not to mention the seats and small details in the interior, which are a charm in themselves.

(Image: Felipe Ribeiro / Canaltech)

In design, the Bronco exudes exclusivity, being quite different when compared to other models. Its adventurous appeal can be seen from its squarer shape, through the optical assembly and up to 18-inch alloy wheels. The front grille with the words “Bronco” is also pleasing and attracts a lot of attention on the streets.

competitors

The segment of medium SUVs is one of the hottest in the market and the Bronco Sport, perhaps because of its high price, should not compete with models like Toyota Corolla Cross, Jeep Compass (flex) and Volkswagen Taos. However, in a value range higher up and befitting his own, he faces names like the Peugeot 3008, BMW X1, Mercedes GLB, Volkswagen Tiguan, Toyota RAV4 and the Compass diesel variant.

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verdict

The high price is the only justification that prevents the Ford Bronco from being a sales success in Brazil. Complete, beautiful, technological and powerful, the iconic North American SUV is passionate and will make you rock if you are looking for a car of this size.

The Ford Bronco Sport can be found in a single version for R$264,690.

At Canaltech, the Ford Bronco was evaluated thanks to a unit kindly provided by Ford do Brasil.

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