Thanks to a customer survey among Ford drivers, the Ford Bronco is officially coming to the Netherlands for the first time. And not the 2.3 four-cylinder, but the thicker 2.7 V6 with 335 hp. We are eternally grateful to these Ford drivers.
In the survey, Ford drivers indicate that they are satisfied with their car, but also that Ford a boring Pete. Ouch. That doesn’t sit well with Ford. And so the Ford Bronco comes our way to stoke the fire. In our country, the large off-road vehicle should therefore mainly boost Ford’s image, not so much sales. Ford Netherlands does not actually expect that either. In other words: if a handful is sold, the flag goes out.
In America, the Ford Bronco is nicknamed ‘Goat’. That does not stand for ‘goat’ or ‘greatest of all time’, but for ‘goes over any terrain’. That is visible to him. Especially in the Badlands version, there is a very tough thing with a gigantic ground clearance (26 centimeters) and large all-terrain tires (33 inches) that you would rather expect under a lunar vehicle.
You will find the abbreviation on the dial on the center console. This selects one of seven driving modes, including slippery, mud, sand, rock crawl and baja, a special rally mode. Each driving position affects the accelerator pedal, gear changes and steering response.
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Rico Verhoeven is nothing
What the Ford Bronco can do off-road borders on the unbelievable. In the Belgian Ardennes we drove over rocks with dangerously protruding points, across grassland, close to trees, over steep hills and potholes in the roads and yes, even through an abandoned quarry. The chassis did not budge and, like kickboxing champion Rico Verhoeven, absorbed all blows effortlessly.
Although the Bronco is mainly made for the terrain, it also drives quite well on the asphalt, especially for such a terrain giant with a rigid rear axle. The few times we hit the tarmac, we didn’t bounce around each other. An additional advantage is that on a road with opposing traffic you can easily take an extra step aside if your oncoming traffic turns out to be a bastard and doesn’t do this. The Ford Bronco plows through every roadside and over your car if necessary.
The 10-speed automatic transmission shifts nicely and before you know it, you are driving at highly illegal speeds with hardly any wind noise. Quite an achievement, given the large wing mirrors and the design of a giant Lego block.
Interior built for eternity
You can also see in the interior that the Bronco is mainly intended for the terrain. We see handles, hard plastics and a sturdy gear lever. Not very nice at all. But it can take a beating and will probably last forever. A large multimedia screen is present.
In the front you are excellent, but in the back it is a bit tighter. Crazy when you consider that the Ford Bronco is 4.81 meters long and 1.94 meters wide. Moreover, you sit a bit high in the back seat, at least higher than the driver and his co-driver. That feels a bit weird. The entry could also be better, you almost have to jump to get on the back seat, it is that high. You can leave grandma at home. Or you have to bring a kitchen ladder.
We don’t get Ford Bronco with 2 doors
The Bronco does not do electrification. Competitor Jeep Wrangler does this and is therefore a lot cheaper as a plug-in hybrid, namely about 91,000 euros. The Bronco will cost at least 130,000 euros (Ford has yet to release final prices). But with the Bronco you can show off that all four doors and the roof can be removed in eight minutes; with the Wrangler you lose twenty minutes for this (says Ford scornfully).
There is also a two-door Ford Bronco, but it remains in America. Too bad, because we actually think it’s even cooler.
Read the full Ford Bronco driving test Auto Review 08/23.