The 2022 Ford Bronco is a beast when it comes to off-road capability. This Bronco can basically ride over anything in its path. But it’s also decent as a daily driver and comes with some of the latest tech. Drawbacks include bad gas mileage and a noisy cabin with some low-rent materials.
Base Price: $68,500
As Tested: $74,820
Mileage: 15 mpg city/16 mpg highway/15 mpg combined
The 2022 Bronco has a menacing look with its wide stance and aggressive styling. It comes with three different powertrains and can turn into a convertible with its removeable roof and doors. It comes in two- or four-door models, and is also available with a manual transmission for those who prefer driving a stick.
The Bronco was first introduced way back for the 1966 model year and discontinued in 1996 when it was replaced with the Expedition. The Bronco got a reboot for the 2021 model year when Ford brought it back in its sixth generation as an all-new model to compete against the Jeep Wrangler.
For 2022, the Bronco already gets some significant updates including the addition of the high-performance Raptor trim and the Everglades special edition which comes with a snorkel and winch. There’s also a Sasquatch Package for Broncos with the manual transmission that ups the off-road capability with a 94.75:1 max crawl ratio.
The 2022 Ford Bronco comes in a whopping eight trims: Base, Big Bend, Black Diamond, Outer Banks, Badlands, Wildtrak, Everglades and Raptor. Starting prices range from $29,300 to $68,500. These prices are above average for a compact SUV but similar to the Jeep Wrangler, the Bronco’s main competitor.
Four-wheel drive is standard across the line-up. All trims come with either two or four doors, except the Everglades and Raptor models which only come with four doors. The two-door models come standard with a hardtop and optional soft top. All Broncos with four doors come standard with the soft top and an available hardtop. The two-door models have room for four passengers while the four-door models have room for five.
The doors and hardtop can be easily removed. Every Bronco comes with frameless doors – Ford says that makes them easier to take them off than what you’ll find on competitors.
There are three engine options. A turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder that makes 300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque; a twin-turbo 2.7-liter V6 that makes 330 horses and 415 pound-feet; and a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 that cranks out 418 hp and 440 pound-feet. Each engine is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Or you can get a seven-speed manual transmission with the four-cylinder engine.
All of these set-ups deliver peppy performance. My Raptor tester cranks up the oomph with plenty of power. Accelerating to merge and pass at freeway speeds is a cinch. Steering is accurate and brakes are responsive. There’s some body lean when cornering but it’s not excessive. The ride is firm, as you’d expect. While the suspension soaks up smaller bumps, larger ones are noticeable. However, that’s to be expected in a body-on-frame SUV. Visibility is good to the front and sides and ok to the rear.
No matter the trim, every Bronco has excellent off-road chops. Want to traverse a stream, navigate over boulders, or plow through sand or snow? No problem! The Raptor can tackle just about anything in its path. Choose from seven G.O.A.T. (Goes Over Any Terrain) settings, including Normal, Eco, Sport, Sand and Slippery, with Baja, Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl for off-road driving.
The Raptor is also pleasant to drive in more civilized settings, whether you’re in stop-and-go city traffic or cruising on the highway. It’s surprisingly nimble for such a large and wide vehicle.
When properly equipped, the Bronco Raptor can tow up to 4,500 pounds. Standard two- and four-door models can tow up to 3,500 pounds.
Unfortunately, the Bronco is a gas guzzler. EPA ratings for my tester are 15 mpg city and 16 mpg highway with a combined rating of 15. I got 16 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving. Models with the four-cylinder engine do better at 20 mpg city/ 21 mpg highway/20 mpg combined. Still, the Bronco has some of the worst ratings among compact SUVs.
The cabin is roomy with controls and an infotainment system that are user-friendly. However, some of the materials look cheap. The goal is to make them weather-proof and easy to clean, but some look low rent. The cabin is also noisy with noticeable engine, wind and road noise. Seats are comfortable and supportive, and adults have decent leg- and headroom in both rows.
Standard features include remote keyless entry, push-button start, remote start, rearview camera, cloth upholstery, manually adjustable front seats, eight-inch digital gauge cluster, analog speedometer, infotainment system with eight-inch touchscreen, six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, HD Radio, Bluetooth, four USB ports, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Wi-Fi hot spot, and automatic high-beam headlights.
Available features include proximity keyless entry, surround-view camera system, dual-zone automatic climate control, vinyl and leather upholstery, heated and power-adjustable front seats, heated steering wheel, 12-inch digital gauge cluster, infotainment system with 12-inch touchscreen, 10-speaker audio system, navigation, wireless device charging, two additional USB ports,
Standard driver assistance technologies include forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, forward automatic emergency braking, and rear seat alert in the four-door models to remind you not to leave kids or pets in the vehicle.
Available driver assistance technologies include adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, and front and rear parking sensors.
Ford’s SYNC 4 infotainment system is intuitive with logical menus, large icons and quick response times whether you use touch or voice commands. Large physical controls make it easy to adjust common functions such as volume and climate.
Cargo space is great for a compact SUV. Four-door models with the hardtop have 35.6 cubic feet with both rows of seating in place and 77.6 cubes with the second row folded. The rear gate swings out, which can be difficult to use in smaller spaces, and the door is quite heavy so you’ll need some muscles to close it.
Excellent off-road capability
Available in several configurations and with different engines
Lots of available off-road features and tech
Lots of cargo space
User-friendly infotainment system
Standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Bad fuel efficiency
Interior has cheap-looking materials
My tester starts at $68,500. Keyless entry keypad is $110. Code Orange seat belts are $395. Interior Carbon Fiber Pack is $1,725. Leather-trim and suede seats are $2,495. Delivery fee is $1,595 bringing the grand total to $74,820.
If you want a rugged compact SUV that’s a beast off the beaten path and also has civilized manners for driving around town, definitely check out the 2022 Ford Bronco. Whether you’re fording a stream or running errands, the Bronco gives a winning ride. The downsides are poor fuel economy and a noisy cabin with some cheap-looking materials, but for would-be buyers, the amazing off-road capabilities make up for those.