The 2022 Ford Bronco Sport Outer Banks Is A Fashionable Crossover That Could Use A Little More Fine-Tuning

Bronco Sport Outer Banks Topshot

Imagine how hard life would be if your parents named you Beyoncé. Those are the sort of mononymous shoes the Ford Bronco Sport has to fill. While the big Bronco is an all-American off-road icon that gets the people going, the Bronco Sport is born to be mild. It’s more about looking stylish in the Target parking lot than traversing Hell’s Revenge. So how well does the Bronco Sport blend on-road refinement with blocky good looks? I borrowed one in Outer Banks trim to find out.

[Full disclosure: Ford let me borrow this Bronco Sport Outer Banks for a week so long as I returned it with a full tank of gasoline and wrote an article on it.]

What Makes It Tick?

1.5-liter Ecoboost three-cylinder engine

Given how the Bronco Sport is based on the Escape, it shouldn’t be surprising to hear that things under the skin are nigh-on identical. All Bronco Sport models, save for the top Badlands trim, get Ford’s 1.5-liter Ecoboost engine. It’s a little three-cylinder lump that’s been turbocharged to produce 181 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 190 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,000 rpm. Hitched to an eight-speed automatic and driving all four wheels through a reactive all-wheel-drive system, this motor is a bit of an oddball. Output-wise, it’s right in the same ballpark as the larger naturally-aspirated engines in the Mazda CX-5 and Toyota RAV4, but features a significantly earlier torque peak.

Three-cylinder engines aren’t exactly known for being quiet, so it’s a bit of a surprise to see a relative lack of engine insulation on the Bronco Sport. There’s no felt hood blanket, no engine cover, just a bit of felt on the firewall and that’s it. Then again, Ford is known for not covering up engines in transverse applications, so this is really just more of the same.

Bronco Sport Rear Suspension

The Bronco Sport does gain special dampers compared to the Escape, but the suspension components are largely similar and thus largely brilliant. The rear suspension arms are simple and stamped, the divorced rear coil springs sit nicely inboard, and everything suspension-wise looks very sound in principle. There’s nothing groundbreaking going on here, just MacPherson struts up front and a fairly simple independent rear suspension, but this is a mass-market compact crossover so there’s no need to reinvent the wheel here. Sometimes simplicity is key, and Ford hasn’t complicated the Bronco Sport’s suspension any more than necessary.

Bronco Sport Tire Deflector

Taking a closer look at the underbody reveals some curious details. Clearance is impeded by plastic wind deflectors ahead of each wheel arch, although they look fairly easily removable. It seems like simple hex hardware holds the front deflectors on, while the rears are attached using a combination of hex hardware and clips.

Bronco Sport Rear Wheel Well

Speaking of close looks inside the rear wheel arches, a few interesting decisions stand out. The first is slightly spotty paint application on the rear chassis rails, a somewhat interesting oversight. While a little bit of exposed primer in certain vehicle areas isn’t the end of the world, the rear chassis rails seem particularly vulnerable to chips given their location inboard of the rear wheels.

Bronco Sport Arch Liner

The second is a little more glaring in terms of corrosion potential. The rear wheel arch liners on my test vehicle don’t fit particularly tightly around the lower forward edge of each wheel arch. The area behind the arch liner seems like a pretty great slush trap in wintry conditions and raises some questions on whether the arch liner design might accelerate corrosion.

How Does It Look?

Bronco Sport Right Front Three Quarters Resize

While the Bronco Sport draws heavily on ‘60s Bronco styling cues, the silhouette and proportions are more reminiscent of another previous Ford product: The first-generation Escape. What we have here is an upright compact crossover with soft edges and unpainted bumpers, just enough rugged touches to seem active without being overbearing.

Let’s start with the squared-off silhouette. I’m a sucker for a stepped roofline, and the Bronco Sport doesn’t disappoint here. Best of all, it compliments the stepped beltline perfectly to give this small family crossover a pleasingly tall appearance. Adding to that is the use of chunky unpainted plastic cladding that elevates the visual height of the vehicle. While bare cladding is a bit played-out in the compact crossover segment, it fits really well with the Bronco Sport’s aesthetic.

Bronco Sport Glass Open Resize

Things look good around the back as well, with pleasantly detailed tail lights, separately-opening rear glass, and a bare rear bumper with no paint to scratch when loading and unloading bulky cargo. The rear end may be a bit simple, but it’s properly handsome and utilitarian. Job well done there.

However, the front end of the Bronco Sport is a little bit of a mess when it comes to surfacing and materials. The convex painted panels beneath the headlights clash with the sharp hoodline, while the middle grille looks like an afterthought. Throw in a glossy black grille and an unpainted lower bumper, and there’s just a lot going on. Still, the front end isn’t enough to kill the Bronco Sport’s design. Sure, surfacing is a bit odd and the center grille isn’t cohesive enough for my tastes, but the overall design of the Bronco Sport works quite well.

What’s It Like To Drive?

Bronco Sport Front Resize

Despite being a compact crossover, the Ford Bronco Sport drives quite large. Evidently, Ford’s engineers and stylists have been hard at work playing up the image of SUV heritage, because the baby Bronco pairs old-school sightlines with plenty of body motion. Thanks to the square, contoured hood, the view through the windscreen is rather imperious and indeed a bit silly. You could rent out the space between the valve cover and the hood for $1,600 a month as a rugged studio apartment, so the twin hood bulges come across purely as posturing. Combine that with a rear-view mirror that’s just a touch too small for the rear glass and massive C-pillars, and the Bronco Sport doesn’t quite have the outward visibility of a Hyundai Tucson or Nissan Rogue. Oh, the price of vanity.

Three-cylinder engines are inherently unbalanced, so I was quite thankful for the automatic stop-start system for preventing the Bronco Sport from feeling like a cheap motel bed when sitting at traffic lights. However, once on the move, it takes mere yards to realize that the 1.5-liter Ecoboost lump is a little gem of an engine. The torque band is broad and reasonably robust, peaking at 3,000 rpm to give the feel of a larger naturally-aspirated engine. Sure, the Bronco Sport isn’t quick, but it never feels labored by its 3,467 pound curb weight or the great expectations that come with the Bronco name in everyday driving. It’s a bit pointless to wind this engine out seeing as it only makes 181 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, but planting your foot through the carpet produces a characterful thrashing note, a pleasing celebration of internal combustion in an age of low-noise everything.

Bronco Sport Wheel Resize

In fact, the only thing holding the turbocharged triple back is the eight-speed automatic’s programming in the normal drive mode. The gearbox takes absolute ages to upshift after a spot of hard acceleration and is prone to harsh shifts, particularly on the 1-2 shift during moderate acceleration. Moreover, dial up reverse on the rotary selector and you could smoke a brisket before reverse gear actually engages. Things get much quicker and smoother in Sport mode, which could be called “fix everything mode” if paddle shifters were on tap to command earlier upshifts. While five drive modes on tap is a nifty marketing achievement, I’d much prefer it if Ford focused on making one really good drive mode instead of several imperfect ones.

Fortunately, there is an upside to the powertrain other than engine character. Sure, the automatic gearbox can feel as cumbersome as breakdancing in clogs and the idle in gear is downright 40-grit, but fuel economy seems very much alright. Over a week of driving, I averaged 26 mpg (9.0 L/100km), exactly the same as the EPA’s combined fuel economy figure. Best of all, the Bronco Sport runs happily on regular 87-octane fuel despite turbocharging and an 11:1 compression ratio.

Bronco Sport Left Rear Three Quarters Resize

Unfortunately, engine character and good fuel economy are where the positives stop for the Bronco Sport’s driving experience. Ride quality is fairly unpleasant, with a lot of sharp vertical motion over frost heaves and other road nasties. Worse still, this choppy ride doesn’t benefit handling whatsoever. The steering is rather slow and numb, body roll is porpoise-like, and pitch under hard acceleration is really something to behold. Introducing the Bronco Sport to an on-ramp is like asking a moody teenager to take out the garbage. The task will eventually get done, but you’ll experience complaints the entire time.

Oh, and forget any notions of braking confidence. Despite visual indications that the calipers and sliders were working perfectly, stopping my Bronco Sport test car was downright spooky. If I put my foot on the wide pedal, it would summon up an amount of stopping power. Will it always be a sufficient amount? Who knows? Sometimes the brakes behaved like they had air in the lines, with a mushy pedal on par with stepping in wet cement. We’re talking about brakes without bark, let alone any bite.

What’s The Interior Like?

Bronco Sport Dashboard

Solid. Precise. Well-crafted. These are all words I wouldn’t have used to describe the interiors of several modern Fords I’ve driven. The last Escape I drove had a gap in the headliner that let me see the curtain airbag, shoddy craftsmanship from a brand that really should know better. In fact, because of that Escape, I had no clue what to expect when I hopped in this Bronco Sport. Thankfully, the quality inspectors at the Hermosillo plant brought their a-game because almost everything about this interior feels absolutely spot-on. Aside from slightly loose window switch bezels, interior panel gaps are remarkably tight. We’re talking genuinely brilliant fit-and-finish here, better than in some luxury cars I’ve driven. While it wouldn’t be fun to slip a trim tool in between components should replacement be necessary, it’s wonderful to see this level of attention to detail.

In addition, little things appear thoughtfully designed. There’s black trim around the door window frames to match the door cards, a handy shelf below the infotainment screen for phones and other personal items, and a Red Bull-sized cupholder for your morning Austrian bull bile cocktail. Sure, some plastics are a bit odd, but I’m cool with the gritty dash pad and door cards should they prove to be suitably durable.

Bronco Sport Outer Banks Front Seats

Between the Safari-style roof and the externally-sliding moonroof, there’s a shocking amount of headroom on tap in both rows despite stadium-style seating. While I don’t expect many top hat collectors to be driving around in Bronco Sports, this compact crossover is perfect for anyone fond of wearing a cowboy hat so large that nobody can take them seriously. Doug Dimmadome, eat your heart out.

As for the seats themselves, they’re reasonably comfortable and come upholstered in this lovely mixture of wool-look neoprene, black leather, and saddle leather that looks and feels quite good. Sure, the leather isn’t as soft as on some competitors, but the seats on this Outer Banks model show creative use of materials.

wicked smart cargo divider, cover, and table

The real highlight of the Bronco Sport’s interior is optional but is so brilliant that I can’t see why anyone wouldn’t option it. I’m talking about the most clever cargo cover I’ve ever seen in my life. Not only does it stow out of the way against the second row, it’s made of hardwearing plastic and functions as tiered storage, a cargo divider, and a table. Sure, the Chrysler PT Cruiser had a cargo cover that could be used as a table, but it wasn’t as stable or as easily-cleanable as this. Speaking of easily-cleanable, the cargo area forgoes carpet for much smarter rubber flooring that goes all the way up the second-row seatbacks. It does a brilliant job of preventing cargo from sliding about and simply wipes clean in a jiffy.

Bronco Sport Infotainment

Moving onto tech, my Bronco Sport tester featured the unusual move of pairing wired Apple CarPlay with wireless charging. It’s weird, but heaps better than wireless CarPlay with no wireless charging, so it’s not exactly a sin. What’s more, CarPlay works great on this version of Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment, with zero connection hiccups whatsoever. Moving from screen to screen, despite not being a fully-digital dashboard, the gauge cluster does something very clever. A digital speed readout is always top-level information, handy for when you’re going past a speed camera and want to be extremely precise.

B And O Audio Speaker

While surface-level in-cabin tech is good, things fall down in the audio department. The optional B&O sound system in my test car is flat-out bad. This stereo packs plenty of power, but features all the clarity of frosted glass. The staging is awful, the mids are scooped, and vocals like Julian Casablancas’ on Meet Me In The Bathroom are simply drowned by the system’s front-and-center staging. On the other end of the spectrum, bass is blown out harder than Maxpeedingrods coilovers on a clapped-out Miata, and tracks like Kanye’s Blood On The Leaves make the front door cards rattle like a loose license plate. Music isn’t supposed to sound like mud, and this premium audio system just sucks the fun out of songs.

What’s The Verdict?

Bronco Sport Left Front Three Quarters 2 Resize

So, is the Bronco name too much for the Bronco Sport to carry? Hardly. Sure, Bronco is a synecdoche for exploring the American wild. The problem is that unless you plan on scything through the great wilderness of Alaska, almost everywhere you could get a Bronco to has been Instagrammed to death by someone in a 4Runner or Land Cruiser. All that’s left is this concept of exploration, now attached to a mild-mannered compact crossover. Sure, it may say Bronco on the grille, but you’re not getting too far off the pavement without knobby tires, recovery points, and at least one locking differential.

However, it’s 2022 and nothing has to be honest or earned. Those Toyota-driving influencers? Most of them only sell the image of ruggedness rather than actual ruggedness, and Ford knows that. The Bronco Sport hocks a Ferrero Rocher-sized loogie in the face of authenticity, clinging to the coat tails of its bigger brother’s hype train and ensuring that some image-conscious shoppers end up with a surprisingly okay car. Not only does its boxy form factor offer tons of room, its wipe-down surfaces are a wonderful admission that life can be messy. More importantly, the Bronco Sport has some fun design. Between the nifty storage solutions, pleasant color palette, and unique appearance, there’s a cohesive vision going on here that isn’t Private Transportation Unit Number 46.

side shot

Then again, crossover shoppers are spoiled for choice if they want something that doesn’t scream Private Transportation Unit Number 46. The Subaru Outback is an archetype for the sort of thing the Bronco Sport is trying to do, the Hyundai Tucson is bold in a Versace sort of way with arachnid eyes and slick cabin tech, and the Mazda CX-5 is devastatingly stylish inside and out. Perhaps more importantly, all three of these vehicles are better value than my Bronco Sport test car.

Hold your breath, because this is a fairly big figure. My Bronco Sport Outer Banks tester has a base MSRP of $36,045 including a $1,595 freight charge, and best believe it came with options. The lovely Hot Pepper Red paint costs $495; the power moonroof costs $870; the clever cargo shelf costs $150; the trailering package costs $690; the Tech Package with the awful B&O sound system and wireless charging costs $1,285; and the Co-Pilot 360 Assist+ package with stop-and-go adaptive cruise control, lane centering, and evasive steering assistance costs $895. All in, we’re looking at a price of $40,430 before any dealer-installed accessories like splash guards. If you’re a hoser like me, that translates to $47,694 Canadian including a $1,995 freight charge. For that sort of money, you could have a well-equipped Hyundai Tucson hybrid, a Mazda CX-5 2.5 S Premium Plus with thousands of dollars to spare, or a Subaru Outback Limited.

Grille

In the end, the Bronco Sport Outer Banks succeeds at making the Escape completely unnecessary. It’s what Ford’s bread and butter compact crossover should’ve been all along, a pragmatic and well-assembled compact crossover. It definitely isn’t the best-driving compact crossover on the market, nor the best value, but its practicality is hard to ignore. Plus, if you look at it as a better Subaru Forester, it absolutely nails that brief.

Who Should Buy It?

Bronco Sport Front Clip Resize

So, who should buy this crossover? I say: People who park by feel, collectors of ridiculously tall hats, anyone strongly considering a Jeep Compass, people who’ve VSCO’d mountain landscapes, frequent tailgate attendees, proud slobs, Imagine Dragons fans, John Green daydreamers, millennials with rosé-themed home décor, Z-plan-eligible retirees who like kayaking, former Escape owners, and anyone who just likes the look.

All photos by Thomas Hundal

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51 Responses

  1. Well dang, I had completely written this vehicle off until it was prescribed to John Green Daydreamers. I guess I better put an end to my Maverick aspirations and set my sights on this Mommymobile 3000.

  2. I’m just thankful the “real” Bronco is out now. Back when the Bronco Sports first started hitting the street before the fullsize version I saw numerous posts from mouth breathers exclaiming the Bronco was weaksauce and didn’t live up to the hype. It got so bad that someone made a Morpheus “What if I told you there were TWO BRONCOS” meme to counter those idiots. Launching the watered down diet Bronco before the real one was a mistake on Ford’s part IMO.

  3. “In the end, the Bronco Sport Outer Banks succeeds at making the Escape completely unnecessary. It’s what Ford’s bread and butter compact crossover should’ve been all along, a pragmatic and well-assembled compact crossover.”

    This is really all you need to know about the Bronco Sport. It’s what the third-gen Escape should have been. Although that price makes it pretty clear you’re paying a Bronco tax for the name on this one. :-/

  4. It needs a 6 speed manual transmission. Those little Ford 3 cylinders are amazing with a manual.

    With a manual it takes an otherwise boring car and makes it fun.

    I would have bought a Ecosport with the 1.0L 3 cylinder if it had a manual transmission option.

    1. I really want to like the Ecosport (terrible name, but…) and with a manual, it could totally could have been a contemporary version of the first-gen Rav4. Sigh.

    1. While I’ll certainly admit that I’ve reviewed some really fun cars, slightly boring is right in my wheelhouse so long as it’s done well. A quiet, spacious, comfortable, well-priced normal car like a Volkswagen Atlas or a Kia Forte is a beautiful thing.

      1. Atlas is not the best example of the point you’re trying to make. Neat name (apparently taken from Ford’s concept truck that was a thinly-veiled production 2015 F-150) but isn’t as good as folks make it out to be.

  5. $40,000 is right around the starting price an Escape PHEV Titanium that includes the power moonroof and Pilot 360. You’re losing the illusion of ruggedness, but the value for a loaded Bronco Sport just isn’t there IMO. If anything, the Bronco Sport is like the Mercury Mariner to the current Escape.

    Side note- Ford’s website says the $36,500 price does not include the $1,500 destination fee.

    1. Not to mention the Escape Titanium Hybrid that starts at $35k and gets 14(!) more MPG than the Bronco Sport. It truly makes no sense to get the Bronco Sport unless you really, really like the look of it.

      1. The projected image is completely different between the two.

        The Escape is a fancy boot like a Thursday Wingtip – Urbane and stylish while the Bronco II Outer Banks is like Thurday’s Captain in Brandy, more of an old school style complete with captoe.

        When my wife was unexpectedly looking for a new car, We didn’t even think Escape. We did think Bronco Sport but landed on Renegade instead. (She really liked one back at an earlier auto show and I like four cylinders over three any day.)

    2. I’d say it’s the other way around. Mariner was the premium gen-1 & 2 Escape, replaced by the MKC after Mercury got shut down. Escape has higher available amenities and isn’t rugged (really it’s a tall Focus, since we don’t get that anymore) but also has fleet/rental grades to cash in on the familiarity of the nameplate.
      The Bronco Sport is a closer successor to the gen-1 & 2 Escape (as noted in the article) and with a headlight and grille change could even pass for an evolution of those models. They were among the most “truck-like” of the FWD crossovers, being designed for mild off-roading, ease of use, and fairly easy to take care of the interior (even moreso now with the Bronco Sport). The 2013 model changed all that, going for a more car-like vehicle showcasing the Focus roots and European Kuga version.
      Really they could have had the 2013 model be called Kuga or Focus Active (not to be confused with the current implementation of that name) or some other buzzword name, and continued the Escape, but they lacked Mazda’s platform to make an updated model (which is probably for the best, as Mazda pivoted to the CX-5, though now has a similar lineup with the more car-like CX-5 competing with the Escape and Corsair and their classes, and the new CX-50 competing with the Bronco Sport and its class).

  6. Can we please have one review of a crossover on this site that isn’t a snark fest? I thought we left that behind on the orange site. Your critiques are certainly valid and this is well written and thorough but so much of it just reads as the usual CROSSOVER BAD AND CROSSOVER DRIVERS ARE LOSERS content we can find anywhere.

    The Bronco Sport is a cheerful little SUV for people that don’t need all the capability of the big boy Bronco and want something more civilized to drive. I see them all over now and you know what? I like them. They look good, they’re not too serious, they come in fun colors, they’re not awful on gas, et cetera. They can also be parked in a city without trouble which can’t be said of the big Bronco or a 4Runner.

    I’d rather see these than another grayscale blob crossover because they’re fun. Not every car needs to be serious. One of these will serve the needs of probably 90% of the people that buy stuff like Wranglers and 4Runners anyway….and if you spring for the Badlands one they’re not half bad off road. I wouldn’t suggest trying to tackle the Rubicon in one, but for normie off-roading they’ll do fine. I think Tracy did a full breakdown of one either here or for the old site.

    It’s a very here and now car for sure, and once they get into the 40s I don’t think they’re great value propositions…but they’re fine for what they are. Let people that want to cosplay as off-roaders cosplay as off-roaders. Who cares. This a fun design that does what it sets out to do…I see it like I see the Mach E. Purists rage over them but at the end of the day they’re clearly good products even if you take the namesake away.

    1. Pointing out a vehicle’s faults isn’t snark. He also praises the things it gets right and argues that it makes the Escape redundant. If the whole review was uncritical fawning over the greatness of the Bronco Sport, then Thomas wouldn’t be doing his job.

    2. This was not a snark fest, nor was it dismissive because it’s a crossover. If Ford wants to charge premium prices, the should be called out for where they fall short of the competition. There are plenty of alternatives in the segment, after all.

  7. Imagine how hard life would be if your parents named you Beyoncé. Those are the sort of mononymous shoes the Ford Bronco Sport has to fill.

    They really REALLY should have called it the Bronco III. Would completely solve all of this.

  8. I like these. Researched them a bit until I realized they can’t handle a rear-facing convertible kids’ car seat without the passenger seat in front being jammed into the dashboard. Common problem with smaller crossovers although some (like the Mazda CX-5 we do have) can handle it better than others.

  9. I wish there was a better towing option available. The Bronco Sport offers 2000 lbs, or 2200 with the 4 cylinder. My Escape Titanium offered 3500. Towing a couple of motorcycles (or one Gold Wing) on a uHaul trailer puts you right at or over 2000 lbs.

  10. B&O used to mean high end Euro stereo. The B&O store in my city had beautifully styled, great sounding equipment at eye watering prices. Sounds like someone bought them up and has started cranking out marketing deals with Ford. When they were introduced in Audis, they kept the eye watering price and great sound, but I guess it’s a slippery slope when you get to Ford or GM.

  11. I like the current Escape fine for what it is, but I can’t stomach paying an extra four grand (base AWD for either) to get an Escape with styling by Tonka (and frankly, buying either over a Maverick seems like a tough sell).

    On the other hand, I love the photoshoot location if just because I used the adjacent trail plenty over the past couple years as a good place to take my son for a walk without having to be near other people (also, planes, lots of planes).

  12. I’ve owned the pit banks since March ‘22.
    You have a keen eye, sir. Happy to hear you see it as winning out against the Forester as that is what I was cross shopping against. Ultimately, it was the least boring of them all and that, as the illustrious DT likes to say, is one of the most important criteria in car critique.
    Better get it rust proofed I guess.

  13. “I was thankful for the start-stop system.” So you’re the one!
    I believe there’s a lot of Bronco Sport owners who don’t know they have three cylinder engines. I’m not knocking them or it. I just don’t think that number of plugs comes up during the sales process.

    1. Three cylinder engines get a bad rap. With a single balance shaft they are perfectly balanced. If you ride a BMW K75 next to a K100 or a Triumph Triple 900 against a Four cyl 1200, it amazing how much smoother the triples are (and they sound better, too). Since the manufacturers seem to have standardized on the 500cc cylinder as optimum, it makes sense to make a 1500cc triple.

      Now, would I buy one in a car? No way in hell. I’d hold out for the 2.0l Ecoboost.

    2. People have no idea mostly. My blue-collar-in-the-field work buddy bought a new Subaru Ascent and was bragging to me as a Known Subaru Guy: “Man, when I punch it, it kicks down a couple gears, and that V6 just scoots!” Me: “…..(badly stiffled chortle)…..um…. Have you actually looked at your vehicle’s specs?? You’ve been researching for months now. Like, dude, it’s a flat 4 twisting through a CVT….”

  14. I know that what Im about to say… sounds stupid and might require too much thought… but here goes:

    It was raining its ass off today and I am allergic to umbrellas. SO I picked my boy up at school in a downpour. I waited a bit so he wasnt in the middle of a total deluge, but I put a little thought into it. I removed my “remote” from my keychain with my key on it. Took out all other items.. wallet and device and put them into a area not visible by anyone outside.

    Got out, locked car with key.

    Then when I came back, I unlocked the passenger side. I had him climb in back behind the passenger seat. I climbed in the passenger seat and slid over from Pass to Driver seat. Put “remote” back onto keychain and key into ignition.. and off we went. Seats are vinyl….

    Thats whats missing.. from this.. Escape in Bronco Badge, personality and thought.
    I dont like having items visible from anyone outside. I dont want to have to think twice about anything.

    Thats what bothers me about this… its just trying too hard to be something its not.

      1. I have a remote.. but all it does it lock / unlock doors.
        I do have vinyl seats… but its not a bench. I have 2 doors and 2.. half doors in the rear.

  15. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times… If this thing was named anything other than “Bronco” I’d love it. I’ve been complaining for years that all these crossovers just look the same. Finally something different comes out (RIP Flex), but I’m too distracted with “it’s not the real Bronco” to enjoy it.

    1. I wish Ford had gone with Bronco III or something ala MrAsa’s point.

      The Bronco II was sold alongside the “regular” Bronco back in the day, nicely serving two different market segments, each of whom were happy with their choices.

  16. Thank you for this!

    I’ve been looking at these for my father who is sick of his old Explorer and they seem to be exactly what he wants (even if he won’t admit it): a crossover that has the look and feel of a truck.

    He’s had SUVs long before they were called that, but in his older age, he’s really looking for something that drives easy but still aesthetically conveys “truck” rather than “jacked up station wagon.” I think he’d actually enjoy the occasional uncouthness cited as part of the truck-y ethos.

    I get it…I love my SN95 Mustang in part for its unintentionally retro driving experience. The primitive suspension, the pickup-like shifting action, the noise…for me, a like that I get a visceral connection to the car’s heritage but still get to enjoy things like airbags and ABS.

      1. Ha! Picture the guy in those painting-style Bronco ads from the ’60s. Parked next to a lake, he’s wearing a plaid shirt, pipe in mouth, getting some fishing gear out of the back. That’s pretty much my father.

        He’s a dyed-in-the-wool SUV guy. His all-time favorite was his old Jeep Cherokee Briarwood, in large measure b/c of the fake wood paneling on the side!

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