Reviewed | 2022 Bronco Wildtrack Heads into the Wilderness
Want to turn some heads? Try showing up to “The Final” Mustang Week in Wildtrack Bronco. Ford fans around the nation love their horse cars (even Pintos???) and the Bronco is definitely welcome in the club. We’ve been holding back on sharing this story for a few months, but the time seems right now. The Wildtrack trim level brings the equipment to the Bronco that will satisfy 98% of buyers. Style and performance, this truck has it all.
On the road, the Bronco is more comfortable and sure footed than most would give it credit. You can tell the chassis dynamics engineers put in overtime to make this platform perform well above expectations. The dash is logically laid out, and the interior is ruggedly built. You get the sense that this SUV was designed by enthusiasts, by those who get “it”. This video may explain what I mean a little more clearly:
No matter the trim level, or number of doors, I have thoroughly enjoyed very single Bronco I have had the opportunity to drive. By design, they are capable of feats far beyond the off-roading skills of most drivers. To put it simply, they are built to make wheeling fool-proof. The shocks, lockers, gears, tires, and software all combine to produce a package that gives the driver the confidence to tackle nearly any terrain.
Back on the pavement, the Wildtrack Bronco is surprisingly tame. On a trip the mileage lands around 20MPG, and acceleration from the 2.7L EcoBoost is decent. I often get majorly annoyed by 10R80 transmission tuning, but it’s tolerable in the Bronco. The ‘Squatch ride is a bit more firm than that of the BRaptor, but nothing to complain about. Unless you’re going to go hog-wild with aftermarket suspension and drivetrain components, I would always option the Sasquatch package.
I’ve heard many complain about wind noise with the new Broncos, but I’ve never seen that as an issue with the factory hard-top. The soft-top may be a different story, but I haven’t driven a Bronco so equipped. I can say that adding light bars and roof-racks will increase audible wind noise, but that’s just a good excuse the crank up the stereo.
I've long been a fan of Bilstein shocks, and the ones on the Bronco Wildtrack do not disappoint.
The 2.7L EcoBoost is no slouch. I’ve long been impressed by the power this little mill, and it continues to impress in the Bronco platform. It’s really a shame that Ford refuses to offer it with the 7-spd manual transmission. That would be a world class combination, unmatched by anything else on the market. It’s equally disappointing that the 2.7L is not an option for the Ranger, but that’s a complaint for a different story. To put it succinctly, if you don’t want to row your own gears you should absolutely upgrade from the base 2.3L I-4 to the optional 2.7L V6. The 2.3 is a great engine, but it simply can’t match the diesel-like torque production of the twin-turbo 2.7.
With the Bronco, Ford has an undeniable hit on their hands. It’s insanely popular, highly sought after, and for good reason. Demand for a new Kickin’ Horse has been building since the mid-90s. The current Bronco may not be exactly what everyone was hoping for, but I’m here to tell you it’s a damn good truck. There’re a lot of people that were basically hoping for a Blue-Oval version of a Jeep Wrangler, but the Bronco has never been that. From the outset it was more substantial vehicle than the Jeep. Having spent significant time with latest versions of the Bronco and Wrangler, I can safely say that that only true advantage the Jeep has is that it’s much cheaper to mod (suspension-wise) than the Bronco. The Ford simply out classes it everywhere else (with the noted exception of the silly/fun factor of the 392).
So if you think you may want to get in the somewhat frustratingly long line to get a Bronco, I can tell you it is worth the wait. This Wildtrack edition is essentially a ‘Loaded’ 4-Door model that is easily capable of pulling double duty a daily driver and a weekend warrior. It may not be the best choice if you’re looking to tow heavily, but for pretty much everything else it is a rock-solid choice. If you’re still riding the fence, I highly recommend you drive one. I have a feeling you’ll end up placing an order.