Test drove a Bronco yesterday to feel good about owning a Jeep (pretty much)

jaardappel

Well-Known Member
First Name
John
Joined
Dec 5, 2020
Threads
3
Messages
117
Reaction score
213
Location
Reston, VA
Vehicle(s)
2021 2-Door Rubicon
Occupation
Trigger-puller (soon to retire), dog-father, Jeep enthusiast
First--I love my Jeep. I won't get rid of my Jeep. And I dodged a major bullet by not buying a Bronco IMHO. Just setting that out there.

Finally got to see and test-drive a brand-new Badlands Bronco 331 package yesterday. Came in for a friend after he had given up and bought a Jeep but wanted to test-drive it anyways. Here are some initial observations, not sure if any of you have seen things that you like or dislike after test-driving one as well.

1) Drives like a truck.
2) Interior a mix of good quality stuff (like grab handle on upper corners), and utter trash (like grab handle on center console....totally loose and flimsy)
3) Infotainment is utter, utter, utter trash on the non Lux-package version. Like zero map/nav/offline capability (I use Gaia on Carplay...it does have Carplay), or any other useful screen info. Only a compass. Which is quite frankly fn trash. Utterly shocking to me that you can get a $65,000+ vehicle version with a Ford Explorer infotainment system from about 10 years ago. Good. Lord.
4) Steel bumper group can't accept a winch in the winch-ready box. Dealer (who didn't really know his vehicle anyways) said you have to wait until they come out with a fix or extension to use the winch-ready steel bumper to put a....winch in the winch-ready steel bumper. Sweet!
5)Aux switches (there are 6 pre-wired, ready like the Jeep Aux switches) and buttons are nice but pretty tiny and you'd have to remember what the hell you wired them to. But....6. And ready. Not bad.
6) Frameless windows are pretty cool, same with mirrors that you don't have to replace for road driving in states where it's mandated. BUT...they stick out like crazy and you'd lose them on the trail. Trust me. You'd lose them. 100%. If you don't believe me, please buy one and try it. They are literally a foot outside the vehicle. You might even lose one leaving the Metro garage.
7) Doors off/on....praise bejebus that I got a Jeep. Prepare to lose paint. Hinges are recessed. Good luck.
8) Soft-top had a feature on the back, after opening the tailgate it lifts up with a kick-stand. Honestly, this was ridiculously cool. That's the 1 thing I liked about the Bronco.
9) Recovery points on the front bumper were pretty awesome frankly. THEN!.....totally awesome turned to wtf seriously? as I found that they are forged and un-finished (extremely abrasive, sharp edges on interior holes) and just painted. Kiss anything soft that you might put through that shackle goodbye. Loved the concept, but it's unfinished.
10) Windshield is far enough away and the hood is massive....seeing what's below would be great if you had the lux package and a camera system, or you can just steer this huge thing into whatever and hope for the best. Honestly, it was massive compared to the Jeep and I couldn't see how you can expertly navigate it through any technical terrain without the Lux package camera system and at least 1 spotter/guide.

Final opinion....it's not bad. But it's a truck. If you want to offroad in a truck where you can't see well out the front and/or modding it with cool accessories might be a bit challenging as you have to replace lots of factory parts in order to do so....this might be your vehicle.

I dodged a bullet. The Bronco seemed overall a great concept, but they cheaped the crap outta the infotainment, and they failed to put quality into the interior where a literal grab-handle felt like I was hanging on to a Glad trash bag tied to a tree.

 

JasonInDLH

Well-Known Member
First Name
Jason
Joined
Jan 4, 2021
Threads
62
Messages
785
Reaction score
790
Location
MN
Vehicle(s)
21 JLUR, 15 Yukon Denali
Occupation
I’d Rather Talk Jeep’s!
Nice write up. Glad I stuck with Jeep as well.

The Bronco sure does look sharp though. I’ve seen a few around with the top and doors off and I can’t stop staring. I feel like I’m cheating on my Jeep. 😂
 

ChuckQue

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2022
Threads
6
Messages
244
Reaction score
295
Location
SoCal
Vehicle(s)
2022 JLURD
My buddy takes delivery of his Raptor next month. I’m curious to see how it feels when I drive it.
 

Foxjeeps

Member
First Name
Noah
Joined
Jul 12, 2022
Threads
1
Messages
13
Reaction score
16
Location
Tampa
Vehicle(s)
2019 Jeep Wrangler JL
I have one on order so I could definitely give some counter points! Did the bronco offroadeo a few months ago and really got to know the 4 door badlands pretty well.
It drives precise, much better than my 2 door JL on 33s. And was much smoother. Interior has great proportions. Better room than my JL. Some ways it does feel cheap and plastic other ways it feels special.
infotainment is great compared to my 7” U connect.
stereo speakers are def worse than my JL

most the other points are pretty fair. There’s a guy on TFL with a bronco with the winch in the steel bumper so I’ve seen it before.
the recovery points are fine just use a finished shackle to a loose one if you want. Front recovery points accept both types meaning they have a slot for a D shackle.

It’s a solid vehicle but way overpriced and so overhyped. It’s not worth the wait when you can pick up a JL and do the same top down 4x4 driving. Granted my JL feels like a modern retro car comparatively but it’s great for what it is.
 


Mocopo

Well-Known Member
First Name
Kevin
Joined
Jun 13, 2022
Threads
0
Messages
231
Reaction score
389
Location
Arizona
Vehicle(s)
22 JLURXR
First--I love my Jeep. I won't get rid of my Jeep. And I dodged a major bullet by not buying a Bronco IMHO. Just setting that out there.

Finally got to see and test-drive a brand-new Badlands Bronco 331 package yesterday. Came in for a friend after he had given up and bought a Jeep but wanted to test-drive it anyways. Here are some initial observations, not sure if any of you have seen things that you like or dislike after test-driving one as well.

1) Drives like a truck.
2) Interior a mix of good quality stuff (like grab handle on upper corners), and utter trash (like grab handle on center console....totally loose and flimsy)
3) Infotainment is utter, utter, utter trash on the non Lux-package version. Like zero map/nav/offline capability (I use Gaia on Carplay...it does have Carplay), or any other useful screen info. Only a compass. Which is quite frankly fn trash. Utterly shocking to me that you can get a $65,000+ vehicle version with a Ford Explorer infotainment system from about 10 years ago. Good. Lord.
4) Steel bumper group can't accept a winch in the winch-ready box. Dealer (who didn't really know his vehicle anyways) said you have to wait until they come out with a fix or extension to use the winch-ready steel bumper to put a....winch in the winch-ready steel bumper. Sweet!
5)Aux switches (there are 6 pre-wired, ready like the Jeep Aux switches) and buttons are nice but pretty tiny and you'd have to remember what the hell you wired them to. But....6. And ready. Not bad.
6) Frameless windows are pretty cool, same with mirrors that you don't have to replace for road driving in states where it's mandated. BUT...they stick out like crazy and you'd lose them on the trail. Trust me. You'd lose them. 100%. If you don't believe me, please buy one and try it. They are literally a foot outside the vehicle. You might even lose one leaving the Metro garage.
7) Doors off/on....praise bejebus that I got a Jeep. Prepare to lose paint. Hinges are recessed. Good luck.
8) Soft-top had a feature on the back, after opening the tailgate it lifts up with a kick-stand. Honestly, this was ridiculously cool. That's the 1 thing I liked about the Bronco.
9) Recovery points on the front bumper were pretty awesome frankly. THEN!.....totally awesome turned to wtf seriously? as I found that they are forged and un-finished (extremely abrasive, sharp edges on interior holes) and just painted. Kiss anything soft that you might put through that shackle goodbye. Loved the concept, but it's unfinished.
10) Windshield is far enough away and the hood is massive....seeing what's below would be great if you had the lux package and a camera system, or you can just steer this huge thing into whatever and hope for the best. Honestly, it was massive compared to the Jeep and I couldn't see how you can expertly navigate it through any technical terrain without the Lux package camera system and at least 1 spotter/guide.

Final opinion....it's not bad. But it's a truck. If you want to offroad in a truck where you can't see well out the front and/or modding it with cool accessories might be a bit challenging as you have to replace lots of factory parts in order to do so....this might be your vehicle.

I dodged a bullet. The Bronco seemed overall a great concept, but they cheaped the crap outta the infotainment, and they failed to put quality into the interior where a literal grab-handle felt like I was hanging on to a Glad trash bag tied to a tree.
Bronco owner here. 21 Badlands Sasquatch 4 Dr. So I'll put in my .02 on your .02 =)

1. Yep. But it is a truck, so no surprise there.
2. Agreed on interior, but also they're too new to really know the quality over time and wear yet. Ours is at 10k miles and still looks brand new everywhere (cuz 10k is basically still new).
3. I don't have lux, I have high package, which is essentially the same infotainment stuff. 12 inch screen is MASSIVE and super responsive, and front facing and 360 degree cameras as as good as any on the market. I use android auto, works great for maps, especially OnX Offroad.
4. Not sure I'm following. On my steel bumper, to get a winch, you just need to buy a winch plate/adapter. Just like a JL.
5. the aux switches are convenient, but the big kicker is the location. Up above the mirror as opposed to down behind your shifter.
6. Agreed on the mirrors, but they fold in like any other mirror.
7. The doors are a lot lighter and smaller than jeep doors and have very specific hand holds that make it just as easy to guide in, IMO.
8. Its cool, but to be honest is often more a pain than it's worth. Btw, this feature is the reason the back windows have a wave in them. They need to flex when you lift the back.
9. The recovery points have sharp holes for D rings, and different holes smoothed out for soft shackles.
10. Agreed on these points here. That's why we got the camera, again available on high package, not just lux.

All in all, i think you had a pretty objective review, which is hard to find from jeep owners, understandably lol.
 

TheNewGuy

Well-Known Member
First Name
Wes Doda
Joined
Aug 25, 2021
Threads
8
Messages
575
Reaction score
643
Location
NH
Vehicle(s)
2021 Jeep Wrangler Sport S 2 door
First--I love my Jeep. I won't get rid of my Jeep. And I dodged a major bullet by not buying a Bronco IMHO. Just setting that out there.

Finally got to see and test-drive a brand-new Badlands Bronco 331 package yesterday. Came in for a friend after he had given up and bought a Jeep but wanted to test-drive it anyways. Here are some initial observations, not sure if any of you have seen things that you like or dislike after test-driving one as well.

1) Drives like a truck.
2) Interior a mix of good quality stuff (like grab handle on upper corners), and utter trash (like grab handle on center console....totally loose and flimsy)
3) Infotainment is utter, utter, utter trash on the non Lux-package version. Like zero map/nav/offline capability (I use Gaia on Carplay...it does have Carplay), or any other useful screen info. Only a compass. Which is quite frankly fn trash. Utterly shocking to me that you can get a $65,000+ vehicle version with a Ford Explorer infotainment system from about 10 years ago. Good. Lord.
4) Steel bumper group can't accept a winch in the winch-ready box. Dealer (who didn't really know his vehicle anyways) said you have to wait until they come out with a fix or extension to use the winch-ready steel bumper to put a....winch in the winch-ready steel bumper. Sweet!
5)Aux switches (there are 6 pre-wired, ready like the Jeep Aux switches) and buttons are nice but pretty tiny and you'd have to remember what the hell you wired them to. But....6. And ready. Not bad.
6) Frameless windows are pretty cool, same with mirrors that you don't have to replace for road driving in states where it's mandated. BUT...they stick out like crazy and you'd lose them on the trail. Trust me. You'd lose them. 100%. If you don't believe me, please buy one and try it. They are literally a foot outside the vehicle. You might even lose one leaving the Metro garage.
7) Doors off/on....praise bejebus that I got a Jeep. Prepare to lose paint. Hinges are recessed. Good luck.
8) Soft-top had a feature on the back, after opening the tailgate it lifts up with a kick-stand. Honestly, this was ridiculously cool. That's the 1 thing I liked about the Bronco.
9) Recovery points on the front bumper were pretty awesome frankly. THEN!.....totally awesome turned to wtf seriously? as I found that they are forged and un-finished (extremely abrasive, sharp edges on interior holes) and just painted. Kiss anything soft that you might put through that shackle goodbye. Loved the concept, but it's unfinished.
10) Windshield is far enough away and the hood is massive....seeing what's below would be great if you had the lux package and a camera system, or you can just steer this huge thing into whatever and hope for the best. Honestly, it was massive compared to the Jeep and I couldn't see how you can expertly navigate it through any technical terrain without the Lux package camera system and at least 1 spotter/guide.

Final opinion....it's not bad. But it's a truck. If you want to offroad in a truck where you can't see well out the front and/or modding it with cool accessories might be a bit challenging as you have to replace lots of factory parts in order to do so....this might be your vehicle.

I dodged a bullet. The Bronco seemed overall a great concept, but they cheaped the crap outta the infotainment, and they failed to put quality into the interior where a literal grab-handle felt like I was hanging on to a Glad trash bag tied to a tree.
That kickstand feature on the rear window is also why the rear soft top windows look horrible. There is at least one mod that reduces the wrinkles but still not great.
 
OP
OP
jaardappel

jaardappel

Well-Known Member
First Name
John
Joined
Dec 5, 2020
Threads
3
Messages
117
Reaction score
213
Location
Reston, VA
Vehicle(s)
2021 2-Door Rubicon
Occupation
Trigger-puller (soon to retire), dog-father, Jeep enthusiast
You didn’t notice the frameless windows wobble when you opened and closed the doors?
I did actually. I'm guessing that they determined enough air-pressure pass-thru in order to minimize the difference....but yeah, there are so many other things that I noticed....from lack of charging/USB ports to poor lighting inside, to the fact that they are monetizing basic things like offline nav and/or heated seats or even XM radio. I bought my 2-Door JLR fully loaded in '21 for $46k, this thing was $65k and lacked not only the hard-top but major basic items....I dunno. I have always loved the new look since concept designs were released, but it's just definitely not a Jeep killer in my opinion. Have you test-drove one? Sounds like you've had some time with one.
 

Mocopo

Well-Known Member
First Name
Kevin
Joined
Jun 13, 2022
Threads
0
Messages
231
Reaction score
389
Location
Arizona
Vehicle(s)
22 JLURXR
You didn’t notice the frameless windows wobble when you opened and closed the doors?
There is a fix for this. There is a set screw that just needs tightened, the dealership will usually do it for free.
 

Bulletbill

Well-Known Member
First Name
Bullet
Joined
Jul 15, 2021
Threads
10
Messages
316
Reaction score
705
Location
Central PA
Vehicle(s)
2021 JLUR
Good write up. I posted previously that I drove my friends off-road. It feels heavy and tank like. No feel or feedback like in the Jeep. My 4 door felt nimble in comparison to his 2 door Bronco.

If you want something you can off-road in it will definitely keep up with the Jeep. But it’s a very boring experience in my opinion.
 


Canucklesammich

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2022
Threads
1
Messages
93
Reaction score
185
Location
SoCal
Vehicle(s)
2022 JLR
FWIW: Brad from Trail Recon did a review on one & he said the reason some Broncos can't mount the winch if it has adaptive cruise, the front winch area is where the sensors are. He pointed out exactly this conundrum; he didn't want to relocate them due to possibly causing it to not work correctly but there was no other place to mount a winch.
 
Last edited:

aldo98229

Well-Known Member
First Name
Aldo
Joined
Nov 16, 2019
Threads
68
Messages
8,211
Reaction score
19,641
Location
Bellingham, WA
Vehicle(s)
2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara, 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth
Occupation
Market Research
Vehicle Showcase
2
I did actually. I'm guessing that they determined enough air-pressure pass-thru in order to minimize the difference....but yeah, there are so many other things that I noticed....from lack of charging/USB ports to poor lighting inside, to the fact that they are monetizing basic things like offline nav and/or heated seats or even XM radio. I bought my 2-Door JLR fully loaded in '21 for $46k, this thing was $65k and lacked not only the hard-top but major basic items....I dunno. I have always loved the new look since concept designs were released, but it's just definitely not a Jeep killer in my opinion. Have you test-drove one? Sounds like you've had some time with one.
No, I haven’t driven it; I just opened the doors, sat in it, touched things and kicked the tires. I wasn’t sufficiently impressed to want to test drive it.

The flimsy windows, the cheap switches, the chintzy plastics on the dashboard, console and doors, the brittle-feeling top, the ugly fender flares, were all enough to turn me off.

About the only things that seemed worth the lofty price were the seats.
 

aldo98229

Well-Known Member
First Name
Aldo
Joined
Nov 16, 2019
Threads
68
Messages
8,211
Reaction score
19,641
Location
Bellingham, WA
Vehicle(s)
2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara, 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth
Occupation
Market Research
Vehicle Showcase
2
Last Friday I was driving to Canada, and about 5 miles from the border saw a Bronco with California plates on top of a flatbed truck headed in the opposite direction.

My guess is an American family vacationing in Canada must have blown the engine, and Ford was having the Bronco towed to the nearest US dealership.

No idea how the owner/family was getting back. All I know is they weren’t in the truck.
 
OP
OP
jaardappel

jaardappel

Well-Known Member
First Name
John
Joined
Dec 5, 2020
Threads
3
Messages
117
Reaction score
213
Location
Reston, VA
Vehicle(s)
2021 2-Door Rubicon
Occupation
Trigger-puller (soon to retire), dog-father, Jeep enthusiast
No, I haven’t driven it; I just opened the doors, sat in it, touched things and kicked the tires. I wasn’t sufficiently impressed to want to test drive it.

The flimsy windows, the cheap switches, the chintzy plastics on the dashboard, console and doors, the brittle-feeling top, the ugly fender flares, were all enough to turn me off.

About the only things that seemed worth the lofty price were the seats.
I was pretty impressed initially until it turned on then I was like, "wait....that's it? Where is the niche-specific Bronco stuff on the startup or icons on the screen or offline-capable software or anything really?"

Fully disclosure though....I had a reservation and even bought stock to try and get the discount which they didn't offer...but after buying my Jeep, I'm so happy and satisfied with not only the vehicle, but also the culture and infinitely available options.

I think we both saw the same things though....hyped perception turning into "so where's the stuff again?"
 

Mocopo

Well-Known Member
First Name
Kevin
Joined
Jun 13, 2022
Threads
0
Messages
231
Reaction score
389
Location
Arizona
Vehicle(s)
22 JLURXR
So i'm also just going to throw this out there. people keep talking about the price.

I got my Bronco, window sticker $56K. The first Edition, fully loaded, was going for $63K at the time. I put in an order for a JLUR-XR, 3.6L eTorque, 4 months ago, not fully loaded, but close (premium soft top, non painted fenders). Window sticker... $64K.

I don't think there's a price difference anymore. You can't compare a new car price from even a year ago to today's prices.

 

Quake LED
 
Top