Nowadays everyone apparently wants to travel off road, and automakers are more than willing to oblige since it means they can charge big money for all kinds of extra bits and pieces to make the journey over rocky or soggy ground easier for the amateurs looking for a different kind travel experience.
For well over 100 years, Ford Motor Co. has displayed a deft touch when it comes to understanding the psychology of the American everyman. The company succeeded again in bringing out the Bronco, which is designed explicitly for motorists looking at traveling off-road or at least looking as if they travel off road in suitably rugged terrain.
Ford is also adept differentiation, so the Bronco comes in various flavors, including the 2022 Bronco Everglades edition, which comes with specific features such as extra-large tires and a snorkel suitable for traveling over soggy terrain such as, well, the Florida Everglades.
It’s also well equipped for other kinds of off-road adventures and the version I drove was equipped with a winch for helping pull friends out of trouble, and also has plenty of technology for mapping and communications in case you really do get lost.
The Bronco Everglades looks bold. It builds on the Bronco’s upright, square profile with 35-inch tires, which elevate the vehicle’s ground clearance and step-in height, making it one of the tallest sport utility vehicles on the market. It also makes the Bronco Everglades capable of crossing streams and there is the aforementioned snorkel when the water is really deep — or if your street is inundated by a 1,000-year flood.
There also hooks on the bumper and hood rails and crossbars on the roof for typing down and hauling gear both on the road and across trackless wastes. The windshield is upright for a modern vehicle and tailgate is old-school swinging door complete with a spare tire, which fortifies the Bronco Everglades’ bold appearance.
Ford stylists have followed the formula used in Ford’s pickup trucks, designing a functional interior, which is long on comfort and practically. Even though the Bronco Everglades is built for off-road travel, the interior also includes the latest technology throughout the cockpit, including a large center stack touch screen.
But it also has knobs for controlling the sound on the entertainment and heating and air conditioning systems. There also driver assistance alerts, and plenty of storage including watertight bags in the doors. In addition, the seats are comfortable, even on a long drive, and they are covered with easy to clean vinyl. The visibility from the driver’s seat is excellent and there is plenty of room for passengers in the spacious interior.
The 2022 Bronco Everglades is equipped with Ford Motor Co.’s 2.3-liter EcoBoost inline 4-cylinder engine and 10-speed automatic transmission with four-wheel drive and different modes for travel on varied road surfaces.
It is also equipped with a stop-start function to save fuel and hill hold assistance. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has given the Bronco a combined fuel-economy rating of 18 mpg, including 18 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway.
Safety and Technology
For passenger and occupant safety, the 2022 Bronco Everglades comes with dual-stage airbags for protection against front impact crashes. There are also airbags for protection against side impact and a canopy airbag for rollover accidents.
There also is a 12-inch LCD Screen with AM/FM Radio and Sirius Radio connection and Bluetooth. There also is a USB connections, automatic high beams, and blind-side alerts. There also are front-wheel locking differential, slide out tail gate and bash plate for riding over rough ground.
Automotive engineering is the art of compromise and since the Bronco is built, literally for cross country travel, it gives up something when it’s used for daily commuting and running errands. The cabin is noisy, given the tire and wind noise, so you have to turn up sound on the entertainment system if you want to listen to music.
The Bronco’s suspension is tuned for off-road travel, but I didn’t have the opportunity for an off-road jaunt, but I did take it down some dirt roads and of course it did well. I found the steering was rather nimble and brakes were quite solid, and overall, it was fun to drive. The 2.3-liter engine packs plenty of power on the highway and even urban settings where you have to be alert because the Bronco’s extra width can make a bit more difficult to navigate narrow city streets.
Let’s face it, the 2022 Bronco Everglades is built for recreation and fun. So, if you don’t travel off-road regularly or through snow for skiing or go camping, fishing or hunting in the back country, it might not be the most practical choice. But it you do venture off-road in the great outdoors, it has a lot to offer even if the fuel economy isn’t the greatest and it costs as much as luxury passenger car.