To say that the Ford Bronco has been a raging success is nothing more than truth, and maybe even a little bit of an understatement. It’s the first direct competitor to Jeep’s domination of the off-road market, and consumers are laying down their money for every trim level.
The Bronco has taken its place alongside the Wrangler, but also mixes it up with upscale status symbols like the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen and the Land Rover Defender. Ford is smartly taking note of this and offers the Bronco in a variety of special editions like the Everglades model.
The Bronco Everglades edition is based on the ruggedized Black Diamond trim. This trim is for the serious off-road enthusiast and features rubber floors with drain plugs for easy wash-out, skid plates to protect the underside, and a heavy-duty modular front bumper.
Black Diamond is built with the assumption that you’re going to add a bunch of aftermarket off-road stuff to your vehicle. The Everglades edition goes one step further and anticipates the most common add-ons and puts them on for you. Assuming you like the parts that Ford has chosen, the advantage for the consumer is that all this stuff now comes with a factory warranty.
The Bronco Everglades is available only as a four-door model, and the special edition is easy to spot. Exterior features unique to the Everglades model include a topographical map of the Everglades on the fender behind the front wheel arches, a snorkel system to increase water fording capability, a big Warn winch mounted on the modular front bumper, and big 35-inch 70-series tires on 17-inch wheels. It’s remarkable to see so much sidewall these days, even on an off-road vehicle.
Additionally, the Everglades edition comes in some nice colors, including the dramatic Eruption Green we liked on the test vehicle.
The Bronco Everglades interior is all about functionality. Not only are the floor mats rubber, covering a plastic underfloor with drains, but the seats are upholstered in an extra-tough marine grade vinyl. They’re still heated, though, which is really nice.
One feature that I have to call out for special praise is the cargo floor behind the rear seats. This has an extra slide-out shelf that will make for a perfect place to fix lunch, rig up your hiking gear, or any other purpose. One more thing to note is a preinstalled set of auxiliary switches for any extra lighting or other electrical needs. Ford has anticipated the real needs of off-roaders and put it all in this vehicle.
The Everglades edition comes standard with Ford’s 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, rated at 300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission and the Bronco’s advanced four-wheel drive system, with an automatic mode that simulates the behavior of all-wheel drive.
You can leave the system in 4A automatic mode all the time, but you’ll get better fuel economy in 2H rear-drive mode. Of course, the traditional 4H and 4L part-time 4WD modes are available, too. The Everglades edition has an ultra-low 67.8:1 crawl ratio for real off-road use. One other thing to mention is the electronic locking differentials that you can control at the push of one of the many switches in the cabin.
Safety and Technology
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rates the four-door Bronco with a general four-star (out of five) crash test rating, but only three stars for rollovers. That’s likely because of the removable roof panels. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the Bronco generally good marks and full credit for the forward collision mitigation system.
Apart from the forward collision system, the Bronco doesn’t have a lot of advanced driver assistance. Realistically, this is not the kind of family/commuter vehicle where those features are a big selling point. However, the Bronco Everglades does come with a great rear-view camera for backing up, and backup radar that gives you a warning when you’re approaching an obstacle you can’t see.
The rearview camera looks so great because the Everglades edition has a 12-inch infotainment touchscreen powered by Ford’s SYNC4 operating system with satellite radio included. The Sync4 system supports Over-the-Air updates, when needed.
There’s no denying the four-door Bronco riding on 35s is a big, tall vehicle. If you’re looking for a hot rod, this isn’t it. The 300-hp turbocharged 4-cylinder engine delivers the goods, but you’re still looking at about an 8-second 0-60 time. But seriously, who cares? This rig is about running the toughest trails in the mountains in low range with the diffs locked.
It’s going to handle anything you need in that kind of performance. But beyond that, it’s a pleasant rig to drive on the road. The big fat tires don’t lead to wandering or excessive noise — noting that “excessive” in this case takes into account the removable plastic roof panels. Generally speaking, we were impressed with the on-road and off-road handling and comportment of the Bronco.
2023 Ford Bronco Everglades Edition Specifications
|Dimensions||L: 198.9 inches/W: 79.4 inches/H: 78.7 inches/Wheelbase: 116.1 inches|
|Powertrain||2.3-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder; 10-speed automatic transmission, 4WD|
|Fuel Economy||18 mpg city/17 mpg highway/18 mpg combined|
|Performance Specs||300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||Base price: $44,630; As tested: $56,240 including $1,795 destination charge|
|On-Sale Date||Available now|
The Bronco Everglades package is available only to customers who already hold an existing reservation. You won’t find this one in the configurator on Ford’s website. You’ll have to ask for it. As we mentioned, the Everglades is based on the Black Diamond trim, which starts at $44,630 before any add-ons or fees, and includes the $6,840 Sasquatch package of off-road features, plus a bunch of other options.
So if you configure a Black Diamond to get close to the Everglades edition, it will cost you $53,890, including the $1,795 destination fee. The Everglades stickers out at $56,240. If you want an ultimate off-road rig with a factory warranty, we’re going to say that’s a good deal for everything you get.
2023 Ford Bronco Everglades Edition — Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Ford Bronco the same as the Bronco Sport?
No, the Bronco Sport is a smaller unibody crossover SUV, while the Bronco is a truck-based body-on-frame design.
Is the Ford Bronco reliable?
J.D. Power gives the Bronco an expected reliability score of 77/100, which is towards the high end of average.
Are Ford Broncos expensive?
The Bronco is priced competitively with its main competitor, the Jeep Wrangler. Not if you buy it. But it should possibly qualify for a $7,500 commercial lease credit.