It’s unofficial Bronco week at Auto123, as we review three different versions of the popular reborn SUV, including two brand-new variants! On Monday, we tackled the Bronco Everglades, and yesterdaym, it was the turn of the Bronco Raptor. Today, we give you our review of the 2022 Ford Bronco 2-door Wildtrak Sasquatch version. Buckle up!
After what feels like eons of waiting due to delays – microchip-related, pandemic-related, act of God-related, you name it – the Ford Bronco finally made landfall in Canada this year. Not the unibody Bronco Sport, mind, but the body-on-frame Bronco, minus the Sport.
It shares a platform with Ford’s Ranger pickup, but unlike that truck the Bronco gets two engine options – a 4-cylinder and a six-cylinder, both turbocharged, measuring 2.3L and 2.7L, respectively – whereas the Ranger makes do with the four-banger only. My tester had the 2.7, meaning power is rated at 315 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque, sent to all four wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. What is this non-Sport Bronco all about? Well, on the surface, it’s a rebirth of a legend that first got its start in 1966, not long after another famous Ford – the Mustang – made its debut. It came as both a convertible and hard-top and has since gained quite the cult following. The models in Zoolander drove one, a certain notable athlete made an infamous drive in one and even famed one-time Ford rallyist Ken Block had one custom built for his wife.
The new Bronco is an absolute feast for the eyes, especially when equipped with the 35-inch tires and wider fenders seen here that come as part of my tester’s Sasquatch package, which comes as standard on the Wildtrak. The package also provides 17-inch black beadlock capable wheels, off-road tires, e-locker front and rear axles, special Bilstein-equipped high clearance suspension and fender flares. Even in this short two-door form (we’re talking less than 4,500 mm bumper-to-bumper, which is shorter than a Honda Civic) form, the Bronco has presence for days.
If you know anything about the old Broncos, you will recognize many bits, such as the headlight lenses (the shapes of which are reflected inside on the engine start/stop button), grille and most obviously, the big “BRONCO” scripting across the front grille. It’s like everything that made the original Bronco what it was has been expanded here, almost to cartoonish levels. Not that I mind; it’s wide, bright and large and in charge.
Like the Jeep Wrangler – the two are inextricably linked, and likely will be for as long as they’re on this earth – the Bronco has a barn door-style tailgate (with an also-opening glass partition), a big-tire off-road version, a manual folding soft top on five-door models and removable body panels. But actually, the Wrangler – even in Rubicon form -- is the tamer-looking of the two.
From the shifter to the broad dash and the hand-holds (not to mention the two-tone seats finished in a combo of leather and vinyl), it’s also an event inside. Hard to miss the big “BRONCO” scripting ahead of the passenger; kind of like what’s done in the Mustang, just expanded. I will likely never quite get used to the way the window and mirror controls are mounted, though, upside down in-between the seats. That makes it easier to remove the doors, but is it ever awkward.
It’s surprisingly tech-laden inside the Bronco. The infotainment display measures 12 inches and becomes a handy forward and down-facing camera that automatically activates when you select 4 low or the Rock Crawl or Mud/Rut drive modes. That way, you can more easily see the rocks, branches and ruts you come across while off-roading in hi-def and pass safely over them. I’ve sampled other off-roaders that have tech like this but the size of this particular display adds to its effectiveness, and I found it a little more natural to use as a result.
There’s also a digital gauge cluster, 360-degree backup cam and Ford’s latest SYNC infotainment as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.