Categories: Tests

Ford Bronco (2023) test: the last dinosaur

First released in 1965the Bronco is a thoroughbred straight from the State of Michigan, across the Atlantic. This mythical 4×4 is making a comeback, after 25 years of absence from the catalogue. The last generation dates back to the 90s, and Ford prematurely ended the Bronco’s career in 1996.

It will take until 2021 for the American manufacturer to relaunch this modernized all-terrain model. In the United States, initially, where the order book quickly exceeded Ford’s expectations. In March 2023, faced with the success of the Bronco, the manufacturer announced the arrival of the 4×4 across the Atlantic, on our lands! And this is how the Ford Bronco has been available to order since this summer, with its big 335 hp petrol V6!

Design: a real off-road but civilized 4×4 look

For this sixth generation, Ford played fan service. The stylistic codes of the first Bronco are respected, with a front end that immediately evokes the successful vehicle of the 60s. Thus, the circular lights as well as a bar of LEDs on each side for the turn signals are reminiscent of the Bronco 1. its American counterpart, our Europeanized Bronco is only stripped of sound by metallic buffalo, prohibited here in France. For the rest, the 4×4 retains its body-built adventurer look, with its ground clearance raised by 26 cm and its oversized mudguards and tires.

At the back, a vertical light signature in LED, Ford’s horse and a huge spare wheel complete the look. Once the trunk door is open, we have access to a volume of 471 liters in this first configuration. Note that the roof is completely removable to have a drive hair in the wind, practical for safaris.

In terms of dimensions, the Bronco makes 4,81 m long for 1,93 m wide and 1.85 meters high, for a weight of 2.3 tons.

Interior: a modern interior and an XXL screen

The Bronco will be available in Europe with two trim levels. Outer Banks slightly more civilized or the version Badlands, more expensive but more radical in its cross-country capabilities. The passenger compartment is very spacious, with a rather massive but modern and well laid out dashboard. A beautiful 12-inch central screen is present and the ergonomics are successful.

No doubt, we are comfortably seated aboard a thoroughbred 4×4. Under the right hand, a 10-speed automatic transmission reminds us of this, but above all the dial located below. This offers the different transmission modes and the change of driving modes specific to off-road driving. Looking up, other buttons such as the differential lock system, for example, are arranged to best adjust your off-road SUV.

The finish, if not perfect, is very neat with leather upholstery. Small practical detail, the vehicle is equipped with a cap at floor level to allow the water to be evacuated during a jet wash, in the passenger compartment! Very useful after a muddy safari with an open roof… Last detail, the many cuffs and the nets allow you to hang on just about anywhere in case of turbulence.

At the wheel: the Ford Bronco goes absolutely everywhere

To motorize its Bronco in Europe, Ford made an astonishing choice. If the 4×4 is motorized with variants with 6, 4 or even 3 cylinders (!) in the United States, with powers between 181 and 335 hp, it is the big V6 that is marketed here! Obviously, with this 6-cylinder petrol 2,7 L bitter of 335 hp, the penalty on our soil is salty, but as the manufacturer explains, this Bronco will above all act as a standard bearer on the Old Continent. No question that Europe sees a Bronco EcoBoost on its land! There is still time to enjoy the American dream before the programmed end of thermal…

The main advantage of this level of motorization is unsurprisingly its monumental torque of 563 Nm. With this power, there is no difficulty getting out of a perilous situation, overcoming obstacles or towing heavy loads. On the power side, no worries. And on the road, this V6, even if it is not as loud as hoped, still distills a nice pleasure in the turns. The times are dazzling and out of place for such a size (0-100km / h shot in 6.7 sec for 2.3 tons all the same!). On the chassis side, the vehicle offers a good compromise, with undoubtedly the most civilized of the “extreme” 4×4s: at a more sustained pace, Bronco does not move in the turns with a contained roll. The damping is correct and finally the 10-speed automatic transmission offers a very smooth ride at low speed.

Obviously, such a 4×4 makes sense outside of civilized roads. And as much to say it right away, the Bronco can do everything! On soaked dirt roads with huge puddles and slopes every 10 meters, our American cowboy lets himself be taken along with disconcerting ease. It seems almost impossible to fault it, thanks to all the electronic assistance available: differential locks, descent control up to 1 km/h, speed regulation to the nearest km/h, increased travel by decoupling the front stabilizer bar… The Bronco has more than one string to its bow. The ground clearance of our model Badlandsraised by 26 mm, allows you to overcome many obstacles without being afraid.

Finally, the 8 different driving modes, designed for mud, sand, slippery ground, or crossing for example, allow you to play with all the vehicle settings automatically, which is practical!

Verdict: an ideal 4×4 as it is no longer done!

Here in Europe, the Bronco comes up against a rather heterogeneous competition: Mercedes Classe G, Jeep Wrangleror even the most luxurious Land Rover Defender to recite nobody else but them. But the advantage of the American 4×4 made in Detroit remains its versatility. It is one of the few to have as many crossing capacities available, in addition to relative comfort and without cutting corners on the technological equipment present in a modern vehicle. Not to mention its V6 engine more than enough to have fun and a frankly nice look! But this dream comes at a cost. This Bronco will be heavily malussé at home. Marketed from €76,500 in the Outer Banks version, €38,250 will have to be added to the bill for a final price which therefore starts at €114,750. The Badlands version, announced at €80,500, will also see its price increase to €120,750. The American dream at a price!

Data sheet of the trial version:

  • Model: Ford Bronco
  • Version : V6 2.7 L EcoBoost
  • Finition : Outer Banks
  • Prix : 76 500 €
  • CO2 : 326 g/km
  • Malus : 38 250 €
  • Engine type: V6 petrol
  • Tax CVs: 26
  • Displacement: 2,694 cc
  • Power: 335 hp
  • Couple : 563 Nm
  • Fuel
  • Transmission: 4WD or Propulsion
  • Gearbox: 10-speed automatic
  • WLTP consumption: 11.3 L/100 km
  • Lab consumption: ?
  • Acceleration 0-100km/h: 6.7 sec
  • Length: 4.81m
  • Width: 1.93m
  • Height: 1.85m
  • Poids : 2 294 kg

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