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Cars in the City

Ford Bronco

12/1/2021

The world’s first sport utility vehicle is revived after 25 years.

The Ford Bronco’s four-door, four-wheel drive Big Ben is an ideal combination of a convertible/off-road/adventure seeker vehicle.

A quarter of a century ago, Ford Motor Company retired its popular Ford Bronco. In 2021, Ford revived the Bronco in the midst of a pandemic. Although they endured months of COVID-induced delays with parts and production, along with limited availability, I was fortunate to finally test drive the new model.

The four-door, four-wheel drive Big Ben model, dubbed as “designed for adventure,” seemed a steal at $38,970 compared to other off-road SUVs. This model includes a full retractable soft top, which folds back for an open-air ride. Although a too-chilly 45 degrees prevented me from testing it, the manual opening on top seemed simple enough to access from the inside.

Getting in the vehicle proved easy as the solid tube step and grab bars inside were sturdy. I manually adjusted the seat, as it wasn’t automatic. It was less complicated than some SUVs — which contain six buttons for seating comfort, when depressing a wrong button usually results in an arched back and dangling feet. 

The infotainment screen is embedded in the dashboard. The owner’s manual can be accessed from the screen, allowing you to search for warning signal icons or how to change the clock while freeing up room in your glove compartment for other essentials. 

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Another screen setting I liked was the “calm screen.” This mode only displays the date and time, not the street names, song titles, arrows or traffic icons to clutter up your Zen driving mode. 

The 2.3 liter eco boost engine has various drive train modes. As I drove along, it sounded like objects pelted the top of the vehicle, but it was just the 25 mph wind gusts that made a flapping noise on the soft roof.

The all-terrain tires and rugged underbody lend to an ideal off-road experience. This is when I wish CITYVIEW was located in Colorado and I was test driving it in the mountains and not on our flat roads. Arguably, you could take it up and down hills, over rocks and bounce around in an entertaining, adventure-filled ride. 

Ford was one of three car companies that developed the Jeep during the war. After producing 250,000 Jeeps, Ford surveyed Jeep drivers about what they liked or disliked and adjusted their newest vehicle.

Throughout the initial design plan, the Bronco was first known as the G.O.A.T — Goes Over All Terrain. Can you imagine driving a goat versus a bronco? So, in 1965, Ford created what they consider the world’s first sport utility vehicle. 

It quickly became a popular vehicle for off-road racing and ultimately a getaway car. Remember O.J. Simpson televised in his white Ford Bronco chase in 1993? With 95 million television viewers, Ford reportedly increased sales after the classic chase.

The Bronco is an ideal combination of a convertible/off-road/adventure seeker vehicle.  I am glad they resurrected the Bronco instead of a goat. ♦

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