Home Cars 20 Things Ford Did Horribly Wrong With The New Bronco
Cars

20 Things Ford Did Horribly Wrong With The New Bronco

Cameron EittreimSeptember 15, 2021

The Ford Bronco is one of the most iconic sport utility vehicles ever made. It’s up there with the Jeep Wrangler and the Hummer. So when Ford discontinued it in 1996, there were many car enthusiasts disappointed.

Ford reintroduced the Bronco to much fanfare in 2020, and the response has been overwhelming. But there are many problems with the new Bronco that are hard to overlook. We looked at 20 things where Ford went wrong with the new full-size Bronco and its Sport counterpart.

Photo Credit: Ford

20: No V8 Option

It should go without saying that the full-size Bronco is a disappointment without a more powerful V8 engine. One of the perks to driving the original was the burly growl of the V8 engine that drivers appreciate. Ford slowly moved away from V8 powerplants in full-size trucks and SUVs, so it’s easy to understand why the V8 is not there. But with Jeep offering a powerful V8 engine in the Wrangler, the Bronco has some real competition.

Photo Credit: Ford

The Bronco is an SUV that almost needs a V8 engine for its identity (via Motor 1). Without the V8 powerplant, the full-size model doesn’t feel the same. There are few full-size SUV models that have come and gone, and the Bronco is the most iconic. Ford needs to listen to consumer demand and bring us a V8 powerplant already.

Photo Credit: Ford

19: A Limited Manual Transmission Choice

Another drawback to the full-size model is the lack of manual transmission. Yes, you can get a manual, but it’s only on one trim. The basic Sasquatch trim is the only way to get a stick shift. So for those consumers who want a fully-loaded Bronco with a manual, it won’t happen. Ford alienated a portion of their consumer base who would be going for this combination. A real off-road SUV traditionally has a stick shift (via Road & Track).

Photo Credit: Ford

The original full-size models were famous for the stick shift and V8 combination. It’s almost like a rite of passage to have a Bronco with this combo. It will be interesting to see if Ford adds a stick shift to the other trim packages. A lack of a manual transmission in the full-size model is a disappointment, to say the least.

Photo Credit: Ford

18: Splitting The Brand

Instead of focusing on the traditional full-size models, Ford brought the Bronco Sport. While a compact SUV is nice, many enthusiasts honestly only wanted a full-size offering. The Bronco is iconic, and since the O.J. Simpson chase, many drivers wanted one. The Sport trim is nothing more than a clone of the Jeep Wrangler (via Motor Trend). Many design elements are similar, and you can tell Ford is trying to entice that same customer base.

Photo Credit: Ford

The Bronco Sport doesn’t have the same size or power as the full-size offering. Hardcore off-road enthusiasts won’t go for the Sport. There is also the lack of a V8 engine, a problem for the full-size offering. There are many crossover SUVs on the market, and the Sport doesn’t stand out enough to justify.

Photo Credit: Ford

17: Production Shortages

It has been widely documented the launch of the Ford Bronco has been marred by errors. For example, a shortage of computer chips impacted deliveries. There are dealerships with such a short supply, the Bronco has been marked up. One customer even paid over $100,000 just to get his hands on a new Bronco (via CNET). These kinds of price-gouging tactics are nothing new. A hot vehicle model will sell no matter what the price is.

Photo Credit: Ford

But to get Ford willingly letting the shortage of such a hot model happen doesn’t speak well. The Bronco has many enthusiasts waiting for a new one. Low inventory cannot be a factor with a popular model. When it comes to popular vehicle models, the Bronco is one of the most popular in history.

Photo Credit: Ford

16: No Engine Cover

When you pay such a high price for an SUV, fit and finish is a must. Yet the new Bronco is lacking in many departments. Some places where it is lacking are simple touches (via CNET). These include the lack of an engine cover, a common item on most new cars. Insufficient quality that the full-sized Bronco has is disastrous for Ford. The company doesn’t need another serious incident like the Explorer fiasco of the early 2000s.

Photo Credit: Ford

The new Bronco is such a popular SUV with such high demand. For a company to botch this type of launch obviously isn’t a good thing. The Bronco has tough competition in the Jeep Wrangler. Chrysler isn’t about to let the Jeep brand get threatened by a competitor. The Wrangler will come out swinging with a bunch of new options.

Photo Credit: Ford

15: Hardtop Quality Issues

New Ford Bronco owners have been upset with most of what the new SUV offers. There is insufficient quality with this Bronco that you can’t miss (via Car & Driver), down to the lack of an engine cover. Unfortunately, the hardtop design is also a problem. Owners reported damage to the hardtop after buying the new Bronco. When you spend the money on a new Bronco is, a faulty roof isn’t what a driver wants.

Photo Credit: Ford

The MIC hardtop in particular has shown honeycomb patterns after new owners took delivery. There is no soft-top option for the full-size Bronco, which leaves owners choosing between one of these faulty roofs. No matter what roof you might have chosen, nothing is worse than coming outside to that.

Photo Credit: Ford

14: A Defective Rear Suspension

Ford has had its fair share of quality problems with the Bronco Sport. The vehicle was rushed into production in the middle of a pandemic. With an outpouring of demand for the new Bronco, there have been many issues popping up. Ford recently issued a recall for Bronco Sport models (via CNET). The recall focused on the rear suspension, with bolts that might not be fastened. There were over 1,000 Bronco Sport models involved in the recall.

Photo Credit: Ford

When it comes to the safety and driving a vehicle, the suspension is obviously important, especially given that most Bronco owners are going off-road. It merely shows the quality of the Bronco Sport was not the first priority. Instead, the company was attempting to compete with Jeep at a high level.

Photo Credit: Ford

13: Defective Lower Control Arms

The problems just kept mounting for the Bronco Sport. This time, the recall focused on defective lower control arms. Located in the front of the vehicle, the lower control arm is another important part. It’s amazing that Ford didn’t catch these problems at the factory. What sort of quality control might have been missing at the plant? These are inexcusable safety problems that could spell an even bigger long-term issue for Ford (via Freep).

Photo Credit: Ford

Do you trust the Bronco Sport? With such an outpouring of support by consumers, Ford needs to act swiftly. Quality issues that involve the suspension are some of the deadliest safety hazards. You wouldn’t want the wheels to fly off while driving? So Ford needs to fix these issues before it ends up like the Explorer fiasco in 2000.

Photo Credit: Ford

12: Overheating

You’d almost never expect a brand-new vehicle to overheat, right? Well, that isn’t the case with the new Ford Bronco Sport. There are a few automotive journalists who found out that the Outer Banks model could overheat. Upon rigorous testing, the 4WD module displayed the message “4WD Drive Temporarily Disabled”. Unlike the Badlands model, the Outer Banks model lacks the liquid-cooled transfer case (via Ford Authority).

Photo Credit: Ford

This begs the question, did Ford quality test every trim package? Or did the engineers simply push the model into the production cycle? Ford Bronco owners will go off-road at least once or twice. If it’s driving in hot conditions, no one wants to get stuck. The fact that the Bronco Sport could potentially overheat is a major issue.

Photo Credit: Ford

11: Two Recalls Already

Most value-conscious car buyers first research the reliability of a model. The Sport has already had two recalls. That isn’t a good indicator of what the future holds. There is an excellent chance owner of the Sport could be stuck with a lemon. The recall on the lower control arms and the rear-end are an imperfect indicator for the popular Ford model (via Kelly Blue Book).

Photo Credit: Ford

When an automaker issues a recall, you never want it to be within the first year of release. The extensive recalls that have plagued the Sport aren’t a good sign. Ford has suffered from quality issues for decades, and the Bronco is evidence of that problem. Time will tell if the Sport will suffer from more recalls in the future.

Photo Credit: Ford

10: Lack Of A Soft Top

One of the most popular options with the Jeep Wrangler is the soft top. But Ford doesn’t offer a soft-top option on the full-size edition. An entire generation of drivers who have been fantasizing about the Bronco were hoping for a soft-top option. The full-size edition has significant potential, but there are certain things missing. The design of the truck supports a soft-top option.

Photo Credit: Ford

With all the problems Ford has had with the top, it would be natural (via Motor Biscuit). There will be aftermarket tops for sale, but these could cost a fortune. Most buyers would rather get the top directly from Ford. Instead of dealing with an outside company that merely makes accessories. It will be interesting to see if Ford decides to add a soft-top to the mix in the future.

Photo Credit: Ford

9: Potential Maintenance Issues

Ford cut many corners with the new Bronco. There are many potential maintenance issues that will be arising for new owners. Take a peek under the hood, and you will get loose cables and wires. The struggling fuel lines are another long-term concern for any owner. If you own one long-term, these are all costly issues. The rough cylinder deactivation gives it troubling acceleration (via Consumer Reports).

Photo Credit: Ford

The four-cylinder engine option is a barebones power plant. From the design to the implementation, the fit and finish on the new Bronco is downright ridiculous. Ford had such a chance to do something positive with this vehicle. Insufficient quality that surrounds the thing is not reasonable when you consider the price tag.

Photo Credit: Ford

8: Floating Brake Calipers?

There’s no denying Ford cut corners on this. We see it daily with new recall notices. But honestly, what’s up with the floating brake calipers? The design of the brake system is troubling, to say the least. Ford could have done so much better with it. Taking it off road will be an exercise in futility (via Auto Blog).

Photo Credit: Ford

You would think that an SUV with the reputation of the Bronco would be better. The quality is below average, and features like this brake system are troubling. Most owners will probably have to upgrade the braking system for more intense off-roading. But for the average grocery-getter, the brake system should hopefully suffice.

Photo Credit: Ford

7: Too Much Gadgetry

Not only the Bronco, but most new cars are littered with tech. But for the Bronco enthusiast, significant tech isn’t important. What counts is being able to go off-roading. The fact that Ford packed so much tech into the new Bronco might be a turnoff for some people. Simply looking at the options, the Sasquatch package will be the most popular. The barebones design and slick forest green paint will appeal to enthusiasts (via Tech Crunch).

Photo Credit: Ford

Simplistic options, like the classic steel wheels, are a nice touch. As is the manual transmission, which you won’t find on other trim packages. Ford should have offered a barebones Bronco model for enthusiasts who wanted one. The Bronco has significant potential, but many things botched the launch.

Photo Credit: Ford

6: Limited Engine Options

We’ve discussed the lack of a V8 engine, but there are other engine issues with the Bronco. The 2.7 turbocharged V6 engine can only be paired with the 10-speed automatic. Enthusiasts had hoped for a manual transmission option across all engine choices. For an iconic SUV like the Bronco, not having a manual transmission is a real letdown (via Jack Demmer Ford).

Photo Credit: Ford

The V6 is an outstanding performing engine option, and it’d be nice to pair the engine with a manual. Unfortunately, Ford only offers the manual with the four-cylinder engine. That is a letdown for the enthusiast looking for more performance. Off-roading is tough, and the Bronco is up to the task with the right engine choice.

Photo Credit: Ford

5: Independent Front Suspension

While the Bronco is marketed as a go-anywhere design, the front suspension begs to differ. The independent front suspension is more geared for driving on the pavement. The designers might have done this due to the fact that most Broncos will never go off-road. The newest Bronco owners will keep the truck on the pavement (Road & Track).

Photo Credit: Ford

The independent front suspension is more than suitable for doing just that. Still, this was a bit of a letdown for off-road enthusiasts hoping for a bit more. Ford missed the mark by using this design for the suspension. The Bronco should be a dedicated off-road machine with a suspension to match.

Photo Credit: Ford

4: Non-Unique Design

The new Ford Bronco models have a problem. They don’t appear new or unique at all. The Bronco Sport models look like wannabe Jeep Wrangler clones. The full-size Bronco looks like a Toyota FJ Cruiser with a bunch of stuff added. The design is not unique, to say the least, and it seems like Ford got a bit lost on this one (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Ford

The Bronco was supposed to have a retro-inspired design like the concept did. But instead, we got something that’s trying to appeal to a new generation of buyers. Ford should have gone back to the brand’s roots. Instead, the Bronco is lacking an identity in a crowded field of similar vehicles.

Photo Credit: Ford

3: No Authentic Exterior Colors

Take one look at the Ford Bronco and you are bound to encounter some wild colors. The Bronco is an attempt for Ford to take market share from Chrysler with their Jeep brand. Thus, the Bronco must stand out from the crowd. Traditional enthusiasts had hoped that some original Bronco paint colors would return. The all-white OJ model and the two-tone Eddie Bauer were both handsome SUVs (via Classic Broncos).

Photo Credit: Ford

Insufficient personality with the new Bronco is appalling considering the Bronco is one of the most iconic nameplates in the automotive industry. Insufficient personalization or thought on the part of Ford simply shows where the company’s head is at. The Bronco had so much potential to be excellent, and the brand can still be revived.

Photo Credit: Ford

2: No Bronco Pickup

With the release of the Jeep Gladiator, drivers thought Ford was going to make a Bronco truck. That wasn’t the case, and the idea for a Bronco truck was scrapped. The Bronco pickup truck would be different from anything else on the road. But that doesn’t mean it would be an unwelcome addition to the lineup. Bronco owners are ready for something new and unique.

Photo Credit: Ford

The Bronco truck could be that special piece of rejuvenation for the brand (via Car and Driver). A Bronco truck would have to compete with the Ford Maverick and the Ranger. That might be why Ford decided to top scrap the idea altogether. There is no point in creating more competition within the brand. Still, a Bronco pickup truck could have a potentially unique style, just like the Gladiator does.

Photo Credit: Ford

1: No Bronco Raptor

With all the hurrah that the Bronco had surrounding it, you’d also think there’d be a Raptor. But there wasn’t, and enthusiasts were left scratching their heads. The Bronco Raptor would be a welcomed addition to the lineup. If Ford put a V8 in the Raptor version, it would be an even more fun ride. With the new V8 powered Jeep, Ford has some serious competition coming out of Chrysler (via Auto Evolution).

Photo Credit: Ford

How will the Bronco compete? There’s a segment of consumers who are yearning for V8 power. The Bronco could benefit from a V8 powerplant exactly like the previous full-sized model. Without that, the Jeep might continue to take market share while the Bronco becomes a memory. Ford has done much wrong with the Bronco, but a V8 would fix some of those wrongs.

Advertisement
Please wait 5 sec.