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June 22, 2024

First Drive: 2024 Ford Bronco Outer Banks

Ford Philippines has brought in two legendary vehicles—the seventh-generation Mustang and the first-ever Bronco. In Part 1, we tackled the Mustang and now in Part 2, we’re going to talk about the Bronco.

The biggest advantage to the Bronco, in the Philippines at least, is that it doesn’t have any legend or history to live up to. Except for OJ Simpson, a white Bronco, and what seemed like the slowest car chase caught on American television, buyers here have zero experience on what a Bronco is or what it can do. Essentially, they’re buying the all-new one for its impressive off-road hardware.

Thankfully, Ford’s delivered on that promise big time and has made the Bronco Outer Banks fit Sacobia’s lahar dunes (or any off-road trail) as perfect as a pair of leather gloves minus murderous intent.

As a nameplate, the Bronco’s been around since 1966. It was original developed as an off-roader to compete against the likes of the Jeep Wrangler. Following a decline in demand for large two-door SUVs, Ford discontinued it after 1996, replacing it with the Ford Explorer. Today, the sixth-generation Bronco’s back with a design brief that harks back to the original.

First, let’s talk specs. The local spec Bronco comes with the Sasquatch package. Like the large, hairy creature, it’s built to tame the forest. It comes with big boy mud terrain tires (35-inchers to be exact), bead lock wheels, and a high clearance suspension with high clearance fender flares. Given the way the rubber looks and just how high the body is off the ground, it looks unwieldly. But, Rockwell dwellers will be happy to know that at 1,854 mm in height, it’ll fit in most underground parking garages.

The way the Bronco looks is more of function over form as engineers wanted to give it as generous approach and departure angles straight from the factory. Of course, designers couldn’t help give it some retro cues and you’ll find that in the squared off body, round headlights, and simplified taillights. The white BRONCO lettering is icing on the cake. The resulting off-roader is charmingly old school yet fresher and more modern than any version of the Jeep Wrangler.

Priced at P 4,998,000, the Bronco isn’t cheap. It comes in a segment filled with at three direct rivals: the Wrangler Rubicon at P 5,690,000, the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado at P 4,800,000, and the Land Rover Defender 90 at P 6,190,000. But before you think that the Bronco can match the Prado or Defender’s overall refinement, it doesn’t. And, that’s out of design. Because the top and doors are designed to be removable, there are constant squeaks or rattles around the cabin, just like the Wrangler; and mind you, that hardtop already has sound deadening material fitted in.

Now, if you could live with them rattles, bring the Bronco on the trail and it will give its three rivals a proper schooling.

The boosted 2.7-liter V6 offers good low-end grunt (its peak torque of 555 Nm arrives at just 3,000 rpm), making it great for pulling itself up and over any obstacle. The 10-speed automatic with its expansive ratios (4.7 final drive ratio) also help maximize all that power. It also has impeccable traction that you can simply power through even as you zigzag between river and river bed. Through the looser, more powdery stuff, the Goes Over Any Type of Terrain or GOAT (shouldn’t it be GOATT?) modes is put to good use. With a single switch of a dial, it goes through seven available modes to automatically adjust steering, handling, and powertrain characteristics. It even comes with both front and rear locking diffs when things become extra hairy.

Placing the Bronco through the obstacle course is easy enough with its high seating and squared off hood. The standard 360-degree camera also comes in handy since it shows exactly where the tire patch is (not just the general steering line or angle). If anything, perhaps Ford could upgrade system to offer a see-through view too (or at least make the vehicle transparent).

The best trick the Bronco does, however, is Trail Turn Assist. The course was designed with two sharp turn to showcase how the unique feature eliminates the need for 3-point turns or ‘J-turns’ in tight spaces—one of the biggest challenges when driving out on a trail.

Activating the system takes two steps: a press of a button on the dashboard (next to the diff locks) and a full lock of the steering wheel. Once activated, it shows it on the digital dash. When this happens, the Bronco will automatically apply the brakes to the inside rear wheels, effectively dragging the vehicle around the bend to reduce its turning radius. Listening to the system at first makes you feel like you’re destroying the vehicle since you hear all sorts of mechanical groans. But again, it’s all part of its design. Turning the wheel straight disengages the system, while turning the wheel to a lock automatically switches it on again. Mind you, this feature isn’t designed to work on pavement or hard surfaces, so here’s hoping mechanics won’t play around with it while you bring your Bronco in for servicing.

Speaking of pavements, there will be those who’ll simply consider the Bronco based on design, and sure enough, it’s a looker by anyone’s book. It’s also well-speced for its price, and it’ll definite attract that sort of clientele. However, this SUV is much more. To consider one without even taking it off road simply means you’re taming a supposedly untamable horse. In short, it’s not understanding what the Bronco’s designed to do well in the first place. This SUV’s a tough and capable machine, yet it’s also extremely fun and easy to drive as well. So, here’s hoping owners will make 100 percent use of it.


  1. Not so many, but in 80's meron din bronco dito sa ph

  2. iconic bronco vs trying hard copycat, low quality BAIC bronco wannabe😁😁😁. Jetour T2 priced well and looks better than BAIC.

  3. Ford Bronco Outer Banks will break your banks accounts.

  4. The defective Ecoboost engine and transmission of the Bronco is super expensive to replace when it gets broken
    At least it's a much better 4X4 vehicle than the Land Cruiser Prado and Jeep Wranger 5 door which are it's direct rivals

  5. I cant live with them rattles.

  6. Just get a patrol royale, a prado or a tank 500 instead!

    1. Tank 500 not on the league of BIG BOYS bronco, patrol, prado. Tank 500 just a wannabe

    2. I hope the Mitsubishi Pareto is still alive.


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