My observation exactly. A low-optioned previous generation Jeep with no modifications...So basically, your comparison is that a modified FJ Cruiser out performed a bone stock 4 door Jeep with open diffs and street tires, and your conclusion is that the Jeep must be inferior because it has a solid axle? Granted the 4 doors are long pigs, but try your comparison again with a Jeep that has a similar amount of modification and a skilled driver and tell me how superior your FJ Cruiser performs.,
Hey, maybe I don't expect a lot due to all the well-used trucks I've had. I drive a 250k mile Excursion daily. Explorer, Sierra 1500 regularly. But I've had a broad array of luxury cars over the years, and can appreciate superb ride quality. Because I would like to see the Bronco beat the Wrangler at what has been ceded by the industry to become it's own game, I would like to see it more than competitive in all aspects - hard wheeling included. To do that, it will require similar hardware. A small degree of diminished ride quality isn't going to affect sales to a huge degree - Wrangler is the unrefutable proof of that.
I fear I'm going to be disappointed, as even Ford has indicated that rock crawling is not their target. It will still sell by the truckloads, but the blue oval will be as rare as any brand other than Jeep on the hardcore wheeling trails - and that image is what makes Jeep people the rabid, brand-loyal repeat buyers they are.