fzracer484

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I will try to make it a quick read and finally provide some content after lurking for over a year.

Received my 2 Door Velocity Blue 2.3L 7 Speed Manual Transmission from Townsend Ford (Mass) last Friday. Had 8 miles on it at pickup. I ordered a base with zero options and only selected the color. I don't live in an area with great outdoor trail access and this will most certainly be a street vehicle only, so I imagine mine will probably be the least abused and rarely used trucks here, but I get maximum smiles per mile in all my vehicles. I wanted a convertible vehicle again, always loved jeeps but need to be different than the masses, so the Bronco is a perfect fit. I also enjoy manuals, my wife can drive them, so this is just going to be another fair weather cruiser for us and the kids

Truck came in and I asked the dealership to do zero prep to it, as I like the unwrapping and seeing exactly as it came from the factory. It arrived on the lot Friday morning and I had it Friday afternoon. They charged me MSRP and a $250 doc fee, they stated I was the first 2 door Bronco they had delivered so far. I have not personally seen another 2 door in person and mine was the first one I'd ever touched or sat in. ( previously I had seen a total of 5 broncos, 4 at dealers driving bye, all 4 doors, and one First edition 4 door driving on 95 in August. Other than that, zilch up here in Mass.

Review:
Truck is bigger and smaller than I thought it would be, sits taller than i would have expected, even a base, but the 2 door is a lot shorter than I imagined, not necessarily a bad thing, just takes up very little distance. Rear storage with back seats up is a little smaller than I'd like, but for what we are using it for, It'll do. I'll admit to not even knowing it was only a 4 seater until pretty late after ordering, I just assumed it was a bench that would sit three kids, so that means the whole family won't be riding in this one, but we have something else for those times I suppose.

The grab handle on the dash is in a terrible position. Should be on the A pillar like on my truck. It's at an in between height, and not in a natural position to climb in with.

7 speeds are too many in my opinion. Coming from much more basic manual transmissions I find there to be almost too many gears. 1st is very short, Almost want to start in second, but won't be. I could have done with a nice 6 speed, just losing one gear and switching ratios a little. I understand a lot of this is for MPG purposes. just my observations. I do like the shift indicator reminding you what you're in, almost wish it was a little bigger. Gauges overall are ok, no real complaints, as others have said, would like a traditional tach, cause I'm a traditional guy. 8" screen is plenty big for me, What I had to get used to most, was the waterproof buttons for the steering wheel and mirrors. Just took a little more pressure than a traditional button. I don't like the placement of the audio controls on the steering wheel, my Chrysler steering wheels are better IMO because you can use fingertips on the backside of the wheel for stations and volume, not thumbs. Much more intuitive and effective. Ram and Pacifica are both the like that. Very nice.

Transmission is so ridiculously smooth that any novice should be able to figure it out because it requires not throttle input while releasing the clutch when it's done smoothly. It simply lurches itself going forward and any gas input thereafter just gets it going more. By far easiest manual I've driven. I also find it unusual to what I'm used to but you don't seem to have to direct the gear shifter to it's position except for starting in 1st or R or C. When going to second you naturally go straight down, but to go 3rd, you push the shifter straight up again and it slides itself into 3rd. First few shifts I was getting it into 5th by throwing it to the right slightly like would be normally done. This really feels a little weird at first, but is very smooth once you get the hang of how the shift pattern works, It does still throw me off on the occasional shift. Ride quality is overall great and what you'd expect of a new SUV, tracks nice and straight on highway at speeds without twitchiness which you might know about on a wrangler, or a Subaru Forester when driving 65ish.

I saw no obvious flaws in my paint job, the top has a few small drops of water sneak in at the automated car wash on the way home from dealer to rinse off any rail dust, but that was from direct sideways sprayer. Not overly concerned. Rides quiet overall on highway indicating a somewhat tight seal on all the panels. I won't be taking them off till spring so we will see how that goes. I am impressed at the shine and quality of cleanliness of my frame and suspension components, I don't believe it spent much time outside after being made, I plan on doing my usual routine of waxing and metal treatments like I do on all my cars to preserve them as long as possible.

The one thing I didn't like was the tires that came on the truck, so off they went at 30 miles, I replaced them with Firestone Destination XT's in 285/75 16. I liked the tread pattern and the classic name recognition as that is the look I am going for. I don't need the highest performance tires and these will do just fine for me even if that's not what others would have chosen. Sullivan tire is where I got them and paid $1,350 for all 5 mounted and balanced. I don't let many people touch my cars, so I brought them the wheels and tires in two trips.

I painted the wheels after the new tires were mounted, and masked off the tires. I used PLASTIDIP, for those that gasp, I use it frequently and have always had good results, and it's always reversible if you need it to be. If you keep things clean the color and condition holds just fine. For those that haven't tried it yet, I'm a fan of the product and use it in many applications with great success. I think the new tires make the truck look as it should. I'm definitely ok with the more conservative pedestrian version with a slightly off roady look Bronco for me at this time. I'm also proud to try and come in at the BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK package with this truck. All in with what you see cost $30,250 plus $1,800 tax, plus $1,350 tires and $25 paint totals $33,500 which is a great bargain if you ask me.
The truck has 100 miles on it and was put away in the garage probably until the spring, but in that time I will be adding my Bronco script on the fender, and may or may not do a classic type of graphic down the side.

I didn't really stop anywhere or have anyone ask me a question about it since it's so fresh, but in the few miles I did put on it you do notice a few heads from other drivers seemingly do a double take when they ask if that is in fact a new 2 door BRONCO. I did have one jeep guy wave but I seriously think he thought I was a jeep as I didn't do the white Bronco lettering in the front grill yet (coming soon)

Here is how it arrived from dealer,
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Here is how it appears after new tires and white rims:

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The stablemates that the new Bronco will be joining includes:
2002 Mercury cougar, bought new after graduating college, 30k miles and is as new basically with Day 2 mods, never abused. 5 speed.

black4.jpg


1974 Dodge Dart Swinger slant six. 3 speed auto.

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1980 C10 Short bed 2WD. Straight six and 3 speed manual on the floor.

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my daily driver is my 2010 RAM I bought new and now has 190k miles and drives my kids all over creation. I just don't let them eat or drink in it and I keep the inside as clean as the outside.

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And my bike which I have had since new in 2001, TL1000R, 5k miles

TL.jpg


It's a little out of hand, but I am a person who when I buy something, I don't get rid of it. I just keep it. With cars and my obsession in cleanliness and maintenance, It just means they don't get used up and discarded or thrown in the field. I just put them aside and use them a little less, but every one gets started and run often and moved and rolling frequently. I've had the bike and cougar for 20 years now which just means I'm getting old at this point!

Hopefully you now have another data point or two regarding a base bronco in helping you decide some things, but feel free to ask any questions and I'll be happy to help. Please don't hate too much as this is clearly mostly a mall crawler situation, but if anyone is local to me you are more than welcome to come over and check it out in person.

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Tellsnow

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Great write up and awesome looking rig, the wheels and tires look killer. I've got a 4 door manual and share the same feelings about it. I'm really enjoying mine and hope you continue to do so as well!
 

rugbysecondrow

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Thanks. I have a 2DR BD. I came from a 5 speed subaru WRX, so 1st and 2nd seem close too me, but 3rd seems to be the money gear.

I also have a C-10 in my garage, 1964 stepside. Good times.
 

Denny Swift

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Thank for posting that. One question about your comments on the 7 speed: It’s not really a 7-speed; it’s a standard 6-speed manual with a creeper gear. (The only actual 7-speed manual currently in production is in the Porsche 911). The creeper gear is only used in special ultra-slow off-road situations. But I assume you know that. It sounded like you were using the creeper gear as 1st. I drove a manual Bronco recently (granted it was a short test drive), but to me the manual operated exactly as all my 6-speed manuals do. Can you please elaborate?
 

BroncoAZ

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Thank for posting that. One question about your comments on the 7 speed: It’s not really a 7-speed; it’s a standard 6-speed manual with a creeper gear. (The only actual 7-speed manual currently in production is in the Porsche 911). The creeper gear is only used in special ultra-slow off-road situations. But I assume you know that. It sounded like you were using the creeper gear as 1st. I drove a manual Bronco recently (granted it was a short test drive), but to me the manual operated exactly as all my 6-speed manuals do. Can you please elaborate?
7 forward gears is a 7 speed transmission, crawler isn’t not a forward gear. The OP references C for crawler gear, so I read it as he thinks the 1-6 ratios could be changed and substituted for a 1-5 setup.
 
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fzracer484

fzracer484

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Yeah, it seems like people are referring to this transmission as the 7M, because there are a total of 7 forward gears, but I would have been ok with keeping crawler, and readjusting the remaining six gears to a more spread out 5 speed. But again, I'm coming from a 5 speed car and even a 3 speed truck, so just feels like its a little overkill.
I have found that 3rd gear like someone mentioned above is the money gear where you spend most of the time.

7 forward gears is a 7 speed transmission, crawler isn’t not a forward gear. The OP references C for crawler gear, so I read it as he thinks the 1-6 ratios could be changed and substituted for a 1-5 setup.
 
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fzracer484

fzracer484

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Thanks. I have a 2DR BD. I came from a 5 speed subaru WRX, so 1st and 2nd seem close too me, but 3rd seems to be the money gear.

I wish you could do the 1 to 3 skip but that doesn't seem to feel great the couple times I tried,
 
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fzracer484

fzracer484

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I didn't use creeper as part of the usual routine in driving, but still find 1st gear to be pretty short. When I tried creeper gear it almost felt like it would roll at the same speed as first, but I didn't apply brakes to find out how low it would go before stalling. I'll have to play around with that a little more.

Thank for posting that. One question about your comments on the 7 speed: It’s not really a 7-speed; it’s a standard 6-speed manual with a creeper gear. (The only actual 7-speed manual currently in production is in the Porsche 911). The creeper gear is only used in special ultra-slow off-road situations. But I assume you know that. It sounded like you were using the creeper gear as 1st. I drove a manual Bronco recently (granted it was a short test drive), but to me the manual operated exactly as all my 6-speed manuals do. Can you please elaborate?
 

BlueOvalBandit

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The creeper gear is only used in special ultra-slow off-road situations.
I beg to differ, I used it for 2 hours straight on a freeway in Southern California and it was GLORIOUS. Really cuts the fatigue when you can just let the clutch out and creep along at 2-3 mph at idle.
 

AZ_Liberty

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I'm actually pretty annoyed that my Base is coming with Bridgestones on it.

Bridgestone = Firestone, and I'm still mad at those guys. As far as I am concerned they still owe me a set of tires from the 1999 debacle.

I'm thinking Generals.
 

MOBroncoSTL

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Thank your for taking the time for your very insightful write up. I am envious of the care that you take of your vehicles. I have a reservation for a base 2.3 7MT and a base SAS. I have a signed agreement for under MSRP on the base SAS and same, only a verbal promise, for under MSRP on the base base. The non sas was my back up plan but now I am hoping I can get the base 2.3 MT first and just be happy with that. Unfortunately, that offer is only verbal and they lack any kind of communication and at one point I drove two hours to the dealership to see what was happening. The only sales person there told me "no one knows what the f is going on here, especially with the Bronco". So I am kind of thinking if they even ever ordered the base base there is no way they will honor my agreement anyway. Sorry for the long story but you have me excited for just hopefully getting a base base sometime in the future.
 

Harv83

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Great write up, thank you. If my bronco was going to be only for me this would be my build, VB is my color and I love the simplicity of the base. That TL1000R is fantastic bike, I had a ’97 TL1000S, probably my favorite out of all the street bikes I’ve owned, 2001 Buell M2 being a very close second.
 

texashoya

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I'm actually pretty annoyed that my Base is coming with Bridgestones on it.

Bridgestone = Firestone, and I'm still mad at those guys. As far as I am concerned they still owe me a set of tires from the 1999 debacle.

I'm thinking Generals.
I myself am considering Falken Wildpeaks in this same size, but I’m worried about the highway noise. We shall see.
 
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