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Beeswax

Black Diamond
Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2022
Threads
9
Messages
50
Reaction score
120
Location
Northeast
Vehicle(s)
Focus ST
Your Bronco Model
Black Diamond
I took delivery of my A51 Wildtrak on 7/28/2021- Lux, Tow, Side Steps, Floor Liners. In just over 4 months I've put on 5708mi(as of this morning-12/1). Coming from a tuned 2016 VW Golf R and never having owned a "truck" this is a completely different animal. Some of my views/opinions are referenced against the VW, while others are more general. I'll start with the Pros and Cons and wrap it up with a conclusion

Cons- Lets get the negative out of the way first
  • MIC Top leak- Aside from some delivery damage my MIC top is cosmetically great. No honeycomb, delaminating, bad edges etc. BUT in heavy rain it has leaked. Same as documented by others- the drain trough gets overwhelmed and water drips from the A-Pillar and over the front doors. Its rare but has happened multiple times
  • Transmission Control Module- After using 4A in a heavy rain storm the next start resulted in a "Powertrain Malfunction/Reduced Power" warning. Drive modes(2H, 4H etc) weren't functioning and GOAT modes were unavailable. I could not select 2H(I drive almost exclusively in 2H) and the truck was stuck in 4H. Dealer service diagnosed a faulty Transmission Control Module. Truck sat at the dealer for 5days while waiting for the part to come in, install was quick once received. Offroad it would have been drivable, but locked in 4H with my daily mileage and tight maneuvers required it wasn't going anywhere.
  • Lack of rain sensing wipers- I miss this from the VW. It was nice not having to play with the intermittent speeds or be locked into a preset selection.
  • Hard interior plastics- ALL of the touch points are fine, feel good, padded and have been durable. Its the non-touch points, the trim on the dash, door cards etc that have a hard cheap feel to them
  • Sirius Reception- Its awful, compared to any other car I've driven it loses signal much more frequently. Drive through a shadow or sneeze and you lose signal. I understand there is a bulletin about this stating its being looked into.
  • Tail Gate Noises- Started as the creak/squeak(not awful), possibly from the spare tire grommets. Haven't been able to diagnose it fully or find a solution. However now that its gotten colder the tail gate and hatch make an obnoxious and loud squeak until the outside temp hits about 45*. Any bumps that upset the rear end cause the squeaking. Make it sound like an old well worn vehicle, not a new car.
  • Rear Suspension- 90% of the time its fine, rides better than I would have expected. On-road, square edged bumps(deep pot holes, speed bumps, some joints) put a shimmy in the rear that just lacks composure. Probably what I would expect from a "truck" but compared to the front end(se Pros) its unsettling
  • Goodyear Territory tires- Dry traction is good, I haven't done any hardcore off-roading to comment. Wet traction is lacking, specifically braking, not getting into ABS but enough slip in an emergency stopping scenario. These tires also throw EVERY stone, any gravel road or parking lot ends in stones being thrown as you're approaching road speeds. Magnified by bouncing off the step bars, but if I didn't have the steps the body work would be a mess. Consider mudflaps(oh wait there aren't any to go with the steps)
  • Overall Build Quality- I have some uneven panel gaps, hood misalignment and need to schedule my MIC 2.0 replacement, could have been better
  • Automatic Climate Control- Constantly seems to be hunting, whether you're heating or cooling it shoots past the target and then reverses course so its always blowing.
  • Heated Steering Wheel- Nice to have but needs to be warmer(FORScan fix?)
  • Sync4(see also Pros)- Audio and Prompt volumes, frequently volume adjustments get "stuck" changing prompts and require a restart
  • Making New Friends(see also Pros)- Good luck stopping for gas, going to Home Depot, visiting pretty much any parking lot without meeting a lot of new people who have questions, take pictures. The number of people I've chatted with while stuck in bumper to bumper traffic is comical. Its actually pretty cool unless you're in a rush
  • Gas Mileage(see also Pros)- It is what it is, Fuelly currently has me averaging 16.9mpg which is pretty much a perfect match for the EPA estimated 17mpg
  • Keep Your Hands on the Wheel- This warning pops up all the time, so annoying
Pros
  • Power- The 2.7L is more than any normal situation would need. Will I tune it- hell yes. But the 2.3L is probably more than adequate
  • Tracking- On the highway this truck tracks straight as an arrow. So much so that it constantly thinks you're hands are off the wheel(because they don't have to do anything) and warns you to use your hands
  • Front Suspension- Pretty much unfazed by any road imperfection and light offroad obstacles. Maintains excellent composure
  • Overall Ride Quality- Significantly better than I expected from a truck, probably a credit to the front suspension which makes up for the rears shortcomings
  • FordPass App- Remote starting, status checks, dealer contact, super easy and in your pocket at all times
  • Sync4- Overall the 12" screen and function has been great. Clear, responsive, easily connects for wireless CarPlay
  • B&O Stereo- I'm not an Audiophile, so I had the Audiophile friends tune it. Sounds great and even they were happy(though not blown away) with the sound. Too much base and there are some rattles from the cargo area
  • Removeable Top- Front panels are a breeze, 2 minutes by yourself and its done. Center panel is easiest with 2 people but just takes a minute to remove. I usually just leave the panels in the house if I'm not making any stops. The storage bag is a pain.
  • Rear Seat Room- No complaints from average height passengers, plenty of room and comfortable
  • Headlights and Auto-highbeams- Headlights are excellent, bright clear and properly illuminate the road/terrain. The auto-highbeams are awesome, I use them a lot more now that I don't have to toggle the stalk repeatedly, in some instances they could turn off a hair sooner but it hasn't offended anyone yet
  • Cameras- The 360 view and front camera are very useful in some situations, makes a larger vehicle much less intimidating
  • Making New Friends- From connecting with fellow forum members and owners to the strangers asking questions everyone has been awesome. The amount of attention it commands is crazy
  • Gas Mileage- The fact that I'm actually matching the EPA estimate with the way I drive is a miracle, for 35s, brick aero and a heavy foot its pretty good.

Overall I'm thrilled. From a near 400hp AWD Hot Hatch to a lumbering giant it was a big change. I "saw" the Bronco when they did they dealer tour, but hopping into something so drastically different with no behind the wheel experience, and so many unknowns was crazy. But I don't have any regrets. In a straight line I still drive it the same way I did the VW, my highway cruising speeds usually start with an 8(which is kinda go with the flow around here), curves and back roads are a different story, braking earlier and going much slower- but thats to be expected. For what it is I think it handles great, probably has much higher limits than I would ever want to explore(except for braking- tires), maneuvers easily in parking lots and tight places.

I like to drive and have put decent mileage on it already- its been comfortable every step of the way for myself as well as my passengers. The seats, the interior and the ride all melt into the background and go unnoticed as the miles pass, thats the biggest plus, its just a companion along on the adventure with you. None of the cons are show stoppers, minor annoyances but nothing that detracts from all the positives of the experience.

I miss the VW, capable way beyond the performance of most and decently roomy. It just wasn't big enough for my needs anymore. Do I NEED a truck? No. Any crossover would do, they would all get me down the beaten paths I NEED to traverse to get to the trail head or the lake, but I don't think any of them would do it the same way. Now I look for destinations that I couldn't otherwise get to. Theres a connection with the Bronco, it just fits. Its not super polished nor is it meant to be, it can be rough, but it rarely is and never so much so that it becomes a deterrent.

If it never evolves- stays the way it is today, faults and quality issues never get addressed, would I do it again? Right now I would say yes. 5yrs from now might that change- yes. But for now its all and everything I need. It may just be the smiles and experience but its been one hell of a ride.

I've got Diode Dynamics SS3 ditch lights and fogs on order, probably a tune next year. Later I'll add some random pictures to the thread

Update: Random Bronco and Bronco related pictures added

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Great review! I'm coming from a Focus ST so your experience was actually pretty helpful for me.
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