6800 miles on my Bronco (Big Bend 2.3 10 spd auto). 4600 in the last week. My impressions

Capt steve

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I received my big bend 2.3 10 spd auto with a soft top about 6 weeks ago. I put 1600 miles on it mostly highway then changed the oil and filter because i had a pretty tough road trip planned. Last week I drove it from near atlantic City NJ to Gettysburg SD to do some pheasant hunting, a distance of about 1700 miles each way. I was on interstates through NJ,PA,OH,IN,IL,WS,MN,AND IA. My speed on these roads was around 74 mph and on the trip back we made it in 26 hrs only stopping to let the dogs out and use the facilities ourselves. Here is a brief review of my impressions.

1. comfort And performance =We had the Bronco packed tight with 2 adults and all the gear and 2 Brittanies. In the receiver hitch I had a cargo carrier with a 150 qt cooler with fish going out and game coming home. We were on mostly interstates with 2 lanes and were always running with the “Big boys” meaning semis with anywhere from 1 to three trailers moving at 70-75mph. The bronco had no problem keeping up with and passing the big rigs. It was stable and was not affected by the trucks any more than my f150 was. The 2.3 had plenty of go with regular gas and the trip of 4600 miles averaged 20.1 mpg. We averaged about 420 miles between fill ups. It was very comfortable to drive for long distances. Truthfully I believe that the ride was as good or better than my 2017 f150 that I had 78k miles on. The steering was very responsive and after I got used to how quickly it reacted to steering wheel movement, it was a joy to drive light pressure on the wheel kept us rock steady even riding alongside an 18 wheeler. As far as noise goes in the cabin at speed, it was not loud or a problem in any way. My copilot said that he couldn’t believe how little noise there was even with the soft top. While in SD, I ran the 4 wheel high while driving through corn fields and cover to get to where the birds were and it never missed a beat. I did notice that rpm’s were higher in 4wd. Overall I was really impressed with the truck and I am really glad I have it. It’s fun to drive!

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Improvements I would like to see. - the front seat head rests are a bit of a problem. They are fixed as to forward and back movement and you have to play with the seat to make them work. If they made them the same as my f150 had, that had several positions available, that would be great.

The rear seat backs are straight up and down and for some folks who like to recline slightly, it is not comfortable for extended trips. We had to go 80 miles with 3 guys in the truck a couple of times and it was a problem. My dogs rode there for the trip and never complained but the 6’ tall guy did.

the synch lady would come on without me touching any controls and say “how can I help you? Please say a command”. Kind of a pain in the butt and perhaps there’s an update for the software that would solve the problem.

It would be nice to change the screen display on the left side. An analog speedometer and a digital are simply redundant.

ive noticed a slight rattle on what appears to be the passenger side rear door when I hit a rough spot while driving. I’m pretty sure I can figure out what the problem is but it shouldn’t be happening.

when I got back I took the truck in for an oil change and tire rotation and while I was waiting talked to several service reps. One guy told me that since I had been running 150’s for 20 years he figured that I would not be happy in the bronco.. Boy was he wrong!


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2w1se

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Great trip! I love that the 4 door holds more fuel than the 2 door. Good for these long trips. Thanks for the report.
 

Knownman

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Nice to hear. I’m a truck guy at my core and switching from my Ram2500 to this Bronco isn‘t something I’m taking lightly. My 10 year old boy tells me I shouldn’t buy the Bronco because he thinks the truck has more room. He’s right. But I drove that Bronco at the off roadeo, he wasn’t allowed to come because of his age. It was amazing in the rocks. I don’t know that I can resist making the transition. Just hope I don’t have too much of a need for that HD truck when I do.
 

Kevers

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I think the rear seats have a recline a little...if you pull the handle on top and lean back it goes from a 19 degree to a 23 degree lean angle. Not much but may help.
 

getpower1

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Nobody seems to ever, in any of the reviews except for one I’ve seen for three seconds ever talk about the fact that the rear seats have three positions to them.

That’s not to say that it’s every trim level or that they’ll recline enough for people not to complain. But I wish reviewers on YouTube would at least talk about it.
 

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Capt steve

Capt steve

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I would like to hear about the pheasant hunting also.🤷‍♂️
Smart birds. They’d rather run than fly. We’d block off a piece or so we thought and move the dogs in the other end. Birds would run, couldn’t see them but you could hear them.the weather was brutal. We had 1-10 degrees with 30 mph winds that blew the snow sideways. Tough but we dressed for it. Then they’d fly out of range of the blockers and the guys with the dogs. Ya had to be young Enough to keep up with the dogs as they were foot scenting but I turned 77 on Sunday and after a day or two I realized that my buddy’s son who was 50 years younger than me was much better suited for the bird moving. I was forever more a blocker. We saw up to 250 birds at a time get up out of range but we’re able to harvest about 30 in 5 days. It’s really big country that has to be seen to be believed. This was a sequel to my antelope hunt in October and much tougher. Really a great bucket list time.

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Capt steve

Capt steve

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Nobody seems to ever, in any of the reviews except for one I’ve seen for three seconds ever talk about the fact that the rear seats have three positions to them.

That’s not to say that it’s every trim level or that they’ll recline enough for people not to complain. But I wish reviewers on YouTube would at least talk about it.
I don’t think that is true in my BB. I tried it but maybe I didn’t know how to make it happen.
 

myrealname123

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Great trip report, thanks for sharing!!! I'm with you on the fixed front headrests, I'm hopeful they'll change that soon enough. I seem to recall a similar thing happening when they brought out the unibody Explorer in '12.
 

NVCowboy

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Speed goat is probably my favorite hunt. Congratulations on both the Pronghorn and the Bronco.
 

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JediMcMuffin

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how about a picture of that hitch with the cargo rack and cooler on it? great write-up! im jealous of your 20.1mpg
 

BrentC

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Smart birds. They’d rather run than fly. We’d block off a piece or so we thought and move the dogs in the other end. Birds would run, couldn’t see them but you could hear them.the weather was brutal. We had 1-10 degrees with 30 mph winds that blew the snow sideways. Tough but we dressed for it. Then they’d fly out of range of the blockers and the guys with the dogs. Ya had to be young Enough to keep up with the dogs as they were foot scenting but I turned 77 on Sunday and after a day or two I realized that my buddy’s son who was 50 years younger than me was much better suited for the bird moving. I was forever more a blocker. We saw up to 250 birds at a time get up out of range but we’re able to harvest about 30 in 5 days. It’s really big country that has to be seen to be believed. This was a sequel to my antelope hunt in October and much tougher. Really a great bucket list time.

EC025584-928E-4AB1-B815-29C6D1D5A3AA.jpeg


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I love antelope meat. Leanest meat I’ve ever eaten.
 

getpower1

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I don’t think that is true in my BB. I tried it but maybe I didn’t know how to make it happen.
Odd because I was watching a YouTube video today where they have a big bend and actually mentioned it. I took note of it because I made this comment. Have to have someone figure this out. There’s a reason there’s a picture of two or three seat positions on the latch.
 
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Capt steve

Capt steve

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Odd because I was watching a YouTube video today where they have a big bend and actually mentioned it. I took note of it because I made this comment. Have to have someone figure this out. There’s a reason there’s a picture of two or three seat positions on the latch.
I’ll check it out. No time to do that up to now. I gave a perfunctory look but I’ll dig deeper. Thanks for the heads up.
 
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Capt steve

Capt steve

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how about a picture of that hitch with the cargo rack and cooler on it? great write-up! im jealous of your 20.1mpg
No sweat. I’ll hitch it up tomorrow and shoot some pics. Only needed one strap to hold it in place. Only problem was tha I have to remove the rack to open the rear door. Figured that out early and packed the vehicle so I didn’t have to get in through the rear door till I got there. There are racks that swing with the door or have lower sides available but considering that I only have $125 in the receiver and about the same in the rack, I’m satisfied. Removing the rack is very easy and was not an inconvenience. It wasn’t a big deal because when I got to SD, I stored the rack and cooler at a friend’s house. I also bought with my points the lockable rear storage drawer. I removed the inserts and stored a lot of stuff in there and could still put a crate for my britts when we were in the field on top of the drawer. I’ll be using the rack this summer to take ice to my charter boat. I guess that you just need to find solutions and make things work.
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