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Bronco as a winter vehicle?

Burnin' Rubber

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Greetings from Canada! I have been researching the Bronco to help get through the harsh Canadian winters. The previous January during a major snow storm, I got stuck on a main road leading out of my subdivision. It was the first time I got stuck in snow on a main road in 20 years of commuting and I use snow tires. I called for a tow truck and my brother-in-law also called one for me, and neither one of them showed up. I waited for hours with traffic driving past until finally a young guy in an Audi A5 stopped and offered to help. He acted as a spotter while I spun my tires to get out of the deep snow and onto the intersecting road which was plowed by that time. It was an ordeal to say the least.

In recent years, it seems the city contractors are no longer getting out early enough to clear the roads. This presents a problem for me. Since getting stuck, I now have greater anxiety when it comes to winter driving. I have researched all kinds of vehicles, and my impression is that the AWD crossovers that are so popular are not so capable in deep snow. I would love to have a Bronco or Wrangler since to me they are the only vehicles I would have the confidence to not get me stuck in the snow conditions that I was in.

To my disappointment, the Wrangler has flaws which make it a theft target. I saw a video in which police reported thieves stole five Wranglers in one night by unlatching the hood from the outside to disable the security system and then implementing a signal relay to gain access.

With all that in mind, I am hoping to have some questions answered about the new Bronco that I have not been able to find answers on.
  1. How easy is getting in and out of the Bronco without side steps? I sometimes find it more difficult on a truck with side steps because you have to stand further away from the truck to reach before hopping in and then stretch out past the side step when hopping out. I imagine side steps can also become slippery when snow and ice accumulate on top.
  2. Intelligent Access is an option with the Mid Package. If the Standard Package is chosen, how is the key fob different to unlock and lock the vehicle while still having push-button start?
  3. I have seen videos of Big Bend and Black Diamond models with full LED lighting on the headlights and taillights. Is this included with the Mid Package? The Build & Price is not specific about this option.
  4. Can a set of four 32" tires fit in the cargo area with the rear seats folded down in a two-door or four-door Bronco?
  5. Are any of the stock tires adequate for use in winter or is a dedicated set of winter tires recommended?
  6. It seems to get the Advanced 4x4 on the Base and Big Bend you have to add the Sasquatch Package, whereas you can select the Advanced 4x4 as a standalone option without the Sasquatch Package on the Black Diamond and Outer Banks. Is it an advantage to have the Advanced 4x4 for driving in snow, or could you get by with just the Part Time 4x4 and driving in 4H?
I guess that's it for now. I apologize about the lengthy post, but I want to be sure before I commit to any decision. The Bronco is expensive, and it is made even less affordable when having to purchase with Canadian dollars. :(
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jasonkosi

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Hello from a fellow Canuck! Hopefully my answers will help.
1. I don’t have any issue, but I guess it would depend on how tall you are. I’m over 6’, my Bronco has 32” tires and no side steps for reference. I would agree that having side steps would just get in the way.
2. Intelligent access just lets you pull the door handle to automatically unlock and enter the vehicle, whereas on the standard package you would need to press the unlock button on the fob first before pulling the door handle.
3. Mid package doesn’t include full led lighting. Signature led lighting is a separate option and only available on some trims. You can get it on Big Bend but not on Black Diamond. All Broncos come standard with led headlights though, the signature option gives you led taillights and fancier headlights.
4. In a 4 door I think you could
5. Can’t speak too much on other tires, but the General Grabbers on my Black Diamond are great in the snow. They also have the 3 peak mountain snowflake on them. I would think most of the stock tires would be decent seeing as they’re all terrains.
6. Having advanced 4x4 can help in snow as it can send power to the front wheels automatically if you lose traction. I had no issues last winter with just the part time 4x4 on mine. I would just put it in 4WD if I needed extra traction to get going, then pop it back in to 2WD once I was clear. You can shift on the fly even with the part time transfer case. I wouldn’t keep it in 4WD with the part time system unless the roads were really bad.
 

F OR D

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Hello from a fellow Canuck! Hopefully my answers will help.
1. I don’t have any issue, but I guess it would depend on how tall you are. I’m over 6’, my Bronco has 32” tires and no side steps for reference. I would agree that having side steps would just get in the way.
2. Intelligent access just lets you pull the door handle to automatically unlock and enter the vehicle, whereas on the standard package you would need to press the unlock button on the fob first before pulling the door handle.
3. Mid package doesn’t include full led lighting. Signature led lighting is a separate option and only available on some trims. You can get it on Big Bend but not on Black Diamond. All Broncos come standard with led headlights though, the signature option gives you led taillights and fancier headlights.
4. In a 4 door I think you could
5. Can’t speak too much on other tires, but the General Grabbers on my Black Diamond are great in the snow. They also have the 3 peak mountain snowflake on them. I would think most of the stock tires would be decent seeing as they’re all terrains.
6. Having advanced 4x4 can help in snow as it can send power to the front wheels automatically if you lose traction. I had no issues last winter with just the part time 4x4 on mine. I would just put it in 4WD if I needed extra traction to get going, then pop it back in to 2WD once I was clear. You can shift on the fly even with the part time transfer case. I wouldn’t keep it in 4WD with the part time system unless the roads were really bad.
Agree.

4A is worth it if you live in Canada/snow belt areas. 4A has a diff between the front and rear output in the transfer case, 4H does not. 4A is like an all-wheel drive and can be used on dry non slippery surface like dry pavement, 4H locks the front and rear output together, using it on non-slippery surface can put strain on the drivetrain but is still safe.

Bottom line if think you will need it a lot, or have varying road conditions frequently 4A is a no brainer. It is easy to use 4L/H, but there are issues of stopping for 4H, and if others drive it 4A is the easy button (i.e. I don't trust my wife)
 

drgnspcshp

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I also love the slippery GOAT mode that I think handles better than just 4A. Bronco has been great for Montana road driving for me. I love about 10 miles outside of town so roads can be worse around my home, but 4A and slippery Goat with stock 35” tires have been wonderful for what I need.
 

604Bronco

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Welcome - From a fellow Canadian as well!

Jason did a great job answering your questions. I have a Badlands on 35’s and I don’t have an issue getting into it. I’m 6 ft tall and a slight “jump” while getting in, works without an issue.

However, my much shorter wife struggles a bit. She uses the grab handle and has to pull herself in. But she does it fine and no complaints.

There’s side steps available from IAG that attach to the factory rock rails. They’re pretty popular on these forums - if you use the “search” feature you’ll find numerous posts and pictures. They also look much better than other options.
 

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Burnin' Rubber

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Hey, thanks for all the great feedback! It gives me much needed insight into all the options to consider.

Just wondering about the Build & Price. I don't see a way to add the full LED lighting package front and back to models below the Outer Banks. Jason mentioned it might be an option on the Big Bend only.

Am I reading the Build & Price correctly, when it seems that you must add the Sasquatch package to the Base or Big Bend to get the Advanced 4x4, while you could add the Advanced 4x4 to the Black Diamond or Outer Banks without the need to add the Sasquatch package?

Does not optioning the Intelligent Access provide any defense against signal relay hacks from the key fob? It seems to me the fob still transmits a constant signal to be awake and ready in order to use the push-button start.
 

0ne

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Agree.

4A is worth it if you live in Canada/snow belt areas. 4A has a diff between the front and rear output in the transfer case, 4H does not. 4A is like an all-wheel drive and can be used on dry non slippery surface like dry pavement, 4H locks the front and rear output together, using it on non-slippery surface can put strain on the drivetrain but is still safe.

Bottom line if think you will need it a lot, or have varying road conditions frequently 4A is a no brainer. It is easy to use 4L/H, but there are issues of stopping for 4H, and if others drive it 4A is the easy button (i.e. I don't trust my wife)
“With your Ford Bronco vehicle, you can “shift on the fly,” a 4x4 insider’s way of saying you can change from 2WD to 4WD while your vehicle is moving. If you hear a sound when you do, this is normal. It's simply the front drivetrain coming up to speed. Think of it as the sound of a new adventure starting.” 🤣
 

Sparkherd

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Agree.

4A is worth it if you live in Canada/snow belt areas. 4A has a diff between the front and rear output in the transfer case, 4H does not. 4A is like an all-wheel drive and can be used on dry non slippery surface like dry pavement, 4H locks the front and rear output together, using it on non-slippery surface can put strain on the drivetrain but is still safe.

Bottom line if think you will need it a lot, or have varying road conditions frequently 4A is a no brainer. It is easy to use 4L/H, but there are issues of stopping for 4H, and if others drive it 4A is the easy button (i.e. I don't trust my wife)
There's no diff in that transfer case; it's a computer controlled clutch pack.
A few days ago I saw a video (cain't remember where) of a guy disassembling one with 10K miles, apparently all in 4A and the clutch pack was toast.
I've got less than 300 miles on mine, we got some rain, and I tried it out on a snottty intersection. I could tell it was working, and I'm glad I've got it, but I doubt I'll be driving in 4A all the time.
Your mileage will vary...
 

F OR D

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There's no diff in that transfer case; it's a computer controlled clutch pack.
A few days ago I saw a video (cain't remember where) of a guy disassembling one with 10K miles, apparently all in 4A and the clutch pack was toast.
I've got less than 300 miles on mine, we got some rain, and I tried it out on a snottty intersection. I could tell it was working, and I'm glad I've got it, but I doubt I'll be driving in 4A all the time.
Your mileage will vary...
Yeah it's definitely a heavy rain/snow thing
 

Sparkherd

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There's no diff in that transfer case; it's a computer controlled clutch pack.
A few days ago I saw a video (cain't remember where) of a guy disassembling one with 10K miles, apparently all in 4A and the clutch pack was toast.
Found it;
 

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JBowles

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FWIW if you deflate one tire(so you can squeeze the last 1/4 tires under the roll bar), you can get 5 285/70R17s in the back of a 2 door.
Ford Bronco Bronco as a winter vehicle? 20221106_074439
 

Rover72

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Found it;
Great inside look!
I thought 4A only engages when it detected slippage. Based on the wear it appears it was engaged all the time or going in and out often and consequently burnt up.
 

Cl1ckst3r

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Greetings from Canada! I have been researching the Bronco to help get through the harsh Canadian winters. The previous January during a major snow storm, I got stuck on a main road leading out of my subdivision. It was the first time I got stuck in snow on a main road in 20 years of commuting and I use snow tires. I called for a tow truck and my brother-in-law also called one for me, and neither one of them showed up. I waited for hours with traffic driving past until finally a young guy in an Audi A5 stopped and offered to help. He acted as a spotter while I spun my tires to get out of the deep snow and onto the intersecting road which was plowed by that time. It was an ordeal to say the least.

In recent years, it seems the city contractors are no longer getting out early enough to clear the roads. This presents a problem for me. Since getting stuck, I now have greater anxiety when it comes to winter driving. I have researched all kinds of vehicles, and my impression is that the AWD crossovers that are so popular are not so capable in deep snow. I would love to have a Bronco or Wrangler since to me they are the only vehicles I would have the confidence to not get me stuck in the snow conditions that I was in.

To my disappointment, the Wrangler has flaws which make it a theft target. I saw a video in which police reported thieves stole five Wranglers in one night by unlatching the hood from the outside to disable the security system and then implementing a signal relay to gain access.

With all that in mind, I am hoping to have some questions answered about the new Bronco that I have not been able to find answers on.
  1. How easy is getting in and out of the Bronco without side steps? I sometimes find it more difficult on a truck with side steps because you have to stand further away from the truck to reach before hopping in and then stretch out past the side step when hopping out. I imagine side steps can also become slippery when snow and ice accumulate on top.
  2. Intelligent Access is an option with the Mid Package. If the Standard Package is chosen, how is the key fob different to unlock and lock the vehicle while still having push-button start?
  3. I have seen videos of Big Bend and Black Diamond models with full LED lighting on the headlights and taillights. Is this included with the Mid Package? The Build & Price is not specific about this option.
  4. Can a set of four 32" tires fit in the cargo area with the rear seats folded down in a two-door or four-door Bronco?
  5. Are any of the stock tires adequate for use in winter or is a dedicated set of winter tires recommended?
  6. It seems to get the Advanced 4x4 on the Base and Big Bend you have to add the Sasquatch Package, whereas you can select the Advanced 4x4 as a standalone option without the Sasquatch Package on the Black Diamond and Outer Banks. Is it an advantage to have the Advanced 4x4 for driving in snow, or could you get by with just the Part Time 4x4 and driving in 4H?
I guess that's it for now. I apologize about the lengthy post, but I want to be sure before I commit to any decision. The Bronco is expensive, and it is made even less affordable when having to purchase with Canadian dollars. :(
This will be my first winter with our Outerbanks. I have put on 3.5 inch lift with 37x12.5R17 KO2's. They are 3PMSF, so I imagine it will do just fine. I typically run a dedicated snow tire, we will see how these KO2's do.

Looks like most of your questions were answered, I can speak to the four 32" tires in the cargo area. I had the dealer install my larger tires and wheels and he was able to fit all five stock wheels in the back with the both seats down. I have a 4 door.
 

jasonkosi

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Hey, thanks for all the great feedback! It gives me much needed insight into all the options to consider.

Just wondering about the Build & Price. I don't see a way to add the full LED lighting package front and back to models below the Outer Banks. Jason mentioned it might be an option on the Big Bend only.

Am I reading the Build & Price correctly, when it seems that you must add the Sasquatch package to the Base or Big Bend to get the Advanced 4x4, while you could add the Advanced 4x4 to the Black Diamond or Outer Banks without the need to add the Sasquatch package?

Does not optioning the Intelligent Access provide any defense against signal relay hacks from the key fob? It seems to me the fob still transmits a constant signal to be awake and ready in order to use the push-button start.
I just double checked the order guide, full LED lighting is still an option for Big Bend. Not sure why it doesn’t show up on the build & price. Not available on Base or Black Diamond though.

You are correct with the advanced 4x4, Sasquatch must be added on Base and Big Bend to get it.

The intelligent access works via proximity sensors, you need to have the key very close to the vehicle to get it to unlock. I don’t think it would make any difference in security in regards to relay hacks. If you’re worried about that, you can always get a faraday bag for your fobs.
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